For What It's Worth (2:37)

Cover of Buffalo Springfield

From Buffalo Springfield and 56 other releases

While the song has come to symbolize worldwide turbulence and confrontational feelings arising from events during the 1960s (particularly the Vietnam War), Stills reportedly wrote the song in reaction to escalating unrest between law enforcement and young club-goers related to the closing of Pandora’s Box, a club on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, California. The song’s title appears nowhere in its lyrics; it is more easily remembered by the first line of chorus: “Stop, children, what’s that sound? Everybody look what’s going down.”

In 2006, Stephen Stills was interviewed by Tom Kent on his radio show “Into the ’70s” and pointed out that many people think “For What It’s Worth” is about the Kent State Shootings, although it was actually recorded several years before that event.

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