The Greg Kihn Band

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The Greg Kihn Band
Greg Kihn.jpg
Background information
Origin Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Genres Rock, Garage rock, Dance rock, Power Pop
Years active 1976–present
Labels Beserkley Records
Website gregkihn.com
Members Greg Kihn
Ry Kihn
Robert Berry
Dave Danza
Dave Medd
Past members Steve Wright
Larry Lynch
Robbie Dunbar
Dave Carpender
Gary Phillips
Greg Douglas
Tyler Eng
Pat Mosca
Joe Satriani
Jimmy Lyon

The Greg Kihn Band is an American band that was started by frontman Greg Kihn and bassist Steve Wright. Their most successful singles include "The Breakup Song (They Don't Write 'Em)" (Billboard Hot 100 #15) and "Jeopardy" (Billboard Hot 100 #2).

History[edit]

Greg Kihn began his career in his hometown of Baltimore, MD, working in the singer/songwriter mold, but switched to straightforward rock & roll when he moved to San Francisco in 1972.

He started writing songs and playing coffee houses while still in high school in the Baltimore area. At the age of 17 his mother submitted a tape of one of his original songs to the talent contest of the big local Top 40 radio station WCAO, in which he took first prize and won three things that would change his life: a typewriter, a stack of records, and a Vox electric guitar.

He moved to California in 1972 and worked painting houses, singing in the streets, and working behind the counter at Berkeley record store Rather Ripped Records with future band mate and Earthquake guitarist Gary Phillips. The following year, he became one of the first artists signed to Matthew Kaufman's Beserkley Records. Along with Jonathan Richman, Earthquake, and the Rubinoos, Kihn helped to carve the label's sound. In 1976, after his debut on the compilation Beserkley Chartbusters, he recorded his first album with his own band, called The Greg Kihn Band, consisting of Ronnie Dunbar (guitar), Steve Wright (bass), and Larry Lynch (drums).

Robbie Dunbar, already a member of Earthquake, was replaced by Dave Carpender in time to record their second album Greg Kihn Again. The lineup of Kihn, Wright, Lynch, and Carpender lasted until 1983 (augmenting to a quintet in 1981 with the addition of keyboardist Gary Phillips). Greg Douglas replaced Dave Carpender on guitar just prior to the band's 1983 Kihnspiracy album.

Through the 1970s, Kihn released an album each year and built a strong cult following through constant touring, becoming Beserkley's biggest seller. In 1981, Kihn earned his first bona fide hit with the Top 20 single, "The Breakup Song (They Don't Write 'Em)," from the Rockihnroll album.

Kihn continued in a more commercial vein through the 1980s with a series of pun-titled albums: Kihntinued (1982), Kihnspiracy (1983), Kihntageous (1984), and Citizen Kihn (1985). He scored his biggest hit with 1983's "Jeopardy" (number two) from the Kihnspiracy album. “Jeopardy” was spoofed by "Weird Al" Yankovic as "I Lost on Jeopardy" on Yankovic's album Weird Al Yankovic in 3-D; Greg Kihn made a cameo appearance in the music video for that song. In 1983, the groundbreaking “Jeopardy” video became an MTV favorite. Many of the videos that followed were sequels with connecting story lines. One of the earliest examples of a “concept” video with its “Night Of The Living Dead” theme, “Jeopardy” received airplay on the fledgling cable music channel and spawned countless imitators.

Kihn spent most of the 1980s touring constantly, opening arena-sized shows for groups like Journey, the Grateful Dead, and the Rolling Stones. Kihn often appeared on TV during this period on shows like “Solid Gold,” “American Bandstand,” and “Saturday Night Live.”

In 1985, Kihn broke with Beserkley Records and signed with EMI. Matthew Kaufman continued to produce Kihn’s albums. 1985's "Lucky," broke the top twenty and spawned a splashy video sequel to the popular “Jeopardy” video. In 1986 Joe Satriani replaced Greg Douglas on lead guitar, Tyler Eng replaced Larry Lynch on drums, and Pat Mosca replaced Gary Phillips on keyboards. This is the lineup that went into the studio to record the 1986 album “Love and Rock & Roll.” Joe Satriani left the band to pursue his solo career in 1987 and was replaced by former Eddie Money lead guitarist Jimmy Lyon. Greg returned to Baltimore to record a pair of solo acoustic albums at the studios of his friend Jack Heyrman for Clean Cuts Records, “Mutiny” in 1994 and “Horror Show in 1996.

The Greg Kihn Band continues to play with a lineup consisting of Greg’s son Ry Kihn on lead guitar, Dave Danza (from Eddie Money) on drums, Dave Medd (from the Tubes) on keyboards, and Robert Berry (from Hush) on bass. Every year KFOX hosts a big concert at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California called the “Kihncert” featuring the Greg Kihn Band. The Kihncert has always featured Greg Kihn as the show opener and sometime emcee, along with other KFOX FM air personalities. Through the years, the Kihncert has featured live concert appearances by Lynyrd Skynyrd, Jefferson Starship, Eddie Money, Boston, Paul Rodgers of Bad Company, The Who, Steve Miller Band, George Thorogood, John Waite, Pat Travers, Night Ranger, Mickey Thomas’ Starship, Styx, REO Speedwagon, .38 Special, Blue Oyster Cult, Yes, and Kansas.

In addition to the Kihncert, Greg Kihn performs private, public, charity and KFOX FM-sponsored and/or promoted events, such as San Jose’s popular ‘Concert in the Park’ series, he has frequently sung the National Anthem for his favorite baseball team, the Giants, at AT&T Park in San Francisco and his favorite hockey team, The San Jose Sharks, the BR Cohn Charity Fall Music Festival, Operation: Care and Comfort’s Troopfest, and on May 19, 2012 he performed at the Catalyst Club.

Greg Kihn was inducted into the San Jose Rock Hall of Fame in 2007.

Members[edit]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Album US Top 200
1976 Greg Kihn Band
1977 Greg Kihn Again
1978 Next of Kihn 145
1979 With the Naked Eye 114
1980 Glass House Rock 167
1981 Rockihnroll 32
1982 Kihntinued 33
1983 Kihnspiracy 15
1984 Kihntagious 121
1985 Citizen Kihn 51
1986 Love & Rock & Roll
1991 Unkihntrollable (Greg Kihn Live)
1992 Kihn of Hearts
1994 Mutiny
1996 King Biscuit Flower Hour
1996 Horror Show
2000 True Kihnfessions
2004 Jeopardy
2006 Greg Kihn Live, Featuring Ry Kihn
2011 Kihnplete (Post Beserkley Records)
2012 Greg Kihn Band: Best of Beserkley, 1974-1985

Chart singles[edit]

Year Song US Hot 100 US M.S.R. US Dance UK singles Album
1978 "Remember" 105 - - - Next of Kihn
1981 "The Breakup Song (They Don't Write 'Em)" 15 5 - - Rockihnroll
"Sheila" 102 39 - -
"The Girl Most Likely" 104 57 - -
1982 "Testify" - 5 - - Kihntinued
"Happy Man" 62 30 - -
1983 "Jeopardy" 2 5 1 63 Kihnspiracy
"Love Never Fails" 59 - - -
1984 "Reunited" 101 9 - - Kihntagious
"Rock" 107 - - -
1985 "Lucky" 30 24 16 - Citizen Kihn
"Boys Won't (Leave The Girls Alone)" 110 - - -
1986 "Love and Rock & Roll" 92 - - - Love and Rock & Roll

Music videos[edit]

Year Video Director
1998 "The Breakup Song"
1983 "Jeopardy" Joe Dea

References[edit]