Buffalo Springfield/Youtube

More than 52 years ago, Stephen Stills, a former member of the band Buffalo Springfield met an encounter on the street of Sunset Boulevard. He was on his way to Hollywood to hear live music. A group of young people gathered to protest against a curfew as well as the impending closure of a famous club in that area. In an interview in 1971, Stills share what transpired during that fateful day.

“The commercial merchants on Sunset Boulevard in a certain area decided that the element of young people on the street every night was not conducive to commercial enterprise.” He added, A bunch of kids got together on a street corner and said we aren’t moving. About three busloads of Los Angeles police showed up, who looked very like storm troopers. And I look at it and said, ‘Jesus, America is in great danger.’”

After the incident, Stills came up with a song relative to that encounter and his then band Buffalo Springfield recorded it. The song was entitled “For What It’s Worth.” The tune peaked at No. 7 on the chart in the Spring of 1967. It was the band’s sole major hit single.

A Dramatic Evolution

The story “For What It’s Worth” has evolved from its original account into becoming the most covered protest song. Many celebrated artists have since recorded it and turned the song into a major hit in various styling. The Staple Singers were the first one to cover it in 1967.  Other notable versions include Lucinda Williams‘ rendition being described as a ghostly ballad. On the other hand, Kid Rock turned the song into a classic-rock homage.

Source: Rolling Stone

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