Creed Bratton (born William Charles Schneider in 1943) is an American actor, singer and musician. A former member of the rock band the Grass Roots, he is best known for playing a fictionalized version of himself on the NBC sitcom The Office, which earned him five nominations for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series.

Creed Bratton
Bratton at GalaxyCon Raleigh 2019
Bratton at GalaxyCon Raleigh 2019
Background information
Birth nameWilliam Charles Schneider
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
  • Singer-songwriter
  • guitarist
  • actor
  • Guitar
  • vocals
Formerly ofThe Grass Roots

Early life and education edit

Bratton was born William Charles Schneider in Los Angeles, and grew up in Visalia, California, a town near Sequoia National Park.[2]

Musical career edit

Early years edit

Bratton adopted his new name while on a global excursion as a traveling musician. 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 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. The Young Californians 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 their bass player to the draft during this time, and quickly recruited Rob Grill, changing the band's name to the "Grass Roots" for prior name recognition. The group went straight to the Top 10 with the song "Let's Live for Today" in 1967 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.[3]

The Grass Roots had top songwriters offering their best songs to them and wrote many songs themselves. For their major songs, music on the recordings was played by the LA studio musicians known as the Wrecking Crew.[4] Bratton co-wrote the songs "Beatin' Round the Bush", "No Exit" and "Hot Bright Lights", and self-composed "Dinner for Eight" and "House of Stone". He sang lead vocals on "This Precious Time" and "Dinner for Eight". Bratton played with the group on its albums Let's Live for Today, Feelings, Golden Grass (a compilation) and Lovin' Things. Three of the albums charted, and Golden Grass received a gold record certification. He took part in ten of the group's singles, 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, during the "Summer of Love" as their top-ten hit "Let's Live for Today" was hitting the airwaves.[5] Though the music festival occurred before the Monterey Pop Festival, it was not filmed as was the latter festival (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 as the top-ten hit "Midnight Confessions" was becoming popular.

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.[4]

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 an 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 and 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 those recently written to pieces that he had written decades before. Bratton states that he listens to much jazz and classical music.[6]

On January 18, 2014, Bratton joined his friend Zachary Scot Johnson for a duet for the 500th consecutive day of the thesongadayproject on YouTube.[7]

Acting career edit

Bratton in 2009

Bratton began to pursue an acting career in 1975. He has appeared in films such as Mask and Heart Like a Wheel.[8] He was a cast member, playing a fictional version of himself, on NBC's Emmy and SAG award-winning The Office. In a deleted scene from the episode "Booze Cruise", he speaks about his time with the Grass Roots. In Season 3 Episode 10 "A Benihana Christmas", Creed sings a karaoke rendition of his song "Spinnin' N Reelin'" during the Christmas party. In a deleted scene from Season 3 Episode 21 "Product Recall", the reporter from the Scranton Times recognizes him as Creed Bratton from the band the Grass Roots and mentions that he wrote his obituary. In the episode "Money", he says "he never goes bankrupt", as all his debt "is always transferred to William Charles Schneider" (which is his birth name), while holding an allegedly fake passport on camera. In the series finale, his character is revealed to be a part of Grass Roots, and was arrested after being a wanted fugitive living at the Dunder Mifflin office. This episode also features Bratton performing his song "All the Faces".

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.[9] In 2012, he appeared as special guest star in Staged with Brandon Olive who appeared with him in Just One Of The Gynos. In 2013, he starred in Saving Lincoln, a biography set during the American Civil War.[8]

Filmography edit

Film edit

Year Title Role Notes
1983 Heart Like a Wheel Photographer
1985 Mask Carnival Ticket Taker
1987 The Wild Pair Dalton
1988 Seven Hours to Judgment Subway Worker
1991 Neon City Guard at Neon Also worked as a grip
2006 The Manual Maj. Edwards Short film
2008 Just One Of The Gynos Dr. Gus Callery
2009 Remembering Nigel Himself
2011 I Am Ben Dr. Cobb
Terri Uncle James
2012 The Ghastly Love of Johnny X Mickey O'Flynn
The Guilt Trip Suitor
Melvin Smarty
2013 Saving Lincoln Senator Charles Sumner
2015 Band of Robbers Dobbins
The Sound of Magic SRC
2018 The Sisters Brothers Quarrel Saloon Guy Town 2
2021 Hero Mode James Tisdale

