Friday, July 29, 2011

The World is a Little Less Wonderful Without Rob Grill

Sometimes things just slip past you, even in this computer age of instant information. In about a month I will be going to see the 2011 incarnation of the Happy Together Tour, a concert featuring several musical acts from the 1960's. One of the groups, The Grass Roots, will be missing its long time lead singer, bass player,  and leader, Rob Grill, who passed away earlier this month. How this somehow got past me I do not know.

It took a long time for me to see Grill's band. I had tickets to a Grass Roots concert many moons ago when I was in college (late 1970's). The fieldhouse was packed as the opening act took the stage. After a few songs, however, an announcement was made: a Grass Roots touring vehicle had been involved in an accident on the way to the concert. It was a serious accident, in fact, and at least one person died. As a result, the band was unable to make it to the concert. We were given an option of getting our money back or staying for the rest of the opening bands performances, and of course everyone headed toward the box office to get their money back.

I finally did get to see The Grass Roots ten years ago when they played at the Peoria Civic Center Theater with The Buckinghams and Gary Puckett. Rob Grill was fantastic. The years did nothing to diminish his golden voice.

After the concert, the bands stayed in the lobby to meet their fans and sign autographs. I told Rob how it took me 20 years to finally see his band after the cancelled concert. I reminded him of the accident that had caused the cancellation, and he looked at me and said "Brother, let's be thankful that we are all here today."

Since one of my friends is a professional singer who tours with some nationally recognized groups and is in touch with inside info on the oldies rock scene, I had known that Rob had been suffering from some physical problems the last few years.  He toured when he could and I was looking forward to seeing him again in August. Listening to the Grass Roots without him will certainly be bittersweet.

Just a few days ago I wrote about the death of former America band member Dan Peek. Being a big fan of rock and pop music all my life, I have always been thrilled at the times I have been able to meet some of these singers and musicians in person. However, as I have seen over the years, it just makes their passing a little bit sadder. Tonight I'll be thinking about these singers who provided me with much joy over the years.


Blogger Josie said...

Never heard of him but RIP. I see where you get your fashion sense from.

1:30 AM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

Josie, at your age (ahem -- you are not THAT much younger than me!) you should have heard all the songs on the You Tube clip I put at the end of the post. Not knowing exactly who he was -- I can see that. It is just that I am obsessed with 1960's music and trivia.

I am surprised you focused on the clothes. If I had his looks I would have been an even bigger lady killer than I was.

4:09 AM  
Blogger The Neophyte said...

Geez Josie, as young as you pretend to be, you were still born in the 19.. errr that time period. You should still remember the clothes they wore back then.

I always liked the Grass Roots, though I was never a fan. I hope he took his own advice Light and lived for today. I'm sure he did quite well in the girl department even without the looks. Look how well guys like Tommy Lee and Ric Ocasek have done.

10:38 AM  
Blogger Lucki Duck said...

I wore out a Grass Roots LP in high school(that's a record Josie).

It's hard to see some of the early pop acts age and have health issues.

I was a big fan of Gary Puckett and the Union Gap back in the day. What a voice!

2:08 PM  
Blogger crafty said...

I was never a Grass Roots fan either (nor, for that Matter, of GP and the UG) but if you mourn his passing then I do too.

2:58 PM  
Anonymous Badrockstar84 said...

this video is from the Ed sullivan Show...I've read The Grass Roots were on American Bandstand over 20 times....Are there any videoes????? If so where can I find/get them???

1:10 PM  

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