The Buffalo Springfield: The Story Of Their Reunion

Legendary 1960’s band The Buffalo Springfield recently reunited for their first shows in over 42 years. Here is their story, along with reunion details and plans for the future…

The Buffalo Springfield

Long touted as one of the most influential bands of all time, The Buffalo Springfield was founded in early 1966. The original five man lineup featured future music industry superstars Neil Young and Stephen Stills, along with accomplished singer songwriter Richie Furay. Virtuoso bassist Bruce Palmer and drummer Dewey Palmer rounded out the group.

During their short two year tenure, Buffalo Springfield delivered some of the most enduring songs of the era. The Stills composed “For What It’s Worth” has taken on a life of its own and is heard on classic rock radio frequently. Numerous other gems were composed by each of Young, Furay, and Stills, defining a style that came to be known as the “California sound”.

Most notable examples of their sound are heard on Young’s “Mr. Soul”, Stephen Stills’ epic “Bluebird”, and Furay’s “Kind Woman”, which helped define country rock. The band released only three albums, but paved the way for many groups in the singer and songwriter genre, most notably Crosby, Stills, and Nash and The Eagles.

The Buffalo Springfield was beset by personnel problems not long after they got off the ground. Budding virtuosos Stills and Young were competitive, while bassist Bruce Palmer ran afoul of the law and was deported to his native Canada. Young in particular was in and out of the band several times, due to nerves and an uncertainty about his musical future.

By May of 1968, the group disintegrated. Shortly thereafter, Stills and Young ascended to a higher profile, while Furay helped found the very successful country rock band Poco.

Aborted Reunions

Over the ensuing decades, the five members occasionally discussed and even attempted to reunite behind the scenes. They convened in 1986 at Stills’ home and played, but the reunion never progressed beyond that. Each of the five had strong personalities and their own vision, and the paths never seemed to mesh.

The Buffalo Springfield was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. Four of the original members showed up for the ceremony, with the notable absence of Neil Young, who protested the commercial nature of the event.

In 2004 and 2009 respectively, Palmer and Martin passed away. Yet despite all odds, Young reached out to his former band mates Stills and Furay in September 2010.

Buffalo Springfield Again

At the suggestion of Stills, Young contacted Furay by text, simply stating “call me”. When the two talked, Young proposed a reunion at his annual Bridge School charity event. The trio, backed by drummer Joe Vitale and bassist Rick Rosas, would rehearse for a week and perform two live shows. It would be the first time Furay, Stills, and Young would perform together on stage since May, 1968.

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