The Grass Roots Appreciation Thread

IMMusicRulz

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One of the patriarchs of the folk rock boom of the Sixties, The Grass Roots were a great rock band. Led by bassist/vocalist Rob Grill, guitarist Creed Bratton (most notably resurfacing as a cast member of the TV sitcom The Office), and second guitarist Warren Entner (who also managed hard rock bands such as Quiet Riot and Warrant in the Eighties). There was another band from California called the Grass Roots led by black guitarist Arthur Lee, but after threatening legal action, that band eventually renamed themselves Love, who, like the Grass Roots, were a huge influence on many of the bands to come.

The group signed to ABC Records in 1965, and their debut was largely written and produced by PF Sloan and Steve Barri (who also produced records for The Mamas and The Papas, Three Dog Night, Barry McGuire and Johnny Rivers, hence why all those bands sound way too similar). Let's Live For Today, led by its dreamy sitar, climbed into the Top 40 and the group's success was assured.



Soon after, the public clamored for more Grass Roots, and their next 2 singles, Heaven Knows and I'd Wait A Million Years, also received heavy airplay on AM radio. The group's creative input was also helped by arranger Jimmie Haskell, who worked on nearly everything the band ever put out.





However, a lot of their later songs, such as Sooner Or Later and Where Were You When I Needed You, showcase how good of a vocalist Rob Grill was.





Check out the Ovation guitar that Warren Entner is playing, and that blonde Fender Telecaster Bass Rob Grill is playing!

The group eventually dissolved in the early Seventies. Rob Grill made a now out of print album for Mercury Records in 1979, and while it has been out of print for many years, it did feature guest work from Fleetwood Mac members Mick Fleetwood, Lindsey Buckingham and John McVie. Rob Grill sadly died in 2011 of complications from injuries sustained in a fall at his home in Florida.

I actually have a few Grass Roots albums in my record collection, and I do think The Grass Roots should be in the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame, but the cheap shots that Jann Wenner constantly takes at those types of bands ensures that they will likely never be inducted. But we'll see.

After all, the Psychedelic Furs have listed The Grass Roots as a huge influence on their music, as did Bruce Springsteen (who regularly covered Where Were You When I Needed You and Let's Live For Today during his early tours), and The Bangles, who covered Sooner Or Later, Let's Live For Today and Where Were You When I Needed You, and even recorded the song Where Were You When I Needed You as the B-side to their first single, Hero Takes A Fall in 1984. It later appeared on their Bangles Greatest Hits album in 1990.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vh1w4zxhGv8

If any of you like The Grass Roots please let me know.
 

wabashslim

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The only GR song that really matters...
Until I saw this video I never would have guessed there were two alternating singers - to me they sound identical.
Poor Creed usually got screwed by the camaramen/directors on these shows, but he often looks like he was a shy kid brought in off the street to fill in for a missing member. "Just move your arm up & down, kid, and DON'T look into the camera!

 

skydog757

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I have always considered them more of a vocal group than a band, but that was a legit style back then and I loved it. My older brother had their More Golden Grass album and played it constantly. "Temptation Eyes" was one of my favorite songs by them that hasn't been mentioned here previously. They have a catalog of great songs that have held up well thanks to the production, songwriting and vocal talent. Still listen to them when I want to feel like a teenager again.
 

smartsoul72

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The only GR song that really matters...
Until I saw this video I never would have guessed there were two alternating singers - to me they sound identical.
Poor Creed usually got screwed by the camaramen/directors on these shows, but he often looks like he was a shy kid brought in off the street to fill in for a missing member. "Just move your arm up & down, kid, and DON'T look into the camera!


Was just about to post about Midnight Confessions. My favorite GR song for sure
 

arlum

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I loved quite a few songs by the Grass roots but honestly thought many of their recorded pieces were over produced. One example would be Temptation Eyes. The horns virtually blocked out the instruments the band mates were playing. This happened on a couple other of their songs as well. On stage you could see them playing and singing but often times when listening to them on the radio or one of their record albums you'd think they were just a vocal group like boy bands would be 30 years later. The songs were catchy with great hook lines. The vocals couldn't be better. Their skill level on the instruments they were playing often times didn't matter because they were totally lost in the mix. If you saw them live or on a TV show you could appreciate that they were so much more than 4 or 5 guys shuffling side to side in their bell bottom suits.
 

BramptonRob1958

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Sooner or Later, Temptation Eyes and Midnight Confessions immediately spring to mind for me.

Entering my teens in the early 70's the Grass Roots received a lot of air time on our local AM Radio station. Actually the 60's and 70's were a magical time in music for me. As I got a little older I came to appreciate the roots of Rock oil the oldies from the 50's as well.

As I recall, my first exposure to the Grass Roots was on the Ed Sullivan Show. Funny that Ed actually introduced (or jumped on the band wagon depending on your point of view), so many musical acts that he probably didn't even care for. Or maybe he did? Anyway, I forever grateful to Ed for introducing and influencing my interest in music....
 

wabashslim

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I loved quite a few songs by the Grass roots but honestly thought many of their recorded pieces were over produced. One example would be Temptation Eyes. The horns virtually blocked out the instruments the band mates were playing.
Yes, after their first folkie hits they became a super-commercialized record company band for sure. Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds...Gary Puckett & the Union Gap...REO Speedwagon...then there was Chicago who started off that way on purpose!
 

Mr. St. Paul

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There was another band from California called the Grass Roots led by black guitarist Arthur Lee, but after threatening legal action, that band eventually renamed themselves Love, who, like the Grass Roots, were a huge influence on many of the bands to come.
I do think it's a shame about the GR & Love situation. Arthur Lee bore a grudge against Lou Adler for decades.

What actually happened...Arthur Lee's band was called The Grass Roots and were beginning to get noticed in LA. They were playing a club on the Sunset Strip one night, and an intoxicated patron told one of the band members that the band was great and he wanted to record them. He said great, our manager is so-and-so, you can talk to him. The intoxicated person was Lou Adler, and he felt disrespected in front of the young woman he was with that night. He deliberately named a project he was working on The Grass Roots to screw with Lee's group.

Lee and his group had no idea what was going on until people coming to their gigs told them, "We love your record!" "What record?" "Let's Live For Today!"

As far as I know, they never threatened any legal action, just realized that they had been hosed, and needed to find a new name.

Can certainly understand why Arthur Lee bore a grudge against Lou Adler!
 

groovemastergreg

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Since I’m primarily a drummer and am 62, I began the kit in 1970 and of course their songs were great fodder for keeping time. Great band. Wasn’t Floyd Sneed their drummer for awhile? I saw them in Houston as a kid with Sneed playing an acrylic Zickos kit.
 




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