The Grass Roots, Happy Together Tour set for SylvaniaWritten by Vicki L. Kroll | | firstname.lastname@example.org
“Let’s Live for Today,” “Midnight Confessions,” “Sooner or Later,” “Temptation Eyes,” “Where Were You When I Needed You,” “I’d Wait a Million Years,” “Two Divided by Love” — The Grass Roots cranked out the hits from the late ’60s to the early ’70s.
And yet Rob Grill still talks about the two that got away.
“We turned down a couple songs that somebody had written for us, so they gave them to somebody else, and both had huge hits,” said the lead singer and bass player.
“One was called ‘Don’t Pull Your Love Out,’ ” he said during a call from his Florida home. “I didn’t hear it … and two of the other guys who are no longer in the band heard it and went, ‘Eeew, too commercial.’ And for me, you can never be commercial enough; commercial just means it’s sellable.”
ABC Dunhill Records label mates Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds recorded the song that raced up the charts in 1971.
“The other one was called ‘Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)’,” Grill said. “The reason we didn’t do that one is because one of the guys’ wives was named Rosemary and all the guys’ wives in the band would be mad. We were getting so many hits, we just figured hell with it; we won’t do it. Big mistake.”
Edison Lighthouse had a smash with that track in 1970.
“We do these [in concert] and I just explain that these were songs we turned down, and if we hadn’t, here’s how they’d go if we would have done them. People seem to love it,” Grill said.
The Grass Roots are part of the Happy Together Tour, which will stop in Sylvania for a 7 p.m. show May 31 at Centennial Terrace. Also on the bill will be The Turtles, Micky Dolenz from The Monkees, Mark Lindsay from Paul Revere & The Raiders, and The Buckinghams. Tickets are $20.50 and $37.50.
“All these bands that we’re playing with on this tour all have a lot of hits and that’s all they’re going to play,” Grill said, adding The Grass Roots will be on stage for about 30 minutes.
He is the last original member in the band, which features drummer Joe Dougherty, guitarist Dusty Hanvey and keyboardist Larry Nelson.
“The only real money I ever spent was on the last guy that left because we each owned 50 percent,” Grill said. “So that was a little bit more expensive. Had to work something out, took me a couple years to pay for it, but it was a great investment because he left — the last of the original guys besides myself were gone by ’73. And that’s all I’ve ever done since, you know, and made a really good living off of being The Grass Roots and owning the name.
“I hire the guys that play with me now … and I’m the voice, so it’s The Grass Roots, sounds just like it; we play the songs on stage just the way we played them on the record.”