Chester William Powers, Jr. started out as part of the Greenwich Village folk scene, earning himself a reputation performing in clubs alongside other names such as Fred Neil, Karen Dalton and a young Bob Dylan. He had moved to L.A. by 1963, where folk and rock music were soon to begin fusing together, and started performing with the stage name Dino Valenti. It was during this period that he wrote the song he is best remembered for - “Get Together”. It was recorded by all sorts of artists, including Jefferson Airplane, The Kingston Trio, and The Youngbloods, who had a hit with it.
He was involved in an early line-up of San Francisco band Quicksilver Messenger Service, but was fired after one too many drug busts. Eventually his drug troubles got him sent to Folsom State Prison, and he was behind bars whilst QMS were becoming one of the biggest bands of the burgeoning San Francisco psychedelic rock scene. On his release, he recorded his only solo album (the cover giving an alternative spelling of his name, as Dino Valente), a heady mix of folk and psychedelia, where he took on the identity of the rambling singer-songwriter revolutionary.
Despite having his own album out, he was still a relatively unknown character outside the west coast rock scene. Even though “Get Together” was now an anthem of the counter culture, the identity of its writer remained hidden, as he had been forced to sell the song’s publishing rights to pay for his court defence. Soon after the album, Valenti spirited his old bandmate Gary Duncan away from QMS. They went to New York, planning to form a band called The Outlaws, but nothing ever happened. So Duncan returned to QMS, and Valente went with him. At last he was back as lead singer in the band he had left years ago, and they had become famous during his absence. He stayed with Quicksilver until they disbanded in 1975. He never relesed another solo album, and died in 1994.