Ken Koblun

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Ken Koblun was an important early associate of Neil Young's, although he barely recorded with the singer/songwriter. Koblun was bassist in the Squires, a teen band formed by Young in 1962. Over the next…
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Ken Koblun was an important early associate of Neil Young's, although he barely recorded with the singer/songwriter. Koblun was bassist in the Squires, a teen band formed by Young in 1962. Over the next few years, they sharpened their craft with a wide repertoire including plenty of instrumentals, as well as plenty of rock covers and some original material. The Squires made an obscure 1963 single on the local V label, "The Sultan"/"Aurora," both Young-penned instrumentals.

Koblun stuck with the band over the next few years, as musical styles changed and the Squires changed with them, incorporating more influences from the Beatles and folk music. The Squires broke up in 1965, and Koblun found some work playing bass for folk musicians, while Young struggled to start a solo career. Koblun was with Young on the New York trip in late 1965 during which Young met Richie Furay. Young was actually looking for Stephen Stills, a folk musician he had met in Canada. When Stills and Furay were trying to start a rock band in Los Angeles a few months later, they couldn't find Neil Young, but did succeed in locating Koblun, whom they convinced to come to California to join the group. He stayed for only a few days, however, before deciding to return to Canada, where a gig waited with the group Three's a Crowd. Just a couple of weeks later, Young and bassist Bruce Palmer met Stills and Furay by accident in LA, and the Buffalo Springfield were up and running.

It wasn't the end of Koblun's involvement with Young and Buffalo Springfield, however. In January 1967, a replacement was needed for Bruce Palmer, who was fighting possible deportation and other problems. Koblun only played with them for about a month, before the band decided his personality was unsuitable and his bass playing not as good as they expected. During that time, he did appear in one of the few film clips of the band, miming to "Sit Down I Think I Love You" on the television show Where the Action Is. Koblun did not record with the band, but Neil Young's epic "Broken Arrow," which concludes Buffalo Springfield's second album (Buffalo Springfield Again), is dedicated to Koblun in the sleeve notes. In the Buffalo Springfield biography (For What It's Worth), Koblun says, "Neil dedicated that song to me because it's an Indian term for friendship after a war. It's not about me. Probably Neil felt guilty for sending me away from the Buffalo Springfield."

Koblun appears as the bass player on Three's a Crowd's album Christopher's Movie Matinee, which was produced by Cass Elliot.