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Bruce Palmer (from The Buffalo Springfield) dies, Bruce Palmer passed away (from the Buffalo Springfield, Neil Young, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)


Bruce Palmer (legendary member and bass player of The Buffalo Springfield) has passed away from a heart attack in late september, according to several messages posted on the forum (the official website dedicated to the band Poco) :
"I was just informed by John Einarson that Bruce Palmer has passed away from a heart attack," said a forum member named Mark.
John Einarson co-wrote with Richie Furay the book: "For What It's Worth: The Story of Buffalo Springfield" published in The States this year.

Stalker member added: "this has to be true... Richie knew about it last night when i had a chat with him before the show in Steelville." Stalker talked about the following concert (Richie is Richie Furay):
"Oct. 2nd, 2004 Wildwood Springs Lodge
Steeleville, MO
Richie Furay with Rusty Young & Paul Cotton
8:00 p.m."

Another comment posted in the The SSBS (Stephen Stills Buffalo Springfield) Forum said:
"Dear Stephen (Stills) - I was the last one to see Bruce Palmer before he disappeared. Please contact me!
Richard Bates
Toronto, Canada - Tuesday, September 28, 2004 at 08:35:35 (PDT)"

The official website of The Buffalo Springfield didn't (initially) comment the death of Bruce Palmer and they have put a link on this article. Thanks!

Update (October 8 - in the comments of these posts):
"My name is Etherus Grace Palmer Palmer, I am Bruce's daughter, It is so amazing to read all of the beautiful comments about my father. We didnt get to spend much time with oneanother, but the time spent holds dear to my heart and my soul. I loved him very much and will miss him. Thank you for all the kind words"

Update (October 7):
"There's not a person who listened to the Buffalo Springfield that wasn't drawn to the way he played bass," said bandmate Richie Furay. "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."

More news are welcome in the comments there.

Rolling Stone has confirmed the information a few days later this post (October 8, 2004) with no more information.

All Music Guide delivers the following biography about Bruce Palmer:

"Born in 1946, in Liverpool, Nova Scotia, Canada, the enigmatic Bruce Palmer is known mostly as the original bassist in Buffalo Springfield, one of the greatest rock groups of the 1960s. Although Buce Palmer did not sing or write any material during his time in the band, he was a vital member, both on-stage and (at least in the beginning) in the studio, for providing much of the "rock" muscle in the band's folk-rock with his powerful, creative basslines.

He was also its most mysterious member, playing with his back to the audience and often even posing in photographs with his face away or hidden from the camera. Some bad luck and personal problems interrupted his stint in Buffalo Springfield several times, however, and he was eventually replaced by Jim Messina shortly before the band split up.

While he would briefly play with ex-Buffalo Springfield members again in subsequent years, never again would he enjoy nearly as high a profile in the rock world as he had in his early twenties as the Springfield's bassist. He also managed to produce a rare solo album in the early '70s that counts as one of the strangest rock records ever released by a name musician, or by a major label.

Bruce Palmer, like fellow Buffalo Springfield member Neil Young, was Canadian, and started playing in Toronto R&B and rock & roll bands in his mid-teens. In the mid-'60s, he played for a time in Jack London & the Sparrows, a British Invasion-like group that had a couple Canadian hit singles (released after Palmer's departure from the band).

He then joined the Mynah Birds, with AWOL American sailor (and future funk and soul star) Rick James on lead vocals, in a trade whereby Nick St. Nicholas of the Mynah Birds (and later of Steppenwolf) replaced Palmer in Jack London & the Sparrows. In early 1966, Neil Young joined the Mynah Birds, who got a contract with Motown and recorded some material for the label that's never been released. Part of the reason it remained in the vaults is that James was arrested for being AWOL, which broke up the band only a couple of months after Young had joined.

Neil Young and Bruce Palmer then undertook a legendary drive to Los Angeles in Young's hearse, the goal being to find Stephen Stills (whom Young had previously met) and see about forming a band. Neil Young and Bruce Palmer had no address for Stills, and after several days of searching for him in L.A. they were on the verge of giving up, and decided to head north to San Francisco. But in one of rock & roll's greatest strokes of luck, they found him in Los Angeles when a vehicle in which Stills and Richie Furay were riding passed the hearse on Sunset Boulevard going in the opposite direction.

