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Rubber Soul: A Novel (Dust Bin Bob) Paperback – September 3, 2013
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In his fifth novel (after Mojo Hand, 1999), veteran rocker Kihn, who had a string of hits in the ’70s and ’80s, continues to spin light mysteries with a musical theme. Ambitious businessman “Dust Bin” Bob Dingle, who runs a secondhand shop on Penny Lane, makes the acquaintance of four Liverpudlians named John, Paul, Ringo, and George. Bob’s stint as a merchant marine with semimonthly ports of call in Baltimore, Maryland, has given him access to a wealth of R & B records, and the Beatles impress Bob with their ability to pick up and flawlessly execute the material after a couple of listens. When they invite him along to their raucous gigs in Hamburg, during which they play for hours at a time, the result is a new burst of growth for the band and their high-energy stage performances. But Bob’s violent stepbrothers have it in for the young musicians, a grudge that culminates in Manila during the height of Beatlemania. Kihn well captures the enthusiasm and joy generated in the early years of the supergroup, and boomers, especially, will enjoy reliving those heady days. --Joanne Wilkinson
“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, former senior editor of Rolling Stone
“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
“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 1960s will thoroughly enjoy and fall in love with Rubber Soul. They certainly don’t write ’em like this anymore.” —Chris Shapiro, RetroPulse
“I’ve known Greg Kihn for decades and he’s never ever run out of amazing tales, stories, and recollections. I never knew which ones were real, true, folk-lore, imagined, or of pipe dreams, Kihn-a-sized. It’s all to his readers’ benefit he writes fiction.” —Rick Nielsen, Cheap Trick
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Dust Bin Bob), moves through an incredible string
of events which so could have happened! Bobby seems
as human as the lads from Liverpool themselves.
Greg's portrayal of the Beatles reminds me of their
demeanor in "A Hard Day's Night" but without any
filters. His description of period circumstances
and his use of "Liverpudlian" language creates a
colorful and honest depiction of the time.
Ok, I am biased. I have been a fan of the Greg
Kihn band since 1980. On stage Greg can captivate
and invigorate a crowd like nobody else. He is an
unstoppable force when he is passionate about
something. Rubber Soul is Greg's fourth novel, and
his writing just keeps maturing!
The book is breezy and probably authentic as it cites Peter Best as a source. Best was the Beatle's drummer until being replaced by Ringo Starr literally weeks before fame came to the Fab Four. The reason for his departure and replacement is the stuff of music legend but the account here is probably factual at least from Best's point of view. It does fit with the reality of what came afterwards.
The upsides of the book are twofold. For fans, it gives a solid profile of the Beatle's personalities including an insight into Lennon's particularly. No, this guy wasn't all bean sprouts and kindness. More interesting to this reader was a documenting of the predecessor music which influenced the Beatles (mostly Lennon/McCartney).
Most of the music which, according to the author, influenced the early Beatles and led to their success were tunes and artists I'd never heard of. So I did some research to find this music and in many cases was electrified by how terrific it was then and how fresh it sounds now.
Through this book and the research it inspired, I discovered more music and artists than any other venue. Let me give one tiny example. If you know early rock, you no doubt heard a song by Elvis titled 'Hound Dog'.
I'd heard that song maybe 20 times in my life. It never made any impression on me as some guy complaining about a defective pet was, at best, a bizarre and silly song. Well that's not what this song is about, but you won't know it until you hear the song done by Big Mama Thornton. Hearing that, I learned what that song was about and felt odd that Evis' version is the one known today and Big Mama Thornton's is as forgotten as she seems to have been. A pity, really.
A short, easy and fun read. Recommended.