Creed Bratton

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Creed Bratton
Creed Bratton.jpg
Bratton in March 2009
BornWilliam Charles Schneider
(1943-02-08) February 8, 1943 (age 71)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
OccupationActor, musician
Years active1965–present
Website
creedbratton.com
 
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This article is about the musician and actor. For the character he plays on The Office, see Creed Bratton (character).
Creed Bratton
Creed Bratton.jpg
Bratton in March 2009
BornWilliam Charles Schneider
(1943-02-08) February 8, 1943 (age 71)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
OccupationActor, musician
Years active1965–present
Website
creedbratton.com

Creed Bratton (born William Charles Schneider; February 8, 1943) is an American actor, musician and former member of The Grass Roots. He is more recently known for playing a fictional version of himself on the American adaptation of The Office on NBC.

Background and education[edit]

Born William Charles Schneider in Los Angeles, he grew up in Coarsegold, California, a small town near Yosemite National Park. His grandparents, mother, and father were musicians, and he took a liking to music at a very early age. At 13, he received his first guitar from a Sears mail order catalog. He became a professional musician during his high school and college years.

Musical career[edit]

Early years[edit]

He decided to try life as a traveling musician and made his way on a global excursion, during which he changed his name to Creed Bratton. He traveled through Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Appearing with his group the Young Californians, he played guitar at a large folk festival in Israel. Fellow American and guitarist Warren Entner witnessed Bratton's performance, and asked him to give him a call when he got back to the United States. In 1966, they formed a partnership and recruited the remaining members needed for their group, the 13th Floor. Bratton played lead guitar, Rick Coonce played drums, Entner played rhythm guitar, and Kenny Fukomoto played bass. They recorded a demo and sent it to Dunhill, a new record company headed by Lou Adler.

The Grass Roots[edit]

Bratton playing at The Office Convention in Scranton, Pennsylvania, in 2007

Producers/songwriters P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri heard the demo and liked it. They needed new band members for a folk rock group that they had created in 1965. The 13th Floor lost its bass player to the draft during this time, and quickly recruited Rob Grill. Changing its name to The Grass Roots for prior name recognition, it went straight to the top 10 with its first recording, "Let's Live for Today" in 1967. The group continued in its hit-making vein and toured the United States. Iconic hit songs such as "Midnight Confessions" cemented the group's standing as major contributors to the rock music scene.

The Grass Roots had top songwriters offering their best songs to them and wrote many songs themselves. On its major songs, music on the recordings were played by LA studio-musicians known as The Wrecking Crew.[1] Bratton co-wrote "Beatin' Round the Bush", "No Exit", and "Hot Bright Lights", and self-composed "Dinner for Eight" and "House of Stone". Bratton played with the group on its first four albums: Let's Live for Today, Feelings, Golden Grass, and Lovin' Things. Three albums charted and Golden Grass received a gold record certification. He took part in the first ten singles released, eight of which charted; Midnight Confessions received a gold record certification.

The Grass Roots played at the Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival on Sunday June 11, 1967, in the "summer of love" as its top ten hit "Let's Live For Today" was hitting the airwaves. This music festival 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, the group 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 its top-ten hit "Midnight Confessions" was hitting the airwaves.

In April 1969, Bratton became frustrated by Dunhill's refusal to allow the band to write its own songs and play the instruments on its records (although the members did play alone at concerts). After a disastrous appearance at the Fillmore West in April 1969, Bratton was asked to leave the band.[1]

Solo years[edit]

In 2001 and 2002, Bratton released three albums showcasing his solo recordings since the 1960s with the assistance of Peter White. In 2007, he presented an induction award to The Wrecking Crew at the Musicians' Hall of Fame. In 2008, he released another album of new music with producer Jon Tiven. In 2010, Bratton released another new album titled "Bounce Back" with producer Dave Way. In 2011, Bratton released an album of greatest hits from his first three solo albums titled "Demo". In 2010 & 2012, Bratton performed live at the SXSW festival. In 2013, Bratton released an original work in three acts, as an audio biography, titled 'Tell Me About It'. Songs ranged from recently written to pieces he had written decades ago. Bratton cites that he listens to lots of jazz and classical music.[2]

Acting career[edit]

