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Wednesday, August 19, 2020

REVIEW: "WHAT'S THAT SOUND? Buffalo Springfield Box" by Harvey Kubernik

by Buffalo Springfield 
Courtesy of Rhino/WMG
 (Click photo to enlarge)

Buffalo Springfield, Buffalo Springfield Again, and Last Time Around - were newly remastered from the original analog tapes under the auspices of Neil Young for a boxed set: WHAT'S THAT SOUND? THE COMPLETE ALBUMS COLLECTION that shipped from Rhino Records on June 29, 2018.  
Here is a comprehensive, in-depth review of  this Buffalo Springfield box by Harvey Kubernik.
Harvey Kubernik is the author of 19 books, including "Neil Young - Heart of Gold" (see TW review). We interviewed author Kubernik while Thrasher's Wheat celebrated Neil Young's 70th birthday back in 2015. 
In 1966 and ’67 Harvey Kubernik saw Buffalo Springfield in two of their Southern California concerts and attended debut Neil Young solo concerts in the region. 
Thrasher's Wheat just recently published two highly popular articles by Kubernik:
 Thanks Harvey! enjoy.

 Buffalo Springfield @ Hollywood Bowl on April 29, 1967
Photo  by Henry Diltz.
REVIEW: "WHAT'S THAT SOUND? Buffalo Springfield Box"


By Harvey Kubernik © 2018, 2020     

     Before playing its final show on May 5, 1968 at the Long Beach Sports Arena in Southern California, Buffalo Springfield released three studio albums on ATCO during an intense, two-year creative burst.

     Those albums - Buffalo Springfield, Buffalo Springfield Again, and Last Time Around - have been newly remastered from the original analog tapes under the auspices of Neil Young for a boxed set: WHAT'S THAT SOUND? THE COMPLETE ALBUMS COLLECTION that shipped from Rhino Records on June 29, 2018.   

  The box set includes stereo mixes of the group’s three studio albums plus mono mixes for Buffalo Springfield and Buffalo Springfield Again. There are also CD and limited-edition vinyl sets. 

      I witnessed Buffalo Springfield on stage during December 1966 at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium and The Hollywood Bowl in April 1967.

     If you dig Buffalo Springfield you might want to investigate my books Canyon Of Dreams: The Magic and The Music Of Laurel Canyon and Turn Up The Radio! Rock, Pop and Roll In Los Angeles 1956-1972. Plenty of Henry Diltz photos of the band members are displayed in the pages around my text and interview subjects.    

     I’m delighted Buffalo Springfield’s era-defining body of work will be heard and discovered by new ears globally. I’m sure WHAT'S THAT SOUND? THE COMPLETE ALBUMS COLLECTION coupled with my books will spur additional interest for documentaries, television shows that will be produced as well as subsequent titles still inspired by my teenage neighborhood. At Fairfax High School in West Hollywood our Driver’s Education class was held in Laurel Canyon and the adjacent Mt. Olympus region. Try learning how to parallel park while “Nowadays Clancy Can’t Even Sing” was on the AM radio station KHJ play list.

      Buffalo Springfield’s three 1966-1968 albums were always debuted over the Southern California airwaves before the rest of the world discovered them.  You really had to live in Hollywood then to further understand and comprehend the initial impact of these regionally-birthed discs and artwork design.  I’ve always felt the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, and then The Band, were the joint Godfathers of Americana music.        

      WHAT'S THAT SOUND? THE COMPLETE ALBUMS COLLECTION is a five-CD set for $39.98 and on digital download and streaming services. High resolution streaming and downloads are available through

   The albums were released - for the first time ever - on 180-gram vinyl as part of a limited-edition set of 5,000 copies for $114.98. The 5-LP box features the same mono and stereo mixes as the CD set, presented in sleeves and gatefolds that faithfully re-create the original releases. 

    WHAT'S THAT SOUND? THE COMPLETE ALBUMS COLLECTION is available, this time around, chronologically and sonically improved from the label’s 2001 Buffalo Springfield Box Set product, but the fan boy in me wishes the longer 9:00 minute version of “Bluebird” was included.  It’s only found  on a double vinyl LP Buffalo Springfield package that was released in 1973. 

     So enjoy these Buffalo Springfield 2018 available recordings on compact disc and vinyl, as well as digital downloading, before record labels like Rhino cease pressing up hard product and become exclusively streaming services.  

    “In our world of music in 2018,” posed author and film/music historian Jan Alan Henderson, “has any new product stood the test of time that this Buffalo Springfield box set will? Golden years, golden days as Mick Jagger and Keith Richards put it, ‘Lost in the silk sheets of time.’”

     “Sure, this was one band who boasted within its rarefied ranks several musical characters of superb pedigree indeed,” realizes Gary Pig Gold …who, for the record, may never have visited Springfield but has been stranded in Buffalo several times. “Yet despite the fact that a failed Monkee and even a couple Au Go Go Singers were on board, I have for a half-century-and-counting insisted it was the presence of not one, but TWO certifiable Canadians that truly gave this band its shine, its sharpness, and undoubtedly a big part of its unmistakable sound …even on the stereo mixes. 

    “I speak, of course, of (a) Neil Young, of whom little if anything need be added at this point, but especially of the (b) as in bassman – and so much besides – Bruce Palmer:  Already by ’66 a veteran of more spectacular Toronto-area rhythm ‘n’ Merseybeat combos than even young Neil could’ve shook a Gretsch at, Bruce brought the incredibly innovative bottom he’d already punched onto such woofer-blowing discs as Jack London & the Sparrows’ ‘If You Don’t Want My Love’ (REQUIRED LISTENING, everyone!) to create the beyond-solid foundations his Buffalo bandmates relied to create upon and, yes, were expected to fly fully from.

     “One could argue the Springfield was never the same – some might even say never completely recovered from – the loss of Palmer; not to mention the here today, maybe here tomorrow ways of his fellow Canucklehead Neil. But all great art, even pop (music) art, seems to burst best from turmoil, and that the Springfield always had in often self-defeating abundance. They ‘burned’ briefly, but oh, so brightly! As all the best herds, then and even now, seem to.

    “They came, they played, and they crumbled. Fifty-some-odd years gone. But still as sound as ever.”

    In 2001 I interviewed Richie Furay about Buffalo Springfield. Sections of our conversation first appeared in Goldmine and in my 2017 book, 1967 A Complete Rock Music History of the Summer of Love.

    “We were always comfortable singing someone else’s song early on. The first album and some of the second, you can hear the cohesiveness was a group effort, there was not the possessiveness of ‘this is my song, this is my baby, I’m singing it because I wrote it.’  Early on there was this ‘what does this sound like with you singing?’ I know we tried ‘Mr. Soul’ with everybody singing and it sounded best with Neil. “The individual members brought their own take on what was being presented to the song. We liked the Beatles with John and Paul singing harmony. Stephen and I did a lot of that unison singing. That we picked up from the Beatles but then there was a lot of experimentation” 

    Buffalo Springfield then recorded their debut disc with managers/ producers Charlie Greene and Brian Stone at Gold Star Studio in Hollywood, home of Phil Spector’s epic musical productions. Owners Stan Ross and Dave Gold with engineer Larry Levine with their landmark studio made pivotal contributions to Buffalo Springfield’s studio endeavors. Ross trained Doc Siegel who engineered Buffalo Springfield with Tom May.

     Stan Ross, along with his business partner, technical wizard Dave Gold and Larry Levine made overt and subtle sound design contributions to Phil Spector’s studio undertakings while jointly constructing the ‘Wall of Sound’ which helped inform Buffalo Springfield. 

               The Gold Star studio clients of Dave Gold and Stan Ross  included Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, Sonny & Cher, Buffalo Springfield, Brian Wilson with the Beach Boys, the Cascades, Iron Butterfly, Cher, the Cake, the Chipmunks,  Bob Dylan, Clydie King, Art Garfunkel, Dick Dale, Bobby Darin, Minnie Ripperton, Johnny Burnette, Ray Ruff, Thee Midniters, Donna Loren, the Sunrays, Mark and the Escorts, Jon & the Nightriders, the Dillards, Tim Hardin, Beau Brummels, the Murmaids, Jackie De Shannon, Led Zeppelin, Hoyt Axton, Duane Eddy, Margie Rayburn, Kim Fowley, the Runaways, The Band, Go-Gos, Ramones, the Seeds, the Monkees,  MFQ and the Turtles.

