HINGHAM TO WOODSTOCK NATION:
could’ve come from anywhere in the world, or started by
anyone with a notion to do so, but the fact is, it all started
with one dedicated music lover out of Hingham, Massachusetts.
With his house just a mile from the Atlantic Ocean Herb Staehr
stirred up new interest in a nearly forgotten, legendary rock
and roll band called “Ten Years After”.
The band’s main components, Leo Lyons and Alvin Lee,
originally got together around the early to middle nineteen
sixties and made it big in England in the late 1960’s to mid
rocked Woodstock and the world back in the summer of 1969 and
Herb was there along with an estimated five hundred thousand
others, for the three day event. Herb wasn’t your average
looking long haired hippie type, in fact he was just the
opposite, average looking conservative and brighter than most
of his peers in my opinion.
didn’t know Herb back then, it took the invention of the
internet many years later before we had any contact. Woodstock
and the 1960’s effected everyone, from there forward and the
music of a generation became the common bond.
the year 2000 Woodstock was just a faded blue jean memory,
reflected in a wonderful movie “Woodstock”, and its
soundtrack was for a generation to behold as their own.
the late 1990’s many of us connected through the new
was where Herb entered the picture, but he was already off and
running with the new technology and had a head start on most
of us. He was following his love of Ten Years After, and
making his writing dream become a reality. By the time I got
my first computer, Herb was already putting the finishing
touches on his soon to be released book entitled: “Alvin
Lee & Ten Years After – A Visual History”.
would visit the websites where Herb was posting messages about
music in general, but mostly about Ten Years After and their
former member, the charismatic
and exceptional singer / guitarist Alvin Lee.
a while I contacted Herb and
slowly we began a correspondence that led to a friendship that
grew stronger and lasted through seven years of changes.
TEN YEARS AFTER BIBLE:
can take credit for that title, as no one but Herb has taken
the time to lay out and document a valid time line for the
band, giving the fans and the band an accurate accounting in
an historical way. Herb’s book is the “TEN YEARS AFTER
BIBLE” and the primary reference point for our website.
don’t know when he started compiling information for his
book, or what compelled him to follow through with his
intensive project. I do know that he was aiming for perfection
and reached it in my opinion, or as close as anyone has ever
come. I do know that in retrospect he wished that he had
changed some things, but he also accepted the final product.
As he told me later on, "the work had to end somewhere,
or I'd never have finished it, I'd just keep going and
LEE & TEN YEARS AFTER – A VISUAL HISTORY” – By HERB
book was released 2001 – at a point where Alvin Lee’s
contribution with Ten Years After had concluded, and not just
for the foreseeable future, meaning no more reunion tours, this time
it was over for good. The book represented to me just what the
one important word in the title says: “HISTORY” The
Classic Ten Years After were now sealed into Herb’s own
this book turned out to be one of the vital stepping stones to
the resuscitation of
one of the greatest Rock n´ Roll bands of all time.
important factors ensured that gave new life to Ten Years
1. Herb’s Book Was Released - 2001
Ric Lee – Released “Ten Years After Live At The Fillmore
East”. Ric also started to re-master the entire TYA
catalogue with bonus tracks included. 2000 - 2001
In August of 2001- Our “Ten Years After” Tribute Website
went online. We offered
something new and substantial, our primary emphasis was on fan
input, personal interaction and photos.
Unlike other websites of the time, we focused on being
supportive and available to the fans.
Old or new, respect for them was paramount.
In April 2002 - Ten
Years After backed up Carvin Jones at the Blues Garage in
Germany. In August Joe Gooch joined Ten Years After as a
regular member of the band.
added new energy, talent and spontaneity to the mix and that
was the exact ingredient
the band needed.
starting from April 2002 the band Ten Years After with
original members Chick Churchill, Ric Lee and Leo Lyons was up
and running once again while Alvin Lee went solo and worked
under his own name with a variety of different band
as Alvin Lee and Company, The Alvin Lee Band, Ten Years Later and back to
just Alvin Lee.
Herb and I saw no discrepancy here, it was a simple clear cut
It never crossed our minds, as our ultimate goal was to see
the band happy and back on stage once again, thus making all
of us happy in return.
time and energy was involved in helping TYA come alive and we
volunteered our help, no one need ask us, we were just
automatically on the job.
band had to re-establish
worked their way through venue after venue, all the while
gaining more and more gigs and fan support. In between, they
recorded four new cd’s:
band proved themselves, to not only be worthy, but to be back
in demand as if nothing had changed and this pleased old and
new fans alike.
years have now passed and a brand new dvd is in the works.
sad part is, that Herb isn't here to witness this historic
triumph with us.
