Monday, 15 February 2010

Mourning Doug Fieger

Since the inception of the singles charts in the middle of the 20th Century (1940 in America and 1952 in the UK) the world has had the one-hit wonder. These usually disposable nuggets of musical history normally fade away as quickly as they appear. Once in a blue moon, however, one refuses to go down without a fight, and even more rarely one will survive for decades beyond it's seemingly more successful contemporaries.

Within the first few beats of the drum intro to 'My Sharona' by The Knack most people's ears prick up and a smile crosses their face. Even 31 years after the song was first thrust into the public view, it is hard to find a cover band that haven't managed to crowbar it into their repertoire, always guaranteed a good response and much drunken dancing. The song is additionally credited with putting one of the final nails in the coffin of disco, whether that is a good thing or a bad thing is a matter of opinion.

The song's composer and The Knack's vocalist Doug Fieger wrote the song about a teenage crush and has often recounted the tale of the impact she had upon him, whether it is this passionate back story or the insanely catchy melody that causes people to love it, it has become a modern classic.

And now for the downer....

In 2005 Fieger was diagnosed with lung cancer and had part of his lung removed, only a year later he developed brain cancer and had two tumors removed. Despite extensive treatment including chemotherapy Fieger lost his battle yesterday (14 February 2010) aged 57, the second of the band to be claimed by the disease (Bruce Gary, drummer died in 2006 aged 55).

Fortunately his legacy lives on and 'My Sharona' will undoubtedly continue to influence music for years to come, and if history is anything to go by we may even see it burst back into the charts in the coming weeks.

Since everybody seems to have this song either as an MP3, CD or even the original vinyl (gloat) I urge as many people as possible to listen back to it and enjoy it fondly.

No comments:

Post a Comment