     “Gold Star felt and sounded different than any other L.A. studio,” explains the Turtles’ Howard Kaylan, who recorded “The Story of Rock & Roll pop gem and other wonderful tunes like “Eleanor” there in addition to their revolutionary L.P. The Battle of the Bands produced by Chip Douglas. 

    “You could literally smell the tubes inside the mixing board as they heated up. There was a richness to the sound that Western and United, our usual studios, never had. Those two rooms sounded ‘clean’ while Gold Star felt fat and funky. Perhaps we were all reading too much of the Spector legacy into the room, but I don't think so. Our recordings from Gold Star always just sounded better to me. I miss that room,” lamented Kaylan, whose band the Turtles sold 41 million records and had 9 Top Ten hits of their own. 

    Gold Star regulars Charlie Greene and Brian Stone were managers and producers, real show biz operators, who represented Buffalo Springfield, Iron Butterfly, The Poor, Bob Lind, The Cake, Dr. John, Jackie De Shannon and Sonny & Cher.   “All I Really Want To Do” Cher's first solo hit came out of the room, along with the duo’s “The Beat Goes On” and Sony Bono’s solo masterpiece, “Laugh At Me.” Jackie De Shannon cut her Laurel Canyon LP there.      

        “Our studio echo chamber gave it the wall of sound feel,” Stan Ross told me in a 2001 interview.

     “Dave Gold built the equipment and echo chamber and personally hand-crafted the acoustical wall coating. We had so much fun with that echo chamber; it never sounded the same way twice. Gold Star brought a feeling, an emotional feeling. Gold Star was not a dead studio, but a live studio. The room was 30 X 40.”

     “It was all tubes. And when you have tubes, you have expansion and it doesn’t distort so easy. We kept tubes on longer than anyone else. Because we understood that when a kick drum kicks into a tube it’s not gonna distort. A tube can expand. The microphones with tubes were better than the ones with out the tubes because if you don’t have a tube and you hit heavy, suddenly it breaks ups. But when you have a tube it’s warm and emotional. It gets bigger and it expands. It allows for the impulse.

    “Gold Star brought a feeling, an emotional feeling. Gold Star was not a dead studio, but a live studio. I’ve been in other studios that were ‘too hot,’ ‘too lively.’ Some that sounded like card board boxes. ‘Too dead.’ Gold Star had enough that if you snapped your fingers, or clapped your hands, you could actually hear it. So if that’s the way your hands clapped, then your drum sound would be the same kind of feel.   Our echo chamber gave it the wall of sound feel. It was smaller than most people knew.”

    I asked Gold Star co-owner/engineer Stan Ross about Buffalo Springfield sonic relationship to the Gold Star recording studio. 

   “I was always impressed by the songwriting abilities of the Buffalos,” he remarks. “Neil Young, especially. The Buffalo Springfield was a self-contained group. A lot of their stuff done as demos in studio A and B. with ‘Doc’ Siegel and myself with the Buffalos. You won’t find a union contract on any of that stuff. Fun stuff, kick-a-round time. Then track time and overdub time,” reflects Ross.

   The band’s Gold Star heritage can be heard in those 1966 and ’67 studio treks: Stills’ “Everydays,” plus Furay demos of “Words I Must Say,” “Nobody’s Fool,” Stills’ “So You’ve Got A Lover,” Young’s “Down To The Wire,” and another Stills’ song, “My Angel.”

   “Neil was really a very personal friend of ours,” stressed Stan, “an appreciative man who never forgot us over the years. Of all the guys in the group, Neil was the only one who took care of Gold Star, especially Dave Gold.

     “Dave did Neil’s Trans album (along with portions of Hawks & Doves). For years Dave did all the mastering at Columbia that Neil did on his albums. He made sure that Dave Gold would do all the lacquer mastering on his albums. No one else. No other place. And if they wanted 15 pressing plants to have masters Neil didn’t want prints made up from one master. He wanted Dave Gold to make 15 separate acetates. And to make sure it was done that way, Dave had to put a number on each one he did that was a code between him and Neil.”  

    In 2009, Neil Young finally made available his Archives Vol. 1 multi-disc compilation. Song demos from Gold Star and both mono and stereo mixes of Young-birthed Buffalo Springfield recordings, “Burned” and “Nowadays Clancy Can’t Even Sing” help populate the package.    

  Buffalo Springfield Again Side acetate label-1968

(Courtesy of Jeff Gold and Record Mecca) 

 Kirk Silsbee: I was compelled by the sound of ‘Clancy' and it took me awhile to catch up to the depth of the lyrics, and comprehend the role of Riche Furay’s performance on the tune's success.  It took years, matter of fact.  Even though I felt it on a visceral level, I couldn't articulate what it was doing, and what it was doing to me. 

   “The Springfield had three good writers, but Neil cranked out the bulk of the band’s material.  It was very smart to give those vocals to Richie Furay.  Neil had an odd voice, with a haunted edge to it and lacking warmth.  Richie's voice, on the other hand, was far more engaging and even sweet, in the best sense of the word.  But listen to ‘Clancy'--it’s quite a poignant vocal performance.  The lyrics on ‘Clancy’ are emotionally torturous, which seemed to be Neil’s stock and trade at that time.  Around the same time he cut ‘Down to the Wire’ at Gold Star; it surfaced later on Neil’s Decade.  I love all three versions, and I respect the fact that Neil was experimenting, taking chances. ‘Okay--let Stephen song it one time; let Richie try it, and the third time I’ll sing it.  But let's play with the crazy psychedelic overlay holocaust stuff.’”     

  Richie Furay: The band was that first album and it was never captured again. That album represented the five of us together in the studio. After that it started to fall apart. It got worse with the next two albums. There were a lot of people being used other than the five of us.”

James Cushing: The musical and lyrical news from Buffalo Springfield was very, very different from the kind of information you would get from the Beach Boys. The Beach Boys were saying that Los Angeles and the Southern California region was heaven. On the first single, ‘For What It's Worth,’ Stephen Stills and Buffalo Springfield were saying that Los Angeles was a place where you had to be extremely careful.  What was powerful about that song was partially the voice of Stephen Stills and partly that minimalist guitar from Neil Young.  From the first album, Neil Young’s folky, anti-virtuoso concept was fully formed. You hit just the right notes and let them ring out.


            “Neil also voices chords in a unique way I don’t have the technical vocabulary to describe, but there’s something about the way he voices a chord versus the way Stephen Stills voices a chord. Maybe he likes to use different intervals. Maybe he likes to hit the notes in a different way. Together they are collaborative and competitive.

       “As far as their sense of rhythm goes, I think Neil’s sense of rhythm is much more rooted in folk strums and strings. Stills is actually more rhythmically interesting than Neil. But one of the reasons that Stills sounds so interesting is that Neil always gives him that support. Stills' strengths are enhanced by Neil’s strengths.

            “The first album is not an unqualified success, though. ‘Flying on the Ground Is Wrong’ sounds a little tricked out today. The lyrics show Neil Young trying a little bit too hard to show that he’s clever. It's the sort of mistake that young writers make. But ‘Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing’ makes up for it. What I loved then and now about "Clancy" is its combination of country-western directness and lyrical elusiveness. Lines in ‘Clancy’ have stayed with me for multiple decades, like lines in Dylan’s ‘Queen Jane Approximately,’ and in both cases, I would have a terrible time explaining what they mean. But intuitively and experimentally, I feel they illuminate moments of experience in the way only the best poetry does.”