Bratton began to pursue an acting career in 1969. He has appeared in films such as Mask and Heart Like a Wheel. He was a cast member (playing a fictional version of himself) on NBC's Emmy and SAG award winning The Office. In 2008, he appeared in a short film with Kyle Gass titled Just One Of The Gynos, which won an award for best short film at the 2008 Malibu International Film Festival. He appeared in the feature film Labor Pains in 2009. His recent film projects are The Ghastly Love of Johnny X, written, produced and directed by Paul Bunnell, I Am Ben, written, produced and directed by Mathew Brady and Gaelan Connell and Terri produced by David Guy Levy. Terri was selected by the Sundance Film Festival 2011 to appear in the US dramatic competition. It was one of only 16 films selected from 1,102 submissions to the US dramatic category.[3] In 2012, he appeared as special guest star in Staged with Brandon Olive who appeared with him in Just One Of The Gynos. Bratton's latest film project is Saving Lincoln a biography set in the civil war period. It is produced by Horatio C. Kemeny and written and directed by Salvador Litvak.

Filmography[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1967–1969American BandstandHimself
1967The Hollywood PalaceHimself
1968With Six You Get EggrollHimself
1968–1969It's HappeningHimself
1969Playboy After DarkHimself
1975Kolchak: The Night StalkerMan Entering LabEpisode "Primal Scream"
1977Quincy M.E.Young ManEpisode "No Deadly Secret"
1977Eight is EnoughEpisode "Mortgage Burnin' Blues"
1983Heart Like a WheelPhotographer
1985MaskCarnival Ticket Taker
1986A Fighting ChoiceCourt Clerk
1987U.S. Marshals: Waco & RhinehartAgent Jones
1987The Wild PairDalton
1988Seven Hours To JudgementSubway Worker
1991Neon CityGuard at NeonHe was also a grip
1994Secret Sins Of The FatherGas Station Worker
2005The War Of GeneCaptain Clark
2005–2013The OfficeCreed Bratton
2006The Bernie Mac ShowFuneral Home EmployeeEpisode "Bernie's Angels"
2006The ManualMajor. Edwards
2007–2008TodayHimselfEpisodes dated 10/26/07, 6/24/08
2008Just One Of The GynosDr. Gus Callery
20086th Annual TV Land AwardsHimself
2008Celebrity Family FeudHimself
2009Labor PainsJohn Abbotts
2010In Gayle We TrustDenny PotterTwo episodes
2010Funny or Die PresentsHimselfFour episodes
2010The ForgottenGuyEpisode "Double Doe"
2012The Ghastly Love Of Johnny XRock & Roll Crooner "Mickey O'Flynn" (the Man with the Grin)
2012Liz & DickDarryl ZanuckTV movie
2011I Am BenDr. Cobb
2011TerriUncle James
2013Saving LincolnSenator Charles Sumner
2014Adventure TimePhlannel Boxingday

Discography[edit]

Singles[edit]

Release dateTitleFlip sideRecord LabelChart Positions
US BillboardUS CashboxUK
1967Let's Live for TodayDepressed FeelingDunhill85
Things I Should Have SaidTip Of My TongueDunhill2336
Wake Up, Wake UpNo ExitDunhill6861
1968Melody For YouHey FriendDunhill123
FeelingsHere's Where You BelongDunhill
Midnight Confessions ++Who Will You Be TomorrowDunhill55
1969Bella Linda +++Hot Bright LightsDunhill2820
Melody For YouAll Good Things Come To An EndDunhill
Lovin' ThingsYou And Love Are The SameDunhill4935
River Is Wide, The(You Gotta) Live For LoveDunhill3116

++ - Gold Record - RIAA Certification

+++ - Composed by Italian superstar Lucio Battisti)

Albums[edit]

Release dateTitleRecord LabelChart Positions
US BillboardUS CashboxUK
1967Let's Live for TodayDunhill75
1968FeelingsDunhill
Golden Grass ++Dunhill25
1969Lovin' ThingsDunhill73
2001Chasin’ The BallKindred
The 80’sKindred
2002CoursegoldKindred
2008Creed BrattonKindred
2010Bounce BackKindred
2011DemoKindred

++ - Gold Record - RIAA Certification

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Hartman, Kent (2012). The Wrecking Crew. New York: St. Martin's Press. pp. 169–172. ISBN 978-0-312-61974-9. 
  2. ^ "Creed Bratton: From His First Guitar to ‘The Office’ Finale. Telling Us About It..". 
  3. ^ Official website's biography

External links[edit]