09 July 2012

Buffalo Springfield

Buffalo Springfield, l-r: Stephen Stills, Dewey Martin, Bruce Palmer, Richie Furay, Neil Young

Buffalo Springfield is a North American folk-rock band known not only for the music, but for the bands and careers that come after the band ended.

They were one of the first bands to emerge after the "British invasion." The band's music combined rock, folk, and country music into a sound all its own.

Its best selling song was "For What It's Worth" which became a political anthem in the late 1960s and is still used today for political statements.

The band formed in 1966 and lasted only two years before infighting, drug-related arrests, and line-up changes led to disbanding.

Neil Young and Stephen Stills first met briefly in Ontario, Canada while Young was playing with The Squires, and Stills was on tour with The Company, a spin off from the Au Go Go Singers. When The Company broke up at the end of that tour, Stills moved to the West Coast, where he worked as a studio musician and auditioned unsuccessfully for, among other things, The Monkees.

He decided to assemble his own band and Richie Furay and former Squires bass player Ken Koblun to come join him in California. (Koblun left after a short time.)

Back in Canada, Young met Bruce Palmer of The Mynah Birds and joined as the lead guitarist. Oddly enough, their singer was Ricky James Matthews (later known as Rick James) who was arrested for being AWOL from the U.S. Navy, thereby killing their Motown record deal.

Young and Palmer decided to head for Los Angeles where, after some searching, they joined Stills, Furay and Friedman, and drummer Dewey Martin.

They took their name from the side of a steamroller, made by the Buffalo-Springfield Roller Company, that had been parked on the street outside Friedman's house where Stills and Furay were staying.

They debuted on April 11, 1966 at The Troubadour in Hollywood. A few days later, they began a short tour of California as the opening act on a bill featuring The Dillards and The Byrds. Jim Messina replaced Palmer early in 1968.

The band produced three original albums Buffalo Springfield (1966), Buffalo Springfield Again (1967), and Last Time Around (1968) and several compilations in the years since the breakup.

After the breakup, the members went on to play as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young,Poco, and as Loggins & Messina and Crazy Horse, as well as all producing solo albums.

Despite the band's short tenure and limited output it was one of the most influential of its era and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8/16/2012

    Nice story. I love their music and the type of music they play. It's not noisy because it's country music.
    Check out my friend Tim Jones in Spokane and his band.


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