David Libert, Founding Member of ’60s Group The Happenings, Dies

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David Libert (at L) with The Happenings

David Libert, who co-founded the popular ’60s music group The Happenings with his fellow Paterson, N.J., high school friends, died today (February 20, 2024). The news of his passing at age 81 was announced one his Facebook page. The post noted that the “Rock and Roll Warrior” had “passed away peacefully in his sleep surrounded by people who loved him dearly.” The reference was to Libert’s 2022 memoir of the same name.

Along with his high school classmates Bob Miranda, Tom Giuliano and Ralph DiVito, Libert formed the Four Graduates in 1961 and ultimately changed their name to The Happenings. The group earned a pair of #3 singles with their soaring vocals on the cover songs 1966’s “See You in September” and 1967’s “I Got Rhythm.” Both were RIAA-certified Gold singles, representing sales of more than one million copies, and were among their nine chart hits.

Libert departed the group to become a booking agent and soon transitioned to an integral role with the Alice Cooper Band as their road manager from 1971-1975. (He’s also listed among the credits for the group’s #1 album, Billion Dollar Babies, as singing backing vocals.)

In Rock and Roll Warrior, Libert wrote of the job with Cooper, “There was no job manual, no job description, and no one telling me what my job was. My initial perception was a collection of about thirty or so crazy-looking people, completely unsupervised and crawling all over everything like giant insects. Oh God, what have I gotten myself into? I just quit my nice, convenient, cushy job road managing Rare Earth for this insanity? I thought I had made the biggest mistake of my life.”

He later started his own firm, the David Libert Agency, representing a diverse lineup that included George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic, as well as the Runaways.

The blurb on his memoir notes, “Libert shares the unvarnished, absolutely true tales from the Inner circle of the music industry from Alice Cooper to Prince, on the road, backstage, on private jets and inside the notorious after-parties with music legends in the era of free-spirit, hard-driving rock ’n’ roll and R&B. It’s life on the road in technicolor. A rollercoaster ride like none other. You’re in the trenches as ‘Dyno Dave’ engages with his hilarious, edgy, and sarcastic wit. As tour manager for Alice Cooper, running the first large-scale, theatrical, international rock tour to manager of Parliament-Funkadelic, Libert led the charges with wisdom, ingenuity, dexterity, psychology, and arm-twisting.”

Rock and Roll Warrior is available to purchase here.

Related: 12 soaring vocals of the ’60s

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  1. MM
    #1 MM 23 February, 2024, 13:51

    David was one of the coolest guys I have ever met, sharply observant, interesting, supportive, with a real love of animals. It is difficult to lose someone like David, he is not replaceable in any way, truly one of a kind. Rest in peace, David.

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