Kirk Silsbee: The Buffalo Springfield is tied to the fabric of the Hollywood Renaissance in a special way.  So often the bands gestated in the suburbs or traveled outright from different far-flung cities to try their luck in the Big Leagues.  But the Springfield was a mix of people from different cities who came together in Hollywood like spontaneous combustion.  Can you think of another band that has a creation myth like the Springfield?  People are still debating the precise details nearly sixty years after the fact.  Talent was never an issue; the problem for the Springfield was finding a center where all of the artistic visions could peacefully coexist. 

     “Buffalo Springfield's Hollywood was a world with four AM radio rock stations and a full time country station. Teen magazines like The KRLA Beat, Hit Parader, and TeenSet were on the verge of publications trying to seriously address the music.  Unfortunately, the writers at the time didn’t always have the tools.  The writers were basically teenage fans with bylines.  You look at those pieces now and there’s just so much missing in them--the gee whiz quotient is pretty high.


   “In the first stages of the Springfield, Neil Young was conscious of wardrobe, image, clothing. He liked the buckskins that Genie the Tailor made for him or the faux Indian get-ups he could get at Western Costume on Melrose.  But then, each guy in the band went his own sartorial way.  Fortunately, there was never an attempt to put them in band suits; they all had their own sense of style.  Stills was often seen in a hip jacket and tie; he went to Sy Devore and Beau Gentry.  You'd see Richie with a thrift store jacket and open shirt, next to Dewey, in a velour pullover.  Neil had his buckskin jackets, one with very long fringe coming off of the arms; I believe he slipped it on like a poncho.  But fashion?  No.  Look at Love’s first album--that’s a fashion statement.    



    “Even though it broke up on the cusp on underground FM rock radio, Buffalo Springfield became an FM band.  Aside from 'For What It's Worth,' it wasn't a hit-record band.  There was no FM in late ’66, but the Springfield eventually got a lot of FM airplay.


     “In the year-and-a-half up to June 1967--when the format changed--there was no station like KBLA.  It was our pirate radio, and it set the stage for the FM revolution to come.  Beginning in last part of 1965, KBLA made the bold choice to acknowledge the albums coming from these L.A. bands--not just the one or two hit songs pressed as 45s.  This was the period when rock was becoming an art form, and albums had non-hit material that was often more fascinating than their hits.  For the first time, the album cuts actually had merit on their own; they weren't just filler.  And even though they weren’t getting played elsewhere, Burbank's KBLA gave them parity with hit records.  That was revolutionary as far as I was concerned.  ‘Clancy’ got plenty of airplay on KHJ, a Drake-Chenault chain Boss Radio format, and the station always supported Buffalo Springfield.


    “In ’67, Dewey Martin and Neil Young knocked on the back door of KFWB on Hollywood Boulevard and handed deejay Dave Diamond an acetate of ‘Blue Bird’ to spin.  So often in those days you had one or two creative minds in a band; the rest usually kept up the best they could. No so the Springfield. I don’t want to say ‘super group’ but their collective talent had a tremendous range of expression.”

Rodney Bingenheimer (Deejay): Greene and Stone were managers and producers, real show biz operators, who represented Iron Butterfly, the Poor, Bob Lind, the Cake, Dr. John, Jackie De Shannon, Sonny & Cher and Buffalo Springfield. I loved Gold Star. I played one of the tambourines on Sony & Cher’s session for ‘Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down).’ At Gold Star everyone was wearing Levis and some buckskin things, Fairchild moccasins. Dewey Martin liked to wear velours.

    “Charlie and Brian were always at Gold Star. I loved Buffalo Springfield. I always saw them at the Whisky a Go Go. It was a ‘jangly’ folk sound. Sort of ‘Byrdsy’ in a way. ‘Country Byrds.’ They would gig all over Hollywood: The Troubadour, Hullabaloo. Charlie and Brian were really good behind the board. I liked them as record producers.”

Henry Diltz (Photographer):  I went to Gold Star in June 1966 when they were doing their debut album. I had recorded there before with the MFQ and Phil Spector. I was in the rom in July when Buffalo Springfield cut ‘Nowadays Clancy Can’t Even Sing.’ I met their dog Clancy in the parking lot.”

Rodney Bingenheimer: I liked the first album. ‘Clancy’ was incredible. ‘Down To the Wire.’ Stan Ross was all over the place getting it together. Stan and Larry (Levine) were more than engineers. They knew what they were doing as if they were the producers. The first album didn’t really capture the Buffalo Springfield on stage. Just a little.

    “I later did go to Columbia studios and saw the mix of ‘For What It’s Worth’ happening. Pretty amazing.  I knew it was going to be a big hit.”  

James Cushing: (Deejay): What was powerful about that song was partially the voice of Stephen Stills and partly that minimalist guitar from Neil Young.  From the first album, Neil Young’s quirky, anti-virtuoso concept was fully formed. You hit just the right notes and let them ring out. Neil also voices chords in a unique way I don’t have the technical vocabulary to describe, but there’s something about the way he voices a chord versus the way Stephen Stills voices a chord. Maybe he likes to use different intervals. Maybe he likes to hit the notes in a different way. Together they are collaborative and competitive.  As far as their sense of rhythm goes, I think Neil’s sense of rhythm is much more rooted in folk strums and strings. Stills is actually more rhythmically interesting than Neil. But one of the reasons that Stills sounds so interesting is that Neil always gives him that support. Stills' strengths are enhanced by Neil’s strengths.

It wasn't until 1969 that the Guess Who achieved global acclaim with their first million seller single, “These Eyes.” The Burton Cummings-Randy Bachman songwriting team turned out three more million-selling tunes, “Laughing,” “No Time” and “American Women.”

"You must understand the Winnipeg psyche," Burton Cummings explained to me in 1974 in an article published in Melody Maker. "It's not like growing up in London, Los Angeles, New York, or Chicago. Winnipeg is a small town. It's the prairies in Canada. I was locked up there so long that's all I wrote about.

"Neil Young was in a group (the Squires in March 1965) with (our drummer) Garry Peterson’s brother Randy.”

The group first tried to gain American recognition in 1967. Guitarist Randy Bachman suggested recording Young’s “Flying On The Ground Is Wrong. Buffalo Springfield’s album was already out by then but Neil played the guys in the Guess Who an acetate of it in Christmas 1966 when he came back to Winnipeg to visit his mom. Neil spun the LP for Randy. The Guess Who then recorded ‘Flying On The Ground Is Wrong” and two other tracks in London at IBC studios, March 3, 1967.

"We went to England to do an album and tour. The record deal and tour fell through. We were £25,000 in debt."

Young was absolutely thrilled that his old pals in the Guess Who recorded one of his songs. It was the first cover of a Neil Young composition.

James Cushing: “Flying on the Ground Is Wrong.” The tune is a little tricked out. It sounds there like Neil Young is trying a little bit too hard to show that he’s clever. And that’s the sort of mistake that young writers make. That’s the mistake I made in my early poems was trying to get attention to how smart I was.   

Kirk Silsbee: “Flying On The Ground is Wrong" is one of the best post-Dylan songs of its time. In just three stanzas Neil brilliantly paints a picture of emotional disconnection and missed opportunity. Even though there's an inviting girl in front of him, nothing is quite right in his world. It’s very poignant and you can’t minimize Richie Furay’s contribution to the success of the recording. 'Burned' is also on the debut album. The quality and sheer volume of Neil's songs during his Springfield tenure is, if not overwhelming, extremely impressive.” 

John Hartmann: In 1965 and ’66 I had been at The William Morris Agency and I would get people on TV to sell music. Then Shindig! came along and that was my show.  And I signed Jack Good to William Morris.  When I was standing in the wings watching the Rolling Stones perform on stage I encountered Sony Bono and then signed Sony & Cher and signed them to William Morris. 

    “Charlie Greene called me up one day and mentioned he had ‘America’s answer to the Beatles, Buffalo Springfield.’ Charlie Greene, Brian Stone, myself and Skip Taylor then drove to San Diego to see the act. I was in after the first song.  Because when Skip and I had come back from San Francisco we started a thing called Stampede. And we’ll break Buffalo Springfield. It would have been the first Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. It didn’t happen. I booked Buffalo on The Hollywood Palace television show.” 

