Herbie Herbert “The Band Whisperer”

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Herbie Herbert “The Band Whisperer”

Postby tater1977 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:44 am

Herbie Herbert “The Band Whisperer”

https://bizxmagazine.com/herbie-herbert ... ew-part-1/

Lori Baldassi

MAKING A SOUND LIVING
Do you enjoy watching those big video screens and those amazing light shows when you see, hmm . . . say, Lady Gaga and Madonna? Were you impressed with the production of those huge shows like The Who and Michael Jackson? Then thank Herbie Herbert and his crew at Nocturne Productions (sold in 2011 to a Canadian company who do all the Cirque Du Soleil shows) who created the screens for the touring companies to support the shows and, oh yeah, one time manager of Santana, Journey and a number of other acts.

Just read an excerpt of Steve Perry’s 2017 April speech at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction.


“Somehow one of my demo tapes fell into the hands of Herbie Herbert and the next thing I knew, because of Herbie, I was writing music with Neal Schon. The very first song we wrote was ‘Patiently’. I must absolutely tell you that I must thank Herbie Herbert for believing in me.” – Steve Perry former lead singer of Journey.

You might say Herbie Herbert is the “band whisperer” but I call him the “BRAND whisperer.”

Before Journey played a note, Herbie Herbert had a vision, a concept, a plan and a goal. The road ahead had been carefully constructed to not only hit the pinnacle of the charts, but to have sustainability to last through the changes of the music industry. Herbie is my kind of interview, the unvarnished truth. An F bomb here and there (appropriately so), some laughing, but always on point and — unlike many who have written about him before me — no bitterness of the past, the present or the future. He walked away when he saw the landscape of the industry change with hip hop R&B that left rock not in the fast lane, but the last lane.

Here is the first part of my Q&A interview with Herbie Herbert (HH).

Biz X: What was your primary goal as Manager?
HH: I had to be a true fan. I considered my artists’ music my music too. I just wanted to manage with the same adeptness that Neal Schon (Journey) played his guitar. With the same level of expertise that made it look easy, even though it is hugely difficult. There are three important things you have to do as management. First, manifest and create opportunities. Secondly, you must generate a yield from these opportunities and make money, Third, do a better job at one and two.

Biz X: What is the reality of being a Manager?
HH: I would prefer being just a fan, it’s easy, it’s fun! Being an unrelenting critic is NOT fun and to do it with anybody and have them not take it personally is hard. The truth is you really love these people. I really loved my clients deeply and only wanted the best for them and wanted to do it in the most honest way. Having acknowledgement and gratitude are wonderful, but don’t count on it when you’re a Manager — this is not the business for that. It is, and always has been, something that has to be completely selffulfilling in and of itself. This is what you want to do, whether its ever recognized and accepted, appreciated or whatever. You just have to keep your eye on the prize and be so unrelentingly positive in that way. You have to have such laser focus on the prize.
Or if you pause to reflect, it is perfectly fine to have a negative opinion professionally even though you push forward in the most positive way you can. It’s a rough road to hoe. I never ever came in and said “hey, I have The Beatles here.” I created the opportunity to get them heard.

Biz X: Getting a record moving in radio used to work how?
HH: The art form of conducting the symphony that it takes to get a record to #1.You have to have everything happen in that precise and concise time period and outcompete all the other records in the marketplace. All of those things have to occur and you’ve got to do it better than anyone else to go #1 in that particular market. Then you go coast to coast and border to border. You wind up #1 on Billboard. It’s the hardest thing on earth to do and the height of entrepreneurialism that was the ultimate challenge, and it took me forever to learn how to do it.

