The Grass Roots
WILDWOOD — They may be the most underestimated band of the rock n’ roll era. The Grass Roots had a series of hit singles everybody recognizes but may not necessarily attribute to the band.
Their hits included: “Sooner or Later,” “I’d Wait a Million Years,” “Temptation Eyes, “Two Divided By Love,” and “Let’s Live for Today.”
Concertgoers often exclaim, “I didn’t know that made that record!” The Grass Roots, led by the man who sang their hits, Rob Grill, are part of the Sensational Sixties concert here April 24 sponsored by the Greater Wildwood Chamber of Commerce.
During a six year period: 1967-1972, The Grass Roots set a record for being on the Billboard charts for 307 straight weeks. They hold the all-time attendance record for a one act, U.S. concert audience of 600,000 people on July 4, 1982 in Washington, DC.
Grill told the Herald he has been a part of The Grass Roots for 44 years. What keeps him going?
“I forgot to continue my education,” he said with a laugh. “It’s all I’ve done.”
The band always sold more singles than albums and in the early 1970s, they released new singles but only greatest hits collections as albums.
“When we went into the studio, we finally found out what we were really good at was making hit singles,” he said.
The Grass Roots started as a folk-rock band in the late 60s but after scoring a big hit with the song “Midnight Confessions,” which featured a horn section, the band took a more soulful direction. Grill said he calls the band’s sound “pop-rock.”
“We were always looking for that hit song,” said Grill.
He said the band turned down a few songs that became hits for other artists.
After graduating from Hollywood High School, Grill began working at American Recording Studios with some of his musician friends: Cory Wells and John Kay who later formed Three Dog Night and Steppenwolf, respectively. Grill started his own band and teamed up with mega-hit producer Steve Barri whose credits included The Mamas & The Papas and Four Tops.
In 1979, Grill at the prompting of Fleetwood Mac member Lindsey Buckingham and John McVie, produced a solo album titled “Uprooted.”
The Grass Roots will be joining the 25th anniversary reunion of the Happy Together Tour in May with The Turtles, Micky Dolzenz, The Buckinghams and Mark Lindsay.
The Grass Roots recorded a live, greatest hits album in 2006, which will be available at their Wildwood show including an autograph from Grill.
“I always tell them from the stage I have grandchildren to support, maybe from that town,” joked Grill.
He said he never tires of performing.
“The connection with the audience gets me inspired and makes me happy,” said Grill.
He said east coast audiences seem particularly excitable.