Monday, February 15, 2010

He Had The Knack

Today it was reported that Doug Fiegler passed away from cancer. The leader of The Knack, the late 70s band that practically defined the term "one hit wonder", Fiegler created a song that is as indelible in its memory to anyone living in America in 1979. Or 1993 when it made a come back. But mostly in 1979.

"My Sharona" was one of the songs I liked a lot even before I listened to a lot of music. It was catchy catchy catchy, with that jumpy beat and pogo stick chorus "My-yiy-yiy-yiy yiy woo!" Strong memories of grade school and junior high I associate with this song, part of the soundtrack to my personally mundane "Wonder Years". Am I lovin' "quotation marks" in this post or what? Anyway, it ranks up there with "Hot Blooded", "Celebration" and "Believe It Or Not It's Just Me" (the Greatest American Hero song) as the backbeat to my youth.

I was all too happy to see the song make a comeback in the early 90's thanks to the Winona Rider movie Reality Bites. My generation rediscovered the song and its sense of dirty fun even amid the sweatstained marks on the flannel of Grunge.

The most vivid memory of The Knack came about in the late 90's. I was about to buy The Knack's record from a used goods store for a few dollars on an impulse. This guy and his girl got all upset about it like it was the last The Knack record made by man. Since I knew this record was a $1 bin regular in just about every used record store I had been to, I gave it to him. I'll never forget that, this guy must have been the laziest Knack superfan there was.

The term "one hit wonder" is often used derisively ( though I admit to liking another The Knack song "Good Girls Don't" as being pretty good too) when the hit is the size of "My Sharona" it shouldn't be a bad thing. This song will always take me back to days of corderoy pants, hot days in the sun playing baseball and Atari 2600 games. So thank you for the music, Mr Fiegler.

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