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HERBIE HERBERT,
1948-2021

Herbie Herbert, a protégé of Bill Graham's who put Journey together and managed the band, among other acts, for two decades, died today (10/26). He was 73.

Herbert was a roadie for Santana when guitarist Neal Schon and keyboardist/singer Gregg Rolie were in the band. At the same time he was managing Frumious Bandersnatch, which featured bassist Ross Valory and guitarist George Tickner. After Carlos Santana revamped his band’s lineup, Herbert assembled Schon, Rolie, Valory, Tickner and Tubes drummer Prairie Prince as the Golden Gate Rhythm Section with the intention of getting them work as session musicians. After a concert performance in Hawaii, they decided to become a jazz-rock fusion band and christened themselves Journey. In 1977 Herbert introduced singer Steve Perry to the band.

Herbert managed Journey through their rise to superstardom until 1993, when Perry asked him to resign.

During his tenure with Journey, Herbert created a production company, Nocturne, with members of the band that handled staging and lighting needs and pioneered the use of large screens at concerts. In 1982, Nocturne started to offer its services to other acts and by the mid-1990s, it was estimated that 80% of the major touring acts—Michael Jackson, Elton John and  Guns N' Roses among them—were using Nocturne’s service. He sold the company in 2011. Herbert also oversaw real estate investments with the band.

Herbert also managed the Steve Miller Band, Mr. Big, Enuff Z’nuff, Rolie and Valory’s The Storm and the Schon/Deen Castronovo project Hardline. He co-managed Roxette and Europe.

Using the name Sy Klopps, he led the Bay Area's Sy Klopps Blues Band, recording three albums and performing in the 1990s and early 2000s.

“I’ll cherish all the incredible times and trials and tribulations we experienced together,” Schon wrote on Instagram. “Herbie was an incredible, hands-on manager and fought like a motherfucker for all of us every step of the way. I can easily say that without his vision, there would have never been many of the innovative things that we shared. I hold the greatest times in my heart forever. My deepest condolences to all that knew him and loved him.”

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