Dickie Davis: When Buffalo did The Hollywood Palace Neil was great, by the way. He came down there with that mean look on his face and stole it. I got to play with Neil on the show when he was doing his greatest solo. My back to the camera. Bruce wasn’t available and I sat in. Bruce never looked at the camera. You would say, ‘Bruce you gotta turn around and smile.’ And that would piss him off and he would just face his amplifier. A phenomenal bassist.   

     “I thought Neil was a poet who can write pop songs. So was Dylan and Paul Simon. I was a poet myself. It was like a country song that had just grown a little. And Neil did his own stuff like ‘Burned.. And nobody wanted Neil to sing. When I started hearing all his material I started to realize I might have it wrong. That I had seen a band, a group, and the focus. I wanted the band to succeed as a band. And I put all of my energy into that.

    “Neil Young understood wardrobe but everybody showed up in whatever they wanted to show up in. I have a photo of Neil sitting on top of a trash can with his Indian garb on like he was Indian scouting. What Neil liked about the fringe jacket was how it went all crazy when he played guitar. He liked flailing fringe. And it was a great visual image, you know. As far as band clothing, there was a {charge}account at DeVoss which I believe the group paid for whoever bought there.  

   “While we were in San Francisco playing the Filmore West, I had to borrow 300 bucks from my parents to keep us alive, feed the band and do laundry,

   “We were in San Francisco and playing shows at The Ark with Moby Grape.  I’m back in town. The night before I’m driving home and by Pandora’s Box I make a right on Crescent Hights to go on Fountain and in the parking lot are maybe 40 school buses and a huge bunch of L.A. sheriffs or cops or whatever in that parking lot. The police presence was military. It was like really oppressive. And I wondered ‘what the fuck?’ It hadn’t happened yet and I went home. Outside Pandora’s Box. Somebody jumped up on a bus. They (the sheriffs) moved in. A lot of kids had been arrested (earlier) for curfew (violation). You gotta remember on the strip the political pressure on the Sheriff’s department in Hollywood was to get rid of these long haired freaks. Stephen wrote the song ‘For What It’s Worth.’

   “You know, Neil had a run in with the cops on Sunset Boulevard in front of the Whisky. It started with me. I had come down to put some money in my (parking) meter that had expired. And I was literally running to put some money in the meter and the cop pulled up right beside me. ‘Come here!’ ‘Give me one second.’ And I ran to the meter to put the money in. They grabbed me, slammed me down on the hood of the car, kicked my legs apart. I mean, I still have bruises. I think they were gonna take me in for a traffic or parking violation or something. They were rough for nothing. People went and told Neil after he drove up to the Whisky in his Corvette. Buffalo Springfield were rehearsing at the Whisky. They came out and they started saying things like, ‘let him go,’ or ‘where are you taking him?’

   “So they ran a make on everybody and got Neil on a warrant. Parking tickets. They let me go.  So they took Neil in and mistreated him badly at the West Hollywood Station. He had long hair in 1966. When I picked Neil up after that Neil was a changed person in terms of confidence. Neil was shaken to his core. He was frightened. Neil told me they said, ‘Let’s go feed the animals.’ He was bruised while in there.

   “‘Mr. Soul’ was written partially about that. I remember first hearing ‘Mr. Soul’ at a club in Beverly Hills called The Daisy. We rehearsed there but don’t know if we played there. Neil always had that growling guitar. And I had seen Neil’s anger coming (in that song).

    “He was noticeably different after that. And I’m telling you, whenever we went anywhere Neil didn’t want to be out on the street. He wanted to go in back doors. It took a while. That shook Neil, I think. It shook me and a lot of us. If you went into some places like Googie’s with long hair they wouldn’t let you in. The people who were making money on the Sunset Strip did not want the hippies.

    “The Buffalo first stayed at the Hollywood Center Motel and then Neil had his apartment in Hollywood at Commodore Gardens, later at his place in Laurel Canyon. 8451 Utica Drive. Or he had people who would bring him to gigs. His friends Donna (Port) and Vicki (Cavaleri).”   

Peter Lewis: Moby Grape played with Buffalo Springfield in November 1966 at The Ark, a dry docked ferry boat with a slanted dance floor in Sausalito after they played the Fillmore.  Skip (Spence) our drummer and Bruce (Palmer) Buffalo Springfield’s bassist were friends. Neil and Stephen went and talked to the guy who ran the place. I saw him point to me. ‘We’re Neil Young and Stephen Stills and we’re in the Buffalo Springfield. We’ve come to see Moby Grape. I guess you’re one of the band members.’ ‘Yes.’ So they broke out their guitars. I think they were Martins and I had a Guild D 225. The first thing I noticed was how good Stephen Stills was right away. We spent three or four hours together and I was alone with them for a while playing songs and listening to their songs. They had one good song after another. The caliber of the tunes.

    “Neil played ‘Mr. Soul’ but it was in a D tuning. Skippy used to do that. I asked Neil why he did that in D. ‘Because it changes the scale shape on the bottom. Neil used this D tuning on ‘Mr. Soul’ which allowed him to use this open chord, you know, like the head stock nut instead of having to bar it. Right away I was struck away by the way they would kind of alter the thing. Everybody was trying to sound different in those days. Like, the Lovin’ Spoonful did not sound like the Byrds. The rest of their band showed up and we played. And they were like, ‘Fuck!’ We just started trading sets at the Ark. Hanging together for a week or so.  Stephen went to military school and so did I.  We had a brotherly type of thing, you know. If Stephen was trying to teach you a song and you didn’t know a chord, ‘you stupid fucker!’ I remember him saying that to me. I knew music theory. I learned it at school. But they don’t tell you how chord chemistry works.

    “The bands were a lot alike. Three guitar lineup. There might have been a competitive vibe. Where Stephen was really competitive. So if he sees you do something he likes he’ll do it the next day better than you. So there was that. And Neil struck me as a guy doing his own thing. He has that sense of self. From as much as I know Neil, he has a sense of being unique that kind of separates him. Just a pre-conception of himself. It’s not an ego thing. First of all, he has, or had epilepsy. I saw him have a seizure one time in the control booth at a recording studio. And they had to stick something in his mouth. And, Stephen’s you know, ‘he’s just faking.’ (laughs). So, like in a way I identified with him. Just being a movie star’s kid [Oscar-winning actress and television star, Loretta Young] growing up you kind of get left by yourself. In a way, Neil struck me like that.

   “His ‘Mr. Soul’ is not like ‘For What it’s Worth,’ a kind of gather the troops kind of thing. ‘Mr. Soul’ is like what it means to be nuts. I was struck by that right away. And his ability to sort of write a whole song in your head, have the bridge and everything and all these chords. I was struck by the genius of his tunes. “We played the Ark all the time every night. We had that really good first record because we kept the songs that everybody kind of dug a lot.”

    “Buffalo Springfield had a kinetic thing. They were like a family. Stephen and Neil were always kind of vying for position. But that worked out. Richie was kind of between them with a high voice. He was the one between the two other guys being the wings and Richie being the fuselage of an airplane. The balance of things or trying to control. 

     “I think after the Ark they changed their style. They were doing more like a kind of sing and songy deal. I don’t think Neil was affected by it in a way. {bassist} Bob Mosely was the guy {in Moby Grape} they were stunned by, you know. They wanted to get him out of Moby Grape and into Buffalo Springfield. They had him come down and audition. Bob’s story was  of course, they didn’t want some guy singing and doing his own songs. They just wanted what Bob could do on his instrument.”        

   The Stephen Stills’ composition “For What It’s Worth” was partially influenced or at least informed by two tunes in Moby Grape’s live repertoire. Jerry Miller and Don Stevenson’s “Murder In My Heart For The Judge,” (both utilizing the exact E-Major/A-major, folk-soul chord progression with a shuffle beat), and an unreleased Lewis offering, “Stop” (Stop!, listen to the music’).

