Jerry Grillo’s Page

(Jerry Grillo is a writer in Georgia and he wrote this book)

PPre-sale information coming soon!


Jerry Grillo has been making stories since he learned that crayons, though they look delicious, were best used for writing and drawing. A cartoonist in college, he shifted gears and became a sports writer. For almost 30 years he worked as a staff editor, writer (occasional photographer and designer) for newspapers and magazines in New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, South Carolina, and Georgia … and why the hell am I writing about myself in the third person? Anyway, I left that scene to join the mad scientist beat at Georgia Tech, but through all of it I’ve been fortunate to write on a freelance basis for a diverse range of magazines and websites, including Atlanta, Paste, Georgia Trend, Super Lawyers, Golf, ESPN, Jambands, and some others you probably never heard of. But this book is by far the biggest freelance project I’ve undertaken.

To help satisfy my baseball obsession, I’ve written various chapters in various books for the Society for American Baseball Research. And I’ve co-written some plays, written a few silly songs, operated a printing press, chased pins in a bowling alley, and attacked trains as a marauding “Indian” in a wild west show. The best thing I’ve done is marry Jane, who lives with me and our son, Joe, and Sunny the dog in Northeast Georgia, where we’re surrounded by and occasionally bombarded by many trees. Our daughter Samantha lives and works in Michigan with her husband, Eric Safin.

Col. Bruce Hampton was often called the godfather of the jam band scene (or some such). Truth is, he was one of the most influential performing artists in Southern rock music, a master builder of great bands and a facilitator of genius who surrounded himself with free-range talent and let it run slightly wild, creating a controlled sonic frenzy that resulted in some of the best music ever played in America. A true icon of Atlanta music, Bruce was playing a little outdoor music festival in Northeast Georgia when we first met. We bonded over baseball and sports trivia, and after a while, he invited me to the Tuesday lunches at an International House of Pancakes in the Atlanta suburbs. That led to some great new friendships and, eventually, to this book (The Music and Mythocracy of Col. Bruce Hampton: A Basically True Biography).

With a foreword by Chuck Leavell (Rolling Stones, The Allman Brothers Band) and a cover designed by artist Flournoy Holmes (Eat a Peach by The Allman Brothers Band, among others), this 200-page book (featuring two dozen photos and a discography/filmography) is the first complete biography of Col. Bruce, covering his childhood in Atlanta, his co-founding of the cult-favorite Hampton Grease Band, and his many subsequent projects, including his acting career and his creation and leadership of the greatest band anyone ever saw, the Aquarium Rescue Unit. Meet this beloved Southern surrealist whose epic 50-year career ended one spectacular night at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre in May 2017.

What they’re saying about the book:

“Jerry Grillo completely loves and understands the magic, the talent, and the importance of Col. Bruce Hampton, Ret. You’ll disappear into Bruce’s world in this book and you may not want to come out.”

Billy Bob Thornton (Oscar-winning screenwriter, Oscar-nominated actor)

“The stories here are humorous and blessed reminders that after leaving this Earth, Bruce lives on in the hearts and lives of others – so many others.”

John Bell (Widespread Panic)

“No matter what you think you may know about Col. Bruce Hampton, there are treasures here to unfold. This book is a true gift.“

Jeff Mosier (Blueground Undergrass, Aquarium Rescue Unit)

“Thank you so much for telling the whole story! Great read!”

Jimmy Herring, (Widespread Panic, Aquarium Rescue Unit, The Dead, Allman Brothers Band)