RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Greg Kihn - Painted Black (Book)
Open Road Media

Grade: B

Greg Kihn may be most famous for the tunes "The Breakup Song" and "Jeopardy," as well as Weird Al's parody of the latter.  Kihn has done much more than simply play rock and roll in his career.  He has been a successful deejay, put on some huge concert events and is a well respected author.  His latest book, titled Painted Black, sees Kihn revisit his most loved characters from this book Rubber Soul.  The result is another rock and roll ‘read’ that mixes the truth with Greg's stranger than fiction imagination.

Dust Bin Bob was the star of Rubber Soul.  An accidental meeting with the Beatles led to lifelong friendships where synchronicity led Bob to become friends with the band and even saved the day for the band.  Rubber Soulis a great read and if you are reading this review then, suffice it to say, it is a must-read book and you really should purchase it along with Painted Black.

In Painted Black, Dust Bin Bob goes through a series of fortunate -and more often than not- unfortunate events meeting Rolling Stone founder Brian Jones.  Jones is out of control . We're talking, on drugs, off drugs, into the occult, getting kicked out of the band, jamming with John Lennon, getting set up by the mob kinda out of control. Remember, none of the 'facts’ of this book actually happened.  There is no Dust Bin Bob in the three dimensional universe.  However, the facts about the music are real.  Kihn takes the famous peeps personality traits and has a bit of fun with them, which in this case leads to a murder case, that was oh-so-real, as Jones was found deal, both in this book and real life, face-down dead in his swimming pool. 

This book has secret societies, Nazi daggers, dead hippie chicks, drugs, famous concerts, the mob and more... all hovering around Brian Jones as Dust Bin and his friends and family are drawn in to do everything from babysitting Jones to protecting him.  The book, and there is no spoiler alert needed here, ends up with the untimely death of Jones... and like real life, it is never clear if this was a suicide, accident or murder.  The story along the way is fun as hell.  Kihn's love affair with British Rock and Roll is obvious.  His knowledge of the era is impressive, and his ability to bring characters to life is amazing.

This is a great read; however, it is not quite as good as Rubber Soul.  Maybe if you're a Stones nut over a Beatles nut you will feel differently.  I like 'em both.  With Painted Black there is a lot of twists and turns, and while delightful, it is not quite as thrilling as Rubber Soul.  That said, it is a great read and once I cracked the cover I could not put it down. I think you should buy both of them, read them and then let me know if you agree or disagree on my opinion.  No matter what you think of my review, you would have to be an illiterate disco fan not to enjoy both books!

What can be next?  Hmm, I wonder if Dust Bin Bob ever met the Davies brothers, Ray and Dave?  We will have to wait and see!  For now, get Rubber Soul and Painted Black to read.  That will give Greg some time to finish the next book.  I can't wait to see where he takes Dust Bin on his next journey!

By Jeb Wright