Television edit

Year Title Role Notes
1967 The Hollywood Palace Himself (guest)
1967–1969 American Bandstand 4 episodes
1968 With Six You Get Eggroll
1969 It's Happening Episode: "The Grassroots"
Playboy After Dark
1975 Kolchak: The Night Stalker Man Entering Lab Episode "Primal Scream"
1977 Quincy M.E. Young Man Episode "No Deadly Secret"
Eight Is Enough Merv Episode "Mortgage Burnin' Blues"
1986 The Magical World of Disney Court Clerk Episode: "A Fighting Choice"
1987 U.S. Marshals: Waco & Rhinehart Agent Jones Television film
1994 Secret Sins Of The Father Gas Station Worker Television film
2003–2004; 2006 The Bernie Mac Show Various 6 episodes
2005–2013 The Office Creed Bratton Recurring role (seasons 1–3); main cast (seasons 4–9)
SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (1)
Nominated - SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (5)
2007–2008 Today Himself (guest) 2 episodes
2008 Celebrity Family Feud Himself (guest) Episode: "The Office vs. American Gladiators, Hickeys vs. Camden County"
2010 The Forgotten Guy Episode: "Double Doe"
Funny or Die Presents Himself 4 episodes
2012 Liz & Dick Darryl Zanuck Television film
2014 Adventure Time Phlannel Boxingday Episode: "Lemonhope Part Two"
Franklin & Bash Judge Patrick Semmer Episode: "Kershaw v. Lincecum"
Garfunkel and Oates Kazoo Man Episode: "Maturity"
2015 Comedy Bang! Bang! Grandfather Episode: "Ty Burrell Wears a Chambray Shirt & Clear Frame Glasses"
Grace and Frankie Seth Episode: "The Bachelor Party"
2017 The New V.I.P.'s Charlie Television film
2019 Hello Realtor Sal Episode: "Pilot"
Into the Dark George Atwood Episode: "Culture Shock"
2020 Upload Rupert Tilford Episode: "The Funeral"

Web edit

Year Title Role Notes
2008 The Office: The Outburst Creed Bratton 4 episodes
2009 The Office: Blackmail
2010 The Office: The Mentor Episode: "Reimbursements"
The Office: The 3rd Floor Episode: "The Final Product"
In Gayle We Trust Denny Potter 2 episodes
2011 The Office: The Podcast Creed Bratton 3 episodes
2012 Staged Villain Episode: "Gym Class Heroes"
2017 The New V.I.P.'s Charlie

Video games edit

Year Title Role
2011 World Gone Sour Narrator (voice)
2020 Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Emerson Black (voice)

Discography edit

Singles edit

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 123 120
Feelings Here's Where You Belong Dunhill 118
Midnight Confessions ++ Who Will You Be Tomorrow Dunhill 5 5
Bella Linda Hot Bright Lights Dunhill 28 20
1969 Melody For You All Good Things Come To An End Dunhill
Lovin' Things You And Love Are The Same Dunhill 49 35
The River Is Wide (You Gotta) Live For Love Dunhill 31 16

++ - Gold Record - RIAA Certification

Albums edit

Release date Title Record Label Chart Positions
US Billboard US Cashbox UK
1967 Let's Live for Today Dunhill 75 69
1968 Feelings Dunhill
Golden Grass ++ Dunhill 25 25
1969 Lovin' Things Dunhill 73 58
2001 Chasin’ The Ball Kindred
The 80’s Kindred
2002 Coarsegold Kindred
2008 Creed Bratton Kindred
2010 Bounce Back Kindred
2011 Demo Kindred
2018 While The Young Punks Dance Alien Chicken
2020 Slightly Altered Alien Chicken

++ - Gold Record - RIAA Certification

References edit

  1. ^ "UPI Almanac for Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024". United Press International. February 8, 2024. Retrieved May 9, 2024.
  2. ^ Dorwart, Laura. "'The Office': What Is Creed Bratton Doing Now?". Retrieved December 30, 2020.
  3. ^ Boone, Brian. "Whatever happened to Creed from The Office?". Retrieved December 30, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Hartman, Kent (2012). The Wrecking Crew. New York: St. Martin's Press. pp. 169–172. ISBN 978-0-312-61974-9.
  5. ^ Newman, Jason. "The Untold and Deeply Stoned Story of the First U.S. Rock Festival". Rolling Stone, LLC, a subsidiary of Penske Business Media, LLC. Retrieved December 30, 2020.
  6. ^ "Creed Bratton: From His First Guitar to 'The Office' Finale. Telling Us About It. – Farah Joan". April 28, 2013. Archived from the original on January 17, 2014. Retrieved May 24, 2016.
  7. ^ "(500) Zachary Scot Johnson & Creed Bratton Chained To The Blues thesongadayproject The Office". YouTube. January 18, 2014. Archived from the original on December 21, 2021. Retrieved May 24, 2016.
  8. ^ a b "Creed Bratton- IMDb". IMDb, Inc. Retrieved December 30, 2020.
  9. ^ "Biography". Archived from the original on February 24, 2008. Retrieved March 3, 2008.

External links edit

Interviews edit