Jay Carpentar - lead guitar; Gary Phillips - keyboards; Steve Wright - bass; Larry Lynch - drums
Strap yourself in for a wild ride for the first of two great shows taped back to back in 1981. This recording is part of two-show stand held at New York's Savoy Club, when Kihn was enjoying his biggest chart success. Featured here are rockin' versions of "Rendezvous" written for Kihn by his friend, Bruce Springsteen, "The Break-Up Song," "Can't Stop Hurting Myself," "Valerie," and "True Confessions." He also does standout covers of Chuck Berry's "Reelin' And Rockin'," the Yardbirds' "For Your Love," and Tommy Roe's '60s classic, "Sheila." Steve Wright does an amazing bass solo during their version of the Jonathon Richmond classic, "Roadrunner."
Kihn, an aspiring singer-songwriter who had migrated from his native Baltimore, Maryland to San Francisco in 1974, had spent time as a disc jockey while developing his musical chops. Shortly after landing in the Bay Area, Kihn became one of the first artists signed to Matthew Kaufman's fledgling indie label, Beserkley Records. Beserkley had some initial success with such artists as Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers and Earth Quake, but it would be Kihn, with his keen sense of radio-friendly melodies, that would go on to be Beserkley's best-selling artist. After a slot on a popular Beserkley compilation, Kihn formed the first version of the Greg Kihn Band with Ronnie Dunbar on guitar and backing vocals, Steve Wright on bass, and Larry Lynch on drums. Kihn would stay with Beserkley for a decade, and the success of his later hit singles, "The Break Up Song" and "Jeopardy," would secure a major label distribution deal for the cutting edge record company from the late-1970s onward.
By 1985, Kihn's popularity began to wane and he started working with smaller labels such as Clean Cuts, out of his native Baltimore. He returned to the Bay Area to work as a morning DJ, and kept touring sporadically through the 1990s. He launched a third career as a successful novelist and author in 1996. His first book, Horror Show, was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award.