Creed Bratton

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This article is about the musician and actor. For the character he plays on The Office, see Creed Bratton (character).
Creed Bratton
Creed Bratton.jpg
Bratton in March 2009
Born William Charles Schneider
(1943-02-08) February 8, 1943 (age 71)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor, musician
Years active 1965–present
Website
creedbratton.com

Creed Bratton (born William Charles Schneider; February 8, 1943) is an American actor, musician and former member of The Grass Roots. He is more recently known for playing a fictional version of himself on the American adaptation of The Office on NBC.

Background and education[edit]

Born William Charles Schneider in Los Angeles, he grew up in Coarsegold, California, a small town near Yosemite National Park. His grandparents, mother, and father were musicians, and he took a liking to music at a very early age. At 13, he received his first guitar from a Sears mail order catalog. He became a professional musician during his high school and college years.

Musical career[edit]

Early years[edit]

He decided to try life as a traveling musician and made his way on a global excursion, during which he changed his name to Creed Bratton. He traveled through Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Appearing with his group the Young Californians, he played guitar at a large folk festival in Israel. Fellow American and guitarist Warren Entner witnessed Bratton's performance, and asked him to give him a call when he got back to the United States. In 1966, they formed a partnership and recruited the remaining members needed for their group, the 13th Floor. Bratton played lead guitar, Rick Coonce played drums, Entner played rhythm guitar, and Kenny Fukomoto played bass. They recorded a demo and sent it to Dunhill, a new record company headed by Lou Adler.

The Grass Roots[edit]

Bratton playing at The Office Convention in Scranton, Pennsylvania, in 2007

Producers/songwriters P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri heard the demo and liked it. They needed new band members for a folk rock group that they had created in 1965. The 13th Floor lost its bass player to the draft during this time, and quickly recruited Rob Grill. Changing its name to The Grass Roots for prior name recognition, it went straight to the top 10 with its first recording, "Let's Live for Today" in 1967. The group continued in its hit-making vein and toured the United States. Iconic hit songs such as "Midnight Confessions" cemented the group's standing as major contributors to the rock music scene.

The Grass Roots had top songwriters offering their best songs to them and wrote many songs themselves. On its major songs, music on the recordings were played by LA studio-musicians known as The Wrecking Crew.[1] Bratton co-wrote "Beatin' Round the Bush", "No Exit", and "Hot Bright Lights", and self-composed "Dinner for Eight" and "House of Stone". Bratton played with the group on its first four albums: Let's Live for Today, Feelings, Golden Grass, and Lovin' Things. Three albums charted and Golden Grass received a gold record certification. He took part in the first ten singles released, eight of which charted; Midnight Confessions received a gold record certification.

The Grass Roots played at the Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival on Sunday June 11, 1967, in the "summer of love" as its top ten hit "Let's Live For Today" was hitting the airwaves. This music festival 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, the group 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 its top-ten hit "Midnight Confessions" was hitting the airwaves.

In April 1969, Bratton became frustrated by Dunhill's refusal to allow the band to write its own songs and play the instruments on its records (although the members did play alone at concerts). After a disastrous appearance at the Fillmore West in April 1969, Bratton was asked to leave the band.[1]

Solo years[edit]

In 2001 and 2002, Bratton released three albums showcasing his solo recordings since the 1960s with the assistance of Peter White. In 2007, he presented an induction award to The Wrecking Crew at the Musicians' Hall of Fame. In 2008, he released another album of new music with producer Jon Tiven. In 2010, Bratton released another new album titled "Bounce Back" with producer Dave Way. In 2011, Bratton released an album of greatest hits from his first three solo albums titled "Demo". In 2010 & 2012, Bratton performed live at the SXSW festival. In 2013, Bratton released an original work in three acts, as an audio biography, titled 'Tell Me About It'. Songs ranged from recently written to pieces he had written decades ago. Bratton cites that he listens to lots of jazz and classical music.[2]

Acting career[edit]

