Rob Grill

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Rob Grill
Birth name Robert Frank Grill
Born (1943-11-30)November 30, 1943
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Died July 11, 2011(2011-07-11) (aged 67)
Mt Dora, Florida
Genres Rock, Folk, Pop
Instruments Bass guitar, vocals
Years active 1966–2011
Labels Dunhill - ABC - Haven - MCA - Gusto - Mercury Records - RFG - Cleopatra

Robert Frank "Rob" Grill (November 30, 1943 – July 11, 2011)[1] was an American lead singer, songwriter and bass guitarist of the rock and roll band, The Grass Roots.


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.[2]

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[edit]

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.[3]


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.[1][4]



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

+++ - Composed by Italian superstar Lucio Battisti)


(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
1968 Feelings Dunhill
Golden Grass ++ Dunhill 25
1969 Lovin' Things Dunhill 73
Leaving It All Behind Dunhill 36
1970 More Golden Grass Dunhill 152
1971 Their 16 Greatest Hits ++ Dunhill 58
1972 Move Along Dunhill 86
1973 Alotta' Mileage Dunhill
1976 The ABC Collection ABC
1978 14 Greatest Gusto
1979 Uprooted (solo album) Mercury
1982 Powers Of The Night MCA
2000 Live At Last RFG
2001 Symphonic Hits Cleopatra
2008 Live Gold RFG

++ - Gold Record - RIAA Certification


  1. ^ a b Riedel, David (12 July 2011). "Rob Grill of the Grass Roots dead at 67". CBS News. Retrieved 12 July 2011. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Rob Grill Songs". Retrieved 2011-04-16. 
  4. ^ 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. 

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