Biz X: What were the first signs the format for rock was over?
HH: Radio has gone through such changes. At one point I knew every call letter of every radio station in North America, every Program Director (PD), every Music Director. Then this lady PD in San Francisco came in and changed everything. She started to play more and more urban. Urban started to ferment and took off like a monster robot. It moved rock out and made a tsunami of money mostly happening in ‘91. I saw the handwriting on the wall — this format is OVER. The only real #1 record, in terms of over the counter sales and airplay at that time, was Mr. Big, “To Be With You” — my last #1. The landscape changing was going in the urban direction. It was at Van Halen’s managers wake, that I made the announcement that I’m out of the business and retiring. It’s a different game, and it was getting really, really hard. You only book acts when they’re huge. :shock: :?: :shock: :?: I could see that going to happen less and less, and predicted the end of Premier Agency who had every act on earth. It’s over and it was.

Biz X: Tell me about the beginning of your Managing career?
HH: I had a profound philosophy about that the whole time. I came and started a total fan in the trenches in the mosh pit so to speak, way before there were mosh pits. I never spent 10 minutes backstage at the Journey shows. I was always out front in the audience. Completely engrossed in that experience and trying to understand — what that’s about? My feeling was that anybody in the business their opinion was absolutely secondary, especially, media, radio whatever. The opinions that matter are the people and they are voting with their wallets. The fact of the matter is they
(media, record labels, radio) are much more likely to be out of touch and the audiences spending their money are never wrong. The first time that I’m uncomfortable — and I don’t get it and I feel a little out of step of the audience — those are the beginning signs of me entering stage 4.

Look to Biz X in the September issue for Part 2 of this interview. Find out Herbie Herbert’s “4 stages of Herbie Herbert’s fine, fine, super fine career advice on Record Business Dementia” (his words); his advice for up and coming artists, branding, touring life, management deals; his thoughts on Journey on the road in the day and more.
Perry's good natured bonhomie & the world’s most charmin smile,knocked fans off their feet. Sportin a black tux,gigs came alive as he swished around the stage thrillin audiences w/ charisma that instantly burnt the oxygen right out of the venue.TR.com
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Re: Herbie Herbert “The Band Whisperer”

Postby tater1977 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:03 am

So Herbie was actually retired, before the band's reunion for TBF :?:
But they still had to have a manager, picking Azoff.
So why did Herbie have the big fit about being fired by the band
when he, by his own words retired back in 1991... 6 or 7 years beforehand :?:
Last edited by tater1977 on Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
Perry's good natured bonhomie & the world’s most charmin smile,knocked fans off their feet. Sportin a black tux,gigs came alive as he swished around the stage thrillin audiences w/ charisma that instantly burnt the oxygen right out of the venue.TR.com
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Re: Herbie Herbert “The Band Whisperer”

Postby FamilyMan » Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:17 am

tater1977 wrote:So Herbie was actually retired, before the band reformed for TBF :?:
But they still had to have a manager, picking Azoff.
So why did Herbie have the big fit about being fired by the band
when he, by his own words retired back in 1991... 6 or 7 years beforehand :?:


Because a Journey reunion would have been HUGE. It would have meant one more trip on the merry-go-round.
"I'd love to hear his voice again." - Neal Schon 2008
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Re: Herbie Herbert “The Band Whisperer”

Postby JourneyLFN » Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:45 am

Here is his quote from the Classic Rock Revisited interview - I can't find the year it was done though:

"CRR: How did your relationship with the band end?
Herbie: I continued to work it through ’93. When Bill Graham died I wanted to retire from everything and stop. Somehow Jon Cain hallucinates and says that he phoned me up and fired me [laughing]. He said that in an interview on some T.V. show but I fail to recollect that. Who was he? I was the only shareholder. As I stepped back, I issued stock to all of them in Nightmare Inc. and just walked; that’s basically it."
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Re: Herbie Herbert “The Band Whisperer”

Postby tater1977 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:00 am

Yea we have all heard different versions thru-out the years,
but what he is saying now ... is a new version.
Perry's good natured bonhomie & the world’s most charmin smile,knocked fans off their feet. Sportin a black tux,gigs came alive as he swished around the stage thrillin audiences w/ charisma that instantly burnt the oxygen right out of the venue.TR.com
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Re: Herbie Herbert “The Band Whisperer”

Postby tater1977 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:06 am

FamilyMan wrote:
tater1977 wrote:So Herbie was actually retired, before the band reformed for TBF :?:
But they still had to have a manager, picking Azoff.
So why did Herbie have the big fit about being fired by the band
when he, by his own words retired back in 1991... 6 or 7 years beforehand :?:


Because a Journey reunion would have been HUGE. It would have meant one more trip on the merry-go-round.


