Col. Bruce Hampton Biography Due In April
Jam scene patriarch Col. Bruce Hampton’s multi-faceted career is profiled in a new biography. The Music And Mythocracy Of Col. Bruce Hampton, written by Jerry Grillo, is set for release through The University of Georgia Press on April 1.
Described as “a basically true biography,” Jerry Grillo put together the tome after speaking with a number of Hampton’s bandmates, friends, family and fans. “Jerry Grillo completely loves and understands the magic, the talent and the importance of Col. Bruce Hampton, Ret.,” said one of those friends, Billy Bob Thornton regarding The Music And Mythocracy Of Col. Bruce Hampton. “You’ll disappear into Bruce’s world in this book, and you may not want to come out.”
Bruce’s illustrious career spanned six decades and saw Hampton front beloved ensembles the Hampton Grease Band and the Aquarium Rescue Unit. The musician collaborated with a who’s who of legends including Duane Allman, Frank Zappa and CeDell Davis.
Hampton was a character like none other, so it’s only fitting the author took an unusual approach. The 240-page biography is said to read more “like a novel” than a traditional biography.
“Grillo aims not so much to document and demystify the self-mythologizing performer as to explain why his fans and friends loved him so dearly. Hampton’s family history, his place in Atlanta and southeastern musical history, his significant friendships and musical relationships, and the controversies over personnel in his Hampton Grease Band over the years are all discussed,” reads a description of the book. “What emerges is a portrait of a P. T. Barnum of the musical world, but one who included his audience and invited them through the tent door to share his inside joke, with plenty of joy to go around.” Chuck Leavell penned the forward for The Music And Mythocracy Of Col. Bruce Hampton.
Col. Bruce Hampton died on-stage at Atlanta’s Fox Theater on May 1, 2017 at the end of an all-star concert celebrating his 70th birthday.