The band was based in Los Angeles. Its two lead guitarists Neil Young and Stephen Stills were reunited as a result of a minor car accident. Bass player Bruce Palmer and drummer Dewey Martin were travelling with Young and Stills respectively. Initially, all the material was written by Stills and Young; with Richie Furay (rhythm guitar) singing lead on Young's compositions. An immediate national success was achieved with "For What It's Worth" - which was perceived as a protest song. The band's management, however, continued to market the group as another Monkees. Their subsequent self-titled first album reflected these tensions and achieved little success.
Shortly after starting work on Buffalo Springfield Again, the management was fired. The band was then destabilised by Bruce Palmer's jail conviction for marijuana. Following the departure of Palmer's well-liked replacement, Jim Fielder, for Blood Sweat & Tears, the band slowly started to splinter. Featuring songs by Furay, as well as Young and Stills, Buffalo Springfield Again created a wide palette of sound out of limited recording resources and had a significant national impact. From this point on, however, it became increasingly uncertain whether there was a band at all.
With Young absent, the group appeared at the Monterey Pop Festival featuring David Crosby as guest. Other live appearances followed and the band eventually made a farewell appearance in Los Angeles. Jim Messina had become bass player and produced the final album: Last Time Around. This album, however, was delivered to fulfill contractual commitments and does not reflect any 'group' performances.
The Buffalo Springfield 'name', however, had become a key icon in the US counter-culture and provided a firm springboard for the musicians. Young's solo career had already started. Stills subsequently joined with Crosby and Graham Nash to form Crosby, Stills & Nash. Furay and Messina formed Poco. After two solo albums by Young, Stills persuaded him to join in Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.