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Review: Buffalo Springfield added “Flying on the Ground Is Wrong” at Bonnaroo

At least according to this review at spinner.com

Buffalo Springfield Have Their Greatest Night Ever at Bonnaroo

“We’re Buffalo Springfield . We’re from the past!” shouted singer Richie Furay at the top of his lungs, when the recently reunited band took the main stage at Bonnaroo on Saturday night. And he was right: this band has been gone for a very, very long time. Their last studio album was released in 1968. It’s been decades since their last tour. But that didn’t matter for this show. No, at this performance, it sounded like the classic rock legends had never taken a forty-plus-year break.

Playing almost exclusively from their three studio albums — ‘Buffalo Springfield,’ ‘Buffalo Springfield Again,’ and ‘Last Time Around’ — the group sounded in sync the entire night; surviving Buffalo Springfield members Furay, Neil Young and Stephen Stills showed exactly why the group was inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. From ‘On the Way Home’ to ‘Flying on the Ground is Wrong’ to ‘Do I Have to Come Right Out and Say It,’ they looked like they were having a blast up on stage, entertaining the tens of thousands that had come out to see them rock out.

But unfortunately, the set was not without its problems. The main complaint heard from the crowd was that the volume just wasn’t high enough. When you are pretty close to the stage at a concert for one of the more influential rock groups ever, there is no reason you should be able to have a clear and coherent conversation with your neighbor without screaming. Alas, you actually could, causing many annoyed Springfield fans to start chants of “Turn up the volume” and “Louder.” In the end, it didn’t work, and everyone had to live with what the current decibel level was at.

Yet that shouldn’t distract from the band’s overall performance. While it did lag a bit toward the middle, renditions of ‘For What It’s Worth’ (which fans didn’t immediately recognize in the beginning because it sounded a bit different) and Young’s ‘Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World,’ showed why Buffalo Springfield was a breeding ground for other iconic classic rock groups ( Crosby, Stills & Nash , Poco and Young’s many other projects and bands).

And from how Young put it at the end, it was as much an important night for Buffalo Springfield as it was for the fans: “It’s great to see you all here,” he said. “We’re lucky to be here with you. This is the greatest thing we’ve ever done.”
___________________
Thanks go to Randy S.

“There’s gonna be an ambulance”

video on the 30-days tour of the Buffalo in fall 2011:

goto: Buffalo Springfield Backstage at Bonnaroo
@ Rolling Stone.

New Buffalo songs – says The Preacher

Iconic Buffalo Springfield Stampedes Into Bonnaroo
AP, Posted on Friday June 10, 2011

Richie Furay knows a little something about miracles in his new career
as a preacher.

A Buffalo Springfield reunion may not strictly qualify as a one. But like most folks he’d written off the possibility when the band famously flamed out in 1968, ending a short but incandescent run that would ripple through music for decades to come.

“People have asked me did I think The Buffalo Springfield would ever get back together again, and my answer was a short, ‘Never, it’s not gonna happen,'” Furay said in a phone interview last Saturday before the band’s soundcheck in Los Angeles. “That old saying, ‘Never say never,’ is true.”

The surviving members of the California quintet – Furay, Stephen Stills and Neil Young – will make their only festival appearance this year on Saturday at Bonnaroo, serving as a focal point for an event heavy on bands influenced by the folk- and country-rock pioneers.

Young first broached the idea of a reunion in a song, “Buffalo Springfield Again” from 2000’s Silver & Gold , and finally reached out personally last year to invite Furay and Stills to join him at his annual Bridge School benefit concert in October.

Fans cheered the reunion and, more importantly, the band enjoyed it.
Over the years their relationships sometimes bore the lingering strain of that 1960s breakup. But not this time. Things were so much fun, they made plans for a six-date mini-tour in California to warm up for Bonnaroo and have since announced a fall tour.

There’s a harmony these days that didn’t exist during the band’s revolving-door run from 1966-68.

