The Grass Roots Biography

Although several Californian acts claimed this sobriquet, including the embryonic Love, it was appropriated by songwriters P.F. Sloan (Phillip Gary Schlein, 18 September 1945, New York City, New York, USA) and Steve Barri (b. Steven Barry Lipkin, 23 February 1942, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA), who employed the name pseudonymously on several folk rock performances. When ‘Where Were You When I Needed You?’ reached the US Top 30 in 1966, the need for a permanent line-up arose and the duo enticed Warren Entner (b. 7 July 1944, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; vocals/guitar), Creed Bratton (b. 8 February 1943, Sacramento, California, USA; guitar), Rob Grill (b. 30 November 1944, Los Angeles, California, USA; vocals/bass) and Rick Coonce (b. Erik Michael Coonce, 1 August 1947, Los Angeles, California, USA; drums) to adopt the Grass Roots name. The new unit enjoyed immediate success with ‘Let’s Live For Today’, a remake of an Italian hit. This distanced the quartet from their mentors, but although Sloan’s input decreased dramatically, Barri retained his role as producer. The Grass Roots then became one of America’s leading commercial attractions with a series of confident, if undemanding, performances, including ‘Midnight Confessions’ (1968), ‘Bella Linda’ (1968), ‘I’d Wait A Million Years’ (1969) and ‘Sooner Or Later’ (1971). Later incarnations of the band, led by Rob Grill, enjoyed continuing popularity in the following decades, although the verve of their early work has largely evaporated.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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