Bratton began to pursue an acting career in 1969. He has appeared in films such as Mask and Heart Like a Wheel. He was a cast member (playing a fictional version of himself) on NBC's Emmy and SAG award winning The Office. In 2008, he appeared in a short film with Kyle Gass titled Just One Of The Gynos, which won an award for best short film at the 2008 Malibu International Film Festival. He appeared in the feature film Labor Pains in 2009. His recent film projects are The Ghastly Love of Johnny X, written, produced and directed by Paul Bunnell, I Am Ben, written, produced and directed by Mathew Brady and Gaelan Connell and Terri produced by David Guy Levy. Terri was selected by the Sundance Film Festival 2011 to appear in the US dramatic competition. It was one of only 16 films selected from 1,102 submissions to the US dramatic category.[3] In 2012, he appeared as special guest star in Staged with Brandon Olive who appeared with him in Just One Of The Gynos. Bratton's latest film project is Saving Lincoln a biography set in the civil war period. It is produced by Horatio C. Kemeny and written and directed by Salvador Litvak.

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1967–1969 American Bandstand Himself
1967 The Hollywood Palace Himself
1968 With Six You Get Eggroll Himself
1968–1969 It's Happening Himself
1969 Playboy After Dark Himself
1975 Kolchak: The Night Stalker Man Entering Lab Episode "Primal Scream"
1977 Quincy M.E. Young Man Episode "No Deadly Secret"
1977 Eight is Enough Episode "Mortgage Burnin' Blues"
1983 Heart Like a Wheel Photographer
1985 Mask Carnival Ticket Taker
1986 A Fighting Choice Court Clerk
1987 U.S. Marshals: Waco & Rhinehart Agent Jones
1987 The Wild Pair Dalton
1988 Seven Hours To Judgement Subway Worker
1991 Neon City Guard at Neon He was also a grip
1994 Secret Sins Of The Father Gas Station Worker
2005 The War Of Gene Captain Clark
2005–2013 The Office Creed Bratton
2006 The Bernie Mac Show Funeral Home Employee Episode "Bernie's Angels"
2006 The Manual Major. Edwards
2007–2008 Today Himself Episodes dated 10/26/07, 6/24/08
2008 Just One Of The Gynos Dr. Gus Callery
2008 6th Annual TV Land Awards Himself
2008 Celebrity Family Feud Himself
2009 Labor Pains John Abbotts
2010 In Gayle We Trust Denny Potter Two episodes
2010 Funny or Die Presents Himself Four episodes
2010 The Forgotten Guy Episode "Double Doe"
2012 The Ghastly Love Of Johnny X Rock & Roll Crooner "Mickey O'Flynn" (the Man with the Grin)
2012 Liz & Dick Darryl Zanuck TV movie
2011 I Am Ben Dr. Cobb
2011 Terri Uncle James
2013 Saving Lincoln Senator Charles Sumner
2014 Adventure Time Phlannel Boxingday

Discography[edit]

Singles[edit]

Release date Title Flip side Record Label Chart Positions
US Billboard US Cashbox UK
1967 Let's Live for Today Depressed Feeling Dunhill 8 5
Things I Should Have Said Tip Of My Tongue Dunhill 23 36
Wake Up, Wake Up No Exit Dunhill 68 61
1968 Melody For You Hey Friend Dunhill 123
Feelings Here's Where You Belong Dunhill
Midnight Confessions ++ Who Will You Be Tomorrow Dunhill 5 5
1969 Bella Linda +++ Hot Bright Lights Dunhill 28 20
Melody For You All Good Things Come To An End Dunhill
Lovin' Things You And Love Are The Same Dunhill 49 35
River Is Wide, The (You Gotta) Live For Love Dunhill 31 16

++ - Gold Record - RIAA Certification

+++ - Composed by Italian superstar Lucio Battisti)

Albums[edit]

Release date Title Record Label Chart Positions
US Billboard US Cashbox UK
1967 Let's Live for Today Dunhill 75
1968 Feelings Dunhill
Golden Grass ++ Dunhill 25
1969 Lovin' Things Dunhill 73
2001 Chasin’ The Ball Kindred
The 80’s Kindred
2002 Coursegold Kindred
2008 Creed Bratton Kindred
2010 Bounce Back Kindred
2011 Demo Kindred

++ - Gold Record - RIAA Certification

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Hartman, Kent (2012). The Wrecking Crew. New York: St. Martin's Press. pp. 169–172. ISBN 978-0-312-61974-9. 
  2. ^ "Creed Bratton: From His First Guitar to ‘The Office’ Finale. Telling Us About It..". 
  3. ^ Official website's biography

External links[edit]