Greg Kihn is a rock star, seasoned radio host and author. Rubber Soul, his latest novel is inspired by intimate interviews that he conducted with Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Pete Best, Yoko Ono and Patti Harrison. Though Rubber Soul is fiction, as Greg says it is “100% historically accurate” and an candid glimpse of the phenomenon that is The Beatles.
Rubber Soul is a an innovation in the Rock Thriller genre, taking readers on a rollicking ride through The Beatles legacy from the early days in Liverpool to six sold out shows per night in Hamburg and full-fledged Beatlemania.
Dust Bin Bob runs into some lads from Liverpool at his second hand shop on Penny Lane. The lads: John, Paul, George and Ringo and Dust Bin Bob become firm friends, sharing vinyl that will spark a revolution. Murder, mystery and Beatlemania mayhem ensues—with the boys narrowly avoiding an international incident and an attempted assassination. It’s the ultimate Beatles story that could have happened!
I loved “Rubber Soul!” I found Greg Kihn’s writing to be thoroughly enjoyable, and captivating throughout the entire book. What brought me to the book is Greg Kihn used to be a Baltimore resident, and well, that’s where I live! Although I didn’t during the brought the Beatles Era to me, with musicians, guitars, records, etc. I enjoyed the name dropping (even if I had to look them up!) and how much the book was cover to back.
“There’s no one more qualified to write a rock-and-roll novel than Greg Kihn. He’s the real deal and at his Kihntillating best in this book.” – Guy Kawasaki, former chief evangelist of Apple
“Rubber Soul is a magical mystery tour de force by Greg Kihn, a rocker who obviously has a way with words as well as music. His imagined story about the Beatles is fast-moving, full of twists and tension, and musical nuggets and insights. Great story-telling set to a Fab-four beat.” – Ben Fong Torres
“Rubber Soul captures what Rock-n-Roll is all about – and Greg Kihn would certainly know! This nearly-true story of the Beatles is pure magic and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.” – Eddie Money
“Greg Kihn is the most compelling author who ever had a top five singing career. Rubber Soul is a fantastic story by Greg, with an historical back beat. I urge you not to miss this.” – Joan Jett
“I’m happy to report that Rubber Soul, the latest work by my pal Greg Kihn, has correct punctuation, complete sentences, even full paragraphs – some of the exact same literary devices that can be found in the greatest novels our culture has ever produced! It’s also written in English, which happens to be one of my very favorite languages.” – “Weird Al” Yankovic
“While the RIAA may not be able to certify Kihn’s work with a gold disc, fans of Kihn and The Beatles, as well as those who long for the simpler yet magical time of the 1960’s will thoroughly enjoy and fall in love with Rubber Soul. They certainly don’t write ‘em like this anymore.” – Chris Shapiro, RetroPulse
Excerpt from Rubber Soul
Bobby Dingle, AKA Dust Bin Bob, runs a stall for his father’s second hand shop at the Penny Lane Flea Market in Liverpool. Bobby loves American R&B records and
collects them from the merchant marines returning from America to Albert Dock in Liverpool. He displays them in at the Flea Market.
One day he meets some amazing individuals:
Around the corner came two leather-jacketed young men, each with a pink-tipped cigarette jutting from his lips, and each with the swagger of someone who didn’t give a damn. Two James Deans. Teddy boys. They stopped in front of Bobby.
“What’s this, then?” the first one said with a thick scouse accent.
The second shrugged, looking at the prayer rug and ostrich feathers. “A mysterious visitor from the east.”
They eyed the records. “Hold on. What’s all this?”
Bobby noticed their hair; greasy, swept back, just spilling over their collars. They looked a bit scruffy with uneven sideboards and tight stovepipe trousers. The first one picked up a record and read the label.
“Chuck Berry? No! It can’t be! Let me see that!”
“Blimey! Little Richard! Bo Diddley! Where did you get these?”
Bobby smiled, letting the slight gap between his front teeth show. “I have a special source, straight from America. Those are brand new releases. You can’t get ‘em anywhere else.”
“Do you have any idea what you have here?”
Bobby nodded. “Actually, yes, I do.”
“It’s the bloody Holy Grail.”
The two young men exchanged astonished glances. “Are these for sale?”
