1980s rock icon Greg Kihn spins a magical mystery tour headlined by the Beatles, who find themselves in jeopardy when murder rocks their world.
For Bob “Dust Bin” Dingle, R&B is a passion his roughneck brothers don’t understand. But when a mop-haired group of Liverpudlians named John, Paul, George, and Ringo stumble into Dust Bin Bob’s secondhand shop on Penny Lane and gawk at his sparkling collection of 45s, everyone’s in perfect harmony.
Stirred by the thumping backbeats of Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Bo Diddley, the Fab Four rocket to stardom. As Beatlemania catapults them from the Cavern Club to The Ed Sullivan Show in record time, the lads show they’ve also got a talent for getting into trouble. Fortunately, Dust Bin Bob has a way of showing up just in time to lend them a hand.
But when the world tour for Rubber Soul lands in the Philippines, trouble turns deadly. Exhausted from an eight-days-a-week schedule, the fab four snub a personal invite from Imelda Marcos, who just won’t let it be. Suddenly, thousands of fans turn menacing, and murder is in the air. It’s up to Dust Bin Bob to sort out the mess if they to get back on the plane alive . . .
Liverpudlian Bobby "Dust Bin Bob" Dingle's carefully scavenged collection of R&B singles, procured from visiting Merchant Marines, provides an escape from his loutish step-brothers, two thugs destined for jail or worse. The records also provide a common bond between Bobby and the members of a group then called Long John and the Silver Beatles, a bond that will endure across two decades. As the years pass, Bobby and the Beatles cross paths many times. Bobby finds love and true family in America while the Beatles embrace fame across the world. Bobby's past and the Beatles' hubris will unite in a violent climax in Ferdinand Marcos' Philippines. Kihn's affection for his subject matter is undeniable, as is his knowledge of the Beatles, but that combination is not enough to create a convincing and engaging narrative. Inserting a fictional character into the lives of well-documented celebrities like the Beatles can be tricky. Bobby's relationship with the Beatles never feels authentic, his step-brother's recurring role as antagonist to the musicians feels forced, and the prose is mediocre. The unconvincing narrative combined with the historical details suggests the author's talents might be best focused in non-fiction.