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Bread started out as Elektra Records studio session musicians and originally intended the group to be wholly studio-based. The reception for their first album in 1969 and the hit single Make It With You changed the minds of David Gates, James Griffin, Mike Botts and Robb Royer.

The band members had been playing for years and at one time or another had backed up Chuck BerryCarl Perkins, Clarence ‘Frogman’ Henry, Glen CampbellDuane Eddy and Merle Haggard.

Jimmy Griffin had also written songs for Lesley Gore and Bobby Vee and acted in For Those Who Think Young (1964) and None But The Brave (1965).


By the summer of 1971, founder member Robb Royer had left to try his luck as a screenwriter in Hollywood.

As a replacement, the group recruited Larry Knechtel, a move widely seen as a major coup since Knechtel was a highly regarded, multi-talented session musician who had most memorably been the pianist at the heart of Simon and Garfunkel‘s Bridge Over Troubled Water.

The new line-up’s first recording sessions included Baby I’m-A Want You, which continued Bread’s soft-rock chart success and maintained their trademark sound – an effortlessly laid-back ballad, full of major seventh chords and showcasing David Gates’ wistful, near-falsetto vocals.

The group had several more hits before splitting up in 1977. They reconvened for a reunion tour in 1997.

Jimmy Griffin died at his Nashville home of complications arising from cancer, on 11 January 2005.

Drummer Mike Botts died of cancer on 9 December 2005 at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California. He was 61.

David Gates
Guitar, vocals, bass, keyboards
James Griffin

Guitar, vocals, keyboards
Rob Royer

Bass, guitar, vocals, flute, keyboards
Mike Botts

Larry Knechtel

Bass, guitar, keyboards