So Herbie was mad because he didn't see a cut of what he thought he should have
been a part of and thinks he should have been rehired by the band, since he was already retired :?:
So why not just say that, instead of all the diff versions and blame games we've heard over the years :?:
Perry's good natured bonhomie & the world’s most charmin smile,knocked fans off their feet. Sportin a black tux,gigs came alive as he swished around the stage thrillin audiences w/ charisma that instantly burnt the oxygen right out of the venue.TR.com
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Re: Herbie Herbert “The Band Whisperer”

Postby perryfan61 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:09 am

Hope you can post the second part of this interview, sounds like it could be great. He certainly took the band, and the business, much further than any other manager could have.

He really was a huge fan of the band, you can see it in the documentary. He loved the music, and I believe he did love the guys back then. Neal is certainly his favourite, of course, but it was SP who gave him all the credit at the RRHOF.
The injury that we do to a man must be such that we need not fear his vengeance. Steve Perry
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Re: Herbie Herbert “The Band Whisperer”

Postby DracIsBack » Fri Jul 21, 2017 2:11 am

Herbie seems a lot smaller than he used to be. Not sure if this is intentional or not but he looks a lot thinner and more feeble now.
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Re: Herbie Herbert “The Band Whisperer”

Postby scarab » Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:41 am

So I wonder if the comment, by Herbie, this is the last thing I can do for you guys was not about Jon's supposed call? (Tricky Editing?)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QcYKRBb ... j4DIPfkXw4
around 8:30 mark
Last edited by scarab on Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Herbie Herbert “The Band Whisperer”

Postby perryfan61 » Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:39 am

DracIsBack wrote:Herbie seems a lot smaller than he used to be. Not sure if this is intentional or not but he looks a lot thinner and more feeble now.


I heard that he had his stomach stapled so he could lose weight. Looks like it worked.
The injury that we do to a man must be such that we need not fear his vengeance. Steve Perry
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Re: Herbie Herbert “The Band Whisperer”

Postby Monker » Sat Jul 22, 2017 5:37 pm

tater1977 wrote:So Herbie was actually retired, before the band's reunion for TBF :?:
But they still had to have a manager, picking Azoff.
So why did Herbie have the big fit about being fired by the band
when he, by his own words retired back in 1991... 6 or 7 years beforehand :?:


He was also listed as the manager of The Storm (with Smith, Valory, and Rolie) back in 1991...out of that grew the original reunion with: Chalfant, Rolie, Cain, Schon, and Valory. Just as that started going, the talks with Perry happened. Sony wanted Perry and Perry did not want Herbie. And, so Herbie had to let the band go.

IMO, he felt screwed by the guys - no loyalty. The band stuck by Perry instead of Herbie - twice...for ROR and TBF. In ROR, Herbie may be listed as manager, but Perry took over much of the vision that Herbie had up to that point...everything from hiring and firing members to the album cover art.
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Re: Herbie Herbert “The Band Whisperer”

Postby Monker » Sat Jul 22, 2017 5:43 pm

perryfan61 wrote:Hope you can post the second part of this interview, sounds like it could be great. He certainly took the band, and the business, much further than any other manager could have.

He really was a huge fan of the band, you can see it in the documentary. He loved the music, and I believe he did love the guys back then. Neal is certainly his favourite, of course, but it was SP who gave him all the credit at the RRHOF.


Actually, I think Gregg was his favorite...with Neal a close second.

