|Birth name||Robert Frank Grill|
November 30, 1943|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Died||July 11, 2011
Mt Dora, Florida
|Genres||Rock, Folk, Pop|
|Instruments||Bass guitar, vocals|
|Labels||Dunhill - ABC - Haven - MCA - Gusto - Mercury Records - RFG - Cleopatra|
Grill was a native of Hollywood, California where he attended Hollywood High School. Soon after graduation, he began working at American Recording Studios with musician friends Cory Wells and John Kay (who later formed Three Dog Night and Steppenwolf, respectively).
Grill eventually was asked to join The Grass Roots, which 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 left the Grass Roots in 1977 and launched a solo career in 1979, assisted on his solo album by several members of Fleetwood Mac. Responding to 60s nostalgia, Grill then reunited with The Grass Roots (billed "The Grass Roots Starring Rob Grill") and toured the United States with them from 1980 up to his death in 2011.
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 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.
Compositions and musical release performance
Grill composed sixteen songs for The Grass Roots and his solo album. One of these appeared as a single "A" side. It is "Come On And Say It". His other fifteen compositions appeared on single "B" sides and albums. He wrote frequently with Warren Entner and they were considered a songwriting team. Grill played with The Grass Roots on sixteen albums, seven of which charted. He took part in thirty two Grass Roots singles released, twenty one of which charted.
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. This was the conclusion to over a decade's worth of health troubles for Grill, that included bone disease, leading to several hip replacements and other complications.
|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|
|I'd Wait A Million Years||Fly Me To Havana||Dunhill||15||12|
|Heaven Knows||Don't Remind Me||Dunhill||24||13|
|1970||Walking Through The Country||Truck Drivin' Man||Dunhill||44||30|
|Baby Hold On||Get It Together||Dunhill||35||25|
|Come On And Say It||Something's Comin' Over Me||Dunhill||61||39|
|Temptation Eyes||Keepin' Me Down||Dunhill||15||16|
|1971||Sooner Or Later||I Can Turn Off The Rain||Dunhill||9||12|
|Two Divided By Love||Let It Go||Dunhill||16||8|
|1972||Glory Bound||Only One||Dunhill||34||22|
|Runway, The||Move Along||Dunhill||39||29|
|Anyway The Wind Blows||Monday Love||Dunhill||107|
|1973||Love Is What You Make It||Someone To Love||Dunhill||55|
|Where There's Smoke There's Fire||Look But Don't Touch||Dunhill|
|We Can't Dance To Your Music||Look But Don't Touch||Dunhill|
|Stealin' Love (In The Night)||We Almost Made It Together||Dunhill|
|1975||Mamacita||Last Time Around, The||Haven||71|
|Naked Man||Nothing Good Comes Easy||Haven|
|1976||Out In The Open||Optical Illusion||Haven|
|1979||Rock Sugar||Have Mercy||Mercury|
|1982||Here Comes That Feeling Again||Temptation Eye||MCA|
|She Don't Know Me||Keep On Burning||MCA|
|Powers Of The Night||Powers Of The Night||MCA|
++ - Gold Record - RIAA Certification
(All albums are with the Grass Roots, unless otherwise noted)
|Release date||Title||Record Label||Chart Positions|
|US Billboard||US Cashbox||UK|
|1967||Let's Live for Today||Dunhill||75|
|Golden Grass ++||Dunhill||25|
|Leaving It All Behind||Dunhill||36|
|1970||More Golden Grass||Dunhill||152|
|1971||Their 16 Greatest Hits ++||Dunhill||58|
|1976||The ABC Collection||ABC|
|1979||Uprooted (solo album)||Mercury|
|1982||Powers Of The Night||MCA|
|2000||Live At Last||RFG|
++ - Gold Record - RIAA Certification
- Riedel, David (12 July 2011). "Rob Grill of the Grass Roots dead at 67". CBS News. Retrieved 12 July 2011.
- "Rob Grill Songs". Retrieved 2011-04-16.
- Moser, John J. (12 July 2011). "Grass Roots singer Rob Grill dies hours before SteelStacks show; group plays tribute set". The Morning Call (Lehigh Valley, PA). Retrieved 12 July 2011.
- The-GrassRoots.com — Official Site
- RobGrill.com — Rob Grill's Official Site
- Marty Angelo - former manager