Peter Lewis: Buffalo Springfield did hear us play ‘Stop!’ and ‘Murder In My Heart’ at the Ark,  Later after they came back to San Francisco and played the Avalon Ballroom, Stephen said to me, ‘You know, we just recorded this song (‘For What It’s Worth’) and after it was done, you know, I flashed on where it came from.’ I said, ‘who cares? ‘It was cool. There was nothing to get into litigation about, man.

    “We lived in Mill Valley. I had a great time with Neil and Stephen in Mosley’s apartment playing each other songs. Bob wasn’t married and you could go over to his place. Somebody had some pot. It wasn’t very good in those days. All bunk. Like powder. 

    “There was a point where they took us to meet (Ahmet) Ertegun down in L.A. It was like sitting down, cross-legged on the floor, and Ahmet smoked a joint and passed it around. What Neil and Stephen we’re trying to say, and I kind of knew this about show business, you better be able to call the guy that owns the company and get a call back.’ Columbia is not like that. Buffalo Springfield really wanted us to make it. That’s what I remember. We signed with Columbia.”   

     The group spent the first half of 1967 making Buffalo Springfield Again, which was the first album to feature songs written by Furay ("A Child's Claim To Fame.") Stills and Young both contributed some classics with "Bluebird" and "Rock And Roll Woman" from Stills, and "Mr. Soul" and Young’s "Expecting To Fly."

      In 2014, I interviewed legendary record producer and manager, Denny Bruce. Portions later were published in my book Neil Young: Heart of Gold.

Denny Bruce: In 1966 I first met Neil when he was living in an apartment at the Commodore Gardens in Hollywood. I saw Buffalo Springfield play all the local clubs. The Whisky, Gazzarri’s and smaller places. After performing Neil would go to his apartment still wide awake and write songs. Neil and I had a casual friendship and he was a true fan of music. Neil was always interested in my opinion about all matters of things pop.

     “One night at the Greene and Stone office I was talking to Neil. Because he basically is a shy person, I introduced Neil to Jack Nitzsche.  Neil also indicated to us that he wanted to create a musical and lyrical mix of the Rolling Stones and Dylan.

     “In 1967, Neil and the band left Gold Star to do Buffalo Springfield Again. And Neil finally saying, ‘I’m gonna use some other players.’ I did attend one of the marathon session dates for ‘Expecting to Fly.’ Jim Gordon on drums and Don Randi on keyboards. All good players who Jack picked. He said to Neil, ‘This is gonna be a good solo deal. Not a Buffalo Springfield record.’ And Neil said, ‘Good. I don’t see them on this record.’ I said, ‘Not even Dewey?’ And Neil shrieked ‘No!’

    “Jack really believed in Neil’s music. And Jack knew Neil would eventually become a solo star. He knew he wasn’t meant to be in a band.”  

Don Randi (Keyboardist):  Jack Nitzsche called me to play keyboard on some dates in 1967 at Sunset Sound. I picked out the piano for the studio.  A guy who had a store on Beverly Blvd. When I walked into Sunset Sound I didn’t realize it was for Buffalo Springfield.  I thought it was for a Neil Young (solo) album, ‘cause that is what he was supposed to be breaking away from and going on his own. Hal Blaine and Jim Horn are on the track. I played piano and organ. When Jack and Neil asked me to play on the end part of ‘Broken Arrow’ they were both waiving me on to keep playing. I kept lookin’ up at them, ‘are you ever gonna tell me to stop?’    

    “Let me tell you something. Jack really enjoyed working with Neil. This goes as well to ‘Expecting to Fly.’ Russ Titelman, Carole Kaye and Jim Gordon are on it.  Piano and harpsichord. I had some little head chart arrangement to work from and another of the tunes might have been sketched. It was pretty wide open with the chord changes. And all you had to do was hear Neil sing it down with an acoustic guitar and you sat there, ‘Oh my goodness.’ He was so talented. And Jack enjoyed Neil and to be with him because Neil was so talented. Jack and Neil were a team and had a mutual admiration society. And they liked each other and recording with them was easy. Neil wrote cinematically and Jack arranged his own records cinematically. He did movie scores as early as 1965.  

    “But Neil took it a step further with his lyrics. I was real busy with session work in those days. In one week I did 26 sessions. I’m on Love’s Forever Changes and Neil was around a bit on that album. (Red Telephone?). Jack and Neil were tight. 1967, ’68.

     “Jack and I never judged artists by their voices. To me it didn’t matter ‘cause I loved the music so much. And Neil was able to sell it. There are some people you can’t stand them on record until you see them live. And once you see them live you can understand their records. That doesn’t happen a lot. But it does happen.   

   “And you gotta remember, by 1967 some of the recording studios in town, like Columbia and Sunset Sound now had 8-track tape machines. When it happened I welcomed it but all I thought at that point, ‘well the studios are gonna get rich now.’ Because nobody is gonna know how to mix this stuff. And when they mix it they’re gonna have to come down to mono because nobody has got stereos to play it on. And guys like Jack and Neil with 8-track now had more options and tracks to fill. But what makes me wonder how did Brian (Wilson) do it on 4-track? (laughs).

    “Brian learned how the game was played. Neil knew it earlier. And I would love to have said how big Neil was gonna get. I don’t think he realized it. But I loved Neil’s music. Goodness gracious. This guy’s writing…I thought everybody and their mother was gonna try and start doing his songs. I knew he was a songwriter. Some of the tunes were movies. They were scripts. To me, Neil was like another (Bob) Dylan. That’s what he reminded me of. He could do Dylan but I think he did Dylan his way. It was Neil Young. It wasn’t Bob Dylan. 

    “Look, I’ve been on dates with Elvis (Presley) and (Frank) Sinatra. Guys who would arrive with an entourage. Neil would show up by himself. You have to realize that as great as a musician and as great as a songwriter he is, Neil would also realize talent himself. He realized a sound that he liked from a guitar. Neil knew that the only way to get it was to have that guitar. You’re not gonna get that off a Tele (Telecaster). You’re not gonna get it off something else. Neil was smart enough, and most of the good writers and players, if they didn’t have the acoustic guitar they went to that kind of guitar. Neil liked to experiment. And he would say, ‘Oh my goodness. Why don’t I do that?’ And he had the wherewithal and had the time. He had the time to take his time. ‘Wow. That’s a real nice sound. I like this. I don’t like that.’

    “Neil was smart enough to know what he wanted and knew how to get it. And, Neil had Ahmet Ertegun in his corner. I think, and we discussed this before, Ahmet had some of the music publishing. Ahmet encouraged the guys in Buffalo Springfield to write and do demos at Gold Star. I lived at Gold Star throughout the entire sixties. Ahmet and Nesuhi were two of the smartest people in the record business. They almost signed me to Atlantic.          

    “I opened the Baked Potato (jazz nightclub) in Studio City on November 17, 1970. We’re still open. Neil came opening night and would later in the seventies or eighties would come to the club. I think he was sweet on one of the waitresses. You gotta remember: In our hallway and on the walls, opposite the men and women’s bathroom were the answering service phones for all the musicians ‘cause they were there all the time. They could call Arlyn’s or Your Girl for messages and get their dates. And everyone hung out there at the beginning.

    “Neil once had an idea and he called me on the telephone. ‘I got an idea. I’m tired of the band.’ I said ‘Bullshit. You’re tired of the band.’ ‘No. It’s just gonna be me and you.’ And I said, ‘You’re kidding! Great idea. Let’s do it.’ That was the last time I heard that. (laughs).”  


Henry Diltz: For their Buffalo Springfield Again back cover, Stephen called me one day and said, ‘Hey. I’d like you to write out this list of names that inspired us in your calligraphy handwriting. People we want to thank.’  I’m in there as Tad Diltz, my old name.”

Kirk Silsbee: And the album that has an Eve Babitz collage on the front cover and Diltz’s lettering on the back cover. I like the fact that the art director at Atlantic had the sense to step back and put his hands up. ‘No. This is a west coast product. It’s not going to look like every other Atco album with the second-hand Milton Glasser illustrations. No. we’re gonna do something different.’”  