I think SP was mending a lot of fences, Herbie, Neal, and even Arnel replacing him. No bitterness of what happened in the past or how things are today...just happy to be a part of "Journey". Everybody should respect that.
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Re: Herbie Herbert “The Band Whisperer”

Postby Monker » Sat Jul 22, 2017 5:49 pm

JourneyLFN wrote:Here is his quote from the Classic Rock Revisited interview - I can't find the year it was done though:

"CRR: How did your relationship with the band end?
Herbie: I continued to work it through ’93. When Bill Graham died I wanted to retire from everything and stop. Somehow Jon Cain hallucinates and says that he phoned me up and fired me [laughing]. He said that in an interview on some T.V. show but I fail to recollect that. Who was he? I was the only shareholder. As I stepped back, I issued stock to all of them in Nightmare Inc. and just walked; that’s basically it."


I think Herbie is actually misunderstanding the question. He is mixing up two different things.

Herbie is talking about how things ended after ROR. Jonathan is talking about how things ended pre-TBF,
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Re: Herbie Herbert “The Band Whisperer”

Postby The_Noble_Cause » Sat Jul 22, 2017 11:19 pm

Anyone remember around the Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony there was a Herbie interview where he said the band had as much chance of a new hit record as his dick growing a foot. The band has come a long way. At the same time, I have to question some of his stories. He said he ran into SA during Tall Stories days and Augeri was begging to sing for Journey even back then. Personally I don't buy that.
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Re: Herbie Herbert “The Band Whisperer”

Postby RPM » Sun Jul 23, 2017 4:38 am

The_Noble_Cause wrote:Anyone remember around the Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony there was a Herbie interview where he said the band had as much chance of a new hit record as his dick growing a foot. The band has come a long way. At the same time, I have to question some of his stories. He said he ran into SA during Tall Stories days and Augeri was begging to sing for Journey even back then. Personally I don't buy that.


Why? Seems logical to me that he would have wanted the gig, no?
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Re: Herbie Herbert “The Band Whisperer”

Postby The_Noble_Cause » Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:11 am

RPM wrote:Why? Seems logical to me that he would have wanted the gig, no?


Remember, Augeri thought the initial Schon phone call was a prank. A friend got SA's name in the running. To this day, SA feels other people could have done the job. I just don't see him aggressively nominating himself to replace SP.
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Re: Herbie Herbert “The Band Whisperer”

Postby tj » Sun Jul 23, 2017 11:28 am

The_Noble_Cause wrote:
RPM wrote:Why? Seems logical to me that he would have wanted the gig, no?


Remember, Augeri thought the initial Schon phone call was a prank. A friend got SA's name in the running. To this day, SA feels other people could have done the job. I just don't see him aggressively nominating himself to replace SP.


SA has always seemed a classy guy, like Arnel, who is thankful for the opportunity. Both said that they would step aside at anytime if Perry wanted to return and gave credit to his legacy for making the band what it was. They were/are riding Perry's coattails, knew it, were thankful for the opportunity and knew that their role was to be the best placeholder they could be, but never a replacement.
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Re: Herbie Herbert “The Band Whisperer”

Postby tj » Sun Jul 23, 2017 11:32 am

The_Noble_Cause wrote:
RPM wrote:Why? Seems logical to me that he would have wanted the gig, no?


Remember, Augeri thought the initial Schon phone call was a prank. A friend got SA's name in the running. To this day, SA feels other people could have done the job. I just don't see him aggressively nominating himself to replace SP.


Same thing with Arnel. Can you imagine getting a phone call from someone saying that they are Neal Schon and want to talk to you about being the lead singer for Journey? They both probably had been pranked like this at least once over the years.

Reminds me of the story of Quincy Jones calling Eddie Van Halen to ask him to play the guitar solo on Michael Jackson's Beat It. If I recall correctly, Van Halen kept hanging up on Jones because he thought it was a prank.
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Re: Herbie Herbert “The Band Whisperer”

Postby tater1977 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:35 am

perryfan61 wrote:Hope you can post the second part of this interview, sounds like it could be great. He certainly took the band, and the business, much further than any other manager could have.

He really was a huge fan of the band, you can see it in the documentary. He loved the music, and I believe he did love the guys back then. Neal is certainly his favourite, of course, but it was SP who gave him all the credit at the RRHOF.


