Creed Bratton

Creed Bratton was never a household name, but as a member of the Grass Roots, was one of the more widely heard musicians of the late '60s. Born in Sacramento, CA, Bratton took up guitar as a boy and after graduating from high school in 1961, decided to try life as an itinerant musician. While traveling around Europe and the Middle East, he crossed paths with fellow Californian Warren Entner, who also played guitar, and they became a double-act busking for a living as they made their way from country to country. Their hook-up became more lasting after a 1964 run-in with an Israeli entrepreneur, who saw the two as the potential core of an Israeli-based rock & roll band consisting of expatriated Americans. That lasted a few months, with the would-be bandmembers going their separate ways until they got back to America. Bratton, living in Los Angeles in 1965, looked up Entner and told him he was still interested in forming a band and that if they could pull it together, a friend of his could get them a paying gig immediately. So Bratton became the lead guitarist, Entner played rhythm and sang, and Rick Coonce came in on drums and they went through a succession of bassists, including a Japanese-American musician (last name Fukomoto) who later fell victim to the draft. Christened the 13th Floor, and with Rob Grill coming in on the bassist's spot, they played gigs at bars, clubs, and bowling alleys around Los Angeles, trying to get noticed. One aspect of their work that set them apart from a lot of the competition was that the 13th Floor wrote original songs, which they duly recorded and sent in on a demo tape to Dunhill Records, a newly formed label headed by producer Lou Adler.