Bread was an American soft rock band from Los Angeles, California. They had 13 songs chart on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1970 and 1977.
The band was fronted by David Gates (vocals, bass guitar, guitar, keyboards, violin, viola, percussion), with Jimmy Griffin (vocals, guitar, keyboards, percussion) and Robb Royer (bass guitar, guitar, flute, keyboards, percussion, recorder, backing vocals). On their first album session musicians Ron Edgar played drums and Jim Gordon played drums, percussion, and piano. Mike Botts became their permanent drummer when he joined in the summer of 1969, and Larry Knechtel replaced Royer in 1971, playing keyboards, bass guitar, guitar, and harmonica.
In 2005, both Griffin and Botts died from cancer at the age of 61. In August 2009, Knechtel died of a heart attack at the age of 69, leaving Gates and Royer as the only surviving members of Bread. Royer continues to be involved in music, initially working out of his Nashfilms studio in Tennessee before relocating to the Virgin Islands in 2013. Gates contents himself with retirement at his home in Washington with his wife Jo Rita. In 2010, Royer released a Jimmy Griffin tribute album consisting of songs written by both himself and Griffin.
During March 2014, Helter Skelter Publishing (UK) issued the first biography of the band, a limited edition hardback titled Bread: A Sweet Surrender (originally called Manna from Heaven: The Musical Rise & Fall of Bread). It was written with the assistance of many surviving family members and musical colleagues of the band, along with exclusive interviews with founding member Robb Royer. A paperback/soft-cover edition appeared during 2017. The following year saw Royer publish his own memoirs, The View from Contessa, featuring tales from his own varied career, available as an eBook via Amazon.
David Gates – vocals, bass guitar, guitar, keyboards, violin, viola, percussion (1968–’73, ’76–’78, ’96–’97)
Jimmy Griffin – vocals, guitar, keyboards, percussion (1968–’73, ’76–’77, ’96–’97; died 2005)
Robb Royer – bass guitar, guitar, flute, keyboards, percussion, recorder, backing vocals (1968–’71)
Mike Botts – drums, percussion (1969–’73, ’76–’78, ’96–’97; died 2005)
Larry Knechtel – keyboards, bass guitar, guitar, harmonica (1971–’73, ’76–’78, ’96–’97; died 2009)