Skip to comments.Lead singer of '60s rock group the Grass Roots dies at 67
Posted on 07/12/2011 4:44:05 PM PDT by TennTuxedo
Lead singer of '60s rock group the Grass Roots dies at 67
Steve Marinucci, Vintage Rock 'n' Roll Examiner July 11, 2011 - Like this? Subscribe to get instant updates.
Rob Grill, lead singer, songwriter and bass player of the '60s rock group the Grass Roots passed away Monday morning, his wife Nancy said in a statement. He was 67.
Grill was hospitalized earlier this month after suffering a fall in his home. He later had two strokes while in the hospital.
In her statement, Nancy Grill wrote, "My dear husband Robert Frank Grill, 67, of Mt Dora, Fl passed away peacefully in my arms at 11:37 a.m. (EST), while listening to one of his favorite songs Lets Live for Today. He loved his fans and he loved The Grass Roots! Thank you for all of your prayers, love and support during this time."
She said that among those who had been in contact with her recently were Mark Volman of the Turtles and Gary Puckett of the Union Gap.
(Excerpt) Read more at examiner.com ...
He was touring as the only original member of the band back in the nineties. I saw him in person. They were still doing a creditable job on “Midnight Confessions,” “Temptation Eyes,” “Sooner or Later,”etc... They were a very masculine sounding band. I always thought they were great.
Great job, Rob. Blessings and out.
One of my fav’s back in the day.
KHS Class of ‘71
Sooner or Later:
RIP Rob. Great job. Prayers going up.
Saw the Grass Roots with The Buckinghams and Herman’s Hermits about 5 years ago. They sounded great and seemed to be liked much more than the Hermits which were suppose to be the anchor band. Afterwards they signed autographs and I remember Rob being very friendly and gracious. Too bad he went so young.
Band member Creed Bratton can be seen as “Creed Bratton”, Quality Assurance Officer, in the American NBC television situation comedy The Office.
The string of hits and excellent songs by the Grass Roots is impressive. I saw Rob Grill and the Grass Roots back at the University of Tennessee in 1982. Rob played the bass and sang as well as any musician anywhere. I took several of my younger classmates to see them that night and they were impressed with them. God Bless Rob and his family, his voice and songs are the music of my life.
A real tragic loss, I’d heard he wasn’t doing well but wasn’t aware it was a result of an accident. RIP Rob Grill and thanks for all the fantastic music.
Thank you for that!
“La, la, la-la let’s live for today...”
Classic. It will live forever in the ears and memories of millions.
“Tempation Eyes” - always my fav Grassroots song.
I saw them/Rob in Louisville at an outdoor concert with my ex-fiance. Picnic supper and wine before show. The show was GREAT...and was the best part of the evening.
Sorry to hear of Mr Grill’s passing. I saw them in ‘78 in Brownsville. Great show. Very few showed up for the concert.
Saw them about 20 years ago as a part of some VH1 oldies night at Jones Beach on Long Island. (I think The Turtles were there, too, and the guy who sang about the Cherokee people.)
If it was “oldies night” 20 years ago, what is it now?
I was in HS during the mid 60s - they dominated the charts.
“Temptation Eyes” - best of a great run of Grass Roots hits.
Oh, mark Lindsay, late of Paul Revere and The Raiders.
Coupla my personal favorites.
Wait a Million Years....”awesome”
Where Were You When I Needed You, one of the greatest R&R items of all time!
Dang! He was older than I knew.. Quite a string of hits. I’ve got the Rhino 2-disk Set... Well worth getting.
Sorry to hear of his passing, all those guys from the 1960s see to go so ironically in their 60s. What a great time for music, when musicians use to bust their butt to make a hit rather than dpeending on videos, TV shows and karaoke lip synching.
Kind of “Dylanesque”, only with someone who could actually sing.
Kind of “Dylanesque”, only with someone who could actually sing.
Right. That’s the guy. No Raiders though.
Forget "it". What about "us"?
RIP. One of my all-time favorite pop bands.
Saw them in 2009 at the Beaumont Cherry Festival. They sang all their hits. A lot of fun.
R.I.P.-—ROB !!!!! LIVING ORIGINALLY IN HUNTINGTON BEACH I SAW ROB & THE “ROOTS” MANY TIMES-—EVEN MET THEM TWICE! MY 2 VERY VERY VERY FAVOURITE SONGS WERE “THINGS I SHOULD HAVE SAID TO HER” & THE BEAUTIFUL “BELLA LINDA!”
The Grass Roots was one of my favorite groups. I remember there was a competition where they would sing at a high school, and you needed to collect gum wrappers.
We worked so hard I thought we would win. But we didn’t. And I was really disappointed.
“God Bless Rob and his family, his voice and songs are the music of my life.”
I could not of said it better.
This is a nice medley.
Ahhh the memories!
I still think this is the best record the Grass Roots ever made, and it may be one of their least appreciated hits . . .
Where have the years gone?
In 8th grade I had a history teacher who was about 23 or so.
Oh so pretty, strawberry blonde hair in a ponytail, dressed very nicely, always with a smile on her face.
