1949 - 2008

Author of the book “Alvin Lee & Ten Years After – A Visual History”
Also the band's historian and biggest supporter


It 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 1970’s.

 They 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.

I 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.

By 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.



Around the late 1990’s many of us connected through the new computer age.

This 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”.

I 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.

After 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.


I 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.

I 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 changing it".


The 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 history book. 

Looking back, 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.

Four important factors ensured that gave new life to Ten Years After:

1. Herb’s Book Was Released - 2001

2. 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

3. 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 accessible, supportive and available to the fans.  Old or new, respect for them was paramount. 

4. In April 2002 -  Ten Years After backed up Carvin Jones at the Blues Garage in Hannover, Germany. In August Joe Gooch joined Ten Years After as a regular member of the band. Joe added new energy, talent and spontaneity to the mix and that was the exact ingredient  the band needed.  

Unbelievable:  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 configurations: Such 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 case.
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. 

Our 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.

The band had to re-establish  themselves. They 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:

  1. One Night Jammed
  2. Now
  3. Roadworks
  4. Evolution

The 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.

Six years have now passed and a brand new dvd is in the works.  

The sad part is, that Herb isn't  here to witness this historic triumph with us.


The Last Concert:

Luxemburg 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!

Herb 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”.

I 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.

We had both won in the end, and this was the celebration!  

Our Luxemburg Project:

Is one of the most viewed of all our concert projects. It’s bitter-sweet for all of us here. A very hard place to visit without crying, but it’s safe, sound and protected for years to come.

Luxemburg was Herb’s crescendo, a reward for years of hard work and loyalty to a band we all loved and continue to love today.   

Herb 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”.

One Year Later:

Herb 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.

Luxemburg Reprise:

We 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 reflectively. 

Back Home Again:

We 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.

Going Down Fast:

During the entire month of November 2007, his emails were causing us great concern. He 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.


I’ll Never Look Into Your Eyes Again

A 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. Then 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..

He died ten days later.    

And as his suffering ended, ours was just beginning.  


So Where’s Herb Today: 

1. He’s now part of the “Cosmic Continuum” inside the “Universal Mind”.

2. 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 World Series.

3. He now has an executive box seat to watch his glorious “Boston Bruins” win another Stanley Cup playoff. 

4. He’s in the bleachers at every Boston Celtics game – waiting for the NBA Championships

5. He’s now head curator in Heaven’s Rock n` Roll Hall Of Fame – re-titled 

“Better 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.

6. 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.

7. He’s back at Woodstock 1969 only this time for the entire three days.

8. He’s visiting his house – laughing that he doesn’t have to shovel the damn snow.

9. He’s looking over my shoulder as I write this.

10. He’s in all our hearts and prayers tonight.


The band members themselves stand in awe of Herb’s great talent, hard work and loyalty.

We all second that motion.  

Rock In Peace Herb, you may be gone, but you’ll never be forgotten. 

by Dave and Brigitte 

back to Ten Years After back to Herb Staehr