Credit Rolling Stone magazine with finding this gem of a factoid.
Granted, I was way slow in finding the piece, but RS’s May 27 issue featured an article about Creed Bratton, the surly and menacingly mysterious character in the hit TV show The Office.
Well, turns out that Bratton was once lead guitar player and backup singer for ‘60s hit makers The Grass Roots, who ran off a string of top hits between 1966 and 1975.
Who would have figured that?
The brainchild of songwriting duo P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri, The Grass Roots was an attempt to cash in on the era’s folk-rock craze. Pulled together with various studio musicians — including Bratton — the band scored hit after hit, including “Midnight Confessions,” “Two Divided By Love,” “Live for Today” and “Sooner or Later.”
Many of the tunes spent years on play lists on AM music radio, which dominated the airwaves back then.
Bratton tells RS that he because disillusioned with the band and walked away after a show at the Hollywood Bowl. While the band went on for several more years, Bratton said he fell on hard times, and was even homeless at one point.
He held odd jobs and tried out for acting roles until scoring a minor part in the U.S. version of The Office, which was already a hit show in England. Bratton eventually drew on his own past to develop the character, who became a fan favorite.
Now enjoying fame and relative fortune, Bratton has also gone back to his musical roots — earlier this year he released an album titled Bounce Back. He also said he went back and bought the guitars he was forced to sell during his lean years.
Here’s a look at The Grass Roots in their heyday. Bratton doesn’t get much airtime in these videos, but he’ll be at your far left as you look at the video.
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(NOTE: This is part of an occasional Listening Room series I’ll be doing on noted rockers and where they came from. JF)
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