Interview: Buffalo Springfield’s Richie Furay talks Bonnaroo, reunion tour

Bands break-up or go on hiatus all the time; reunions have almost become a standard for cult acts, particularly after big 10th or 20th anniversaries.

Try 43 years on for size.

That’s what’s happened with Buffalo Springfield, the seminal folk-rock group that acted as a springboard for Neil Young, Stephen Stills, Richie Furay and Jim Messina in the mid-’60s. The troupe only put out three albums, and disbanded after a little more than two years.

But now some of these superstars have played a couple warm-up shows for the big gig, at Bonnaroo this weekend, the lineup featuring Furay, Stills, Young, Rick Rosas and Joe Vitale

“Bonnaroo is the most significant festival in the country,” Furay said during a recent phone press conference. He sounded pleased with revisiting the back catalog, so much so that he might have trouble remembering to sing when the group hosts a field day for the heat in Manchester, Tenn. on Saturday. “I can sometimes just get caught up in the moment and listening and say ‘oops, I gotta go sing now.””


The setlist will be almost exclusively Buffalo Springfield, though Furay conceded Young’s crowd-pleaser “Rocking in the Free World” will be rearing its head. It’s a track “that lets Stephen and Neil let their guitars fly. It”s a closing song, ya know?”

Furay also said that the band is planning a much more extensive tour for September through November, and that they’re planning on recording the shows for a potential live set. “Buffalo Springfield,” “Buffalo Springfield Again” and “Last Time Around” are getting packaged into a vinyl box set for release later this year, and he said the group is ascribing to a “never say never” outlook on new songs.

“We’re not trying to recreate or make anything different than we are… We are Buffalo Springfield. We’re not Neil Young and Buffalo Springfield. We’re not Stephen Stills and Buffalo Springfield,” Furay said. “This is who we were and we’re just privileged to be here today and to be able to make the same music today as what’s in people’s hearts and minds.”