The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #31329   Message #2063794
Posted By: PoppaGator
30-May-07 - 02:31 AM
Thread Name: Vietnam era protest songs
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
Big Mick, et al:

The "heat" definitely meant the cops, but this particular song ("For What It's Worth") couldn't possible have referred to the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. It's at least a year older than that; I'm quite sure that Buffalo Springfield (the group with whom Steven Stills recorded his composition) had broken up by late 1968.

In fact, Stills' next group (CS&N, predecessor to CSN&Y) was probably in the process of forming up, writing songs and arrangements, etc., by the time of the convention, which was in late August or early September of '68, and they may even have begun working in the studio. Their first album was released during the 1968-69 school year, but the group didn't perform in public until the summer of 1969, at Woodstock. ("We've never sung in public before, man!" ~ remember that?)

I remember reading somewhere ~ probably the liner notes for the album on which "FWIW" first appeared ~ that Stills wrote the song immediately after some relatively minor (and since-forgotten) peace demonstration on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles.

Anyway, what a great song ~ right? It's very evocative of its era, of course, but I think it stands on its own merits as well.