My Sharona

Doug Feiger died this week. Less wealthy than Gary Numan and less iconic than Sting, The Knack's frontman can rest in peace knowing he did something in the 1970's neither of his new wave contemporaries could match: he penned a Billboard #1 hit.

"My Sharona" was the #1 song in '79, and was in heavy rotation along with the Police's "Roxanne" and Gary Numan's "Cars" in my Pioneer in-dash cassette. America was still shaking off its disco hangover when Britain's New Wave splashed quietly onto Florida's shores. Before "My Sharona," Sunshine State hillbillies like me learned about new music from two sources: the musical guests on Saturday Night Live, or from the DJ at Ft. Lauderdale's New Wave Lounge.

Feiger's homage to teen lust proved to a nation and an industry that Punk and New Wave were viable alternatives to the disco and AOR that had dominated FM airwaves for the previous dozen years. I loved "My Sharona's" hypnotic hook and tortured white-boy whining, and so did the rest of teen-aged America. The Knack's #1 hit inspired record companies to sign hundreds of New Wave bands from England and Europe, the perceived birthplace of the sonic movement. I say "perceived" because Doug Feiger was born in The Motor City and moved to LA in the '70s to chase his dream of making music that made a difference. Doug's band didn't have a knack for long-term success, but the genre he popularized during my Summer of Love continues to prosper with bands like The Sounds and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Rest in peace, Mr. Feiger.


1 comment:

D O said...

McGoo, My Sharona will forever remind me of the '79 Torker tour when we met. First; walking by your car and you were reading romance porn to 6 and 7 year olds and second; you dancing on top of the Torker motor home to My Sharona with your desert hat on... classic and good times. - DO