Saturday, February 27, 2010

Show #27 February 27, 2010

For Lucinda....and for Doug

Lucinda- The Knack Get the Knack
Jumpin' In The Night- The Flamin' Groovies Groovies Greatest Grooves
Ready and Waiting- The Grip Weeds Infinite Soul: Best of the Grip Weeds
Psalm For The Elks Lodge Last Call- The Weakerthans Reconstruction Site
Every Wednesday Night At Eight- The Innocents One Way Love 7"
All I Want is You Alone- Steve Blimkie & The Reason Steve Blimkie & The Reason
Tired of Waking Up Tired- The Diodes Tired of Waking Up Tired
Say Goodbye To The Black Sheep- The Furys DIY: We're Desperate - The L.A. Scene 1976-79
^My Sharona- The Knack Get the Knack
Don't Go- The Donkeys Television Anarchy
Time Wraps Around You- Velvet Crush Teenage Symphonies To God Just A Kid- Milk 'N' Cookies Milk 'N' Cookies
Bad Dreams- The Sidewinders The Sidewinders
I Forgot The Flowers- Regular Guys Regular Guys E.P. 7"
*Val Kilmer- Bowling For Soup The Great Burrito Extortion Case
*David Duchovny- Bree Sharp Cheap and Evil Girl
*Gene Hackman- Hoodoo Gurus Ampology
*Michael Caine- Madness The Business
Time For Action- Secret Affair Glory Boys & Behind Closed Doors
I'm An Adult Now- The Pursuit Of Happiness I'm An Adult Now EP
Math Teacher- The Speedies Speedy Delivery
Two Blind Mice- The Screaming Tribesmen High Time
Unsatisfied- The Replacements Let It Be
Where's Bill Grundy Now?- Television Personalities Where's Bill Grundy Now? EP
>Run, Run, Run- The Third Rail Nuggets: Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era
World Ain't Turning- The Keys The Keys Album
What Can I Do?- Poodle Boys What Can I Do? 45
Mean To Me (The Clothes You Wear)- Advertising Advertising Jingles
No Direction- Start No Direction 7"
Always Heaven- Tommy Hoehn I Do Love The Light
Queen Of Eyes- The Soft Boys 1976-81
Couldn't Believe A Word- The 45's Couldn't Believe A Word 7"
I Can't Take It- Arlis Titan: It's All Pop!

^Power Pop Peak: #1 Billboard Hot 100 6/23/79

*SacroSet: Actorsongs

>Power Pop Prototype: 1967

Feb. 14, 2010, 7:21 PM EST

WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. (AP) -- Doug Fieger, leader of the power pop band The Knack who sang on the 1979 hit "My Sharona," died Sunday. He was 57.

Fieger, a Detroit-area native, died at his home in Woodland Hills near Los Angeles after battling cancer, according to The Knack's manager, Jake Hooker.

Fieger formed The Knack in Los Angeles 1978, and the group quickly became a staple of Sunset Strip rock clubs. A year later he co-wrote and sang lead vocals on "My Sharona."

Fieger said the song, with its pounding drums and exuberant vocals, was inspired by a girlfriend of four years.

"I had never met a girl like her — ever," he told The Associated Press in a 1994 interview. "She induced madness. She was a very powerful presence. She had an insouciance that wouldn't quit. She was very self-assured. ... She also had an overpowering scent, and it drove me crazy."

"My Sharona," an unapologetically anthemic rock song, emerged during disco's heyday and held the No. 1 spot on the Billboard pop chart for six weeks, becoming an FM radio standard.

I was in the 9th Grade in 1979 and had been listening pretty much exclusively to punk rock since mid-1978. At the time, Punk and New Wave (or whatever you'd call Devo and The B-52's) seemed like an all or nothing thing. There was a phase when my favorite bands were Rush, AC/DC and The Ramones but switching allegiance to The Clash seemed to demand an orthodoxy that disallowed any pre-punk/new wave music. These lyrics to The Clash's "1977" say it all:

In 1977
Knives in West 11
Ain't so lucky to be rich
Sten guns in Knightsbridge

Danger stranger, you better paint your face
No Elvis, Beatles or The Rolling Stones
In 1977

Allegiance to this new music was going to demand a sacrifice, one I was more than willing to make. I sold all my Led Zeppelin albums to a kid in my class named Ed Ahigian and hid my love of Kiss and AC/DC from my friends. In fact, I have a vivid memory of listening to the Highway To Hell album with the volume cranked up one Saturday morning only to have Jim Harris and Pete Levine kick open my bedroom door, fake rape/beat me and shove me down between my bed and the wall while screaming about my shitty taste in music. The funny thing is they then went back downstairs and drove away. They were only in the house for about 90 seconds. I've got to admit now- that is pretty funny.

Anyway, even though The Knack were a current band, the record company was trying to position them as a "New Beatles" (matching outfits, back cover shot
replicating The Beatles on Ed Sullivan, etc), so I was VERY leery. Yet, after hearing "My Sharona" and "Good Girls Don't" on the radio, I took the plunge and bought Get The Knack. I liked the record okay and it might have had a chance to grow on me if I hadn't heard the aforementioned songs every half hour on the radio for the next five months. Stories then started to come out in music magazines about Doug Fieger acting like primadonna. Soon the critics, who hate anything that gets too popular because it negates their existence, started piling on.

Fall of 1979 saw the release of some All Kindsa Girls' favorites including The Beat, Shoes' Present Tense, The Records and 20/20. These brilliant records went nowhere and, as I've mentioned in a previous post, I think the critical "knacklash" bears some responsibility for squandering Power Pop's moment in the sun. The thing is, when I go back and listen to Get The Knack now, I hear a solid Power Pop album that holds up pretty well and for that we have Doug Fieger to thank.  RIP Doug.

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