Some have called autobiographies and memoirs a "liar's holiday." Though awkwardly written by me, in the third-person, this short, hopefully honest tome highlights some of the places, people and experiences that have shaped my life so far. Its writing was cathartic, and like such pursuits, a bit narcissistic, but not exhaustive. It was written for me, mostly, and for any brave soul that has nothing better to do with 10 minutes.
Birthplace and Family
Born in Syracuse New York to Betty and Richard Grimshaw, Paul Grimshaw and his brother David lived with their family among the rolling hills, farmland, green valleys and often snowy countryside of central New York. Before moving away from the area, Grimshaw would live in the communities of Fayetteville, Manlius/Pompey, DeWitt, and in the city of Syracuse. David, older by four years, would pave the way in the arts, influencing younger brother Paul, through his interest and involvement in theater, a love of music and writing. Richard Grimshaw worked in advertising, public relations, journalism, and local television throughout the 1960s, also influencing Paul's later vocational choices. Betty Grimshaw loved movies, music, hikes in the countryside, and a well-told story. She enjoyed a decades-long carreer with Bristol-Myers Laboratories, before semi-retiring to Myrtle Beach, SC, where she currently resides. David Grimshaw, who passed away in 2001 from ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, would marry Meredith VandenHandel, of Skaneateles NY, and lived in New York City and Hoboken New Jersey before moving with Meredith to Black Rock, CT where he pursued a career in fine art and community activism. He is known for his pastoral landscapes, seascapes and equestrian oil paintings and for founding the Connecticut Chapter of the ALS Association. Meredith VandenHandel still resides in Black Rock and has enjoyed a long career in commercial finance.
Paul Grimshaw spent his earliest formative years (three to thirteen) living in the hilly countryside of Pompey, New York. The small town is the bucolic birthplace of Winston Churchill's mother, and not unlike the regions of England from where Grimshaw's relatives once emigrated. Today Pompey shows little evidence of significant change since Grimshaw's earliest memories. Surrounded by forests, rolling farmlands, quiet streams and endless outdoor opprotunites, Grimshaw was never too far away from a camping trip or regular visits to the nearby small but bustling city of Syracuse, creating a love of both his rural and urban surroundings. He became an avid hiking, biking and camping enthusiast, enjoying countless outings to the Adirondack Mountains, the shores of Lake Ontario, the Thousand Islands region, upstate New York's many county and state parks, the historic Erie Canel and his own backyard.
His paternal grandparents, Charles Grant Grimshaw and Mary Atkyns Grimshaw, both lifelong educators, enstilled in young Paul a love of history and nature, taking he and his brother across the state visiting countless historic and natural sites. Grimshaw's maternal grandfather, George Dietz, would encourage a love of science, and, though "Grandaddy" didn't realize it, science fiction. Dietz worked as an engineer at Goddard Space Center near his home in Baltimore, MD. As a child visiting Baltimore durring summer vacations, Grimshaw would spend hours studying the artifacts of his grandfather's occupation. Dietz worked on the Gemini and Apollo projects, including design elements on the Lunar Lander and he was instrumental in NASA's gamma-ray studies, helping design satellites launched into space in the 1960s and early 1970s. Dietz's work at Goddard took place during the heady, golden era of space exploration, adding excitement and pride to the Grimshaw / Dietz family experience.
Grimshaw would graduate from Jamesville-DeWitt High School but was not known for a particularly remarkale academic career - he enjoyed friends, hobbies and day-dreaming far more than school work. In his late teens and 20s he would hold a variety of jobs working as a sandwich maker, auto mechanic, salesman, retail merchandiser, lumberjack, audio engineer, ski instructor and as a singer and guitarist in local rock 'n' roll bands. After a spiritual awakening in his mid 20s Grimshaw would join a Christian rock band, His Band, which enjoyed regional success throughout NY and PA as a headlining act and on co-bills at festivals, fairs and for countless church youth functions. Grimshaw, and much of the band, would eventually move to Nashville, Tenn. to pursue a recording career, which would not come to pass, though the experience ultimately left him fulfilled and armed with new musical skills under the leadership of His Band founder, singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Gregg Hodge. Hodge did enjoy some national success penning compositions for well-known artists within the Christain music industry.