Lori Baldassi‏ @Zucaro56

Replying to @Jrzy_Dy @NealSchonMusic

You will be happy to hear that in the second part of the interview he compliments Steve . It was a very positive article.
- 30 Jul 2017
Perry's good natured bonhomie & the world’s most charmin smile,knocked fans off their feet. Sportin a black tux,gigs came alive as he swished around the stage thrillin audiences w/ charisma that instantly burnt the oxygen right out of the venue.TR.com
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Re: Herbie Herbert “The Band Whisperer”

Postby tj » Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:18 am

Monker wrote:
tater1977 wrote:So Herbie was actually retired, before the band's reunion for TBF :?:
But they still had to have a manager, picking Azoff.
So why did Herbie have the big fit about being fired by the band
when he, by his own words retired back in 1991... 6 or 7 years beforehand :?:


He was also listed as the manager of The Storm (with Smith, Valory, and Rolie) back in 1991...out of that grew the original reunion with: Chalfant, Rolie, Cain, Schon, and Valory. Just as that started going, the talks with Perry happened. Sony wanted Perry and Perry did not want Herbie. And, so Herbie had to let the band go.

IMO, he felt screwed by the guys - no loyalty. The band stuck by Perry instead of Herbie - twice...for ROR and TBF. In ROR, Herbie may be listed as manager, but Perry took over much of the vision that Herbie had up to that point...everything from hiring and firing members to the album cover art.


I wonder what HH thoughts are on why The Storm couldn't get the second album out timely from the record company. I get that Interscope changed focus to rap and that AOR was waning, but with no Journey on the scene, it seems like HH would have been pounding on someone to keep the Journey sound alive.
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Re: Herbie Herbert “The Band Whisperer”

Postby Art Vandelay » Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:34 am

The second half of Herbie's interview is now online. Only the the first few paragraphs are copy and paste-able, the rest of the article is a PDF readable-only page. Otherwise, I would have pasted the entire article here.

https://bizxmagazine.com/herbie-herbert-part-two/
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Re: Herbie Herbert “The Band Whisperer”

Postby perryfan61 » Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:14 am

At least he "tips his hat" to SP and the band for being totally committed to their brand, and staying healthy while on tour. Others have hinted otherwise, but Herbie would know better than anyone else, one would think.
The injury that we do to a man must be such that we need not fear his vengeance. Steve Perry
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Re: Herbie Herbert “The Band Whisperer”

Postby bellairepark73 » Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:49 am

What is he talking about?!? Adele sold more ALBUMS as a solo artist than most people ever. Lady Gaga too. Same thing with Katy Perry. I don't understand what he's talking about. Please enlighten me.
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Re: Herbie Herbert “The Band Whisperer”

Postby bellairepark73 » Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:06 am

perryfan61 wrote:At least he "tips his hat" to SP and the band for being totally committed to their brand, and staying healthy while on tour. Others have hinted otherwise, but Herbie would know better than anyone else, one would think.


Well he never directly answers her question about addiction and Herbie and Neal both were very open about drugs booze and alcohol. In fact, there was a clip in Frontiers documentary when Herbie KNEW to smell Neal's cup and gave him THE look and Neal responded with a laugh and joke (don't remember exactly what he said). And as far as the book about that guy who calls himself somebody who wrote about his drug supplier days for ALL of the boys of Journey ...I believe it. The guys were fortunate to be healthy and had a manager that helped them eat carrots while they indulged in private.

So they took care of their health...well Steve DID by stopping the pot and coke and even hard alcohol (thereby the tip of the hat and Steve's powerful work ethic) but...I don't know. Herbie tried to help with the healthy appetizers and lunch and looked the other way regarding "other things". More contradictions to me.
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Re: Herbie Herbert “The Band Whisperer”

Postby slucero » Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:33 pm

I lived in the SF Bay Area in the 80s... and I remember a news story about Neal getting busted in his Ferrari with a bag of coke...



