Friday, February 06, 2009

Drummerobit: Dewey Martin

Dewey Martin, drummer with Buffalo Springfield, has died.

Although born in Canada, Walter Milton Dwayne Midkiff (as he was known to his parents) spent some time in the US Army before taking up a role as a jobbing drummer in Nashville. Having kept the rhythm for everyone from Patsy Cline to The Everly Brothers, it was Faron Young who gave him more permanent work. With Young, Martin moved first to Vegas, and then on to LA.

In LA he joined Sir Raleigh & The Cupons, and then churned through a number of drum stools. In April 1966, though, he signed up to the job that would define him: Drumming for Buffalo Springfield.

He remained with the group through its short, difficult existence and, upon disbandment, attempted to create a spin-off, New Buffalo Springfield. Like New Leave It To Beaver, and New Coke, the band wasn't as well-received as the original; legal objections from Stills and Young meant an enforced name-change, and then Martin was kicked out of the remnants, Blue Mountain Eagle.

For Martin, it was back to working through short-lived projects - including a couple of solo records - before, in 1971, he gave up music in favour of becoming a car mechanic. He did take up professional sticks again - briefly in the 1980s with Pink Slip, and for Buffalo Springfield Revisited in the 1990s.

Dewey Martin was 68; he was found dead in Van Nuys of unknown causes.