“Nobody’s looking for a career move or anything,” Furay said. “This isn’t a career move. This is just a bunch of guys who played music together 40 years ago having fun, readdressing the music that we played, and there’s no agendas. … Man, it’s so much more relaxed and I am going to speak for Neil and for Stephen, we’re just having fun. There’s no reason to be doing this if everyone isn’t having fun and everyone’s having fun. We knew that back at the Bridge School. It was like stepping back in time.”

And it’s an exciting time to revisit. Buffalo Springfield held together just long enough to record one album together, one album apart and enough leftovers for a third.

In these few dozen tracks is a large portion of the DNA for today’s thriving folk- and country-rock scenes. Buffalo Springfield alongside groups like The Byrds helped meld sounds no one really thought belonged together at the time. Folk purists felt rock ‘n’ roll was abusive, and rock purists didn’t want to fluff up their music. And the country guys had no idea what to make of it all.

Buffalo Springfield – which originally included bassist Bruce Palmer and drummer Dewey Martin, who have both passed away – had just one big hit in its short run, but its commercial success was inverse to its influence. Tension in the band between Young and Stills and legal problems for Palmer led to the band’s split. Young and Stills went on to success as solo artists and together in Crosby, Stills, Nash & (sometimes) Young. Furay formed the influential country-rock band Poco with latter-day Springfield member Jim Messina before forming the nondenominational Calvary Chapel in Bloomfield, Colo.

The band entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. Songs like the band’s biggest hit “For What It’s Worth,” ”Bluebird,” ”Mr. Soul” and the iconic “Broken Arrow,” performed live for the first time during the reunion, with their topical themes and open-hearted intent, still resonate with listeners today – perhaps as much as ever. The band lived during a politically tumultuous time and reappears in a time that feels just as stormy.

“Just the faces have changed,” said Furay, who now lives in Colorado.

The ideas and influences of Buffalo Springfield can be felt every year at Bonnaroo, an all-genre event that nevertheless has a soft spot for roots rock.

You could easily call bands like Mumford & Sons, My Morning Jacket, The Decemberists , Ray LaMontagne , Old Crow Medicine Show and many others in the festival’s four-day lineup distant descendants of Buffalo Springfield.

Organizers of Bonnaroo, which kicks off Thursday, think it was a coup to land the reunited act’s only festival date. It also was another chance to look forward by looking back.

“I think Bonnaroo has always been about presenting not only sort of what is current and breaking but also artists that have influenced a lot of the music that our audience is listening to,” Bonnaroo co-creator Rick Farman of Superfly Productions said. “And there’s always been a thing within sort of the rock world of looking back at the sort of predecessors, the ones who created the pathways for the new artists and sort of putting them up on a pedestal to be experienced in that way.

Saturday night’s performance will be Young’s first return to Manchester since a scorching 2003 solo show that Farman and his friends place among the top five performances in the 10-year history of the festival.

“That was a transcendent moment for the festival for I think a lot of us who produce it personally and I think for the audience,” Farman said. “So, you know, having him back and having him in this configuration is really exciting”.

Furay says it’s an exciting prospect for the band as well and perhaps just one in a long line of steps these old friends will take together. No one has committed to anything beyond the fall tour, but there are songs being written.

“We haven’t discussed, you know, ‘Hey, we’re going to sit down and we’re going to write 10 new songs,'” Furay said. “Neil’s so prolific anyway.  Stephen told me the other day he had a song. I’ve been writing music. So I just think it’s obvious that something may transpire like that, it may come to pass.”