2nd part of the interview.

https://issuu.com/bizxmagazine/docs/biz ... pt_2017/32

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Re: Herbie Herbert “The Band Whisperer”

Postby JourneyHard » Fri Sep 22, 2017 2:19 pm

I think anybody over the age of 40 wants some hard copy of the songs. They don't want a digital download that they cannot touch and feel. Journey should release a new CD.

It is not about selling albums. It is about being creative. A new collection of songs is a form of art.

I am not sure about digital downloads. It seems like a scam. Computers or Ipads or whatever you put them on become old very fast. Then you get a new computer or Ipad or Iphone or whatever and have to keep BUYING the same songs over and over again. Give me a CD where I pay once and I am done with it.
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Re: Herbie Herbert “The Band Whisperer”

Postby tj » Fri Sep 22, 2017 3:48 pm

JourneyHard wrote:I think anybody over the age of 40 wants some hard copy of the songs. They don't want a digital download that they cannot touch and feel. Journey should release a new CD.

It is not about selling albums. It is about being creative. A new collection of songs is a form of art.

I am not sure about digital downloads. It seems like a scam. Computers or Ipads or whatever you put them on become old very fast. Then you get a new computer or Ipad or Iphone or whatever and have to keep BUYING the same songs over and over again. Give me a CD where I pay once and I am done with it.


You can transfer from one device to a new one. Also with backups done properly, you should not lose your music library. That said, I still want a CD as well. Just a digital download doesn't do it for me either.
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Re: Herbie Herbert “The Band Whisperer”

Postby Memorex » Fri Sep 22, 2017 9:18 pm

tj wrote:
JourneyHard wrote:I think anybody over the age of 40 wants some hard copy of the songs. They don't want a digital download that they cannot touch and feel. Journey should release a new CD.

It is not about selling albums. It is about being creative. A new collection of songs is a form of art.

I am not sure about digital downloads. It seems like a scam. Computers or Ipads or whatever you put them on become old very fast. Then you get a new computer or Ipad or Iphone or whatever and have to keep BUYING the same songs over and over again. Give me a CD where I pay once and I am done with it.


You can transfer from one device to a new one. Also with backups done properly, you should not lose your music library. That said, I still want a CD as well. Just a digital download doesn't do it for me either.


I'm 51 and I've been mostly digital for at least a dozen years. I do most of my music listening in the car, laying in bed, or working. For the first two, I use an itouch loaded with a variety of music. At work or working at home, I use the computer. So digital allows me to move music around. I Digitized all my cds years ago. So I have a hard drive, and a backup hard drive, loaded with a massive collection. I buy new stuff from amazon or iTunes or direct from artist.

I have bought a couple cds in recent years to get bonus tracks or sometimes it's a pre purchase to get a pre-sale code to a concert. Anyway, I find it very convenient the way I have it all.

All my kids stream via Spotify and YouTube. I've never been into it.
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Re: Herbie Herbert “The Band Whisperer”

Postby bellairepark73 » Sun Sep 24, 2017 2:50 pm

slucero wrote:I lived in the SF Bay Area in the 80s... and I remember a news story about Neal getting busted in his Ferrari with a bag of coke...



2nd part of the interview.

https://issuu.com/bizxmagazine/docs/biz ... pt_2017/32


:lol:
No drugs in this band. Yeah right. That story was shut down quick fast and swept right under the rug. Some people HAD to have been paid off to let that go. If you can find that I would LOVE to read it.
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Re: Herbie Herbert “The Band Whisperer”

Postby chynablue » Thu Sep 28, 2017 5:14 am

bellairepark73 wrote:No drugs in this band. Yeah right. That story was shut down quick fast and swept right under the rug. Some people HAD to have been paid off to let that go. If you can find that I would LOVE to read it.


http://rocknewsdesk.com/world-news/scho ... k-up/2024/

“I was a functioning fuck-up, a functioning alcoholic,” the guitarist states. “I did coke and drugs for many, many years, but I just never went down. I never got so sick where I couldn’t play and I never missed a gig in my life.

“I felt that gave me the right to do anything I wanted; but you get older and your body starts talking to you, and you’d better listen.
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