|Birth name||Robert Frank Grill|
|Born||November 30, 1943|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Died||July 11, 2011 (aged 67)|
Mount Dora, Florida, U.S.
|Genres||Rock, folk, pop|
|Occupation(s)||Singer, musician, songwriter|
|Instrument(s)||Bass guitar, vocals|
|Labels||Dunhill, ABC, Haven, MCA, Gusto, Mercury Records, RFG, Cleopatra|
Robert Frank Grill (November 30, 1943 – July 11, 2011) was an American musician and songwriter, best known as lead singer and bassist of the rock and roll group The Grass Roots. Though not a founding member, Grill was the longest-serving member of the band prior to his death in 2011.
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 was asked to join The Grass Roots, which grew out of a project originating from Dunhill Records owned by Lou Adler. Writers/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. After their song “Where Were You When I Needed You” — recorded as a demo with P.F. Sloan as lead singer — was released under the name “The Grass Roots” and received airplay in the San Francisco Bay Area, Dunhill searched for a band to become The Grass Roots. After the first group they chose departed, a Los Angeles band composed of Creed Bratton, Rick Coonce, Warren Entner, and Kenny Fukomoto was recruited to become The Grass Roots.
When Fukumoto was drafted into the army, Grill was brought in as his replacement. With Grill as lead singer, they recorded another version of "Where Were You When I Needed You" and he became the band’s longest serving member, appearing with them for more than four decades. Grill went on to produce and manage the band and became owner of The Grass Roots name.
Classic rock festivals
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 10 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).
Solo career and 1960s nostalgia
Grill launched a solo career in 1979, assisted on his solo album by several members of Fleetwood Mac. Responding to 1960s nostalgia, Grill then led The Grass Roots (billed "The Grass Roots Starring Rob Grill") and toured the United States until his death in 2011.
Compositions and musical release performance
Grill composed 16 songs for The Grass Roots and his solo album. One of these, "Come On and Say It", appeared as a single "A" side. His other 15 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 16 albums, seven of which charted. He took part in 32 Grass Roots singles released, 21 of which charted.
Grill died from complications of a head injury sustained in a fall in June 2011. After suffering two strokes following the fall, each located in different parts of his brain, he fell into a coma. With his wife Nancy by his side, Grill died July 11, 2011, in an Orlando, Florida hospital from complications after a stroke.
|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 (July 12, 2011). "Rob Grill of the Grass Roots dead at 67". CBS News. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
- "Rob Grill Biography". The-grassroots.com. Retrieved August 3, 2023.
- "Rob Grill Songs". Grassroots.com. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
- Perpetua, Matthews (July 13, 2011). "Grass Roots Frontman Rob Grill Dead at 67". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 13, 2019.
- Moser, John J. (July 12, 2011). "Grass Roots singer Rob Grill dies hours before SteelStacks show; group plays tribute set". The Morning Call (Lehigh Valley, PA). Retrieved July 12, 2011.