Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Summer of Love: Buffalo Springfield

When guitarist/singer/songwriter Stephen Stills auditioned for a part in the TV series The Monkees in 1966, it may have been one of those unique moments in rock history when a major artist attempted to "sell out" before he would "tune in, turn on, and drop out." But establishing the folk-rock band Buffalo Springfield might have been one way to redeem his place in that history. He was joined by Richie Furay, who later played with some guys from The Byrds (see The Byrds' "Summer of Love" installment), as well as a Canadian guitarist/singer/songwriter with big-@$$ sideburns named Neil Young.

Wikipedia gives the low-down on how the band got together. This is really a hoot:

"Roughly a week later, discouraged at having been unable to locate Stills and ready to depart for San Francisco, [Neil Young and bassist Chris Palmer] were stuck in traffic on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles when Stills and Furay recognized Young’s 1953 Pontiac hearse, which just happened to be sitting in the opposite lane. After an illegal u-turn by Furay, some shouting, hand-waving, and much excitement, the four men realized that they were united in their determination to put together a band."

The excitement only lasted just over two years, and the band only cut three albums, not counting a re-issue of the first (with conversion from mono to stereo, and inclusion of the song featured below). Young would eventually follow Stills in joining former Byrd guitarist David Crosby and former Hollies guitarist Graham Nash, changing them from Crosby Stills & Nash, to, uh, Crosby Stills Nash & Young. Go figure.

I never saw Buffalo Springfield on TV as a kid, but obviously someone did, or we wouldn't have this clip. I could have used one of them playing the same tune on The Smothers Brothers Show, but it was retarded.

Anyway, this was my favorite song of theirs.


corrine. said...

i doubt it was retarded, it may have just been mildly stupid.

David L Alexander said...

I dunno, let's find out. Click here.