Creed Bratton: The man, the musician at Legends
Throughout the television series “The Office” and its Emmy award-winning nine-season run, one character, Creed Bratton, remained shrouded in mystery. Whether he’s stealing from children, avoiding police or musing about his time spent both following and leading cults, there seems to be a prevailing sense of unpredictability whenever Creed enters the scene. Luckily for Adrian Mark Lore and I, it is mystery no longer. We had a chance to sit down and talk with the man, the actor and musician Bratton and gain a little more insight into his life before his show at Legends of Notre Dame this Saturday — a show that tastefully captured the many tumultuously wonderful steps Bratton has taken in a career that can only be described as eclectic.
Bratton’s love for music began at a young age — he was already playing professionally at the age of 17. After leaving college and touring Europe with a band called The Young Californians, Bratton found himself in Israel where he met future band mate Warren Entner. The two returned to the U.S. and The Grass Roots was born, leading to a string of successful hits, and tours, opening for the likes of “Cream, The Beach Boys, Janis Joplin and The Doors,” he explained.
Today, Bratton continues to create music and has been producing a series of solo albums. Musically, though, Bratton has expanded past the ’60’s folk rock of The Grass Roots, experimenting with genres like pop, blues and rockabilly. Throughout Saturday’s show Bratton impressed, switching styles while singing and masterly playing the guitar. While much of the audience may not have been familiar with his music, Bratton’s exuberance and talent were enough to keep things interesting.
Yet, despite his rock stardom, acting always remained a passion for Bratton. “[Acting] really just started as a way to conquer a fear and I found a talent,” Bratton said. He acted in a myriad of small projects throughout most of his life, but it wasn’t until finding “The Office” before getting his big break — a break he never saw coming.
“The whole thing is surprising; I mean no one was prepared for this phenomenon. I didn’t prepare to be on this show that would become ‘The Office,’ none of us did,” Bratton recalled.
And while the meteoric rise of “The Office” may have surprised Bratton, for many of us it’s no surprise at all. Every character on “The Office” seemed to be expertly crafted to play a role in what was a hilariously dysfunctional office “work family.”
Bratton described how his character is an extension from his own past: “I’m a rock star, so I party-hardy-ed and I did all that stuff,” he said. “So my character I wrote was, what would happen if I stayed that way and hadn’t grown up? … The character has a black-out period on a bus and wakes up in a dumpster in Scranton outside Dunder Mifflin.”
The concept is great, but it’s Bratton comedic sensibility and quirky nature that truly solidified his character as the show’s unsung hero. Everyone at Legends on Saturday seemed to think so as well, roaring with laughter as Creed interjected with oddball quips and references to some of his signature lines. To watch a 72-year-old ex-rock star entertain a room full of millennial college students with both music and comedy was absolutely surreal, a true testament to Bratton’s skill as a performer.
Despite enough time in the public eye for two lives, Bratton is far from leaving the limelight. Once he ends his comedy/music tour, Bratton will begin recording a new EP and will also continue to seek new acting roles and further explore further avenues in his already-successful career.
Stay tuned for an exclusive Bratton interview with Scene tomorrow.