Lead guitarist Creed Bratton of the Grass Roots & The Office is 68 today

Born William Charles Schneider in Los Angeles, Creed Bratton was a member of The Grass Roots and is a cast member on the NBC comedy series The Office.

Creed grew up in Coarsegold, California, a small town near Yosemite National Park. His grandparents, mother, and father were musicians. He received his first guitar from a Sears mail order catalog when he was 13. He became a professional musician during his high school and college years. Upon his mother's remarriage, his name was changed to Chuck Ertmoed.

He decided to try life as a traveling musician and went on a global excursion through Europe, Africa and the Middle East. He changed his name once more, this time to Creed Bratton.

Appearing with his group the Young Californians, he played guitar at a large folk festival in Israel. After fellow American guitarist Warren Entner saw Bratton play, he suggested Bratton give him to give him a call when he got back to the U.S. 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.

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 their bass player to the military draft, and recruited Rob Grill. They changed their name to The Grass Roots.

The group soared to the top 10 with their first recording, "Let's Live for Today" in 1967. The group followed with Midnight Confessions" another hit.

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20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: Best Of The Grass Roots


The Grass Roots wrote many songs themselves but also had top songwriters offering them songs. 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 their first four albums – Let's Live for Today, Feelings, Golden Grass, and Lovin' Things – three of which charted. He took part in the first ten singles released, eight of which charted.

In 2001 and 2002, Bratton released three albums showcasing his solo recordings since the 1960s. 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.

Bratton began to pursue an acting career in 1969. He has appeared in films such as Mask and Heart Like a Wheel. He is a current 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 latest film projects are The Ghastly Love of Johnny X, I Am Ben, and Gaelan Connell and Terri. 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.