was his very last Ten Years After concert. Our little tribe of
merry-makers enjoyed it together. Quiet Herb, touched me on
the shoulder and said “well what do ya think Dave, is this
the best you’ve ever seen? Look at Joe play, he’s on fire,
Leo’s all over that fret board,
Ric is hot tonight isn’t he! and Chick’s really
into it too!
spun around and repeated similar phrases to the friends around
us, and the more excited Herb got, the happier we all became
for the author of “Ten
Years After Visual History”.
was sitting, and Herb was standing to my right, while others
were dancing around, Brigitte and Anita were center stage
right in front of Joe. Lionel, Patrick and Natalie were behind
us. Every so often I’d pat Herb on the back of his legs and
give him the thumbs up, just
to let him know he wasn’t alone in his obvious elation. At
the end of every song I’d stand up and applauded as loudly
as possible, and give Herb a little hug around his waist, or a
firm pat on his back, and he’d look down and smile at me
like a kid on Christmas morning, as if to confirm that we’d
made it, and it was well worth the fight.
He’d pat me on the back or touch my shoulder from
time to time – that was the bond of our brotherhood.
had both won in the end, and this was the celebration!
one of the most viewed of all our concert projects. It’s
bitter-sweet for all of us here.
very hard place to visit without crying, but it’s safe, sound
and protected for years to come.
was Herb’s crescendo, a reward for years of hard work and
loyalty to a band we all loved and continue to love today.
has now been gone one year. It hurts more today than when we
first learned of his passing. Time is not healing this loss as
much as we would have hoped, but then again why should it?
Warm memories are still fresh and filling our minds, with that
once in a lifetime experience, called “Luxemburg”.
is still with us in spirit, a photo of him and our little
group waiting at the train station in Luxembourg, sits on the
shelf right in front of me. I can hear his voice, his words of
wisdom and his clever witty humour ringing out. We had some
great conversations, discussed music in all its different
forms and compared our thoughts, wishes and dreams for the
future of “Ten
Years After”. We agreed ninety percent of the time. If and
when we disagreed, it was done knowing that we both agreed in
principle and just needed to redefine our position on the subject
at hand, then we’d move forward together. I think
“straightening out the kinks” covers it.. It was
always done with respect, in search of a better understanding.
We came to depend on each other to be objective, although on
more than one occasion he was the objective one, who kept
things in the proper perspective, always
taking the high road.
finally met him in person for the first time in Luxembourg,
after many years of exchanging emails. As we shook hands we
knew there’d be little to say, because we’ve covered
everything already, we were here for the moment. We sat in
silence, enjoyed each others company and spoke quietly and
exchanged emails about everyday, he always replied, and like
us, he was still over the top with elation, exhaustion, and
high anxiety…but being of staunch Staehr German persuasion,
he pushed on beyond all normal human limitations. He was
running on love for his mother, dedication to his job and
loyalty to his friends request for his time.
the entire month of November 2007, his emails were causing us
talked about stomach problems, feeling bloated, being so
uncomfortable that he couldn’t sleep, and was really
suffering. His main concern was his mother, and even in this
condition he struggled to help her, when he couldn’t even
help himself any longer.
Never Look Into Your Eyes Again
few days into December, came an email from him that said, he
was “going into the hospital to be checked over and find out
what’s wrong with me”. We heard nothing else from him for
the entire month.
on December 31st the email came that sent both of
us into shock and tears….he had incurable cancer. It was New
Years Eve 2007…….we got one last email from him around January
2nd….it took all the energy he had left to give,
just to write one paragraph, and it took him an hour to do it..
died ten days later.
his suffering ended, ours was just beginning.
He’s now part of the “Cosmic Continuum” inside the
His spirit is part of the
Blimp that hovers over “Fenway Park” during baseball
season rooting for his beloved “Red Sox” to win yet another
He now has an executive box seat to watch his glorious
“Boston Bruins” win another Stanley Cup playoff.
He’s in the bleachers at every Boston Celtics game –
waiting for the NBA Championships
He’s now head curator in Heaven’s Rock n` Roll Hall Of
Fame – re-titled
in Heaven than on Earth”. He’s busy categorizing, cutting
and pasting Rock’s historical events, while a thousand of
Heaven’s predeceased musicians help him keep everything in
the proper order.
He’s in the front row watching the Isle Of Wight Festival
– Live as it happens, ( he was always pushing the band to
release this concert footage) as he’s now free to visit any time
period or place he chooses.
He’s back at Woodstock 1969 only this time for the entire
He’s visiting his house – laughing that he doesn’t have
to shovel the damn snow.
He’s looking over my shoulder as I write this.
He’s in all our hearts and prayers tonight.
band members themselves stand in awe of Herb’s great talent,
hard work and loyalty.
We all second
In Peace Herb, you may be gone, but you’ll never be
Dave and Brigitte