Creed Bratton (born William Charles Schneider; February 8, 1943) is an American actor and musician. He was a former member of the band The Grass Roots. He is more recently known for playing a fictional version of himself on The Office on NBC.
Background and education
He was born William Charles Schneider in Los Angeles, and he grew up in Coarsegold, California, a small town near Yosemite National Park. His father died when he was two years old after an airplane he was working on exploded while he was stationed in Hawaii. 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.
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. He played guitar at a large folk festival in Israel, appearing with his group the Young Californians. 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
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. The group went straight to the top 10 with their 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 was played by LA studio musicians known as The Wrecking Crew. 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.
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.
On January 18, 2014, Bratton joined his friend Zachary Scot Johnson for a duet for the 500th consecutive day of thesongadayproject on YouTube. The video was recorded in Bratton's home and has received over 300,000 views.
Bratton began to pursue an acting career in 1979. 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. 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.
|1967||The Hollywood Palace||Himself|
|1968||With Six You Get Eggroll||Himself|
|1969||Playboy After Dark||Himself|
|1975||Kolchak: The Night Stalker||Man Entering Lab||Episode "Primal Scream"|
|1977||Quincy M.E.||Young Man||Episode "No Deadly Secret"|
|1977||Eight is Enough||Episode "Mortgage Burnin' Blues"|
|1983||Heart Like a Wheel||Photographer|
|1985||Mask||Carnival Ticket Taker|
|1986||A Fighting Choice||Court Clerk|
|1987||U.S. Marshals: Waco & Rhinehart||Agent Jones|
|1987||The Wild Pair||Dalton|
|1988||Seven Hours To Judgement||Subway Worker|
|1991||Neon City||Guard at Neon||He was also a grip|
|1994||Secret Sins Of The Father||Gas Station Worker|
|2005||The War Of Gene||Captain Clark|
|2005–2013||The Office||Creed Bratton|
|2006||The Bernie Mac Show||Funeral Home Employee||Episode "Bernie's Angels"|
|2006||The Manual||Major. Edwards|
|2007–2008||Today||Himself||Episodes dated 10/26/07, 6/24/08|
|2008||Just One Of The Gynos||Dr. Gus Callery|
|2008||6th Annual TV Land Awards||Himself|
|2008||Celebrity Family Feud||Himself|
|2009||Labor Pains||John Abbotts|
|2010||In Gayle We Trust||Denny Potter||Two episodes|
|2010||Funny or Die Presents||Himself||Four episodes|
|2010||The Forgotten||Guy||Episode "Double Doe"|
|2012||The Ghastly Love of Johnny X||Mickey O'Flynn (the Man with the Grin)|
|2012||Liz & Dick||Darryl Zanuck||TV movie|
|2011||I Am Ben||Dr. Cobb|
|2013||Saving Lincoln||Senator Charles Sumner|
|2014||Adventure Time||Phlannel Boxingday|
|2015||Comedy Bang! Bang!||Grandfather||Episode: "Ty Burrell Wears a Chambray Shirt & Clear Frame Glasses"|
|2015||Grace and Frankie||Seth||Episode: "The Bachelor Party"|
|2015||Band of Robbers||Dobbins|
|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|
++ - Gold Record - RIAA Certification
+++ - Composed by Lucio Battisti
|Release date||Title||Record Label||Chart Positions|
|US Billboard||US Cashbox||UK|
|1967||Let's Live for Today||Dunhill||75|
|Golden Grass ++||Dunhill||25|
|2001||Chasin’ The Ball||Kindred|
++ - Gold Record - RIAA Certification