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The Knack
Genres Rock, New Wave, punk, power pop
Years active 1978–1982
1986–1992
1994
1997-present
Labels Capitol
Charisma[1]
Members
Berton Averre
Prescott Niles
Former members
Doug Fieger
Bruce Gary

The Knack is an American New Wave rock quartet based in Los Angeles that rose to fame with their first single, "My Sharona", an international #1 hit that became the biggest hit song of 1979.

Contents

History

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The "power pop" of "My Sharona", coupled with the band's "retro" 1960s look, earned the band comparisons to the early Beatles. Many music critics of the era disliked disco, which dominated the music industry at the time, and were, at best, coolly receptive to other developing genres like punk rock, new wave and heavy metal music. The Knack's power pop and hard rock influences earned them some critical credibility; one example was a highly technical and long guitar solo during "My Sharona" which seemed equal to any that a metal band would use. The band's debut album, Get The Knack, was one of the year's biggest albums - holding the #1 spot on Billboard's album chart for 5 consecutive weeks and selling 3 million copies in the United States alone. After subsequent albums, there was a critical backlash against the band[2] and they broke up amidst internal squabbles, although since then they have occasionally reunited. Part of the backlash was that the object of some of the Knack's songs were girls "of the younger type", meaning teenaged girls, when the band was at least ten years older.

Singer Doug Fieger was a native of Oak Park, Michigan - a northern suburb of Detroit, Michigan - and grew up in the 9 Mile/Coolidge area. He had previously played in an eclectic rock band called Sky as well as The Sunset Bombers. Fieger was the brother of Detroit-area attorney Geoffrey Fieger, best known for representing Dr. Jack Kevorkian in a series of assisted suicide cases. Of the four original members of The Knack (Fieger, Berton Averre - Guitar, Prescott Niles - Bass, and Bruce Gary - Drums), only Averre and Niles still currently play as The Knack. Bruce Gary died from lymphoma on August 22, 2006 at the age of 55.

Bruce Gary left the band well before his death, becoming a respected producer (archive recordings of Jimi Hendrix and new recordings of The Ventures) and a very successful sideman performing live and on studio sessions with artists such as Jack Bruce, Mick Taylor, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Cherie Currie, Robby Krieger, Spencer Davis, Stephen Stills, Rod Stewart, and Sheryl Crow. He did not join the more recent Knack reunions.

Several drummers have played for the group since Gary's departure including Billy Ward (Serious Fun album), Terry Bozzio (Zoom album), and David Henderson as 'Holmes Jones' (Normal as the Next Guy and Live at the Rock N Roll Funhouse albums). Currently Pat Torpey (Mr. Big) is playing the drums for the group.

In the mid-1990s, all four original band members, including Bruce Gary, reunited in the studio one last time to record a track for a multi-artist compilation album saluting the British band Badfinger (where the band covered Badfinger's hit "No Matter What"[3]).

In 2005, The Knack made an appearance on the TV program Hit Me, Baby, One More Time.

In 2006, during a performance in Las Vegas, Doug Fieger became disoriented, developed a dull headache and grasped for the words to songs that he had written and performed for years.[4] Diagnosed with two brain tumors, Fieger underwent surgery and radiosurgery and returned to performing.

Doug Fieger appeared in the Countdown Spectacular 2 concert series in Australia between late-August and early-September 2007. He sang The Knack favourite "My Sharona" only.

In 2006, Doug Fieger and Berton Averre filed a lawsuit against the rap music group Run–D.M.C. for copyright infringement. The lawsuit alleges that the defining guitar riff from "My Sharona" was used without permission in the Run-D.M.C. track "It's Tricky" from their 1986 album Raising Hell.[5]

On February 14th, 2010, lead singer Doug Fieger died in Woodland Hills, California after battling both brain and lung cancer for several years.

Discography

Studio albums
  • Get the Knack (1979) #1 (6 weeks) US, #65 UK 2x Platinum
  • ...But The Little Girls Understand (1980) #15 US Gold
  • Round Trip (1981) #93 US
  • Serious Fun (1991)
  • Zoom (1998)
  • Normal As The Next Guy (2001)
  • Re-Zoom (Zoom with Bonus Tracks) (2003)
Live Album Released on CD and DVD
  • Live From the Rock n Roll Funhouse (2001)
Live Concert Released on Laserdisc
  • The Knack Live at Carnegie Hall (1979)
Live Concert Released on DVD
  • World Cafe Live: The Knack in Concert (May 2007)
Compilation Albums
  • My Sharona (1995)
  • Retrospective (1992)
  • Proof: The Very Best Of The Knack (1998)
Documentary DVD
  • Getting The Knack (2004)
Singles
  • "My Sharona" (1979) #1 (6 weeks) US, #6 UK, #1 Australia (5 Weeks)
  • "Good Girls Don't" (1979) #11 US, #66 UK
  • "Baby Talks Dirty" (1980) #38 US
  • "Can't Put A Price On Love" (1980) #62 US
  • "Pay The Devil" (1981) #67 US
  • "Rocket O' Love" (1991) #9 US (mainstream rock tracks)

References

External links

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