     November saw the release of Buffalo Springfield Again, a defining moment in L.A. music history; like Brian Wilson before them, the Springfield meshed song craft with new recording techniques, elevating the music to a rarefied state of eloquence. 

Daniel Weizmann (Author): Sweet, lilting, and hypnotic, ‘Rock and Roll Woman’ by Stephen Stills was based on a jam session he had with Byrd-man David Crosby. Rumor has it that it's an ode to Jefferson Airplane's Grace Slick. True or not, the character he portrays was ultra-fresh in '67--a free-spirited woman that is not a fan or a muse. She herself has total rock and roll agency. 

    “For my money, ‘Mr. Soul’ is about Dylan--whether or not Neil Young intended it that way. Young wrote it in five minutes at the UCLA Medical Center where he was recovering from a bad epilepsy episode. The dark clown / icon on a bad trip death wish, lost in the hall of mirrors that is fame channels the Man Behind the Shades, and delivers a tragic flipside to the bright comedy of the Byrds' ‘So You Wanna Be a Rock and Roll Star.’ All over the "Satisfaction" riff turned inside-out no less.

    “But both ‘Rock and Roll Woman’ and ‘Mr. Soul’ illustrate how Buffalo Springfield rep a new self-conscious sophistication, a kind of ‘meta-rock’ energy never before seen. 

     “Earlier L.A. bands like the Byrds, Love, and the Standells exposed their secret innocence with every move--even when they were mugging blue-steel looks for the camera, Stones-style. Some of those bands contained members that looked like they'd wandered in straight from the local soda fountain. Even the Doors seem like a happy accident of youth at times, pink-cheeked college kids jamming jazz on summer break. 

     “Buffalo Springfield on the other hand came out of the box seasoned, almost a pre-super group. Many members had been around the block, had flopped out at Monkees auditions and paid bar band dues. They enlisted Sonny & Cher's management team and could pull off a full-force live show. Who else could play a complex jam like "Bluebird"--a pop-soul-folk blowout with acid rock frenzy, Gabor Szabo-style meanderings, and dense harmonies, all cascading into an Appalachian banjo denouement? They were almost like the last soldiers standing on the Sunset Strip, and their composure was ahead of its time, the birth of rustic rock royalty.”


Mark Guerrero: “Blue Bird”- a great rocker with folk overtones that features a fantastic vocal and acoustic guitar solo by Stills and rocking electric guitar solos by Neil and Stephen.  When played live they would extend the song with longer solos and rock the house.  ‘Hung Upside Down’- a great song about being down and confused that features Richie Furay singing the slow verses with his incredibly smooth and clean voice and Stills coming in on the choruses at his rocking best.  Here were two of the best singers going in rock in their primes singing lead on the same track. 

   “‘Rock and Roll Woman’ shows Stills at his best as a singer and songwriter.  It features a repeating acoustic double stop guitar lick that’s joined by a three-part vocal harmony doing the same figure that becomes the background to Stills’ edgy lead vocal.  It’s a one of a kind song that also has great instrumental sections that typify the Buffalo Springfield’s unique style.

    “I saw a riveting live performance of ‘Rock and Roll Woman’ at Cal State Los Angeles in 1967. It was a show stopper.  During this period, I had a band called The Men from S.O.U.N.D who was very popular in East Los Angeles.  We regularly played ‘Mr. Soul,’ ‘Rock and Roll Woman,’ ‘Hung Upside Down,’ and ‘Bluebird,’ which we would extend to 20 minutes or a half an hour at times.  We absolutely loved doing these songs.” 

Kirk Silsbee: There was nothing like ‘Expecting to Fly' at the time, even within the Beatles' canon.  It’s rubato, without a set tempo.  We hadn't heard anything like this in a pop context.  Neil had an odd voice, and though we'd heard him sing, this tune brought out a ghostly side of him with that floating/spacey intimate as material.”

     “‘Broken Arrow' was Neil’s SMiLE.  The self-referential obsession found in ‘Broken Arrow’ wasn't something we were used to hearing from these musicians--not just the Springfield but all of the musicians in the genre who were laying themselves open to examination.  Dylan talked about other people and he crawled up their asses with microscopes.  But he didn’t talk about himself.  Then Neil Young laid himself open, rolled up his sleeves, showed his tracks marks the way Miles Davis did on ‘It Never Entered My Mind.’   Neil wasn't afraid to show himself as vulnerable, or scared on Jack Nitzsche's sonic highway.  But the orchestration has Nitzsche responding to the words and the spare chords that Neil gave him.”

Little Steven Van Zandt: I saw Buffalo Springfield [November 1967] at a college here [in New York] with the Youngbloods and the Soul Survivors. It was a great show.”     

   During spring 1968, Buffalo Springfield were trapped in what looked to be a scene right out of the 1961 episode of The Twilight Zone Rod Sterling and team had written. Five Characters in Search of an Exit, based on a theme from a Luigi Pirandello play, Six Characters in Search of an Author and Jean- Paul Sarte’s No Exit.         

Dickie Davis: Going on tour with the Buffalo was getting together. By that time we hardly spoke to each other while we were in town. When we were on the road everybody started playing together and going to each other’s rooms and working on songs and being friends again. And we tightened up. One of the reasons I think that Neil left the band at one point was because he didn’t want to go back on tour to get tight with them again. Because if that happened in town we drifted apart. On tour we became friends again.”

   And on May 5, 1968, Buffalo Springfield voluntarily fled from their stage stable and became a mythical fable.  

James Cushing: As far as Buffalo Springfield breaking up after the last show in Long Beach California, I was so into their music I was into denial they had broken up. Or I figured it was just a temporary re-arrangement. They were all alive and still living in town. I wasn’t sitting shiva for Buffalo Springfield. I was waiting for some local deejay one late night to announce their reformation.”      

    “The Buffalo Springfield just sort of snuck UP on everybody,” summarized drummer/writer Paul Body in a 2018 email. “From ’66 until they shattered like glass, they were everywhere or seemed to be.

   “Saw them open for the Stones in the Summer of ’66. All fringe and cowboy hats. I seem to remember them doing ‘Nowadays, Clancy Can’t Even Sing.’ Saw them at the Whisky with the Daily Flash opening for them. They were just part of that magic Summer. By the time ’67 rolled around the first album was out and then there was that little riot on the Sunset Strip that the Springfield immortalized in ‘For What It’s Worth.’ Saw them at the Monterey International Pop Festival and they were pretty good. The long version of ‘Bluebird’ was played all Summer. For some reason that version wasn't put on the album.

    “It was a great look into the future, a future that never came because by ’68, there was a drug bust and they went their separate ways. For about 2 years, there was a Buffalo Springfield Stampede and then the flame was gone. For two years they were as good as it got to be.”

        On July 30, 1968, Last Time Around, a posthumous album by Buffalo Springfield that was recorded February-May of ’68, materialized. When Last Time Around came out in July 1968, the band members were in the midst of transitioning to new projects: Stills famously joined David Crosby and Graham Nash in CSN; Young went solo; and Furay started Poco with Jim Messina, who produced Last Time Around and played bass on two of the songs.

Richie Furay: And always remember Bruce Palmer’s bass playing. What an interesting melodic bass player. Only played the notes he had to play.  Dewey Martin our drummer.  I got him ‘Good Time Boy’ so he wouldn’t have to do ‘Midnight Hour.’”

     Pete Johnson in The Los Angeles Times praised the platter: “Within the Springfield were three of the best pop songwriters, singers, and guitarists to be found in any American rock group. I have never seen a group use three guitars as tastefully as they do, weaving a finely detailed fabric whose pattern never blurred from overlapping.”

    In the short three year life span of the Buffalo Springfield, Last Time Around was their last piece of original work--their swan song as the title so-implies,” offered Gene Aguilera, East L.A. music historian and author (Latino Boxing in Southern California and Mexican American Boxing in Los Angeles).   