Almost immediately, the nucleus of Buffalo Springfield was formed, finalized by the addition of Dewey Martin as drummer. Although Bruce Palmer plays on everything on Buffalo Springfield's first album and most of the second, he's not on most of the band's third and last LP. Actually, he first left the group in January 1967, when he was busted for marijuana possession and deported back to Canada. The group used a couple different bassists (Ken Koblun and Jim Fielder) over the next few months, until Palmer managed to get back into the United States and rejoin in June.

Another bust for various offenses, including speeding without a driver's license and drug possession, led to his final departure from Buffalo Springfield in January 1968, Jim Messina taking his place. The group only lasted a few more months without Palmer, disbanding in May 1968. About a year later, Bruce Palmer was briefly considered for the bassist position in Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, but was cut loose after a bit of rehearsal and recording, David Crosby and Graham Nash objecting the most to making Bruce Palmer a permanent backup musician. (Two recordings on which Bruce Palmer plays, a version of "Helplessly Hoping" and a cover of Terry Reid's "Horses Through a Rainstorm," appear on the Crosby, Stills & Nash box set.)

Shortly after that, he took advantage of an offer from MGM to do a solo album, although he had never before written or sung any material. That borne in mind, it's less surprising that his early-'70s solo album, The Cycle Is Complete, turned out to be almost wholly instrumental, comprised of four jam-like tracks mixing psychedelic rock, improvised jazz, and more esoteric styles. Among the musicians backing him were four members of Kaleidoscope and his old bandmate Rick James, who played percussion and occasionally added some scat-like vocals.Unsurprisingly, the album sold little, and Bruce Palmer vanished from the music business. He did unexpectedly resurface to play live with his old friend Neil Young in the early '80s, also contributing to Young's "Trans" album. In the mid-'80s he formed the tribute band Buffalo Springfield Revisited, in which Dewey Martin was the sole other original Buffalo Springfield member."

Bruce Palmer will be missed.

(Bruce Palmer picture by Henry Diltz)

Bruce Palmer solo album "The Cycle Is Complete" (originally released in 1971 on Verve). Here, it is the official reissue by Collector's Choice:

And the most known "Best Of" CD from The Buffalo Springfield:


Sad to hear about Bruce Palmer. I was, and still am a big fan of the Springfield. Bruce's bass lines in "Mr. Soul" are some of the best ever recorded in a Rock song.

I remember thinking after listening to "The Cycle Is Complete" that Bruce took us on a Zen trip to another world with that recording.

Another unique, gentle, and creative spirit has passed on. As Graham Nash once sang, we've "Lost Another One".

Condolences to Bruce Palmer's family and loved ones...


Because Bruce played so well on the Buffalo Springfield records you don't even notice the bass lines. You just hear how great the songs and the singing are.

It is not until you specifically listen to the bass lines that you go "Oh my god" his playing is SO GOOD. So amazingly foundational and yet very tasty.

It is hard for us outsiders to know how Bruce's "personality or situations" affected him being replaced in the Springfield. Or what is going on behind the scenes that Bruce disappears from the public eye for years at a time. Only to turn up playing amazing bass in the "Buffalo Springfield Revisited" or seen being publicly chastised in Neil Young's Berlin DVD for not remembering a song he was supposed to know.

Not sure why there is so little official information on his passing. So little that I had to point the hostmaster of to this web blog to use as a link on Springfield's official site to use as the best information available on Bruce's death.

Soon I hope to see more information available and certainly some comment from Neil, Stephen and the rest of Buffalo Springfield.

My condolences to Bruce's family, friends and fans around the world.

Perhaps a special tribute concert is in order.

My name is E.G. Palmer, I am Bruce's daughter, It is so amazing to read all of the beautiful comments about my father. We didnt get to spend much time with oneanother, but the time spent holds dear to my heart and my soul. I loved him very much and will miss him. Thank you for all the kind words

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