Buffalo Springfield

Buffalo Springfield split up on this day in 1968, after just eighteen months of productivity.

Neil Young would, of course, go on to scale much greater heights, as would Stephen Stills, who soon joined up with David Crosby and Graham Nash, while Richie Furay and Jim Messina formed Poco. The careers of Dewey Martin and Bruce Palmer, sadly, would not be so successful and they are no longer with us.

Here they all are, back in ’67, when they were in their pomp.

Obviously there are many musical connections (of interest to David, as both music maker and music lover, and, I know from past discussions, also of interest to his fanbase), which I leave to you to discover and share below, should you feel the overwhelming urge to do so.

Other than that expectant challenge, all I ask is for the ever-predictable: your stand-out songs, albums and appearances from these talented musicians, in whichever guise you most favoured.

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour’s official blog, The Blog (‘Features’ previously being its rather naff title), affectionately – or lazily – shortened to ‘FEd’.

49 thoughts on “Buffalo Springfield”

  1. Hi,

    I don’t remember very well the group (in the ’67, in my soul and musical heart there was just place for Pink Floyd, Yes, Kinks, Who, Deep Purple, Yardbirds, Procol Harum and Vanilla Fudge) but, later, I loved Neil Young.

    But as our FEd suggests, I’ll surf in the web to look for old groups and bands not so lucky to be famous…

    Have a nice time
    diana

  2. I watched that show live. Too bad they nearly always had to lip-sync these shows. 🙁

    Here’s my Buffalo Springfield retrospective:

    – Performing Rock ‘n’ Roll Woman, live 😀

    For What It’s Worth, live at Monterey Pop, 1967 (I don’t see Neil there but David Crosby is helping them out. Trivial nonsense: Stephen Stills and Peter Tork were friends early on. Supposedly, both auditioned for the TV show The Monkees and Peter got the gig!)

    Neil Young singing about his days with Buffalo Springfield

    I loved these guys then and all the various bands that evolved out of this one incredible group of musicians! Damn, they were good. 8)

    1. Hey, on the video at the Monterey Pop, you can hear a lead guitar but you don’t see anyone playing it, except on the last image of the video where you see, at the left of the group, in the complete dark, a guitar player!

      Is it Young? It would make sense.

  3. I don’t know very much about Buffalo Springfield, except the fact that they named themselves after a steamroller (made by The Buffalo Springfield Roller Company) that was parked on a street, I think. 😉

    Classic 21 radio station often plays a song by them (or is it Neil Young?) that I like, it’s ‘Expecting To Fly’. Here.

    Michèle

  4. Can you not post something actually about David Gilmour on the David Gilmour site blog?

    1. Yes – and I will later this week.

      Can you not understand that, four years on, there’s really not much to say that hasn’t already been said about David, and that topics such as this one are of interest to at least some of David’s fans and perhaps even to David himself, who has taken the time to read your thoughts on various subjects (your thoughts being what matters here, not what I write)?

      If you’re just looking for sporadic news about David, please bookmark the Latest News page.

      When there’s something to say that requires a reaction, it’ll be said. Until then, I’m afraid you’ll just have to take what is posted or leave it until it’s hopefully more worthy of your time.

    2. Yes – and I will later this week.

      Wow! Are you teasing us? I’m so curious now… please, give us a clue… 😉

    3. FEd, I hope comments like these do not disappoint you and put you off.

      Let me tell you something, in the past I used to post on the “official Pink Floyd” website as The Dreamboat Queen and later The School Master and what I noticed about those sites (or rather discussion forums) is that when anyone had anything sensible or of interest to say, they would often be subject to ridicule or trolled out of existence. These forums were ruined by immature comments or idiots just trying to ruin something good.

      It is so refreshing that we are able to air our views and be able to add our thoughts to others views safe in the knowledge that we are not going to get swamped by negativity.

      If David does actually read out thoughts then that is a bonus.

      I guess to him it would be like what Socrates is to Plato i.e. David is the teacher and we are the pupils. I hope that makes sense.

      All in all, I am just saying keep up the good work and thank you for making it possible for us to have deep and meaningful conversations if we so wish. This is a unique opportunity in which I am obliged.

    4. Thanks, Julie.

      I’m so curious now… please, give us a clue… 😉

      A clue? Oh, I couldn’t.

      I don’t have the details yet, but should have them tomorrow.

      Sounds good so far, though.

  5. Ahhhh the Springfield! What a quick flash of brilliance that group gave us before imploding and sending the remaining shards of talent to different parts of the musical spectrum. Yet, isn’t it funny how all the principal components remained firmly entrenched in the country rock style they helped establish (along with the Byrds) back in the day?

