Dewey Martin, drummer for the short-lived but long-resonating rock band Buffalo Springfield whose career after the group split never ignited like those of his former band mates Neil Young and Stephen Stills, has died. He was 68.
He was found dead Sunday by a roommate in his Van Nuys apartment, longtime friend Lisa Lenes said Thursday. The cause of death has not been determined. "We believe it was natural causes," Lenes said, adding that he had suffered health problems in recent years and performed publicly only sporadically.
FOR THE RECORD:
Dewey Martin: The obituary of Buffalo Springfield drummer Dewey Martin in Friday's California section gave the title of the song "For What It's Worth (Stop, Hey What's That Sound)" as just "For What It's Worth." —
Martin was one of the founding members, along with Young, Stills, singer-songwriter-guitarist Richie Furay and bassist Bruce Palmer, of Buffalo Springfield, a key progenitor of country-rock music. The group existed for just two years and recorded only three studio albums before disbanding amid rising tensions and musical ambitions of the band's talented but explosive leaders.
In his autobiography "Shakey," Young praised Martin's musical sensitivity. "You get harder, he hits harder. You pull back, he hits back. He can feel the music -- you don't have to tell him."
"It's a great loss," Micky Dolenz, drummer for the Monkees, said Thursday. Dolenz said he became close friends with Martin in the late '60s when both were working in and around Hollywood. "We never worked together, we just hung out a lot. We went to shows together at the Whisky and the Troubadour. He was a great drummer -- it's a well-known fact. And he was a really nice guy."
Martin played on Buffalo Springfield songs including "For What It's Worth (Stop, Hey What's That Sound)," "Mr. Soul," "Rock 'N' Roll Woman" and "Broken Arrow." He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the group in 1997.
"He didn't want to go to the induction," Lenes said. "But I told him, 'You need to be there, you need to be acknowledged.' When I saw him on TV, it was so great."
When Buffalo Springfield broke up, Young launched a solo career that's still going strong 40 years later; Stills moved on to Crosby, Stills & Nash (and sometimes Young) and Furay formed Poco, another early country-rock outfit. Martin's fortunes remained closely tied over the years to his time with Buffalo Springfield.
FOR THE RECORD:
An earlier version of this article gave the title of the song "For What It's Worth (Stop, Hey What's That Sound)" as just "For What It's Worth."