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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

What Really Happened At The End of The Buffalo Springfield?

The Buffalo Springfield

We recently came across a rather provocative and deeply researched article on the waning days of the Buffalo Springfield.

The initial thesis is that the demise of The Buffalo Springfield is due to the restlessness of Neil Young and his ambitions. However -- upon closer examination -- the theory that Neil is to blame does not hold water water. And as with all things, it's quite complicated.

From Did Neil Young Really Kill Buffalo Springfield? | The Observer by Justin Joffe:
L.A. was the perfect time and place for Buffalo Springfield to form in February ’66, so named because they saw it branded on the side of a steamroller outside their apartment on Fountain Avenue. “For a city so derided, usually by Californian rival San Francisco, for being ‘plastic,’ it is ironic that folk was its fortune,” writes Mat Snow on Young fansite Thrasher’s Wheat. “LA had not only those Dylan-endorsed hitmakers The Byrds, but also the icons of new bohemian hipsterism Sonny & Cher. With year-round sunshine to nurture the muse, and LSD still not yet illegal, even those candy-striped squares The Beach Boys had grown their hair and got hip.”

By the time Buffalo Springfield has released that first album in 1966, they had very much fallen into that scene.

Young picked up the love of British Invasion music from his time in Winnipeg, and though he was by no means a mod, that played well when it came to writing songs with the rest of the band. The great Acid Tests went down in San Francisco that prior November, and bands like The Charlatans, who lived on a ranch outside of San Fransisco, were already doing the jug band thing. Hence, the folk-rock scene in L.A. was pop music’s way of preserving the music of the kids.
While somewhat inconclusive in the end, it seems that the case to blame Neil for the breakup of The Buffalo Springfield is tenuous at best. The 1960's were the most tumultuous decade of the 20th century, so establishing anything with certainity is a tricky proposition.

As author Joffe posits, maybe Bruce Palmer killed Buffalo Springfield, with his enabling decadence and gratuitous drug use? Or maybe the answer was just the wild and crazy times of the ’60s themselves were to blame?

Or with certainty we can say that we'll never know for sure and does it really matter? But if it does matter to you then check the entire article at Did Neil Young Really Kill Buffalo Springfield? | The Observer.

Decide for yourself and let us know what you think below.

Also, see Revisiting The Significance of The Buffalo Springfield Reunion.

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At 12/13/2016 10:02:00 PM, Blogger Joel_Grant said...

I don't think there is dispositive evidence on the question of why Buffalo Springfield broke up - but I thought this was a very well done essay. It brought back memories of being in a record store in a suburb of Chicago, likely in early 1967, a couple of months after the first album was released. My friend had somehow heard of them and recommended it.

Hard to explain now just how startling their music was at that time and in that place but it was. Many thanks to all of them over the years

At 12/14/2016 10:44:00 AM, Blogger rustedbugs said...

The BS hit it new. they had the "new" sound, just as the Byrds did for that time. Sure, it was all "fate" ..whatever that really is, ....he co-mingling of each different personality and musical style. Somethings are just left to the universe to glue together, then pull apart. Remember, you can be heavy and still have a sense of humor -(FZ).

At 12/14/2016 02:19:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the essay, good read. However, yes, Neil Young broke up the Springfield, more than once. But that is a short essay.

At 12/14/2016 03:02:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Everyone in the band is to blame, but they had terrible Mangement, which was a big part of it also.

At 12/14/2016 05:37:00 PM, Blogger astrololee said...

As Neil sings in "From Hank to Hendrix"
"I found myself singin'
Like a long-lost friend
The same thing that makes you live
Can kill you in the end"

Says it all, I think!!

At 5/23/2018 05:54:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

What is the address of the Fountain Ave Barry Friedman home that BS stayed at?

At 1/13/2020 12:09:00 PM, Blogger mark said...

....... all things must pass
for what it's worth, who or what killed it and when, are just details.
the important thing is the impact of the life
the Buffalo Springfield was incandescent
it's unsurprising that it so quickly passed
and that the fires it's sparks created, burnt in such vivid colors


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