Dewey Martin, Canadian drummer for Buffalo Springfield, dies

Dewey Martin, Canadian-born drummer for short-lived but influential 1960s rock group Buffalo Springfield, has died. He was 68.

Dewey Martin, Canadian-born drummer for the short-lived but influential 1960s rock group Buffalo Springfield, has died. He was 68.

Martin was found dead Sunday in Van Nuys, Calif., his friend Lisa Lenes said in a statement Thursday. No cause of death has been determined, but it is believed he died of natural causes.

Martin joined with Neil Young, Stephen Stills, Richie Furay and Bruce Palmer to form Buffalo Springfield in Los Angeles in 1966.

Their unique sound, melding country, folk and rock, had a strong influence on 1970s rock.

Martin played drums on songs such as Bluebird, Mr. Soul, Rock 'N' Roll Woman and For What It's Worth.

Fellow Canadian Young recalled Martin's style in his autobiography, Shakey.

"He can feel the music, you don't have to tell him," Young wrote. "You get harder, he hits harder. You pull back, he hits back."

Buffalo Springfield released three albums, including Buffalo Springfield Again, which Rolling Stone magazine ranks No. 188 on its list of greatest rock albums.

The band, known for its sparring members, broke up in 1968.

Session musician

Martin was born Walter Milton Dewayne Midkiff on Sept. 30, 1940, in Chesterville, Ont., near Ottawa.

He did a stint in the U.S. army and worked as a session musician in Nashville, playing with country greats including Patsy Cline, Roy Orbison and the Everly Brothers before going to California.

While other members of Buffalo Springfield went on to high-profile careers, Martin was not as successful.

He attempted to keep the band's name alive after its split, recruiting members for the New Buffalo Springfield. But he was sued by Young and Stills over use of the name and his new group became Blue Mountain Eagle.

Martin later worked with musicians such as Buddy Emmons and Rose Garden's John Noreen. In the 1970s, he  formed a group called Medicine Ball, which also was short-lived, and then worked as a mechanic.

In the mid-1980s, he played with Bruce Palmer in the tribute group Buffalo Springfield Revisited.

In 1993, Martin moved to Canada and did several tours in Western Canada as Buffalo Springfield Revisited with a different group of musicians, according to British rock writer Nick Warburton.

He retired from live work soon afterward.

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the rest of Buffalo Springfield in 1997.

With files from the Associated Press