David Libert had such a long & interesting career in the music business, his friends encouraged him to write a book about it and so he did. The result is an autobiography 50-plus years in the making titled Rock and Roll Warrior, recently released on Sunset Blvd Books. It’s a chronicle of David’s inner circle life in the music industry as a popular international performer, singer/songwriter, tour manager, booking agent, producer, and drug dealer on the Sunset Strip. It’s a story so wild, so crazy, so over-the-top that it can only be true. You can’t make this stuff up! This book is a riotous, humorous, intimate, provocative story of Mr. Libert’s life in music. From his tenure as co-lead singer of 60s pop hitmakers, The Happenings, to his role as tour manager for Alice Cooper’s most legendary 70s tours, to managing funk/R&B legend George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic to…yes, there’s more even. Hailing from Paterson, New Jersey, he co-founded The Happenings w/3 high school pals shortly after graduation. The Happenings went on to have several hit records including “See You in September” and “I Got Rhythm.” Those 2 tunes were on the Billboard Hot 100 charts for 14 weeks in 1966 and 13 weeks in 1967, respectively, and both songs peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 charts at #3. Sales for both exceeded one million copies, resulting in R.I.A.A. gold record awards by 1969. David left the group to become a booking agent and eventually a tour manager. After a brief stint as road manager for Rare Earth, he became tour manager for Alice Cooper during Alice’s most formidable years (1971–1975). David figured prominently in Bob Greene’s book about accompanying Cooper’s band on 1973’s Billion Dollar Babies tour. He remains friendly with Alice to this day. In 1975, Libert migrated from New York to Los Angeles and in 1976, opened the David Libert Management Agency which represented George Clinton, Parliament/Funkadelic, Bootsy’s Rubber Band and The Runaways (Cherie Currie, Joan Jett, Lita Ford). In the early 80s, he met Prince through Sheila E, who was one of his management clients at the time. Sheila E opened for Prince on the legendary Purple Rain tour and he spent a lot of time hanging with Prince, many times assisting with his shows. In the late 90s, Libert formed Available Entertainment with entertainment attorney Alan Oken. Mr. Libert has promoted many concerts throughout his career including sold out shows at Madison Square Garden in New York (George Clinton) and the Cricket Wireless Amphitheater in Kansas City (Kool and the Gang). After some personal happenings that took some time to handle – these too are in the book, he regrouped and made a successful return to the music industry as a manager, working with acts including Living Colour and Vanilla Fudge, who were respectful of his knowledge and skills and were happy to work with him. These days, soon to be 80 years young, David is enjoying a much more relaxed and less hectic life. He lives in Southern California and is a devoted animal rights activist, helping to find homes for animals that desperately need one. There’s talk about the book being made into a feature length film as well, which excites David to no end.
I had the joy of discussing the man behind the Rock And Roll Warrior himself, Mr. Liebert to get a little more insight into the tales, the people and the journey. We learn the about the beGinning of a rock and roll life and how it ld up to so many just jaw-dropping experiences. I looked over David’s extensive résumé and had to get a sense of how he was able to fit in with the variety of people and artists and worked with, or formed relationships with. The answer while I suppose is not shocking, it is interesting how much translates from one artist to the other as far as logistics and that stuff, but it’s the knowing when and knowing when not to and the being yourself that got me. We compare/contrast times with Alice Cooper versus the Funkadelic Mothership and there is some very intriguing insight into the man we know as Prince. This guy lived aspects of a life many people have wished upon, dreamt about or cringed towards and lived to tell about it, remarkably. In this book, David shares unvarnished, no-holds-barred, stories of his life in the rock ‘n roll fast lane on the road, backstage, on private jets & inside notorious after-show parties with music legends in the era of free-spirit, hard driving rock ‘n’ roll & R&B. It’s life on the road in technicolor. A roller coaster ride peek behind the curtain at the good, the bad and even yes, the ugly in the music biz of years gone by.