Creed Bratton, musician and actor from the NBC sitcom "The Office," walks down memory lane remembering an acid trip with The Grass Roots. Bratton also talks about his new album, and what would have happened to his character on "The Office."
LYNDSEY PARKER: I'm real excited to talk to you, Creed, because you've had this amazing dual career. Obviously, a lot of people watching this probably know you from "The Office." I mean, that was like a whole second act in your life because you had this whole history with the Grass Roots. You have a new record coming out-- "Slightly Altered." And I read that you said this was your most personal album today. And I'm curious why that is.
CREED BRATTON: It's just that I try to, as I get older, try to find the most positive things in life. And since I do have such a young fan base and granddaughters now, it's kind of important to me to pass on what I've learned in my years on the planet and what's got me through all this stuff too. Because Creed was a bad boy.
LYNDSEY PARKER: You've led a great life, Creed. What are your craziest memories-- because you said you were a bad boy-- of the Summer of Love? Because that was smack dab in the middle of this. It was 1967 or so. Must have been a really great time to be a lot of--
CREED BRATTON: It was the Summer of Love. You're right. I was in a hit pop group. So it was-- needless to say, I did all right. Heh, heh, heh. [LAUGHS]
LYNDSEY PARKER: What are your memories of being in the Grass Roots and enjoying the fruits of that?
CREED BRATTON: I will tell the story one more time for you. Ricky and I liked to go smoke a joint out at People's Park in San Francisco every time we played the Fillmore. And we were smoking and playing hand drums and stuff like this, and the roadie comes up in the car. So we gotta go. We gotta go back and get dressed and do the show.
And we'd already had our sound check. So we started walking back. And this little girl, this little hippie girl-- she comes up and she had a little decal, a little flower decal on her cheek. And she goes up, and she opens up her hands, and she goes, for you. How and what? For you. And in her hand were these little white paper with the little blue dots.
I'd read "Newsweek," so I knew what that was. I said, oh, thank you. I took it like that. Ricky grabbed one. We started to walk to the car. I take it. And he goes, that was really nice of that girl. We should take this after we get off the stage. And I went, yeah, that's a good idea. A little late.
Cut to an hour later. Walking out on stage. Here they are, from Los Angeles, the Grass Roots. Now, they love their San Francisco groups. So they loved Quicksilver, and Big Brother, and all those bands. And we were kind of like a slick-- what they would consider an LA band, you know. Although if they'd heard us back in the 13th Floor, they knew we were raw as anybody, which we were.
I come on stage, and I start to go. I look down and start to play the notes. And all of a sudden, my hands are starting to glow. And I look. And I go, oh. And all of a sudden, there's this technicolor accordion.
I start-- in my head, I start playing music. I'm God's concertina player. Concertina player. (SONG-LIKE) Doo-doo-doo-doo, doo,doo, doo, doo. I mean, my head is out here. And I hear Bill-- Bill Graham-- going, play! Play! LA. [BLEEP] play! What? What-- what'd he-- why would he say that to me? He knows I'm-- you know. But he didn't like me. He didn't like me.
LYNDSEY PARKER: Aw.
CREED BRATTON: Anyway. And we're all looking at him like, why is he getting so angry? They didn't know. They didn't know I was tripping out. So I go, [GUITAR TWANG SOUNDS]. And I look out of the speaker, and out of the speaker comes musical notes on staff paper like this. And then the notes fall. They fall off onto the floor. And I go, oh, poor notes.
And I go over, and I have an imaginary dust bin. So I'm sweeping up the notes. And I'm picking them up and trying to put them back into the speaker. And they're looking, going, what the hell? And then all of a sudden, I looked around, and I couldn't-- I couldn't perform. So I dropped my pants.
LYNDSEY PARKER: [LAUGHS]
CREED BRATTON: And back those days, you know, let that pony dance. I mean, old balloon needed some air room. Let me tell you. So I decide-- so there I was, you know, like, ta-da. It pays to advertise kind of thing. Ta-da.
And I get up. I go backstage. Jay's pontificating to the stage crew. And they're just like, shaking-- we had to come back the next week and make up the show. But no one was going to kick me out of the band because of that. That was the--
LYNDSEY PARKER: Course not.
CREED BRATTON: That's just a rock and roll story. And now it's one of my better rock and roll stories, to say the least.
LYNDSEY PARKER: It was a really good story. I really want to thank you for--
CREED BRATTON: You're welcome.
LYNDSEY PARKER: --for filling me in on that.
CREED BRATTON: I still find life in it right now after all this time. So that's a good-- thank you.
LYNDSEY PARKER: So you have all these crazy stories. And my understanding is the Creed character in "The Office" was a fictionalized version of you and your life. And obviously, you know, you're focusing on "Slightly Altered" right now.
But just yesterday, I saw that Leslie David Baker, who played Stan on "The Office," he started a kickstarter to have an Uncle Stan spinoff show, a series that's just about him. How about a Creed spinoff?
CREED BRATTON: I've still got energy left. You can tell. I'm ready to go. I'd love to play that guy again for a while.
LYNDSEY PARKER: If we had a Creed Bratton spinoff-- whether it was what Creed's up to now or if it was like a '60s version or pre-"Office" prequel-- like what would it-- what's your vision for it? Because I want to make this happen. I'll start the kickstarter myself.
CREED BRATTON: I'm loving this already. Oh, extraterrestrial parents. Keeps that-- he keeps that in a low key. He's one of these guys who, if you're in a hostage situation-- let's say he's out shopping. He's just out shopping around or a bank. And all of a sudden, terrorists come in, and they come-- terrorists come in like this with guns and stuff like this. He's off in the back.
He'll go-- like there's somebody coming from behind him-- he'll go, oh! And he'll run right by-- Come with me! And the terrorists will see him running, and they'll run out with him. He's one of these guys. He's one of these guys that can always diffuse the situation.
I think he'd be a writer. Oh, no, no. Better yet, he does voiceovers. Formerly in the Great West, there was a time when men were men, and women were men, and cows were cows, and-- he'll do whatever. He'll be a voiceover guy.
LYNDSEY PARKER: In a world--
CREED BRATTON: And in a world of voiceover guys, he has the dulcet tones. And then you'll see him not getting-- he'll have a really good voice. But he won't get the jobs. And he'll have-- you know. But he'll have love affairs, you know. He's crazy. And he doesn't know what to do.
Then he starts doing a little "Breaking Bad" stuff to make some money. And then he has to hide. It's a Witness Protection Program that makes him get on "The Office."
LYNDSEY PARKER: How is he going to escape from jail? Because when we last saw Creed, the fictional Creed, he was in jail or going off to jail.
CREED BRATTON: Oh, god, that's good. That's good. What was the movie-- was the TV show "Making a Murder"?
LYNDSEY PARKER: Mm-hmm.
CREED BRATTON: What was the name of the lawyer, the lawyer that has to quit. She falls in love with me because that's kind of-- and I like her clothes a lot. She comes in, and we have an affair in jail, there at the back of the jail.
And it's like "The Green Mile," where the lights are breaking apart and the lights are falling, collapsing. So she goes, and she lobbies to get me out. Of course, I dump her right away and make my escape, because I'm Creed. So that would be it. Yeah.
LYNDSEY PARKER: We have to have this happen. This has to happen. This has to be a thing.
CREED BRATTON: We're here now. Just put it out there and talk to somebody, you know?
LYNDSEY PARKER: Absolutely. And we're going to recreate the acid scene too, with CGI musical notes--
CREED BRATTON: Please.
LYNDSEY PARKER: All of it.