In his 20s and 30s Grimshaw found full-time work as an on-air radio host, in sales, as a musician and recording industry marketing manager. His secondary education began at Onondaga Community College, before leaving Syracuse, then continued briefly at Belmont University in Nashville, where he studied Music Business and Marketing. The work experience and education paved the way for future successes in marketing, sales and public relations. Grimshaw worked for WWGM-1560, an AM gospel music/talk station in Nashville, where he sold airtime and created and hosted two live programs. "LifeLine," a call-in talk show, featured psychologists who answered caller's questions on a variety of mental health related topics. The Saturday morning program "Auction Air 1560," was a weekly, live call in merchandise auction program featuring goods and services from area advertisers.
His time at WWGM was limited to less than two years. Following a tip and recommendation from fellow Syracusian Troy VanLiere, who also lived in Nashville, Grimshaw would accept a marketing position working for The Benson Company. There he worked closely with Maranatha! Music, a California-based gospel music company, often credited with defining the Jesus Music movement of the mid/late 1960s and later the contemporary Praise and Worship genre begun in earnest the 1970s. Maranatha! Music's publishing and recording catalog has been universally embraced in contemporty worship services around the world.
Self Employment / Brentwood Music
Grimshaw left The Benson Company and created a public relations and marketing agency, Charthouse Media Group, Inc. in the early 1990s. Though focused on radio, Charthouse Media allowed Grimshaw to also further develop his writing, photographic, video, and graphic design skills working within the broader scope of the music industry. Friend Matt Clement would later become Grimshaw's Charthouse partner. Among the notable names on the Charthouse client list: Amy Grant, Charlie Daniels, Jars Of Clay, Bill Medley, Michael Sweet, Carman, Tony Vincent, Doyle Lawson, Ian Eskelin and Christian radio talk show giant Dr. James Dobson.
Grimshaw would sell Charthouse Media and accept a position with Brentwood Music, his larget Charthouse client, first as Artist Liason, working with the company's many brand new artist-driven labels including: Essential Records (Jars of Clay, Third Day, Plumb) Brentwood Bluegrass (Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver), Brentwood Records, Ransom Records, and Brentwood Kids. Grimshaw's role expanded to include a position as Marketing Manager for Ransom Records, Brentwood Music's Christian Country imprint. Additional duties included time in the studio working with numerous awarding-winning artists and producers including Adrian Belew (King Crimson, Frank Zappa, David Bowie, Jars of Clay) and Troy and Genie Nilson.
Grimshaw, part of the A&R team at Brentwood Music, would act as executive producer of two Brentwood Kids projects, including "Hip Hop Hymns For Kids," still in print 14 years after its initial release. Grimshaw particularly enjoys this Amazon.com review of "Hip Hop Hymns" from June, 2003. "This CD is not a joke, though it does make a great gag gift. It's so bad, it's good!" Other reviews - the vast majority - were much kinder, but 'none any funnier,' Grimshaw notes. Grimshaw's proudest career achievement while in Nashville was as part of the team, under Robert Beeson's leadership, that courted and signed Jars Of Clay to their first recording contract, which led to the band's multi-platinum, self-titled debut release. Grimshaw's intern, Belmont University student Sheri Webb, would introduce Grimshaw, and later the label and the band, to Adrian Belew who would produce two cuts on the band's first album. The band would score a #3 crossover mainstream rock hit with Belew's signature production of Jars' song "Flood," and would go on to win multiple Grammy Awards and sell several million units. The band still records and tours today and is well respected by critics and fans alike.
