Creed Bratton

Creed Bratton (born William Charles Schneider ; February 8, 1943) is an American character actor, singer, and musician. He is a former member of the rock band The Grass Roots, and is best known for playing a fictionalized version of himself on the NBC sitcom The Office, which earned him a 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
Born (1943-02-08) February 8, 1943 (age 77)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Singer-songwriter
  • guitarist
  • actor
Instruments
  • Guitar
  • vocals
Years active1965–present
Labels
Associated acts
Websitecreedbratton.com

Early life and educationEdit

Bratton was born William Charles Schneider in Los Angeles, and grew up in Coarsegold, California, a small town near Yosemite National Park. When Bratton was two, his father died when 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 ordered his first guitar from a Sears mail order catalog. He became a professional musician during his high school and college years.

Musical careerEdit

Early yearsEdit

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. The Young Californians recorded a demo and sent it to Dunhill, a new record company headed by Lou Adler.

The Grass RootsEdit

 
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. The group went straight to the top 10 with the song "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.[1] 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. 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 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 yearsEdit

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 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 recently written to pieces he had written decades ago. Bratton states he listens to much jazz and classical music.[2]

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.[3]

Acting careerEdit

 
Bratton in 2009

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 the episode "Booze Cruise", he speaks about his time with the Grass Roots on a deleted scene. The scene is included as a bonus feature on the DVD release.

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.[4] 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.

FilmographyEdit

FilmEdit

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
2012 The Ghastly Love of Johnny X Mickey O'Flynn
2011 I Am Ben Dr. Cobb
2011 Terri Uncle James
2012 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

TelevisionEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1967 The Hollywood Palace Himself (guest)
1967–69 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 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
2005–13 The Office Creed Bratton Recurring role; Seasons 1-2
Main cast; 3-9

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)

2006 The Bernie Mac Show Funeral Home Employee Episode "Bernie's Angels"
2007–08 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 One"
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"

WebEdit

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 gamesEdit

Year Title Role Notes
2011 World Gone Sour Narrator (voice)

DiscographyEdit

SinglesEdit

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
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

AlbumsEdit

Release date Title Record Label Chart Positions
US Billboard US Cashbox UK
1967 Let's Live for Today Dunhill 75
1968 Feelings Dunhill
Golden Grass ++ Dunhill 25
1969 Lovin' Things Dunhill 73
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 Alterd Alien Chicken

++ - Gold Record - RIAA Certification

ReferencesEdit

  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. – Farah Joan". Laparadiddle.com. 2013-04-28. Archived from the original on 2014-01-17. Retrieved 2016-05-24.
  3. ^ "(500) Zachary Scot Johnson & Creed Bratton Chained To The Blues thesongadayproject The Office". YouTube. 2014-01-18. Retrieved 2016-05-24.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 24, 2008. Retrieved March 3, 2008.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit