The Grass Roots Starring Rob Grill

At Tradition - Port St Lucie, Florida

February 20, 2009

It was a beautiful sunny Florida day, bright blue skies and no humidity thanks to the unusually long cold snap we have been experiencing this year. We had been waiting a Million Years for this day to finally come. Rob had returned and it was our time here in Florida to see him for the first time since April 2008 at Epcot.

Show time was scheduled for 6:45 pm. We arrived very early in the afternoon to check out the parking and find exactly where the stage was. It was about 2:00 pm and people were already starting to set their chairs up! We set our chairs up front and center.

It seemed like an eternity until 6:45 pm arrived. The crowd was very large. The stage was set up adjacent to the Town Hall and the audience was seated on the Town Green. It came as no surprise that nearly all the space was filled with chairs and blankets! By the time the sun had set, it was extremely cold (for us Floridians anyway) with an icy wind. Finally, SHOW TIME!

Rob looked absolutely great! It was such a joy to watch him play his bass again. They opened with “Wait A Million Years” and we were treated to “Mamacita”, complete with Joe’s awesome drum solo. “Let’s Live For Today” also featured Dusty’s guitar, which always brings us way back in time! “Things I Should Have Said” also gave Larry a spotlight. A first for us was hearing “Drift Away” and of course, Rob nailed it. Sadly, time was up! But wait, no “Midnight Confessions”? Rob quickly ignored the “curfew” and as soon as he played those first notes, everyone was on their feet singing and clapping. Rob seemed very pleased!

Our 75 minutes had sadly come to an end. Rob and Joe were signing CD’s and such, but we did not see Larry and Dusty. We told Rob what a fantastic show it was and how great it was to see him again. Next stop, Manatee County Fairgrounds, Palmetto, FL on March 14 for the Gulf Coast Rhythm and Ribfest!

Donna and Dayton Simpson
Fort Myers, FL

The Grass Roots Rock Tarrytown Music Hall - September 30, 2007

It has been five years and one week since I saw my first live concert of The Grass Roots. I was wondering what it would be like to hear those songs live that I knew by heart. How would they sound? What would Rob look like? Would I be disappointed? All my anxieties were put to rest when I spotted Rob on stage and I couldn’t help myself but I sighed. I was sitting second row center and close enough for Rob to hear that sigh and he waved to me. From that moment to this evening on September 30, 2007, I have never been disappointed with the performances by Rob, Dusty, Larry and Joe. I also have to make special mention that guitarist Chris Merrell brought so much to the shows as well. Due to personal issues Chris does not perform with The Grass Roots now, but is often thought about and kept in our prayers.

Tarrytown, NY is about thirty minutes from Manhattan, a quick drive from my house across the Tappen Zee Bridge. Fall is in the air now, as the leaves are changing - just the perfect time for yet another Grass Roots show. In this show, The Grass Roots shared the bill with The Lovin’ Spoonful and the audience really appreciated their efforts. The Tarrytown Music Hall is an older theatre which has been refurbished and it is a terrific facility to see a concert or play. After a thirty minute intermission, The Grass Roots began their show. Larry Nelson sometimes handles the introduction of the band. His voice echoed “Live from Los Angeles, California, MCA recording artists The Grass Roots!”. The audience was terrific and cheered with great enthusiasm.

Wait A Million Years was their opening song, my favorite of the hits. Other songs played this evening were: Sooner Or Later, Two Divided By Love, Where Were You When I Needed You, Things I Should Have Said, Lovin’ Things and Let’s Live For Today, in not that particular order. At one point during the show, part of the drum kit came apart. Rob and the guys being the professionals they are, kept the audience entertained with very, very funny one-liners. Once again the show was over much too quickly and it was time for Temptation Eyes and Midnight Confessions before the band ended their set. Even if they played four hours straight, it would still not be enough for me! As I was leaving, there was a couple commenting to each other on what an amazing time they had and how phenomenal it is that both these bands are still going strong after all these years. They said “How many musical artists of today will have the longevity that these two bands have?”. This is a fitting tribute to Rob Grill’s dedication to the music that he loves and that comes across to his audiences all across the country.

So Happy Anniversary to me.


The Grass Roots At Mohegan Sun’s Wolf Den 11-10-07


The Grass Roots played two terrific shows at the Wolf’s Den on Saturday night bringing the high energy performance that they are noted for. The Mohegan Sun Casino is located in Connecticut on reservation land with all of the natural surroundings preserved. The workmanship is absolutely beautiful and it not only has two huge casinos, but lots of specialty shops, restaurants and other concert venues as well. I always look forward to going here when The Grass Roots are on the bill.

The Wolf’s Den is a lounge area right in the middle of the casino and is very small - only just over 300 seats, but is great for those up-close and personal shows. The band started their first show with Wait A Million Years and included songs like Things I Should Have Said, Where Were You When I Needed You, Lovin’ Things, Let’s Live For Today, Sooner Or Later, Two Divided By Love, Heaven Knows, Don’t Pull Your Love Out On Me Baby and Love Grows. The second show started off with Temptation Eyes - another one of my personal favorites. Rumor has it that this is Rob Grill’s personal favorite. Different songs played in this show were Drift Away, Something About You and Mamacita. All in all, it was another terrific performance.

