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Buffalo Springfield

Biography

Los Angelino folk rockers Buffalo Springfield were as integral to the West Coast canyon rock sound as the Byrds, but they were also politically active: they dared to criticize the establishment at a time when the youth revolution was hit hard by the Kent State massacre and the Berkeley campus riots. Neil Young, Stephen Stills, Jim Messina, Richie Furay, Bruce Palmer and Dewey Martin (from bluegrass hipsters the Dillards) came together as Buffalo Springfield in 1966, when Stills spotted Neil Young's hearse driving down Sunset Boulevard. Recognizing him from the Canadian coffeehouse folk scene, Stills flipped a U-turn and chased him down to see if he wanted to start a rock 'n' roll band. He did, and Buffalo Springfield was born. The band's sound reflected the early to mid-1960s, when college kids, beatniks and other free thinkers were gravitating from folk protest songs to rock. Like Dylan and the Byrds, their folk roots flirted with country rock and psychedelic undertones to create a sound laden with beautiful vocal harmonies. While the pacific "For What It's Worth" was the only commercially successful song, there could have been more to follow but the band lasted just two years, as the conflicting egos of multiple visionaries amounted to too many cooks in the kitchen. Nonetheless, in that short time Buffalo Springfield put a serious dent in the music world. Their fruitful family tree bore Neil Young's solo career, Stephen Stills' Manassas, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Loggins & Messina, Poco and rootsy outfits including the Souther-Hillman-Furay Band. Buffalo Springfield's songs stand the test of time, influencing everyone from Big Star to the Beachwood Sparks and beyond.
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