Steve Leber, the man behind many of the music legends we grew up loving, managed most famous artists like The Rolling Stones, Simon and Garfunkel, Aerosmith, The Beach Boys, AC/DC, and many more. Leber lived in Massachusetts, on the weekends he would bounce among the local clubs, listening to music, and looking for opportunities. He got his break when he found the G-Clefs; they were a group from Roxbury who hit “Ka-Ding-Dong” featured in the Billboard top 100 in 1956.
Leber met them in 1960 and convinced them that he would be the greatest manager in the world and proved it when he got the job. He booked them gigs all around Boston, he was just 18 at the time and the experience left him more curious. A couple of years later, he was managing different local acts and started with a contest that can be described as American Idol, this was in 1962. 10 bands from colleges in the Boston area competed for a record label deal which was promised to the winner by Leber at a time when record companies hadn’t shown any interest in the competition. Of course, he delivered his promise when he got the winning band to sign with MGM records in New York.
“I’ll never forget that because it was the beginning of a real career in the music business,” Leber says. “I proved to myself that I could sell out a building with great, innovative marketing.”
Reflecting on his career, Leber remembers his time at Northeastern University where he had enrolled for a co-op. He had built up a repertoire of local acts when he was in the university. “Northeastern gave me a chance to innovate—a chance to try my ideas and fail at least as many times as I succeeded,” Leber said. “All I’m really trying to do is to come up with innovative ideas before I’m six feet under, so I can change the world and make it a better place.”