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Bruce Palmer 10/2004

Bruce PalmerOctober 1, 2004Bruce Palmer (Buffalo Springfield bassist) was born in Nova Scotia on September 9, 1946. He was raised in Toronto, Canada, where he began playing music at age 10. He played in the Mynah Birds with a young Rick James, who passed away just a few months earlier, which would eventually also include fellow Canadian Neil Young. Mynah Birds auditioned for Motown Records but split when James left the band.

He went on to co-found Buffalo Springfield in April 1966 in Toronto with Young, Stephen Stills, Dewey Martin and Richie Furay. Over just 19 months in 1967 and ’68, the group established itself as a folk/country/rock pioneer, producing the transcendent political anthem “For What It’s Worth”.

Bruce left Buffalo Springfield in January 1968, and was replaced by Jim Messina, but the band was finished shortly thereafter. He went on to release a 1971 solo album for Verve, “The Cycle is Complete,” featuring James on percussion.

In 1982, Bruce re-teamed with Young to play on the album “Trans,” and paired with Martin a few years later to form Buffalo Springfield Revisited. The group’s legacy was celebrated on the 2001 eighty-eight-track Rhino retrospective “Box Set.” An enigmatic stage presence, Bruce frequently performed with his back to the audience and was often photographed with his hair covering his face.

Bruce was the mysterious one in the group,” says Furay. “You may not have always known what he was thinking as he just looked at you and smiled, but when he plugged the bass in, there was no mistaking his life was truly about the music. There’s not a person who listened to the Buffalo Springfield that wasn’t drawn to the way he played bass. He made the music move — Bruce was truly a musician’s musician. I consider it a privilege to have played with him in such a creative time in my life.”

Palmer passed away after suffering a heart attack in Bellville, Ontario on October 1, 2004. He was 58.

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