    My favorite performance of the band is from the Smothers Brothers comedy hour (seen here). For this performance, the vocals are live but the instrumental track was pre-recorded. Stills looked like the coolest mo-fo that day, didn’t he?

    As for my favorite song from the band that would be Bluebird, with a most incredible instrumental rave up (as much acoustically fuelled as it is electrically) erupting at the songs midsection. According to most Springfield fans, there is an unauthorized concert recording played at a high school (supposedly Whittier high school) where this song was the last to be played by the band. Can you imagine the intensity in THAT performance? What a great way for the band to go out.

    I’m a huge fan of Neil Young’s often various, at times fractured and inconsistent, musical output. My more favorite acoustic work of Neil’s is on the vastly under-rated Comes a Time LP. My favorite mix LP of acoustic and electric offerings is On the Beach.

    1. This was a good one! I think Dylan must have thought Stephen was a cool mo-fo, too. 😉

      The Smothers Brothers were always up for new and sometimes controversial performers. Do you remember The Who’s performance? Whoa! The introduction from Tommy Smothers is a crack-up and then there’s the explosive ending. 😮

      Check it out here.

      This may very well have been the performance that took out some of Pete’s hearing!

  6. Big, big Neil fan. I was lucky enough to see him twice last year (at the same venue I saw David), odd how it’s the 60+es that seem to have more raw energy than their younger emulators.

    Neil has had such a varied career that I find it impossible to list my favourite albums, it really depends on my mood. That said, After the Goldrush is magic – I’ve never heard a more angry song than Southern Man.

    I’d love to see Stills and David performing together, I think that their playing style would compliment each other. Also, I think that Stills would do a sterling Comfortably Numb solo.

    Keep on rockin’…

    Dom
    x x x

  7. No doubts about it, “For What It’s Worth” and “Expecting to Fly” are my stand-out songs. I love them. 🙂

  8. … can’t remember that show! It must be because I was one year old. 😉

    I haven’t any Buffalo Springfield records here, so I must have a look on those (and the coming) links next weekend…

    Neil Young is a great artist, I’m happy that he still releases albums quite often!

    Best regards,
    Taki

  9. If they ever release an album called ‘Now That’s What I Call Feedback (Various Artists)’ this has got to be on it.

  10. I caught Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood last night on a BBC4 documentary on British Blues. Very interesting.

    What a turbulent life Mr Clapton has had. What a musical genius.

    Damian

  11. I think almost every group ever formed has at least one great song in them. (There are a couple of exceptions in my view.) I loved Buffalo Springfield’s sound and I loved For What’s It Worth. (Mr. Soul was very good, too.) But, for the most part, I didn’t warm up to their other songs.

    They certainly were/are great musicians and have proven that many times over the years. I like their later work much better.

  12. Hard to believe that Stephen Stills wanted to be in The Monkees. I remember reading about Mike Nesmith’s predicament: he wanted to write material and record original songs with The Monkees, but the producers wouldn’t let him. For fans of CSNY (which includes me) it’s a good thing that Steven Stills DIDN’T land the Monkees gig!

    I never got to know Buffalo Springfield, which is a sin because I love the music of so many of its players. And I love so much of the music of the late 1960s.

    “Dewey Martin” sounds more like the name of a lounge singer than that of a rock star. On the other hand, perhaps the same would be true of anyone using their real name, if we’d never heard of them before. What’s in a name? Would you rather go to the concert of Steveland Morris or Stevie Wonder? They’re the same person.

    1. As Alice Cooper asks in those Aviva ads, whoever heard of a glam rock star named Vincent Furnier?

      I actually think they’re being unfair. Surely their talents have made them famous, not their stage names. I’m sure that Ringo would have been loved in equal measure no matter what name he chose. A Beatle named Adolf would still have been a Beatle…

    2. What’s in a name? Would you rather go to the concert of Steveland Morris or Stevie Wonder? They’re the same person.

      Isn’t it amazing how a name stuck to the person who owns it?

      I also wondered your same question when I discovered that David Robert Jones was the real name of David Bowie and Reginald Kenneth Dwight was Elton John.

      We are so used to identifying a person with his own name that we can not even imagine him with a different one. I couldn’t think of myself with a different name, even if there are lots of names I like. If we had always known Stevie Wonder as Steveland Morris, we wouldn’t have any problem with it, I think.

      Maybe it’s different if we are talking about a band’s name. Some names work for me more than others.

      I remember how I laughed when Nick Mason, in his book, talks about the name “Pink Floyd” and says that it surely had worked better than a name such as “Howlin’ Crowlin’ King Snakes”. :))

  13. The Springfield used to live two houses away from me in Old Topanga Canyon. My favorite song of theirs is “For What It’s Worth”.