“Yes, they are.”
The two Teddy Boys shifted on their feet.
“I’ll tell you the truth, mate. We’re in a beat group, and this is just the type of music we do. You know, American rock and roll. I’m John and this is Stu.”
John stuck out a hand. There was something in the way he stood that suggested a coolness far beyond anything Bobby had known. Bobby accepted the hand.
“I’m Bobby. Pleased to meet you. This is my father’s stall. He’s got a secondhand store in Merseyside. We specialize in previously owned merchandise. A little of this, a bit of that; something that might have mistakenly wound up in the dust bin but is still quite serviceable.”
John barked out a laugh, then slipped into a spastic impersonation. He looked like a juvenile delinquent Quasimodo.
“Dust Bin Bob! Dust Bin Bob! Your coming was foretold to us!”
Bobby eyed John. Cheeky, he thought, very cheeky.
“So, you’re in a beat group, eh? Are you professional?”
John nodded vigorously. “Definitely professional. Oh, yes. The talk of the town, we are.”
“So you must have lots of money to buy records.”
John spat. “This is Liverpool, man. Look around you. The place is a bloody poorhouse. Nobody’s got any money, least of all the beat groups.”
Bobby shrugged. “If you don’t have money, then you can’t buy records.”
John said, “I was wondering… You think it might be possible to just hear ‘em?”
Bobby took the Chuck Berry record out of John’s hand.
“This is not a lending library. Why should I let you hear these beauties?”
“Because we need the music, man. We’re going to conquer the world, you’ll see. To the toppermost of the poppermost, and beyond. Bigger than Elvis.”
Nobody laughed. John pawed at the cracked pavement with the pointed toe of his winklepicker shoe.
“You aim to learn the songs in one sitting? That doesn’t seem possible.”
John smirked. “We’re good.”
Bobby turned to Stu. “Is he always this cheeky?”
“It’s worse than you think,” Stu said.
Bobby rubbed his nose and looked the musicians over again.
“You say you play the music of Chuck Berry?”
“Like the man himself.”
“Mother’s milk to us.”
“That’s bloody amazing. In all of Liverpool, Dame Fortune has sent me you. So if I let you listen to these records, what’s in it for me?”
John hunched over, playing the spastic again. He twisted his face and spoke in a crone’s voice.
“What’s in it for me? For me? Something for me, sir?”
To Bobby, John’s clowning mocked everything he stood for as an independent businessman. Bobby frowned, suddenly a shade more indignant.
“That’s right. Something for me. Is that so wrong? Bloody hell. It’s a hard life down here in the fleas. A fellah’s gotta eat.”
John straightened with a wry smile and a wink.
“You drive a hard bargain, Dust Bin Bob. How about a lifetime pass to all of our gigs, forever. That’s gotta be worth a fortune.”
Bobby snorted. “How about half a bar. From each of you.”
“Bloody embarrassing, that is. You don’t want the lifetime pass?”
“No offense, but… It can’t be worth much.”
John looked wounded. Bobby sighed. “OK, I guess I’ll take it along with the
John brightened. “Deal!”
“I’ll need that in writing.”
“Of course, of course. You won’t regret this, Dust Bin Bob.”
NBC called Greg Kihn “Rock’s True Renaissance Man” and for good reason. As part of the eponymous band he has: toured the globe, had hit records, been inducted into the San Jose Rock Hall Of Fame, opened for the Rolling Stones and jammed with Bruce Springsteen. You may have heard of his smash worldwide #1 hit “Jeopardy” and “The Breakup Song”, not to mention the parody written by Weird Al Yankovic.
Being a famous and successful rock star is only one part of the mosaic that is Greg’s story. In the 90s Greg poured his passion for lyrics into writing fiction—publishing four novels, one of which “Horror Show” was nominated for the prestigious Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel.
In this vein, Greg merged his love of writing with Rock and Roll and wrote “Rubber Soul”—a unique rock murder mystery featuring The Beatles. The inspiration for this novel came from Greg’s interviews with Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Pete Best, Yoko Ono and Patti Harrison. In this way Greg gained exclusive access to the biggest band ever to exist. “Rubber Soul” is a work of fiction, but it is 100% historically accurate and a story that only rock veteran Greg Kihn could have written.
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