The Greg Kihn Band
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|The Greg Kihn Band|
The Greg Kihn Band in 2008
|Origin||Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.|
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). The group's musical style and genres comprise rock, pop rock and power pop.
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 Earth Quake keyboardist Gary Phillips. The following year, he became one of the first artists signed to Matthew Kaufman's Beserkley Records. Along with Jonathan Richman, Earth Quake, and The Rubinoos, Kihn helped to carve the label's sound. In 1976, after his debut on the compilation Beserkley Chartbusters, Kihn and sometimes guitarist Dan Alexander founded the Greg Kihn Band, with former associates of Alexander's Steve Wright and John Cuniberti. Friction with management led to the quick departure of Alexander and Cuniberti. Steve Wright stayed and was the most influential member of the Greg Kihn band, co writing Kihn's hit songs. Kihn recorded his first album, Greg Kihn, with his own band, called The Greg Kihn Band, consisting of Robbie Dunbar (guitar), Steve Wright (bass), and Larry Lynch (drums).
Robbie Dunbar, already a member of Earth Quake, 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 (changing to a quintet in 1981 with the addition of keyboardist Gary Phillips). Guitarist Greg Douglass replaced Dave Carpender before the band's 1983 Kihnspiracy album.
Through the 1970s, Kihn released an album each year and built a 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), Kihntagious (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. 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.
Kihn spent most of the 1980s touring, 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. "Lucky" (1985) broke the top twenty and spawned a splashy video sequel to the popular "Jeopardy" video. In 1986 Joe Satriani replaced Greg Douglass 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 Kihn 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 concert at the Shoreline Amphitheatre 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 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’s 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 "Concert in the Park" series. He has frequently sung The Star-Spangled Banner for his favorite baseball team, the San Francisco Giants, and his favorite hockey team, the San Jose Sharks.
Greg Kihn was inducted into San Jose's Rock Hall of Fame in 2007.
|1977||Greg Kihn Again||—|
|1978||Next of Kihn||145|
|1979||With the Naked Eye||114|
|1980||Glass House Rock||167|
|1986||Love & Rock & Roll||—|
|1991||Unkihntrollable (Greg Kihn Live)||—|
|1992||Kihn of Hearts||—|
|1996||King Biscuit Flower Hour||—|
|2006||Greg Kihn Live, Featuring Ry Kihn||—|
|2011||Kihnplete (Post Beserkley Records)||—|
|2012||Greg Kihn Band: Best of Beserkley, 1974-1985||—|
|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|
|"The Girl Most Likely"||104||57||-||-|
|"Love Never Fails"||59||-||-||-|
|"Boys Won't (Leave The Girls Alone)"||110||-||-||-|
|1986||"Love and Rock & Roll"||92||-||-||-||Love and Rock & Roll|
|1981||"The Breakup Song"|
|1982||"Happy Man"||Joe Dea|
|1983||"Tear That City Down"||Bob Hart|
|1985||"Boys Won't (Leave The Girls Alone)"||Joe Dea|
|1986||"Love and Rock & Roll"|
- Cindy Laufenberg (1 September 1994). 1995 Songwriter's Market: Where & How to Market Your Songs. Writer's Digest Books. p. 368. ISBN 978-0-89879-676-6.
- Nielsen Business Media, Inc. (6 September 1980). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p. 49. ISSN 0006-2510.
- Patricia Romanowski Bashe; Patricia Romanowski; Holly George-Warren; Jon Pareles (1995). The New Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll. Fireside. p. 26. ISBN 978-0-684-81044-7.