    I have seen them many times personally and have seen some sad drugged/drunken moments, not very pretty. Neil used to be hung up on the woman that owned the Canyon Kitchen in Topanga Canyon.

    David Gilmour is a terrific person. He and his S.O. came up to me and my family on Kauai many years ago. They were very nice. We ended up taking them snorkeling which ended up as dinner at their place. We invited them to our place a few days later. David picked up my guitar and began playing some music and I recognized his style. He never let on during the entire time who he was… I just knew them as David and Alice… it wasn’t until later that I was looking at a P.F. album and saw him there, it suddenly clicked.

    I lost track of them some time after that…

    1. He never let on during the entire time who he was…

      Larry:

      How very interesting. Talk about being in the right place. Bet if you had known all along who he was, it might not have turned out the same way. This way you just enjoyed the people for the right reason. Without the complication of knowing it was the great DG. What a memory that is.

      How nice to hear once again what we suspect, that he is a nice person.

      Jan

  14. I remember listening to John Peel’s and Bob Harris’s shows on Radio 1 under the bedclothes on my little transistor radio when I was supposed to be asleep, playing music by groups like Buffalo Springfield and Poco.

  15. Hi,

    Is the bassist with his back to the audience Roger Waters?

    All the best,
    Kevan.

  16. I discovered Neil Young in the 70s and then found out he had come from a band called Buffalo Springfield. So, although I enjoy their music I discovered them late.

    As for Neil Young I am hit and miss. I either really, really enjoy his music like American Stars ‘n’ Bars, Rust Never Sleeps, Are You Passionate or am disappointed in it.

    One thing for sure is that he would not care what I thought of his diverse music. He would just carry on bashing out what he likes.

    And you got to admire him for that.

  17. FEd,

    How about this one for a future discussion topic?

    It is relevant to the music industry and timely.

    For What It’s Worth, that is my two cents.

    Thanks.

    Andrew

  18. Now my area rock station is airing On The Turning Away.

    This is my first time from radio. I am very glad. 🙂

    Sorry this is OFF topic.

  19. RE Larry’s meeting up with David

    Loved your little story Larry about snorkling with David and he played your guitar after dinner.

    A friend of mine came to dinner the other night, he picked up my guitar and broke a string. Doesn’t seem to have the same ring as your story though.

    Damian.

  20. Love to hear David sing “The Needle And The Damage Done”… really suits him, IMHO. :v

  21. During the lead-in time to the 2008 election here in the States I couldn’t get “For What It’s Worth” out of my mind to save my life. Watching the local Republicans flail helplessly as they slowly began to realize the jobs they held in D.C. were not, in fact, ‘gimmes’ just made that song play all the more loudly in my mind. That and the brilliant line “there’s something going on here but you don’t know what it is, do you Mr. Jones?” which is not, obviously, the Springfield.

    I LOVED Poco. Overlooked, underrated, thank smeg the Dixie Chicks covered “Lovin’ Arms” which is an awesome song.

    Now that I’m almost a grown-up (heh) I no longer blame Stephen Stills for my behavior back when I took “Love the One You’re With” as my mantra, but I will credit him for inspiring me to actually visit Manassas.

    Extra points: the guitar riff on “FWIW” actually stings it’s so sharp.

    1. Music is a funny thing, creating a life all its own.

      “For What It’s Worth” is such a ’60s anthem, bringing to mind all the anti-Vietnam war, pro-civil rights marches and emotion. It really speaks to the power of the song that it still strikes a chord with people today.

      It was actually written in response to the Pandora’s Box/Sunset Strip ‘riots’ between “young people speakin’ their mind” (in this case, protesting the closing of Pandora’s Box, if I’m not mistaken) and the Los Angeles Police Department. During the course of this ‘riot’, Neil Young (?) had been whacked in the head and arrested, hence “what a field day for the heat.”

      There was a great deal of news coverage in the LA area of the whole incident, with the media and the police both using the fear generated after the Watts riots of 1965 to justify the harsh response to the drug-crazed, rioting hippies! More like a love-in broken up by a SWAT team. 8|

      In early August 1965, the riots in Watts erupted. It was truly horrific, lasting a number of days and nights with many people killed, injured, arrested and buildings burned. My grandparents lived in Compton which is not too far from the Watts area.

      I was looking forward to attending my first concert~The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl. I remember being so upset by the violence that was shown on the evening news. I’m embarrassed to say that I was also upset because there was talk of cancelling the concert. 😐

      I was 14, what can I say?

      Enough rambling random memories.

  22. Sorry to break subject, stumbled across something very funny. Gotta love Polka… 😛

    Click here.

