The Grass Roots

There's nothing particularly remarkable about the Grass Roots. Even the most obsessive music geek probably couldn't pick 'em out of a line-up, but the handful of hits they released between 1966 and 1971 are instantly recognizable to anyone acquainted with the music of that era.

Conceived as a vehicle with which songwriter/producers P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri could capture and cash in on the California folk-rock zeitgeist, The Grass Roots didn't actually even exist when their first single was committed to tape. Once "Where Were You When I Needed You" was recorded, Sloan and Barri were faced with the onerous task of finding a band to take their hit on the road. Luckily, you couldn't swing a 12-string Rickenbacker in mid-60s Los Angeles without hitting an unknown group of folkies with page-boy haircuts. So, after a couple false starts, the two svengalis settled on what would become the "popular" incarnation of The Grass Roots.

To their credit, the official members of the Grass Roots eventually contributed some fine songwriting to their own albums with great success, but the lack of any real break-out personalities kept the band from achieving a higher status. Considering the number of bands that never experience even fleeting fame, theirs is a relatively happy story - just not a particularly interesting one.

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