HUBER HEIGHTS — Greg Kihn can sleep in a little longer these days if he wants to. He’s earned it. But that doesn’t mean the veteran rocker is slowing down.
With a career resume that includes 17 albums, six novels and 16 years as a radio disc jockey – the 70-year-old rocker said he still loves performing and being creative.
“I’m still writing songs and as long as those songs keep popping into my head – as long as those creative ideas keep flowing – I’ll keep doing it,” Kihn said during a recent phone interview. “Someday when I run out of ideas, I’ll try something else.”
The Maryland native will visit Huber Heights Sept. 7 when Rick Springfield’s “Best in Show 2019” tour hits Rose Music Center at The Heights. Kihn will join headliner Springfield in the lineup along with Patty Smyth & Scandal for the 7:30 p.m. show.
“I love my life and I’ve been really blessed that I have had a great career in music and radio and as a writer,” he said. “I’m loving it.”
Although his catalog spans close to 20 albums, Kihn is perhaps best recognized by two popular songs that helped cement his place in rock history. His 1981 hit “The Breakup Song (They Don’t Write ‘Em)” was a huge success on Beserkley Records, followed by “Jeopardy” in 1983. The song hit No. 2 on the pop/rock charts and its subsequent video received heavy airplay on MTV.
Kihn said both songs will be part of his “Best of Show” appearance at The Rose.
“I’ve got to do ‘Jeopardy” and the ‘Breakup Song’ and ‘Reunited’ and songs that are well-known from the Greg Kihn Band, but we’re also going to be doing a couple of new songs off the album ‘ReKihndled’ and maybe a little jamming as well,” he said. “We try to satisfy all the urges … the classic songs, some new songs, and some songs that we really don’t know but we’re going to try anyway!”
Kihn said he’s enjoying his slot on Springfield’s “Best in Show” tour – which typically has included Springfield and Tommy Tutone, as well as select appearances by Scandal.
“The way this tour has been shaping up, things are really, super comfortable touring (together),” he said. “It’s a really organic show and really does have a beginning, middle and end. I like that. It feels right.
“A lot of people come to the show and see me do ‘Jeopardy’ and say ‘Gee, I didn’t know you sang that song,’” he continued. “It’s a very populist show. All the songs are well-defined and you probably will recognize a lot of them.”
And unlike the relentless touring of the 80s, Kihn said he has time to savor things a little more this time around.
“It’s been a lot of fun. Back in the old days I would go out on the road and it was tedious … hanging out in airports and touring all the time. But now it’s like summer camp for rockers. We go out on the road and it’s really fun.”
Kihn said being able to tour with his son Ry ‑ who plays lead guitar in the band – has been particularly gratifying.
“It’s been wonderful. The kid started his guitar lessons when he was 13 with Joe Satriani when Joe was in the band … and starting with Joe is kind of like starting with Jimi Hendrix,” Kihn said. “I’m super proud. It makes the Greg Kihn band a better band because Ry is such a fine guitar player.”
When he’s not creating music or touring, Kihn said he pursues another creative outlet: writing.
“I’ve always written, going back to elementary school. I remember writing stories way back, and I’ve always been one of those guys who has a notebook … jotting things down and writing story ideas … whatever pops into my mind. I have a great respect for the creative process, because it really is the same muscle whether you use it to write songs or create novels. A lot of things spark ideas for other things.”
And now that he’s not doing a morning radio show anymore – Kihn was a DJ for KUFX in the San Francisco Bay Area from 1996-2012 – he’s able to snooze a little longer, too.
“I miss talking to a million people every day, but it’s great to sleep,” he joked. “I told my wife I was going to sleep until noon for the rest of my life.”