Dewey Martin, the drummer for Buffalo Springfield, the short-lived but influential 1960s California rock band that spawned the careers of Neil Young and Stephen Stills, was found dead on Feb. 1 in his apartment in Van Nuys, Calif. He was 68.
A roommate found his body , a friend, Lisa Lenes, told The Los Angeles Times. The cause has not been determined, the newspaper said; Ms. Lenes said he had had health problems in recent years.
Buffalo Springfield, which also included Richie Furay and Bruce Palmer, who died in 2004, was a “pivotal rock group with an organic, home-grown musical approach that reverberated beyond the ’60s,” the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame says on its Web site, rockhall.com. Mr. Martin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, along with the rest of the band, in 1997.
Along with the Byrds, the group helped establish the folk-rock and country-rock movements that gave birth to Poco, the Eagles and Jackson Browne.
While Mr. Martin never achieved the fame that Mr. Young and Mr. Stills later attained, he played on all of Buffalo Springfield’s songs, including “Rock & Roll Woman,” “On the Way Home,” “Mr. Soul” and “For What It’s Worth.”
“For What It’s Worth,” written by Mr. Stills — with its chorus, “Stop, children, what’s that sound? Everybody look what’s going down” — chronicled the social unrest of the late 1960s. It reached No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1967.
The band broke up in 1968 after two years and three albums. Mr. Martin later tried to capitalize on his connection to his more famous bandmates when he toured with groups called Buffalo Springfield Revisited and Buffalo Springfield Again in the 1980s and ’90s.
Dewey Martin was born Walter Milton Dewayne Midkiff on Sept. 30, 1940, in Chesterville, Canada, near Ottawa, according to the Web site of the rock historian Nick Warburton, nickwarburton.com. He moved to the United States, first to Nashville, then to Southern California, where the Byrds had helped create the growing folk-rock sound.
This is my favorite Buffalo Springfield song performed by The Muppets in one of my all-time favorite skits from that show (Gosh I really do miss “The Muppet Show.”) This is for you Mr. Martin. R.I.P sir.
And here is a partial clip of the Springfield performing the song, in1967, on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. Enjoy.