It was as a young teenager that he started writing about rock and roll music. His first zines were Tolkien related, but among them was also a mimeographed sheet called Mojo Navigator (full title, "Mojo-Navigator Rock and Roll News") started in 1966 by David Harris with Greg's help, and is said to have been an early inspiration for Rolling Stone magazine. In the 1970s he moved to Los Angeles with wife and partner Suzy Shaw and started another fanzine, called Who Put the Bomp, popularly known as simply Bomp!, or Bomp magazine. Greg's writing appeared in Bomp!, of which he was editor and publisher, as well as Creem, Phonograph Record Magazine, and occasionally, Rolling Stone. He also wrote a book about Elton John while on staff as a writer for United Artists records. Bomp featured many writers who would later become prominent, including Lester Bangs, Greil Marcus, Richard Meltzer, and Ken Barnes.
During the 1970s, Greg worked for Sire Records, and was instrumental in the signing of The Flamin' Groovies, a band that he also managed for a couple of years. In 1974 Bomp! became a record label, and Greg released records by Devo, The Weirdos, Iggy Pop and worked with several artists including Stiv Bators and the Dead Boys. He signed, and distributed, power pop and new wave acts such as Shoes, The Nerves, The Plimsouls and The Romantics. Bomp! Records was a LA record store for a couple of years, as well as one of the first independent distributors in the U.S.
In the 1980s, Greg Shaw helped launch the garage revival scene with bands such as The Miracle Workers and The Pandoras. He also released music by Spacemen 3 and The Brian Jonestown Massacre in the mid to late-1990s, and appears in the Sundance award-winning documentary Dig!. In 1994, he associated with Patrick Boissel's Alive Records, a label with music by The Black Keys, Two Gallants (band), Soledad Brothers, Black Diamond Heavies, Brian Olive, Thomas Function, and many other artists.
Greg Shaw died of heart failure in Los Angeles at the age of 55.
- Bomp: Saving The World One Record At A Time (by Suzy Shaw and Mick Farren)
- Tributes to Greg Shaw by Greil Marcus, Ken Barnes, and other rock critics
- Bomp! Records website
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