Saturday, January 2, 2010

In Memoriam: Dewey Martin

Buffalo Springfield: For What It's Worth


Drummers often go unnoticed in the guitar-driven worlds of country rock and folk rock. But you know Dewey Martin's greatest hit - that steady, subtle bass-and-hi-hat heartbeat that kicks off the world's most recognizable war protest song, listed as #63 in Rolling Stone's The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. And Martin knew the cadence well, having lost a few months of his own early career to the US Army before serving as itinerant drummer for a variety of sixties performers, from Carl Perkins, Patsy Cline, and Roy Orbison to The Dillards and The Standells, going on release a few singles of his own, and, subsequently, joining Buffalo Springfield at its inception.

Martin died in January of last year, having spent much of his life as a well-respected session musician and Buffalo Springfield revivalist, though without the pop culture name recognition of his more famous bandmates Stephen Stills, Neil Young, Jim Messina, and Richie Furay. But thanks to countless Vietnam-era protest films, his beat will live on forever.

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