Greg Shaw, founder of Bomp Records, died from heart failure Tuesday, October 19. "The man single-handedly saved San Diego's music scene in the mid-'80s," says Shambles guitarist Bart Mendoza. "He signed the Tell-Tale Hearts, Crawdaddys, Gravedigger V, the Unknowns, Mystery Machine, Morlocks, Event...all the bands they'd mention when the 'San Diego sound' was written about."
Shaw was 55.
"Among his many accomplishments were fanzine publisher, magazine editor, band manager, author, indie label owner, and rock historian," reads a Bomp press release circulated a day after his death. After self-publishing zines throughout high school, Shaw was Creem magazine's first West Coast editor, from 1971 to 1974. His own rock zine Who Put the Bomp (later just Bomp) allowed him to explore his love of 1960s garage bands and pop music with bands like the Troggs and the Flamin' Groovies (whom he managed for a while). While running a Hollywood club called the Cavern, he booked San Diego acts as well as the Zeros, the Miracle Workers, and the Pandoras.
Bomp Records was launched in 1974 with a Cyril Jordan/Flamin' Groovies single, "You Tore Me Down." For several years, Bomp only released 45s (the Weirdos, the Germs, the Zeros, as well as Devo's second 45, "Satisfaction"), until its first full-length LP in 1977 -- Iggy Pop's second solo album, Kill City. Bomp launched the sub-label Voxx in 1979.