The Grass Roots - Lets Live for Today

Rob Grill's Biography

Robert Frank "Rob" Grill was born November 30, 1943 in Los Angeles, where he attended Hollywood High School. Soon after graduation, Rob began working at American Recording Studios with musician friends Cory Wells and John Kay (who later formed Three Dog Night and Steppenwolf, respectively). Inspired to become a member of a successful band, Grill eventually was asked to join The Grass Roots. The Grass Roots grew out of a project originating from Dunhill Records. Writer/producers P. F. Sloan and Steve Barri (The Mamas & the Papas, Tommy Roe, Four Tops and Dusty Springfield) were asked by Dunhill to write songs that would capitalize on the growing

interest in the folk-rock movement. When their song “Where Were You When I Needed You”, recorded as a demo with P.F. Sloan as lead singer and released under the name “The Grass Roots” started to get airplay in San Francisco Bay area, they searched for an existing band to become The Grass Roots. They enlisted a San Francisco group, "The Bedouins", who recorded the first Grass Roots album, titled “Where Were You When I Needed You” with Willie Fulton singing lead on a re-recorded version of the title song. After several months, the Bedouins’ partnership with Sloan and Barri broke up as the band was more interested in performing their own more blues rock-oriented material (which Sloan and Barri were not willing to allow them to do). Subsequently, a Los Angeles band, The 13th Floor (not to be confused with the 13th Floor Elevators), composed of Creed Bratton, Rick Coonce, Warren Entner, and Kenny Fukomoto, was recruited to become the new Grass Roots. When Kenny Fukumoto was drafted into the army, Rob Grill was brought in as his replacement. With Grill as lead singer, they recorded a third version of "Where Were You When I Needed You." Grill became the band’s longest serving member, appearing with them for more than four decades. The Grass Roots went on

to chart twenty nine singles, thirteen of which went gold followed by two gold albums and two platinum albums. The Grass Roots played at the Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival on Sunday June 11, 1967 in the "summer of love" as their top ten hit "Let's Live For Today" was hitting the airwaves. This music festival is important because it occurred before the Monterey Pop Festival but did not have a movie to document it for the ages (see List of electronic music festivals). On Sunday October 27, 1968 they played at the San Francisco Pop Festival and then played at the Los Angeles Pop Festival and Miami Pop Festival in December of that year as their top ten hit "Midnight Confessions" was hitting the airwaves. The Grass Roots played at Newport Pop Festival 1969 at Devonshire Downs which was a racetrack at the time but now is part of the North Campus for California State University at Northridge. They played on Sunday June 22 which was the final day of the festival as their top twenty hit "Wait A Million Years" was hitting the airwaves. In Canada, they played at the Vancouver Pop Festival at the Paradise Valley Resort in British Columbia in August 1969 (see List of electronic music festivals). Grill launched a solo career

in 1979, assisted on his solo album by several members of Fleetwood Mac. Responding to 60s nostalgia, Grill then reformed The Grass Roots (billed "The Grass Roots Starring Rob Grill") and had toured the United States with the reunited outfit since the 1980s. In 2006, former manager Marty Angelo published a book entitled, Once Life Matters: A New Beginning which has numerous stories about his life on the road with Rob Grill and the Grass Roots back in the early 1970s. In 2008, The Grass Roots Starring Rob Grill released a live album chronicling their 14 top forty Billboard hits titled Live Gold. Grill died July 11, 2011 in an Orlando, Florida hospital. He had been in a coma since sustaining a head injury several weeks earlier when he fell after suffering a stroke in Lake County, FL. He was 67.


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