Move to Missourri
After eight years in Music City, Grimshaw, ready for a change and a challenge, would move from Nashville to Rolla, MO, population 16,500 and home to Missouri University of Science and Technology (and not much else). He would accept a multi-faceted marketing position with Eikon Marketing, Inc., which included a spot as on-air co-host at Eikon's HOT AC FM radio station, KDAY, with long-time friend Donna Van Liere. Van Liere would later go on to pen the New York Times bestselling "Christmas Shoes" book series, "The Angels of Morgan Hill," and other inspirational fiction and biopic non-fiction titles including a (March '09) memoir; "Finding Grace." The pair's popular morning drive show, "Donna V. and The Grimshaw," further expanded Grimshaw's media experience and exposed him to the local community. The exposure led to his first recurring freelance writing assignments with "The Good Life Magazine." Eikon's monthly (120,000 annual circ) local-interest magazine was published by Donna Van Liere, her husband Troy Van Liere, and the husband and wife team of Bob and Danah Gresh.
In the 18-months spent in Missouri, Grimshaw (and his companions) would come to appreciate the beauty found surrounding Rolla and central MO in places like the sprawling Mark Twain National Forest and the icy-cold, spring-fed, crystal clear rivers of the region. The amazing natural beauty of central MO and in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains, further influenced Grimshaw's love of the outdoors. The Rolla gang tempered their enjoyment of the big-city fun of St. Louis and the summertime spectacle at The Lake of The Ozarks with the difficulty of working at a progessive marketing firm in a very small (and sometimes less than progressive) midwestern town. Before Eikon Marketing would close its doors for good in the "Show-Me" state, Grimshaw would move to Myrtle Beach, SC to re-group for what was supposed to have been a six-month stay...
Fourteen years later, Grimshaw, still in Myrtle Beach, would complete his secondary education through distance learning at Columbus University, earning a BA in English. Local advertising sales led to writing positions and Grimshaw parlayed his wordsmithing into a part-time cottage industry, Paul Grimshaw Media. He now writes regularly for several large regional publications (Myrtle Beach Guide Magazine, Grand Strand Magazine, Weekly Surge Magazine, and freelancing for others) with a combined distribution/circulation of more than 2 million copies annually.
Grimshaw's artisitc bent can be seen in graphic design projects, which include: ad layout, restaurant menu design, and logos including a logo for a popular local sportsbar, Five O'Clock Somewhere, and the cover of Grimshaw's band's demo CD.
Friends in the Christian music industry provided unique opportunities for Grimshaw to visit far-flung corners of the world in support capacities. For three weeks in the late 1990s he would travel as temporary road manager with Ian Eskelin's All Star United. The band played 10 dates in continental Austrialia, Tasmania, and New Zealand. Several years later Grimshaw would again travel with the band, this time on a three-week European tour, which would include stops in The U.K. (including England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland), as well as France, Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands.
Additional notable travel "adven-tours" included a 10-day trip to Alaska with the Van Lieres, and other friends, where fishing, hiking, camping, shooting, and sight-seeing were all on the program. Travels throughout the U.S. include business and leisure travel to Southern California, Boulder, Colorado, two trips to the Caribbean, and extensive flying and driving trips with visits to great American cities including: New York, L.A., Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinatti, Charolotte, Atlanta, Miami, Key West, Memphis, Boston, Philadelphia, D.C. and New Orleans.