    “Well-known for their ego battles, subtle clues in the LP's art work gives a glimpse into their break-up.  A pronounced crack on the front cover separates Neil Young from the rest of the group; though on this final LP, Neil penned two of his finest works:  ‘I Am a Child’ and the opener ‘On The Way Home.’ The back cover further shows the group's fragile state, as individual band member photos are cut-out to form a fractured montage; and a snippet of a Los Angeles Times article on the Springfield's Topanga Canyon drug bust delivers the band's final eulogy. 

    “By the time of the album's release, original bass player Bruce Palmer was gone; enter Jim Messina (formerly of surf band Jim Messina & His Jesters; later of Poco) to serve as Buffalo Springfield's producer, recording engineer, and bass player.  Adding to the wounds, a bizarre contest by local radio station KHJ-AM for listeners to submit their poetry to be used as lyrics for a new Springfield song became the opening track of side two, ‘The Hour of Not Quite Rain.’

    “All was not lost in the delivery though, as the Springfield broke up releasing their most beautiful and compelling album yet (containing such gems as ‘Kind Woman,’ ‘On The Way Home,’ ‘Pretty Girl Why); at the same time curtailing Richie Furay's rise as a writer, singer, and performer within the band.  


    “Soon after, my hair was getting good in the back as I walked the streets of East L.A. wearing thrift store plaid cowboy shirts in a living testament to one of my favorite albums and groups.”


Richie Furay: Everything happened so fast. We were young. We were new. When we did a six week house band stint at The Whisky we thought we had no competition. It’s pretty incredible, isn’t it? Five young guys who brought five different elements together. When we put out stuff together, it was like ‘here’s what I want to contribute to your song, Stephen and Neil.’  We took elements of folk, blues, and country and we established our own sound. We were pioneers, and I see that.  

    “As far as Buffalo Springfield’s catalog, why it still reaches people, I guess it has to be the songs. Buffalo Springfield was very eclectic. I mean, we reached into so many genres.   Look, the original five members of Buffalo Springfield couldn’t be replaced.  There were nine people out of the Springfield in two years. Jimmy Messina came in late in the game and did a fine job. I worked with him on Last Time Around.

    “I think we’re one of the most popular, mysterious American bands. The mystique has lasted for some reason.  Two years, a monster anthem hit of the ‘60s, but no one really knew us. Neil has gone on to become an icon, Stephen has made enormous contributions, CS&N, and look at me into Poco, which I believe opened the doors for the contemporary country rock sound. Our legacy speaks for itself.”

Stampede by Buffalo Springfield
(Courtesy of Rodney Bingenheimer)

"Neil Young: Heart of Gold" by Harvey Kubernik

Thrasher's Wheat just recently published two highly popular articles by Harvey Kubernik:  

Harvey Kubernik is the author of 19 books, including Canyon Of Dreams: The Magic And The Music Of Laurel Canyon and Turn Up The Radio! Rock, Pop and Roll In Los Angeles 1956-1972. Sterling/Barnes and Noble in 2018 published Harvey and Kenneth Kubernik’s The Story Of The Band: From Big Pink To The Last Waltz. For 2021 they are writing a multi-narrative book on Jimi Hendrix for the same publisher.

Otherworld Cottage Industries in July 2020 has just published Harvey’s 508-page book, Docs That Rock, Music That Matters, featuring Kubernik interviews with D.A. Pennebaker, Albert Maysles, Murray Lerner, Morgan Neville, Michael Lindsay-Hogg, Andrew Loog Oldham, John Ridley, Curtis Hanson, Dick Clark, Travis Pike, Allan Arkush, and David Leaf, among others.

In 1966 and ’67 Harvey Kubernik saw Buffalo Springfield in two of their Southern California concerts and attended debut Neil Young solo concerts in the region.

UK-based Palazzo Editions arranged Harvey’s music and recording study, an illustrated history book, Neil Young, Heart of Gold published in 2015, by Hal Leonard (US), Omnibus Press (UK), Monte Publishing (Canada), and Hardie Grant (Australia), coinciding with Young’s 70th birthday. A German edition was published in 2016.

In 2020 Harvey served as Consultant on Laurel Canyon: A Place In Time documentary directed by Alison Ellwood which debuted om May 2020 on the EPIX/MGM television channel. It was just nominated for Three Emmy nominations.

Harvey served as Consulting Producer on the 2010 singer-songwriter documentary, Troubadours directed by Morgan Neville. The film screened at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival in the documentary category. PBS-TV broadcast the movie in their American Masters series.

Harvey Kubernik, Henry Diltz and Gary Strobl collaborated with ABC-TV in 2013 for their Emmy-winning one hour Eye on L.A. Legends of Laurel Canyon hosted by Tina Malave.

Kubernik’s writings are in several book anthologies, most notably The Rolling Stone Book Of The Beats and Drinking With Bukowski. He was the project coordinator of the recording set The Jack Kerouac Collection.

Kubernik has just penned a back cover book jacket endorsement for author Michael Posner’s book on Leonard Cohen that Simon & Schuster, Canada, will be publishing this fall 2020, Leonard Cohen, Untold Stories: The Early Years).

Deja Vu Photo Composites
via Susan Miller 

Interview w/ Author Harvey Kubernik on Neil Young Turns 70

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At 8/22/2020 05:56:00 PM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

@Thrasher, These Kubernick posts hold some gems, yet I fear are a little too long and not organized enough to be thoroughly readable. Even the shifting typefaces that occasionally creep in are distracting. Please understand, I intend this as constructive criticism.

Fussiness, aside, however, this post is the way to contextualize and celebrate The Springfield's legacy. Much more effective than worrying about what Stills does today with a song that he, after all, wrote. Imho, Stills' tic-toc to the DNC will go down as a footnote in Springfield history; it shows a man who acts on the strength of his convictions, but certainly doesn't lessen or in any way alter of the song across the last 50 years of American history.

DNC, RNC--it's all political theatre, as I've mentioned before. I have no fundamental investment, or "faith", in the DNC or any political party. So those trying to shift the argument or score points by laundry listing the DNC's greatest misses are barking up the wrong tree with me, missing the point(s) about what I'm really trying to discuss. Or worse, they are ignoring substance in favor of easy strawmen. Regardless, lazy ideological posturing is what I take exception to. And, imho, it's much more corrosive to discourse than Neil making a few pleasant, but inconsequential, remarks about the DNC.

In those comments, I sense some of the "zeal of the convert" in the context of Neil's newfound citizenship--but also, look back at his comments on Reagan or even the early years of the Bush II administration. It's clear to me, and Nash's leery indications to the contrary notwithstanding, that Neil is capable--at times--of being a team player. I read his recent comments in that spirit, and to say anything more about that specifically seems like a case of mountains and molehills.

Without getting too dry here about politics, primaries are essentially intra-party exercises, in which a specific party organization coalesces to select its preferred candidates. These parties exist, when you strip away everything else, to build electoral coalitions and finance candidates and campaigns. The problem isn't necessarily with primaries--which, in a narrow sense, can give voters more say than they'd otherwise have over the choice of candidates--but the fact that there are, particularly in the US, very few (two) powerful political parties guarding the lion's share of electoral power between them, significantly limiting realistic options for the voter.

My ideal scenario would involve the Green Party emerging as a national force to rival Democrats, while the Republicans splinter, with the genuine small-government, free enterprise libertarians decisively and permanently breaking from the religious right. Something like that could open up the marketplace of ideas to pluralistic possibilities, creating multiple parties that might actually be functional and palatable to cross-sections of the public, giving voters several nuanced options instead of having to line up one side or the other.

Of course, all this would make it more difficult for parties to build the massive, tenuous coalitions (some would call these Faustian bargains) that make it easier to get first past the post.

The point, for me, is to build and maintain a system in which we all can participate and from which everyone can gain by pooling resources to mutual benefit. It's vital to uphold individual liberties, but simultaneously no one can do all of it alone. What is democracy, what is our ongoing investment in civic institutions and economic development if not an affirmation that, insofar as we rely on one another's labors on a daily basis, we need to work together?


At 8/23/2020 02:19:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

Meta Rocker - thanks for input. Yes, these very long pieces do push the limits of basic blogging software.

mainly, these are input from other publishing software platforms and require considerable effort to merge. This isn't a cut & paste exercise.

