Rob Grill

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Rob Grill
Rob Grill as part of The Grass Roots in 1969
Rob Grill as part of The Grass Roots in 1969
Background information
Birth nameRobert Frank Grill
Born(1943-11-30)November 30, 1943
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
DiedJuly 11, 2011(2011-07-11) (aged 67)
Mount Dora, Florida, U.S.
GenresRock, folk, pop
Occupation(s)Singer, musician, songwriter
Instrument(s)Bass guitar, vocals
Years active1966–2011
LabelsDunhill, ABC, Haven, MCA, Gusto, Mercury Records, RFG, Cleopatra

Robert Frank Grill (November 30, 1943 – July 11, 2011)[1] 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.[2]

Classic rock festivals[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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.[3]


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.[4] With his wife Nancy by his side, Grill died July 11, 2011, in an Orlando, Florida hospital from complications after a stroke.[1][5]



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
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 (July 12, 2011). "Rob Grill of the Grass Roots dead at 67". CBS News. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  2. ^ "Rob Grill Biography". Retrieved August 3, 2023.
  3. ^ "Rob Grill Songs". Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  4. ^ Perpetua, Matthews (July 13, 2011). "Grass Roots Frontman Rob Grill Dead at 67". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 13, 2019.
  5. ^ 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.