Buffalo Springfield

  • Biography:

    During its brief and stormy lifetime, Buffalo Springfield broke ground for what became country rock. After the band's dissolution, several members found success in Poco; Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young; Loggins and Messina; and as solo artists.

    Furay and Stills had played together, as had Canadians Young and Palmer, before the four hooked up in L.A. in 1966 to form Buffalo Springfield (named after a steamroller). Originally called the Herd, they added Martin on drums and vocals.

    After a stint as the house band at the Whisky-a-Go-Go and touring with the Byrds, Springfield inked a deal with Atlantic and released its first album in 1967. Stills' "For What It's Worth" (#7, 1967) gave the group its biggest hit. By the time of its second album, Springfield was a major group coming apart at the seams. After Palmer was deported (following a drug bust) and producer Jim Messina was added on bass, and amid persistent squabbling between Stills and Young (who quit in May 1967, only to rejoin four months later), the group disbanded in May 1968. When Last Time Around was released later that year, each of the members was on his own. Martin kept the band's name alive with hired musicians and then had an abortive solo career. Stills and Young were successful in the 1970s with CSN&Y [see entry] and solo work. Short-term bassist Jim Fielder joined Blood, Sweat and Tears [see entry], while Messina and Furay formed Poco [see entry] with pedal-steel guitarist Rusty Young, who had played on Springfield's final album; Messina went on to the duo Loggins and Messina [see entry]. Later in the '80s, Furay became a pastor for a Christian fellowship. In 1997 Buffalo Springfield was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; Young did not attend the ceremony. The long-awaited Buffalo Springfield box set was finally released in 2001.

    Portions of this biography appeared in The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll (Simon & Schuster, 2001).