“There’s somethin’ happenin’ here
But what it is ain’t exactly clear.”
That’s right: It wasn’t exactly clear what Stephen Stills, then in Buffalo Springfield, wrote about and sang in 1966. Many mistakenly thought it was an anti-Vietnam War protest song. And the soundtrack to Forrest Gump – while amazing – only reinforced that perception. The truth behind the song For What It’s Worth has nothing to do with Vietnam but everything to do with protests.
One evening in November 1966, Stills was on his way to Hollywood to hear some live music on the Sunset Strip. What occurred was a defining moment in rock and roll, as what he encountered inspired him to write a song that would be loved – and misinterpreted – by many. This is the story of the song and the history behind the Sunset Strip riots.