“There’s a little gold ring, she wears on her hand, that makes me understand......”
Snap out of it, Snuffa! She’s pushing 70 now.
He was touring as the only original member of the band back in the nineties.Believe it or not, Rob Grill wasn't an original member of the band . . . sort of. The Grass Roots had a kind of complicated beginning:
The Grass Roots was originated by the writer/producer team of P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri as a pseudonym under which they would release a body of Byrds/Beau Brummels-style folk-rock. Sloan and Barri were contracted songwriters for Trousdale Music, the publishing arm of Dunhill Records, which wanted to cash in on the folk-rock boom of 1965. Dunhill asked Sloan and Barri to come up with this material, and a group alias under which they would release it. The resulting "Grass Roots" debut song, "Where Were You When I Needed You," sung by Sloan, was sent to a Los Angeles radio station, which began playing it. The problem was, there was no "Grass Roots." The next step was to recruit a band that could become the Grass Roots. Sloan found a San Francisco group called the Bedouins that seemed promising on the basis of their lead singer, Bill Fulton. Fulton recorded a new vocal over the backing tracks laid down for the P.F. Sloan version of the song. The Bedouins were, at first, content to put their future in the hands of Sloan and Barri as producers, despite the fact that the group was more blues-oriented than folk-rock. However, the rest of the group was offended when Fulton was told to record their debut single, a cover of Bob Dylan's "The Ballad of a Thin Man," backed by studio musicians. When that single, released in October of 1965, became only a modest hit, the Bedouins -- except for their drummer, Joel Larson -- departed for San Francisco, to re-form as the Unquenchable Thirst. Sloan and Barri continued to record. "Where Were You When I Needed You" was released in mid-'66 and peaked at number 28, but the album of the same name never charted.Quite a story.
Amid the machinations behind Where Were You When I Needed You, no "real" Grass Roots band existed in 1966. A possible solution came along when a Los Angeles band called the 13th Floor submitted a demo tape to Dunhill. This group, consisting of Warren Entner (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Creed Bratton (lead guitar), Rob Grill (vocals, bass), and Rick Coonce (drums), was recruited and offered the choice of recording under their own name, or to take over the name the Grass Roots, put themselves in the hands of Sloan and Barri, and take advantage of the Grass Roots' track record. They chose the latter, with Rob Grill as primary lead vocalist. The first track cut by the new Grass Roots in the spring of 1967 was "Let's Live for Today," a new version of a song that had been an Italian hit, in a lighter, more up-tempo version, for a band called the Rokes. "Let's Live for Today" was an achingly beautiful, dramatic, and serious single and it shot into the Top Ten upon its release in the summer of 1967. An accompanying album, Let's Live for Today, only reached number 75. The group began spreading its wings in the studio with their next album, Feelings, recorded late in 1967, which emphasized the band's material over Sloan and Barri's. This was intended as their own statement of who they were, but it lacked the commercial appeal of anything on Let's Live for Today, sold poorly, and never yielded any hit singles. Eleven months went by before the group had another chart entry, and during that period, Sloan and Barri's partnership broke up, with Sloan departing for New York and an attempt at a performing career of his own. The band even considered splitting up as all of this was happening. The Grass Roots' return to the charts (with Barri producing), however, was a triumphant one -- in the late fall of 1968, "Midnight Confessions" reached number five on the charts and earned a gold record. "Midnight Confessions" showed the strong influence of Motown, and the R&B flavor of the song stuck with Barri and the band.
In April of 1969, Creed Bratton left the band, to be replaced by Denny Provisor on keyboards and Terry Furlong on lead guitar. Now a quintet, the Grass Roots went on cutting records without breaking stride, enjoying a string of Top 40 hits that ran into the early '70s, peaking with "Temptation Eyes" at number 15 in the summer of 1971. Coonce and Provisor left at the end of 1971, to be replaced by Reed Kailing on lead guitar, Virgil Webber on keyboards, and Joel Larson -- of the original Bedouins/Grass Roots outfit -- on drums. They arrived just in time to take advantage of the number 16 success of "Two Divided by Love," which was the last of the Grass Roots' big hits. The Grass Roots soldiered on for a few more years, reaching the Top 40 a couple of times in 1972, but their commercial success slowly slipped away during 1973. They kept working for a few more years, but called it quits in 1975. Rob Grill remained in the music business on the organizing side, and by 1980 was persuaded by his friend John McVie to cut a solo album, Uprooted, which featured contributions by Mick Fleetwood and Lindsay Buckingham. By 1982, amid the burgeoning oldies concert circuit and the respect beginning to be accorded the Grass Roots, Grill formed a new Grass Roots -- sometimes billed as Rob Grill and the Grass Roots -- and began performing as many as 100 shows a year. Their presence on various oldies package tours have seen to it that the Grass Roots' name remains visible.
---Bruce Eder, allmusic.com
And "Let's Live for Today" is still their second-best record, for my taste . . .
I feel the best music was made from the late 1960’s thru the 1970’s and the Grass Roots were one of my favorites. That music brings back a lot of great memories and I feel lucky growing up with it!