As this year of shows has come to an end, we are anticipating the new CD and more performances in 2008. I have traveled from New York to Florida, Nevada, New Jersey, New York again and finally Connecticut to see their performances and I never get tired of seeing them play. I have met people all across the country that are Grass Roots fans and share the LOVE I have for this music. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that at age 50, I would still be hearing this music and seeing the songs performed live by Rob Grill himself! Thanks to Rob, Dusty, Joe, Larry and Chris Merrell for a great five years of live Grass Roots. It is a pleasure to know all of you!


The Grass Roots On A Cold Winter’s Eve - January 19, 2008

2008 got off to a rockin’ start at the Scottish Rite Auditorium in Collingswood, NJ when Rob Grill and The Grass Roots gave a performance to take the winters chill away. Rob with the aid of a crutch, due to his recent surgery, walked on stage to the welcoming crowd. He was joined with current band members Dusty Hanvey, Joe Dougherty, and Hal Ratliff, who was filling in for Larry Nelson on keyboards. The opening song was Wait A Million Years with some other songs played, Don’t Pull Your Love Out On Me, Heaven Knows, Sooner Or Later, Things I Should Have Said, Love Grows, Let’s Live For Today, Temptation Eyes & Midnight Confessions. Their show was shortened due to The Turtles being on the bill as well. Rob was in obvious discomfort but gave another terrific performance and is always the consummate professional. Dusty, Joe and Hal were all in great form as well.

With much anticipation the new live CD, “Live Gold” made it’s debut at last week’s Michigan show and the CD was available this evening as well. I listened to it all on my drive home and it is just terrific - well worth the “WAIT”.   This CD showcases the band’s 14 top 40 Billboard hits, and has great tunes like, Baby Hold On, The Runway, The River Is Wide, Glory Bound and Bella Linda. The CD is just another WINNER as far as I’m concerned. Other fans who have been with the band for many years like me will appreciate the special efforts made by Rob, Dusty (who produced the CD) Larry and Joe. A true collector’s item for fans of The Grass Roots.

Thanks to Rob, Joe, Hal & Dusty for another enjoyable evening. ROCK ON GUYS!!!


The Grass Roots At The Chumash Casino 3-22-08

On a beautiful California day I attended my second Grass Roots show of the season. This particular show was hugely important for me and a friend to attend due to the illness of Rob Grill. As I mentioned before, I have attended many Grass Roots shows over the last six years and not only have I gotten to know Rob, but Larry, Dusty and Joe.  So with that in mind, as usual I was looking forward to yet another Grass Roots event!

Mark Dawson was filling in for Rob this evening on lead vocal and bass. It is hard to describe the presence Rob has onstage if you have not seen his live performances. For anyone it would be difficult to cover for a legend, but Mark did a fantastic job. The audience was an odd one and no one knew who The Grass Roots were except my friend, me and a few others.  

Nevertheless, my friend and I sat in a front row table singing, clapping and shaking our butts in our chairs…Rob would be pleased! For most people the band is identified by the songs and all of the big hits were played this night as well as lesser know Grass Roots songs including Lovin’ Things and Mamacita.

In Rob’s absence or when Rob returns, Mark Dawson is an asset to the band, which includes Dusty Hanvey on lead guitar and background vocals, who always plays a mean guitar, Larry Nelson, who always is the master of the keyboards and background vocals and Joe Dougherty who is in charge of the drums and various other gadgets!

It was another wonderful performance by my favorite guys. Next up for me is Epcot April 9-13 at the American Gardens Theatre.


Rockin’ Epcot

Rob Returns To Center Stage April 10-13, 2008

On a beautiful Florida day Rob Grill returned to the stage after a two months absence. As many know, Rob had brain surgery for a subdural hematoma from a fall and is now recovering. Rob and Nancy Grill would like to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers and well wishes and ask that all be informed on his continued status to returning to the stage. As he recovers from his surgery, he is also dealing with a knee injury that keeps him off his feet. I can report absolutely that Rob has not lost his love for performing or that terrific voice which was so strong for all twelve GR performances. However, travel is difficult and more rehab is needed in order for him to return to full time performing. Mark Dawson will continue to fill in when the band is on the road. Please continue to keep Rob, Nancy and the Grill family in your prayers during this time and we all will see Rob “Rockin’ On The Road Again” soon!

Since Rob lives a short distance from Epcot center, he was able to take a short drive to the venue. Rob loves to perform and sing all these Grass Roots songs. Well, these particular days were extra special and his love for all of us was shining through. I am still tingling from the experience. All five members of the band shined during the performances:  Dusty Hanvey on lead guitar, Larry Nelson on keyboard, Joe Dougherty on drums, Mark Dawson on bass and Rob on vocals. Yes they say Disney is the land of a million dreams but Rob affected us all with his own special magic. The only other person who was happier then Rob being back on stage was Mark, who had not met Rob until before Thursday’s performances and enjoyed playing with “The Master”.

The Epcot shows are divided into three one half hour shows per day.  The first two days of songs were the usual big hits:  Wait A Million Years, Sooner Or Later, Let’s Live For Today, Heaven Knows, Two Divided By Love, Love Grows, Don’t Pull Your Love Out On Me, Things I Should Have Said, Temptation Eyes and Midnight Confessions. What was particularly special was Rob’s performance of Where Were You When I Needed You, which brought everyone to their feet. On Saturday, we were treated to Glory Bound, which is on the new Live Gold CD. I have never heard that song played live. We also heard Baby Hold On which is from Live Gold as well.

Just magical, electric…. I don’t have enough adjectives for the feelings present during these performances. The “Man” is back, without missing a beat. I am once again so very proud and honored to call him my friend! Rock on and continued best wishes always!


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