Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Bruce Palmer

Bruce Palmer
Bruce Palmer (September 9, 1946 – October 1, 2004) was a Canadian musician notable for playing bass guitar in the folk rock band Buffalo Springfield.

Neil Young and Palmer ran into Stills while stuck in traffic in Los Angeles, Stills having recognized Young's distinctive hearse. It was not long before the trio, along with Richie Furay on rhythm guitar and Dewey Martin on drums, formed Buffalo Springfield. The band only had one major national hit, "For What It's Worth" (written and sung by Stills), but locally their popularity was rivaled only by The Byrds and The Doors.

Palmer was arrested on numerous occasions for drug possession. These legal problems, compounded by his predilection to sit at home reading mystical texts, led to him being shunned by most of the group.[citation needed] Another arrest led to his deportation from the United States in early 1967; Palmer was replaced in the band by a rotating group of bassists that included Jim Fielder and Ken Koblun. Shortly thereafter, Young left the group due to tensions with Stills, and Buffalo Springfield played its most prominent concert at the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967 with Doug Hastings and David Crosby filling in for Young. During his time back in Toronto between January–May 1967, Palmer had gigged briefly with the Heavenly Government.

In late May, Palmer returned to the United States disguised as a businessman, and rejoined the band (Young eventually returned as well). However, the group continued to rely on session bassists. Meanwhile, Palmer continued to rack up a lengthy arrest record, which included yet another drug possession bust and speeding without a license. In January 1968, Palmer was removed from the band and officially replaced by Jim Messina. Then, after embarking on a tour opening for the Beach Boys, Buffalo Springfield disbanded on May 5, 1968 after a final hometown concert at the Long Beach Sports Arena.

Palmer was inducted with his bandmates into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. He died of a heart attack on October 1, 2004 in Belleville, Ontario, Canada.

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