He was known for rock posters
April 15, 2010
BY BRIAN McCOLLUM
Gary Grimshaw made his name bringing attention to Detroit's rock
performers. Now the rock community wants to make sure he gets some back.
Grimshaw, the hometown illustrator whose distinctive concert posters
have graced museum walls, is battling a series of medical issues and
remains in intensive care at Detroit's Dingell V.A. Medical Center.
He recently underwent a tracheotomy and extensive digestive system work.
Friends will gather Saturday at Bohemian National Home for a benefit
concert and art exhibition, the second such event this spring for the
cash-strapped artist, who turned 64 in February. Performers include
the Howling Diablos and Planet D Nonet, while work by Grimshaw and
photographer Leni Sinclair will be exhibited.
Medical expenses are covered for Grimshaw, a Vietnam War veteran who
became an active member of Detroit's counterculture antiwar scene in
the late '60s. His rock art skills -- a bit of San Francisco
psychedelia with a Detroit bite -- led to definitive poster work for
the likes of the MC5 and Grande Ballroom.
Funds from Saturday's event will be given to his wife, Laura Grimshaw.
"He has no pension," says organizer John Sinclair, the poet and
ex-MC5 manager. "He's such a beautiful cat, and I just wanted to show
him that everybody loves him."
It's an evening Sinclair expects will be "a gathering of the circle,"
with longtime friends and characters from the Detroit rock scene.
"There's the old thing of 'give me flowers while I'm alive,' " says
Sinclair. "We've got to remember our loved ones more while they're
here. Grimshaw is just a precious resource for us. We'll be looking
at his work for long after he's gone."
Detroit graphic artist Mark Arminski is among several friends
collaborating on a commemorative poster for Saturday's event. He says
Grimshaw's situation hits close to home for the classic-rock art community.
"We're all hoping he comes out of this OK," says Arminski. "A lot of
people from that day, especially in Michigan, are really struggling."
Contact BRIAN McCOLLUM: 313-223-4450 or email@example.com