Herbie Herbert, who was best known as Journey's longtime manager, died of natural causes Monday at age 73.
A native of Berkley, California, Walter James Herbert II began his career as a roadie for Santana and later became a protégé of legendary rock promoter Bill Graham. Herbert began managing bands in the early-'70s and helped put together Journey's first lineup around Neal Schon in 1973.
“He made so many people’s lives and careers truly better, and as a manager, he always made decisions based on what was for the greater good,” said his wife Maya in a statement.
Schon added via Instagram: "I'll cherish all the incredible times and trials and tribulations we experience together. Herbie was an incredible hands-on manager and fought like a motherf---er 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."
Music journalist Joel Selvin of the San Francisco Chronicle — a longtime friend — added that Herbert "had one of those personalities that tended toward teaching, coaching, sharing and encouraging. It was in his DNA. Journey was always Herbie's idea, it was his band."
Herbert looked after Journey's business operations for over 20 years and saw the band grow into one of the highest-grossing arena acts in the world under his watch. He also managed Steve Miller Band, Europe, Mr. Big and Enuff Z'Nuff, among others.
He eventually resigned from Journey in 1993 due to conflicts with Steve Perry, though he retained an interest in the band and continued working through last year.
A documentary about Herbert's life and career began production this year before his passing. His family says they will soon announce plans for a memorial celebration.