  23. I’m afraid I fall into the category of not knowing much about Buffalo Springfield, which is a shame, but it’s never too late to get to know them either.

    It’s terribly difficult to narrow down a list of personal favorites by any of these musicians I feel, solo or as a group, and I speak specifically of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Everything rooted though from ‘Suite: Judy Blue Eyes’ and Young’s ‘Old Man’. Those were the songs that caught my ear first. From there I had to hear more and more and now today a great deal of my collection comes from these artists, and what a collection it is!

    I must admit that I am quite addicted to Stills’ ‘Black Queen’ right now. Wearing out the repeat on that one.

    I’m also going to see Crosby, Stills & Nash perform live next month and seeing this post has me giddy all over again and feeling the need to contribute at least something about this group of musicians with enormous talent. 😉

    1. I’m also going to see Crosby, Stills & Nash perform live next month and seeing this post has me giddy all over again

      You are going to absolutely love the concert! I’ve had the good fortune to see them three times in the last few years–two of those included Neil Young.

      The last concert was CSN&Y in August 2006 during the Freedom Of Speech tour which became a film by Neil Young called Deja Vu. (Note to self: Must get me a copy of that DVD…) 8)

      Damn, I feel a little giddy myself all of a sudden! 😀

  24. I nearly fell off my chair while watching this clip when Neil Young stepped up to the mike and took ownership of the stage, as I’m still fresh after seeing him live about a month ago..

    I still can’t stop thinking about it. He literally destroyed the place. This little 60 something year old silvered haired, tired and tattered looking man with a leftover-from-the-60s appearance delivered a rocking performance like I’ve never heard before. He didn’t move around much. Just basically stood there with his guitar in hand and at the mike with his eyes closed mostly throughout, let his singing and guitar shredding rip the place apart, brick by brick.

    I think they are still cleaning up the mess in the aftermath… And I’m still trying to learn how to walk after being knocked off my feet!

  25. This is gonna sound a bit odd. I’ve just logged onto the computers at uni and instead of the YouTube link to Buffalo Springfield, what I have is Eminem.

    I know that Neil has done most musical genres, but I can’t quite imagine the hip hop version of Ohio or Like a Hurricane.

    Dom
    x x x

  26. There was a documentary on the BBC towards the end of last year (I think) ‘From the Byrds to the Eagles’ featuring most of the commentary from David Crosby and Graham Nash talking about the music that came out of LA and especially the area around Laurel Canyon, including how they all managed to link up together and get Neil Young on board.

    Again just the right people in the right place at the right time looking for the right band and it all clicked into place so well.

  27. I’m finally back from my birthday cruise, thanks everyone for your birthday wishes!

  28. My only “live experience’ with any of these musicians was with Neil in New Orleans in 1999. He did a show at the beautiful Saenger Theater (which unfortunately was damaged during Hurricane Katrina).

    The show was unbelievable as it was just Neil alone and surrounded by at least a dozen guitars, banjos, guit-jo’s etc., a piano and a pipe organ and a little ‘igloo’ ice chest whose contents were a 6 pack of Sierra Nevada Pale ale at his feet… that’s how I close I was to him. He did a ‘greatest hits’ type set and at one point chose a guitar from the bunch and proclaimed in a matter of fact manner, “here is Hank Williams’ old geetar.”

    I was in tears by the end of the show at how great it was. It really was one of the greatest shows I have ever seen and the sound that his guitars made will haunt me forever. The tone was just amazing… I’ve never heard a live acoustic guitar sound that full and rich.

    It really was treat to see and Ill never forget it!

    Blake in Nashville

    1. I hear you Blake… see my post 3 or 4 up from yours.

      Your observation on his acoustic guitar was spot on. However for this show, it was his gloriously ragged, grungy, sloppy and ever so offensively loud no-mercy-in your-face-no-respect-for-the-fretboard-playing-that-just-went-on-and-on-and-on that transformed me into a pathetic helpless blob by the end of the show…

      You might think that Hendrix’s cover of Dylan’s ‘All Along The Watchtower’ is the best…

      I’ve said enough… you get the point: I liked the show!

  29. Yeah John… it was incredible. He actually said, “THIS HERE is Hank Williams’ old guitar’. I think Fed corrected Neil’s grammar but he said it in a really country way… like Hank himself talked. It was amazing.

    I’m sad that I missed his shows at the RYMAN here in Nashville a few years ago. I was away on business. It is out on DVD though.

    Blake in Nashville

  30. Just had another look at the Buffalo Springfield clip. To me Neil Young looks like he could be related to the Carpenters! :))

    Jan

  31. I forgot all about Buffalo Springfield, yes !!! But where has the time gone ?? OMG it seems so long ago.

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