Camping and hiking expeditions to date include: The Kenai Penninsula (Alaska), the Adirondack Mountains, the Thousand Islands region, the Catskill Mountains, parts of the Appalachian Trail in six states, New England (coastal Maine, Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, New Hampshire, Vermont), Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, Big South Fork (TN/KY), The Great Smoky Mountains, the beaches of South Carolina and the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
In the spring of 2010 Grimshaw would join friends at an eco-sanctuary in the jungle and mountains of
(below: The hut Grimshaw stayed in while in Coasta Rica)
(below: Jessica Durrivage and Carl Kerridge, two of Grimshaw's friends and the hosts for the trip to Costa Rica)
(below: Grimshaw in the Costa Rican jungle)
In Myrtle Beach, beginning around 1999, and never too far from a guitar and a microphone, Grimshaw honed his vocal and guitar performance skills, first as a soloist, then by forming PG-2, with the larger-than-life percussionist Lloyd Nyburg, known affectionately, if not inappropriately, as "Bongolloyd." PG-3 was formed when guitarist Tom Hanlon, fresh from a position as Music Director at the Alabama Theater, joined the duo. When Nyburg moved from the area, drummer Rob Amodio and bassist/guitarist Len Myers would join Hanlon and Grimshaw to create The Paul Grimshaw Band (PGB). Later, Myers became a part-time bassist with the PGB and found work as a guitarist-vocalist with Hanlon as the duo Double Exposure. Clark Sullivan, also originally with the Alabama Theater, would join PGB as the band's full-time bassist, a role that has changed in 2012 with the additona of Marc Serio as fulltime bassit and Sullivan part-time.
The four-piece cover band (sometimes larger) finds almost more work than they can handle, especially in the busy summer months, playing a steady schedule at, Margarittaville, The Dead Dog Saloon, recurring 12-week engagements at the Hard Rock Cafe, and at countless nightspots along the South Carolina coast. Grimshaw's band performs two - five nights per week in the off-season, and as many as eight to ten performances weekly in the height of the tourist season (June - August). They're a featured headliner at the Myrtle Beach Harley Davidson Rallies each spring and fall, playing for thousands at Broadway at the Beach's Celebrity Square main-stage, and festivals at Market Common and in North Myrtle Beach.
PGB was the sole opening act for Blues Traveler at a sold-out show at the House Of Blues, in 2004, and were chosen to perform for VIP guests prior to The Eagles and The Moody Blues concerts in the summer of 2008 at the Hard Rock Park in Myrtle Beach. PGB was the primary live entertainment at the "Cool Country" stage at the $400 million Hard Rock [theme] Park, which opened with great fanfare and excitement in the spring of 2008 and closed with a sad fizzle in September, 2008. The park briefly reopened in 2009 under new ownership, which also failed to see the Park find its audience.
Toward the end of the real estate boom of the mid 2000s, Grimshaw obtained his SC Real Estate license, became a Realtor and began part time work for one the area's premier oceanfront, new and re-sale real estate companies, CondoLux, Inc. He currently lists, shows, and sells properties of all types for a small, select group of clients.
Understanding the Divine, writing, music, history and the great outdoors are Grimshaw's passions. After completeing a full-length novel, an action-adventure, time-travel thriller involving misplaced Civil War re-enactors, Grimshaw, himself became a member of a regional Civil War re-enactment group - The 4th New Hampshire / 7th South Carolina - based in the Myrtle Beach area.
(Private Grimshaw as a Civil War re-enactor circa 2010)
He has particiapted in dozens of reenactments in N.C., S.C. and Tenn. since 2008, helping re-create battles and skirmishes for many thousands of spectators. As with the majorty of re-enactment groups, Grimshaw's dons the uniforms of both North and South, depending on the need of the event, and like his fellow re-enactors sees himself as a "living historian" not tied to ideology (though a few staunch southerners in his group grumble good naturedly about always playing "damn Yankees"). Grimshaw's group usually portrays the Federal U.S. 4th New Hampshire Company and he too looks forward to the day he can portray a "crazed Rebel." The battles, camaraderie, camping, living history and late-night jam sessions around the bonfire keep Grimshaw enthusiastic about his newest hobby. The re-enactments also provide opportunities for fictional character development as he continuously tweaks his novel, "Time and Again: The Battle of Inidan Ridge," which he hopes to see picked up and published during the 150th anniversary of the Civil War (2011 - 2016) . See sample chapters at this website - link at the top of the page.
Working in the media/entertainment fields (and playing hard when not working) keeps Grimshaw young-at-heart, and, while currently single, he says he can't imagine he'll stay that way forever...
That's his (my) story so far.