Herbie Herbert, Manager for Journey and Santana, Dead at 73
The longtime artist manager, whose full name was Walter James Herbert II, died of natural causes at his home in Orinda, Calif., as Variety reported. A family spokesperson told the San Francisco Chronicle that he'd been suffering from a prolonged illness.
Herbert is the third associate of famed late concert promoter Bill Graham to have died over the last several weeks, following the September deaths of Mick Bridgen (the manager of guitarist Joe Satriani) and music merchandise mogul Dell Furano.
On Monday (Oct. 25), Journey guitarist Neal Schon, who was a member of Santana in the early 1970s before Journey formed, fondly remembered Herbert.
"I'm very saddened by this news tonight of the recent loss of Walter (Herbie) Herbert," the rocker said on social media, "whom I've known since I joined Santana."
Schon continued, "I met him through [early Journey singer] Gregg Rolie and [Santana roadie] Jackie Villanueva (Dr. Brown). We traveled the world together, first with Santana, then Journey. Shortly after we had completed [Santana's] Caravanserai album, [we] disbanded. Herbie had decided to start a management company, approached me about managing myself and wrapping a band around my guitar playing, and our long amazing Journey started."
The Journey guitarist added that he'll "cherish all the incredible times and trials and tribulations we experienced together. 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."
Indeed, after getting his start with Graham and going on to manage the early '70s incarnation of guitarist Carlos Santana's namesake rock act, Herbert's business sense laid the foundation for Journey.
During his career, Herbert also managed groups such as The Steve Miller Band, Mr. Big, Enuff Z'Nuff, and Journey side projects The Storm and Hardline. He co-managed Swedish acts Roxette and Europe.
Herbert, a musician himself, was born on Feb. 5, 1948, in Berkeley, Calif. His love for music led him to initially work for Graham as a Santana roadie.