Greg Kihn’s career has gone some interesting places since he relocated to the Bay Area to pursue rock ’n’ roll more than 45 years ago. At 70, the Baltimore-native, performing with Rick Springfield and Patty Smyth & Scandal at Rose Music Center in Huber Heights on Saturday, Sept. 7, is still doing what he loves.
Kihn’s eponymous debut was released in 1976. He had two smash hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with the top 15 single, “The Breakup Song (They Don’t Write ’Em),” in 1981 and the number two hit, “Jeopardy” in 1983.
He worked as a radio DJ for 17 years before returning to music in 2012. “Rekihndled,” his first studio album in 20 years, was released in 2017.
Kihn recently discussed his career.
Parody payments: “The best thing was ‘Weird Al’ did his version, ‘I Lost on Jeopardy,’ and it was a hit all over again. He put that on his greatest hits, which went double platinum, so I still get mailbox money from ‘Weird Al’ all these years later.”
Radio gaga: “Doing the morning show for KFOX radio in San Francisco means you have to get up at 3:45 a.m. and then drive in the insane traffic and go over the Bay Bridge every morning. It was driving me nuts. As soon as the radio thing was over, I said, ‘I’ve got to go back out on the road again.’ I’m so glad I did.”
Road buddies: “I’ve known Rick for my entire life. I met him in the early Paleozoic era when dinosaurs still walked the earth. I remember doing early tours with him back in like ’81 and ’82, when ‘Jessie’s Girl’ was out. It was a monster hit and ‘Jeopardy’ was out at the same time and we did a whole tour of Canada and North America. It’s great to be back on the road with him. I’m looking forward to getting back to your neck of the woods.”
Arrested development: “We’re having a great time. I used to really hate going on the road because, you know, it’s hard, but nowadays it’s like summer camp for rock stars. ‘Let’s meet at the airport and go to Dayton.’ ‘OK, let’s go.’ Everybody is really pumped up. It’s kind of like we shed about 20 years in the last couple of weeks and now we’re running around like we did when we were 21. Rock ’n’ roll is kind of like the fountain of youth. Of all the things I’ve done in my life, man, this is the most fun.”