Are you singing songs you haven't sung since in over 40 years?
Oh, yeah! With the Richie Furay Band I do a medley of songs that I sang on the first Buffalo Springfield album. I do a medley of Flying On the Ground Is Wrong, Do I Have To Come Right Out and Say It and Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing. I also play a version of Go and Say Goodbye because I just love that song. So with those four songs I was already familiar, but everything else was pretty much songs we haven't played for 40 years.
What do you feel when you're walking onstage with Neil and Stephen? This is something nobody thought would ever happen again.
It's awe. That's what everybody is feeling. I saw a guy this morning that said he was coming to the show tonight. He said, "I had tickets 43 years ago in Nashville to see you guys with the Beach Boys." It was within a day or two of when Martin Luther King had been shot and we'd cancelled the show. He said, "So I've been waiting 43 years to see this band play."
I'm so used to seeing Neil as the frontman. It's cool to see him sing harmonies or just play the piano. He usually isn't a utility player like that.
Neil made it clear at the first show – and certainly this was our understanding going in – that this was not Neil Young and Buffalo Springfield or Stephen Stills and Buffalo Springfield. This is Buffalo Springfield. That's the approach we're taking. It's a band and everybody fills their role. [Drummer] Joe [Vitale] and [bassist] Rick [Rosas] fill their roles too. We just share the music and the lead singing. It's a true band.
There's no agendas. That's what's really neat. I think we're way past that. I mean, we were 20-year-old kids when we started. We're doing this because we want to do it and it's fun and it's unique and because we know there's a lot of people out there that, like me, that never thought it would ever happen!
This has to be the most time the three of you have spent together since 1968.
How are you guys getting along? Is it weird after all this time?
No, there's nothing weird about it. From the moment I saw Neil at the rehearsal hall before the Bridge School we just started talking. There was nothing we had to work through or work out to get our relationship back together. None at all. Then when Stephen arrived it was the same thing. This has been a truly dynamic situation. Everybody is just feeling the same. We left the show last night and Stephen just had the biggest smile on his face. That's just the way it is.
I think this is the fun we thought we were going to have back in the Sixties. Because of circumstances, it just didn't happen. But we're having fun now. There's energy in Neil. There's energy in Stephen. There's energy in me. I feel young up there, man.
Are you at all nervous about playing Bonnaroo in front of something like 80,000 people?
I'm not. You know, sometimes it's more difficult to play in front of 80 people than it is 80,000. It's just the way it is. With the nerves of intimacy it can be much more intimidating than playing in front of a sea of people.
A lot of the reviewers have commented on how remarkably preserved your voice is. Do you attribute that to good genes or clean living or just luck?
I think that's the grace of God. No doubt about it. But I think I'm singing better than I did in 1967. There's more of a confidence there now.
Are you guys thinking about taping the shows for a live album or DVD?
Well, there's been no direct conversation that I've had, but I know the shows are being recorded. Each one.
Do you think the setlist is going to change at all? I know fans want to hear "Expecting To Fly," "Flying On the Ground Is Wrong" and a few others.
It's certainly not going to change before Bonnaroo, but I would say that by the time we go out in the fall we will probably work in five or six more songs. We'll probably work in "Flying on the Ground is Wrong," "Hung Upside Down" and "Down to the Wire." We were just going over the chord patterns to that one yesterday.
I'm sure it's hard to say at this point, but do you think that Buffalo Springfield is going to carry on in some form after this tour?
Well, I don't think you're gonna be able to say that Buffalo Springfield is an entity that you can count on continuing. I mean, there might be some special things that we do – but right now it's just one day at a time. We all have different careers, and this is what we're doing right now . . . What's most heartwarming to me is the friendships. I mean, it's just too much, man.
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