Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Greg Shaw

Just want to say thank you to Greg for all of his inspiration over the years.  I first came across Bomp via Domenic Priore's mindblowing Smile book in an East Lansing, MI bookstore back in 1991.  I remember seeing the "Bomp! is Back" ad with "Magic Still Exists" by the Leopards and "Highs in the Mid-Sixties: Riot on Sunset Strip" albums depicted and saying to myself, "This looks like the coolest label...I can''t believe bands are still playing in the mid-sixties style and there's a label for them...maybe magic still does exist!"   Later that spring, I remember blowing off my work at MSU and becoming engrossed in his New Wave on Record book in the reference section.  In the early '90s, I was able to to pick up almost all the late '70s issues of Bomp Magazine and read about the sounds and musicians that mattered to me (and still do) like Brian Wilson, Joey Ramone and Power Pop (Except for Trouser Press, the Big Takeover (to some extent) and some smaller zines (e.g., Yellow Pills), these sounds were not really covered anywhere else in that pre-internet-grunge dominated era.)  Greg's writing really connected to me because it contained the promise and hope of something better. It was factual and informative, but also very relatable because of large traces of passion and humanity in it. It was through its pages, I discovered some of the musicians and bands that continue to influence me to this day & night--the Last, Jonathan Richman & the Modern Lovers and the Barracudas. I'm thankful he believed in these bands and helped others discover and hear them. Through his writing, labels and the Bomp list he did bring something better.

He Put the Bomp! In the Bomp
I recall meeting him at the Las Vegas Grind II and how he treated everyone with much respect and dignity. Here was a man who was clairvoyant, insightful and influential on music that was more exciting and timeless than what the major labels (outside of Sire and Stiff) would even consider.  I liked how he was easy going, a bit shy and very approachable. It was a pleasure to talk about the Barracudas with him as Blair B. and I walked out in the glaring sun between the Rio and the Gold Coast for an unforgettable 3 hour afternoon show from the Black Diamonds.  The last time I saw him was at a Last show in Feb. 2002.  He remembered me and we talked about some email exchanges we had regarding the 1967 KFRC Fantasy Fair and the San Francisco Oracle for a sidebar article I put together for Scram Magazine.  We also talked about the then slated to reissued ''LAX'' CD and how LA Explosion (the single) should be on the album of the same title.  He seemed always willing to help and encourage other people with their projects. He provided his vast information and first-hand accounts which frequently connected to the larger perspectives on life.  In 2004, I finally read his article on surf music found in a 1973 issue of Stereo Review.  He was so insightful connecting music to the cultural circumstances of Southern Cal in the early to mid-sixties and so truly beyond 1973 and the current predictable patterns.

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