RIP Gary Grimshaw

January 13, 2014

Grimshaw image

We’re saddened to learn that Gary Grimshaw, the poster artist best known for his work during the Grande Ballroom era and White Panther Minister of Arts, died at noon on Monday, January 13, having been in ill health for many years.

Grimshaw’s work became synonymous with 1960s Detroit rock ’n’ roll and, in the years since, has become highly collectible. In a 2006 interview, Grimshaw told this writer that “I can’t afford to buy my own work.”

In a 2007 story about Grimshaw, Michael Jackman wrote that, “The posters Grimshaw created were psychedelic and heady, heavily embroidered with bright colors and flowing text. Not only would drug-addled concertgoers get lost in the imagery, Grimshaw would lose himself in the process, burning through jobs the night before a deadline.”

“At night,” Grimshaw said, “I get in a trance when I’m working on a piece of art. I lost all sense of time. I look up and five hours have gone by, and it feels like five minutes.”

Fellow poster artist Mark Arminski posted on Facebook, “RIP Gary Grimshaw. A great inspiration to me. A great creative mind. A great human being. You will forever be a presence.”

Cult Heroes singer Hiawatha Bailey said, “Everywhere I look my life is graced by Gary Grimshaw, thank you for everything Gary, God Bless.”

We want to send our heartfelt best wishes to Gary’s wife, Laura, his family and friends. He will be missed.

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  • Carl Lundgren

    Gary and I shared a studio in the late 1960s in Detroit and heard a lot of the Beatles songs together for the first time on the radio. He was a quiet friend who never seemed to stop drawing.

  • Stirling

    We used to distribute these wonderful flyers out of a locker at Grosse Pointe (South) H.S.. Gary was a sweet man and I enjoyed the few times we spent together. I introduced him to the Go, at there request, and he designed a great logo for them, at least that’s how I remember it. I have almost all of his work; some displayed and framed in my living room. My favorite is the “Soft Machine” at the Grande, with William S. Burroughs displayed in the lower right corner from the book cover art as a tiny icon. The colors are genius as well. We’ll miss you…..