–Associated Press

__________________
thanx to Randy S.

Buffalo Springfield Backstage at Bonnaroo

POSTED: June 12, 12:45 PM ET | By Eric Helton, Matthew Murphy
ROLLING STONE

Before taking the stage in front of an incredibly enthusiastic crowd Saturday night at Bonnaroo, Buffalo Springfield’s Stephen Stills and Richie Furay sat down with Rolling Stone’s Patrick Doyle to explain how this shocking reunion came to be. “Neil and I were sitting down at lunch one day and were were talking about ‘let’s do something fun,'” Stills recalls. “I said, ‘let’s do Buffalo Springfield a the Bridge School.'” That was their first appearance anywhere since breaking up in 1968 – and it went so well they booked a bunch of dates this year that includes Bonnaroo. Stills thought that some of the younger fans at the festival might not know who they are. “They’re going to go, ‘wow, those old guys, look at them,'” he says. “‘Mommy, who is that old man?'”

Furay – who now works as a pastor at a Colorado church – is thrilled at the chance to create music with his old friends again after so many years. “It’s really neat to reconnect with these guys,” he says. “When we were young we didn’t know what we were doing. I don’t remember the bickering and the fighting…I think people want to add something that wasn’t there because lots of times it’s more fun if there’s a little dirt.” Furay says that the band has “30-plus” dates for the fall – a number the freaks Stills out. “They better have a break in there,” he says. “If we had this much trouble with six, I can’t imagine 30.”

:: Video of the discussion at rollingstone.com.

Concert Review: Bob Lefsetz/Santa Barbara County Bowl

Gillian Welch played “White Rabbit”.

It was that kind of night. One of memories. Most aged bands try to pretend only the audience got old. They get plastic surgery, dye their hair, try to look like it’s still the sixties or seventies when the audience has gray hair, pot bellies and bad backs. Aging is not pretty, but it’s better than the alternative. A fate that has met two of the original members of Buffalo Springfield. They’re dead.

But we’re not.

So we journeyed up into the hills of Santa Barbara to a venue built as a WPA project that eclipses all those modern buildings sponsored by raping and pillaging corporations that pull their names when they get busted or go out of business. The Bowl has legroom. It’s not that people were fatter in the thirties, quite the opposite, but back then it wasn’t solely about the money. You didn’t want to be squished in together with your brethren at an artistic event, you wanted to be able to spread out and enjoy it.

And one can enjoy even silence at the Santa Barbara County Bowl. The venue is just that spectacular. With surrounding greenery and a view of the Pacific… If all venues were this special the concert business would be flourishing.

Not that tickets were cheap. There’s been some audience resistance. Do you really want to spend two hundred bucks to see an act whose material you don’t really know? Oh, they knew the hit, they knew everything from “Retrospective”, the greatest hits compilation we all went out and bought after devouring “Crosby, Stills & Nash” and needed more, and they played “Rock and Roll Woman” and “Mr. Soul” and “Broken Arrow” and “Bluebird” but the highlight was still…

“For What It’s Worth”.

Stills can barely sing.

But he sure can play.

But when he laid into the groove and Neil added the flourish it was like a six lane highway opened from 1968 to today. You could see who you once were without forgetting who you are today.

I saw the Buffalo Springfield. In ’68. At Fordham University. With Arlo Guthrie and the Union Gap. Back when they were running on the fumes of their one hit, not long before they broke up.

History has been rewritten. At the time, Buffalo Springfield was a one hit wonder. It was only after the fact that we went back and realized how great, how meaningful their songs were.

And they’re frozen in time. All there is is the sixties material. Still extant bands play the new stuff and pay lip service to the old, maybe do a medley, but these ancient songs are all Buffalo Springfield’s got. So it’s either embrace ’em or don’t play ’em.

These cats played ’em.

But they did not play ’em like they did back when. They did not play them like they had something to prove. You know, you know, when the band gets on stage and assaults you, tries to evidence their importance, tries to convince you they matter, usually by turning it up to the point where you can’t even hear yourself think, never mind speak to your neighbor.

No, this was like some old friends got back together in the basement and you were lucky enough to be there. They were smiling and remembering not only when, but who they used to be.

Come on, you played in the basement. You saw the Beatles on TV and bought a guitar and an amp, maybe a drum kit, and put away the board games and after just a smidgen of practice called your buddies over to play, to form a band.

You played the Stones’ “Last Time”, because it was easy.

