“For What It’s Worth” – Buffalo Springfield, 1966
This song was written in response to the November 1966 “Sunset Strip Riots” in LA which occurred because the “establishment” didn’t like all the young people hanging around the rock clubs and interfering with the older clientele of the neighboring businesses. The police ordered a 10 pm curfew, which was protested by the young crowd. Police came in and attacked the 1000-strong protesters. Stephen Stills wrote the song within days, and it hit the air in December 1966. Despite predating much of the anti-war, anti-establishment music of the Vietnam war era during the late ’60s, “For What It’s Worth,” became a standard protest anthem. The band went on to write and record “Ohio”, to honor the fallen students of the May 4, 1970 Kent State Massacre in which the Ohio National Guard opened fire on a peaceful march protesting the American invasion of Cambodia and killed 4 students, wounding many more. The song “Find The Cost of Freedom” is yet another example of their work chronicling the Vietnam war period.