Mainly in the interest of just getting it shared we opted for the less than perfect result. We'd like to re-run some day in smaller chapters w/ more visuals. someday we have the time maybe.

To the other points. Many solid observations on the flawed 2 party system which we've devolved to in the U.S. Now, it's mainly divide and conquer rhetoric between Blue-Red/Right-Left/Dem-Repub -- a big smokescreen game.

Sadly, it seems that both "sides" work for "The Powers That Be" that Neil specifically cited in "Children of Destiny".

Your conclusion is spot on that we all must make the personal, ongoing investment in civic institutions. It's not vote once every 4 years and be done with it.

It's a constant, daily involvement.

we get out what we put in.but folks are waking up ...


At 8/25/2020 07:27:00 PM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

@thrasher, the big balancing act seems to be between individual and collective/community. That's why the phrase "personal responsibility" is slightly odd to me. The whole notion of responsibility, to me, implies a (social) contract of some sort between two or more parties. What is there to be responsible for, other than how our choices and actions affect one another? Responsibility is the principle of removing onus from others by putting it on oneself, or at the very least, an agreement to share that burden. It's thus inherently a social idea, one that recognizes and acknowledges the ways in which we interact and share vital resources with each other.

Or, to put it in a linguistic context, there's no responsibility without response. Like all forms of moral code, it's a social construct, the first principles of which are some level of coexistence and cooperation. We humans wouldn't have gotten nearly so far as we have (which is further than it may sometimes seem like) if groups hadn't worked together. Maybe our most outstanding developmental tool, as humans, is the faculty to (eventually) recognize and cultivate this.



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Willie for a Nobel!

Willie Nelson for Nobel Peace Prize
for Farm Aid and his work on
alternative fuels, and world peace initiatives.

Farm Aid

Go Farmers Markets!

"In the >field< of opportunity
It's plowin' time again."

Silverline Communications

(Home of the FarmAidians)
Tecumseh, Ontario, Canada
(519) 737-7979

This blog supports free speech!

Demand justice for Aaron:
Support "Aaron's Law" and inquiry into his prosecution

(... he didn't kill himself either...) #AaronDidntKillHimself

Induct Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Please Help Support Independent Media &
Non-Corporate Advertising
This Blog's For You!

The Hypocrisy of the Mainstream Media

It's Been Called The
"Missing Link" in the Ditch Trilogy


Sign the Release "Time Fades Away" Petition
Join The 10,000+ Who Have Already Signed


Neil Young Appreciation Society

Sugar Mountain

Neil Young Setlists
Rust Radio


Bands Covering Neil Young songs


Official Neil Young News Site

The Bridge School

The Bridge School Concerts
25th Anniversary Edition

**100% of Proceeds to Benefit Bridge School***

The Essential Neil Young

Fans Favorite Neil Albums

Top 50 MP3
Neil Young Song Downloads

Top 10 Best Selling Neil Albums Today
Support Thrasher's Wheat
via Purchases from:
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Neil Young Songbook Project

In the fields of wheat

"Children of Destiny" will NOT be harvested
However, the chaff will be burned by unquenchable fire

Neil Young + Promise of the Real

Europe 2016 Tour Dates

2015 Rebel Content Tour

Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Alchemy Concert Tour Reviews

Fall 2012 N. America Tour
Spring 2013 Australia/New Zealand Tour
Summer 2013 Europe Tour

Europe Summer 2014 Concert Tour
Neil Young & Crazy Horse

Thrasher's Wheat Radio Supporters Go To Europe

Neil Young Films

2010 MusiCares Honors Neil Young

Features Elvis Costello, Crosby Stills & Nash, Sheryl Crow, Josh Groban, Ben Harper, Elton John, Norah Jones, Lady Antebellum, Dave Matthews, James Taylor, Keith Urban, and others.
Proceeds from sales go to MusiCares,
which helps musicians in need of
financial and medical assistance.


"There's more to the picture
Than meets the eye"



Neil Young FAQ:
Everything Left to Know About the Iconic and Mercurial Rocker
"an indispensable reference"

Paul McCartney and Neil Young


"You can make a difference
If you really a try"

John Lennon and Neil Young

"hailed by fans as a wonderful read"

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young:
The Supergroup of the 20th Century

Director Jonathan Demme's Exquisite film "Heart of Gold"

eddie & neil
Eddie Vedder and Neil Young

Revisiting The Significance of
The Buffalo Springfield

"The revolution will not be televised"
... it will be blogged, streamed,
tweeted, shared and liked
The Embarrassment of Mainstream Media

Turn Off Your TV & Have A Life

"Everything Is Bullshit" +
"Turn Off The News"
Turn Off the News (Build a Garden)

Neil Young 2016 Year in Review:
The Year of The Wheat

Kurt Cobain
Kurt Cobain and Neil Young

Neil Young's Feedback:
An Acquired Taste?

Young Neil: The Sugar Mountain Years
by Rustie Sharry "Keepin' Jive Alive in T.O." Wilson

"the definitive source of Neil Young's formative childhood years in Canada"

neil & joni
Joni Mitchell & Neil Young

europe 1987.jpg

Bob and Neil

So Who Really Was "The Godfather of Grunge"?

Four Dead in Ohio
kent state
So What Really Happened at Kent State?

The Four Dead in Ohio

May The FOUR Be With You #MayThe4thBeWithYou


dissent is not treason
Dissent is the highest form of patriotism

Rockin' In The Free World

Sing Truth to Power!
When Neil Young Speaks Truth To Power,
The World Listens

Emmylou Harris and Neil Young

Wilco and Neil Young


Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young


Elton John and Neil Young

Lynyrd Skynyrd and Neil Young


The Meaning of "Sweet Home Alabama" Lyrics

Neil Young Nation -
"The definitive Neil Young fan book"

What does the song mean?

Random Neil Young Link of the Moment

Bonnie Raitt and Neil Young

I'm Proud to Be A Union Man


When Neil Young is Playing,
You Shut the Fuck Up

Class War:
They Started It and We'll Finish It...

A battle raged on the open page...
No Fear, No Surrender. Courage

"What if Al Qaeda blew up the levees?"
Full Disclousre Now

"I've Got The Revolution Blues"

Willie Nelson & Neil Young
Willie Nelson for Nobel Peace Prize

John Mellencamp:
Why Willie Deserves a Nobel



Love and Only Love

"Thinking about what a friend had said,
I was hoping it was a lie"

We're All On
A Journey Through the Past

Neil Young's Moon Songs
Tell Us The F'n TRUTH
(we can handle it... try us)

Does Anything Else Really Matter?

"Nobody's free until everybody's free."
~~ Fannie Lou Hamer

Here Comes "The Big Shift"

Maybe everything you think you know is wrong? NOTHING IS AS IT SEEMS
"It's all illusion anyway."

Propaganda = Mind Control
Guess what?
"Symbols Rule the World, not Words or Laws."
... and symbolism will be their downfall...

Brighter Planet's 350 Challenge
Be The Rain, Be The Change

the truth will set you free
This Machine Kills Fascists

"Children of Destiny" - THE Part of THE Solution

(Frame from Official Music Video)

war is not the answer
yet we are
Still Living With War

"greed is NOT good"
Hey Big Brother!
Stop Spying On Us!
Civic Duty Is Not Terrorism

The Achilles Heel
Orwell (and Grandpa) Was Right
“Emancipate yourself from mental slavery.”
~~ Bob Marley

The Essence of "The Doubters"

Yes, There's Definitely A Hole in The Sky

Even Though The Music Died 50+ Years Ago
Open Up the "Tired Eyes" & Wake up!
"consciousness is near"
What's So Funny About
Peace, Love, & Understanding & Music?


Show Me A Sign

"Who is John Galt?"
To ask the question is to know the answer

"Whosoever shall give up his liberty for a temporary security
deserves neither liberty nor safety."

~~ Benjamin Franklin


(Between the lines of age)

And in the end, the love you take
Is equal to the love you make

~~ John & Paul

the zen of neil
the power of rust
the karma of the wheat