And you played that stinging note from “For What It’s Worth”. Because it was easy too.

But writing it was really hard.

Most people gave up playing. But some soldiered on. They came to Hollywood and formed bands. The concept that these cats could all be in the same act is mindboggling, the egos! But for a time they were.

And they tried to break through, but they just couldn’t manage it, they broke up, after the hit, after the arguments, they just gave up trying.

It killed us when our favorite acts disintegrated, but musicians are always looking for the next situation, they want to grow, they don’t want to entombed in the past.

But it can be a fun place to visit.

And at first they were a little bit rough.

But it was when Neil Young did a blistering “Mr. Soul” that everything locked into place.

And “I Am A Child” made us swoon. To be singing the words of who you once were not with shame, but irony.

And Neil was irreverent. Like we showed up at his house and it wasn’t really a show.

But what truly brought the memories back was “Bluebird”.

I prefer the version off the first James Gang album. But in any iteration, it’s a killer.

Stills wailed. Neil joined in. They were making a racket. That’s what bands used to do. If no one was telling you to turn it down, you weren’t doing it right.

Still, “For What It’s Worth” was the highlight. Because of the sound, because of the memories, because of the words.

“There’s something happening here
What it is ain’t exactly clear”

This couplet runs through my head more than any other. Seemingly every single day. There’s more happening than ever, what does it mean?

Lady GaGa is the toast of the town one week and then puts up a disastrous second week number and most of the press has moved on. Could it be that the press just doesn’t count? Or record sales don’t count? Or..?

We’ve got a political party that is all about the rich but gets the poor to align with it by pushing social issues. Huh?
We’ve got more innovation in tech than music. Steve Jobs is a bigger rock star than any musician. Musicians are just pawns in the game. Of Jimmy Iovine, Simon Cowell, Mark Burnett… Used to be musicians were only beholden to a higher power.

Not anymore.

Even the oldsters. They just want to know where to sell out.

But not Neil Young. We love him because he never did it our way, never did it any way but his own. Sure, it’s great he won’t tie up with corporations, won’t do ads, but you can’t name a single act in the history of the business who broke through on soft music and then booked an arena tour and plugged in and played all new material shattering the audience’s expectations, demolishing his mainstream career overnight.

And Richie Furay gave up. When do you do this? Buffalo Springfield, Poco, Souther/Hillman/Furay”…he was always close but never broke through, he became a minister and waited for the music to come back to him.

And Stephen Stills. Who practiced so hard and got so good that he almost didn’t need anybody else, and told us, which made him look arrogant and negatively impacted his career, but he was really that good. The first solo was a disappointment after CSNY, but listen to it today and you’ll be blown away. And that first Manassas album is an unheralded masterpiece.

And now it’s all these years later.

Nobody over fifty can have a hit.

It’s questionable if anybody over thirty can have a hit.

And what is a hit anyway?

You can chase the dream, sign a deal, make an album no one will buy, or you can retreat into the music.

Last night was about the music.

But really, it was about life.

We survived. We won. We’re a bit worse for wear. But we still smile. We still laugh. And we still pony up to go to the show.

Because we remember when it was a tribal rite. When you had to listen to the radio to know which way the wind blew. When the only way you could communicate with your brethren was to buy a ticket and go to the show.

If you’re old enough, you remember.

It was almost half a century ago. Way over forty years. In a world where you don’t even want last year’s cell phone. But back in those days music ruled the world.

Buffalo Springfield was just a little bit ahead of their time.

But now that time has come around again.

That’s what happens if you don’t shave edges, if you don’t play by the man’s rules, but your own. Neil Young still has his credibility. And on that basis we give Stephen Stills a pass, we invite him back into the club and are joyful at giving Richie Furay his due.

All these years later this music still matters.

We know this, but last night Buffalo Springfield reminded us.

______
bh racontez: — Visit the archive: lefsetz.com/wordpress/blog etc/

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by Hua Hsu, Slate.

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