A new band called The Buffalo Springfield was billed to play. When the five members hit the stage the reaction they drew from the crowd was mixed, even though they hadn’t yet played a note. The murmurs and hisses were caused by their clothes. Looked like half the band had stepped out of a Western. Cowboys and Indians were both represented. Fringed jacket, Stetson, the lot. ‘Neat,’ said David. But as soon as the lights went on full and the guys lifted their heads both he and Juno gasped. ‘It’s that wise-ass, what’s his name…’ hissed David. ‘Stephen… something. Who’d be in a band with him?’ Juno could’ve given him a partial answer to that, if she’d been able to speak right then.
For the leggy Comanche with pudding-bowl hair who hovered a little apart to the left of his bandmates was none other than gawky Neil, who’d clearly left Sugar Mountain for good. How had he wound up in a band here without David or her knowing? Why did everyone have to come to LA?
Buffalo Springfield were the Byrds in heat. They had not one but two lead guitars, played by Stephen and Neil, which tore into each other in a way that was somehow a lot more charged than that of Brian Jones and Keith Richards. Although they weren’t real tight yet they brought the place down. Juno’s neck hairs were frozen stiff and the air had solidified to deep space.
‘Whaddaya say?’ said someone behind David and Juno. ‘Bitchin’ or what?’ It was Chris, the Byrds’ bassist. ‘Phhhhh…’ said David, before his vocal chords seemed to fail him.
Juno got to meet Neil real soon, as Chris’s enthusiasm steamrollered David’s opposition and the Byrds hired the Springfield to support them on their upcoming Californian tour. Neil’s stare wiped the floor with Jim’s. Juno somehow felt that doing Magic directly to him, as to Joni, was a border she definitely didn’t want to cross, and resolved to try and stay out of his way for now. Maybe he’d bug off again.