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Creed Bratton

Idioma disponible: inglés
Before enjoying a long and varied career as a character actor, Creed Bratton served as the lead guitarist for West Coast folk-rock combo the Grass Roots, whose late-'60s hits included "Let's Live for Today" and "Midnight Confessions." After leaving the band in 1969, Bratton shifted his focus to acting, taking small roles in various films and television shows over the next three decades. He appeared in films like Heart Like a Wheel and Mask, though he ironically found the most success in the late 2000s playing a fictionalized version of himself on NBC's critically acclaimed sitcom The Office, where he earned multiple Screen Actors Guild Award nominations. Concurrent to his acting work, Bratton revived his music career with the 2001 solo album Chasin' the Ball, followed by two more releases in quick succession. As a singer/songwriter, his work trended toward reflective acoustic folk music with rock and country undertones. He released another album in 2008 during his Office tenure and continued to pursue both acting and music in equal measure throughout the 2010s, returning with his eighth solo album, Slightly Altered, in 2020. Born in Sacramento, Bratton took up guitar as a boy and after graduating from high school in 1961, decided to try life as an itinerant musician. While traveling around Europe and the Middle East, he crossed paths with fellow Californian Warren Entner, who also played guitar, and they became a double act, busking for a living as they made their way from country to country. Their hookup became more lasting after a 1964 run-in with an Israeli entrepreneur, who saw the two as the potential core of an Israeli-based rock & roll band consisting of expatriated Americans. That lasted a few months, with the would-be bandmembers going their separate ways until they got back to America. Bratton, living in Los Angeles in 1965, looked up Entner and told him he was still interested in forming a band and that if they could pull it together, a friend of his could get them a paying gig immediately. So Bratton became the lead guitarist, Entner played rhythm and sang, with drummer Rick Coonce and bassist Rob Grill filling out the lineup. Christened the 13th Floor, they gigged at bars, clubs, and bowling alleys around L.A., setting themselves apart by writing original songs, which they duly recorded and sent to Lou Adler's newly formed Dunhill Records. In one of those odd twists of fate, Dunhill was interested in the 13th Floor, but not necessarily in the way they expected. The label wanted to sign them, but offered them a choice: sign as the 13th Floor and go to work under producer/writers P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri using their own name and starting from scratch or take on the name the Grass Roots, an alias that had been vacated by a previous band offered the same chance (under which Sloan and Barri had produced the Top 30 hit "Where Were You When I Needed You" and an LP in 1966). With Grill taking over as lead singer, they became the Grass Roots and beginning in the spring of 1967 with the number eight hit "Let's Live for Today," enjoyed a string of more than a dozen chart hits through 1973. Bratton played lead while Entner handled the rhythm guitar and some 12-string playing, with Sloan contributing guitar as well on the Grass Roots' first two LPs and the accompanying singles. Sloan and Barri also taught the group how to use the studio and some of the ins and outs of writing songs. Bratton and Entner co-authored the catchy "Beatin' Round the Bush." The two of them and Grill wrote "No Exit," which appeared on their debut album, Let's Live for Today, and by himself the lead guitarist also wrote the harder-rocking "House of Stone," which closed the same LP. Bratton's playing was heard on the group's records (especially their album tracks) right up through the Lovin' Things LP, released in early 1969. By that time, the band had settled into a formula for success that precluded the four musicians from manifesting too much individuality, and their music had moved away from its original folk-rock sound to a more pop-soul orientation. Bratton left in 1969 and set aside music to pursue an acting career. Based in Los Angeles, he spent the following three decades carving out a comfortable niche as a character actor in television and film before trying his hand at music once more. All through his acting career, Bratton had continued to write songs, and in 2001 he dug into his back catalog and issued his first solo album, Chasin' the Ball. Released on his own Kindred Music imprint, it was quickly followed by two more albums, The 80's and Coarsegold. In 2005, he joined the cast of NBC's American version of the British sitcom The Office, playing a version of himself. During its eight-season run, the show earned numerous awards and elevated Bratton's status as an actor significantly. During this period, he released two more albums, 2008's Creed Bratton and 2010's Bounce Back as well as the 2011 compilation Demo. In the latter part of the decade, he continued to find varied work in television and issued the 2018 album While the Young Punks Dance. Slightly Altered appeared two years later.
© Bruce Eder & Timothy Monger /TiVo
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