Dewey Martin, drummer for the groundbreaking but notoriously feuding and short-lived rock pioneers Buffalo Springfield, was found dead Feb. 1 in Van Nuys, Calif. He was 68.
The cause of death has not been determined.
Martin and his bandmates — Neil Young, Stephen Stills, Richie Furay and Bruce Palmer — formed the group in Los Angeles in 1966, carving out a unique sound that melded elements of country, folk and rock. Their first single, 1967’s “For What It’s Worth,” captured the zeitgeist of youth culture, touching on themes of community, paranoia and the generation gap and becoming a top 10 hit and rock staple.
But that was the band’s lone national success, and its famously sparring members called it quits in 1968 after only three albums — none of which made the top 40. Nonetheless, the group heavily influenced the country-rock scene of the early ’70s.
Martin played on all of the band’s songs, which also included “Bluebird,” “Mr. Soul,” “Rock ‘N’ Roll Woman” and “On the Way Home.” Its second album, “Buffalo Springfield Again,” ranked No. 188 on Rolling Stone’s list of greatest rock albums. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.
Martin attempted to keep the band’s name alive after its split, recruiting members for the New Buffalo Springfield. But lawsuits by Young and Stills prevented them from using the name.
Bassist Palmer and Martin played the oldies circuit during the mid-’80s and early ’90s as Buffalo Springfield Revisited. Martin also formed other bands that failed to catch on.
Young wrote fondly of Martin in his autobiography, “Sharkey”: “You get harder, he hits harder. You pull back, he hits back. He can feel the music — you don’t have to tell him.”