Doug Fieger

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Doug Fieger
Doug Fieger crop.jpg
Fieger in 2005
Background information
Birth nameDouglas Lars Fieger
Born(1952-08-20)August 20, 1952
Oak Park, Michigan, United States
DiedFebruary 14, 2010(2010-02-14) (aged 57)
Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, United States
Genres Rock, power pop, new wave
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, musician
Instruments Vocals, guitar, harmonica
Years active1970–2010
Labels RCA, Capitol, Rhino, Ariola Records
Associated acts The Knack, Sky, Triumvirat, The Sunset Bombers

Douglas Lars Fieger (August 20, 1952 – February 14, 2010) was an American singer–songwriter–musician. He was the rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist of the rock band The Knack. He co-wrote "My Sharona", the biggest hit song of 1979 in the U.S., with lead guitarist Berton Averre.

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United Kingdom and in the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily on the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

The Knack band

The Knack was an American rock band based in Los Angeles that rose to fame with their first single, "My Sharona", an international number-one hit in 1979.

My Sharona 1979 single by The Knack

"My Sharona" is the debut single by the Knack. The song was written by Berton Averre and Doug Fieger, and released in 1979 from their album Get the Knack. It reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart where it remained for 6 weeks, and was number one on Billboard's 1979 Top Pop Singles year-end chart.

Contents

Life and career

Fieger was born in 1952 at Oak Park, Michigan, the son of June Beth (née Oberer) and Bernard Julian Fieger. [1] [2] His father is Jewish, and his mother is Norwegian. [3] Doug is the younger brother of Detroit attorney Geoffrey Fieger (most famous for representing Jack Kevorkian), who confirmed Doug's death to The Detroit News. [4]

Detroit Largest city in Michigan

Detroit is the largest and most populous city in the U.S. state of Michigan, the largest United States city on the United States–Canada border, and the seat of Wayne County. The municipality of Detroit had a 2017 estimated population of 673,104, making it the 23rd-most populous city in the United States. The metropolitan area, known as Metro Detroit, is home to 4.3 million people, making it the second-largest in the Midwest after the Chicago metropolitan area. Regarded as a major cultural center, Detroit is known for its contributions to music and as a repository for art, architecture and design.

Geoffrey Fieger American activist

Geoffrey Nels Fieger is an American attorney based in Southfield, Michigan. Fieger is the senior partner at the law firm of Fieger, Fieger, Kenney & Harrington P.C., and is an occasional legal commentator for NBC and MSNBC. His practice focuses on personal injury, civil rights litigation and medical malpractice cases.

Jack Kevorkian American pathologist and euthanasia activist

Jack Kevorkian was an American pathologist and euthanasia proponent. He is best known for publicly championing a terminal patient's right to die by physician-assisted suicide; he claimed to have assisted at least 130 patients to that end. He was often portrayed in the media with the name of "Dr. Death". There was support for his cause, and he helped set the platform for reform. He said, "Dying is not a crime".

Fieger was born and raised in the 9 Mile/Greenfield area of Oak Park, Michigan, a northern suburb of Detroit. He attended Oak Park High School. Before forming The Knack, Fieger played bass and sang lead in the group Sky, which was founded by producer Jimmy Miller (Rolling Stones, Traffic, Blind Faith) who was the "Mr. Jimmy" in the Stones "You Can't Always Get What You Want". Fieger was in high school when Sky recorded two albums for RCA Records in 1970 and 1971, produced by Miller as well as Andy Johns (Led Zeppelin). Fieger played bass guitar in the German progressive rock band Triumvirat in 1974.

Oak Park, Michigan City in Michigan, United States

Oak Park is a city in south Oakland County in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is a northern suburb of the city of Detroit, which is located in neighboring Wayne County, and part of its metropolitan area. As of the 2010 census, the population of Oak Park was 29,319.

Oak Park High School is a public high school located in Oak Park, Michigan an inner suburb of Detroit. The school is part of the Oak Park School district. It serves about 1,130 students in grades 10 to 12 from Oak Park and surrounding communities around Detroit.

Sky was an American rock power trio active in the early 1970s, based out of Detroit, Michigan. It released two albums with RCA before breaking up in 1973. It's mostly known today as an early point in musician Doug Fieger's career, later the frontman of The Knack.

In addition to performing, Fieger produced the Rubber City Rebels' debut album for Capitol Records and an album for the Los Angeles–based band Mystery Pop. Feiger collaborated with the Rebels drummer Brandon Matheson as bandmates in The Sunset Bombers. They released one album on Ariola Records prior to Fieger's formation of The Knack. The Knack played its first gig at Hollywood's Whisky A Go-Go nightclub on June 1, 1978. In addition, they played other Los Angeles–area nightclubs, including The Troubadour in West Hollywood. In 1979 they were signed by Capitol Records.

Rubber City Rebels are an American proto-punk band from Akron, Ohio that formed in 1976.

Capitol Records American record label

Capitol Records, Inc. is an American record label owned by Universal Music Group through its Capitol Music Group imprint. It was founded as the first West Coast-based record label in the United States in 1942 by Johnny Mercer, Buddy DeSylva, and Glenn E. Wallichs. Capitol was acquired by British music conglomerate EMI as its North American subsidiary in 1955. EMI was acquired by Universal Music Group in 2012 and was merged with the company a year later, making Capitol and the Capitol Music Group both a part of UMG. The label's circular headquarter building in Hollywood is a recognized landmark of California.

Ariola Records German record label

Ariola Records is a German record label. In the late 1980s, it was a subsidiary label of Bertelsmann Music Group, which in turn has become a part of the international media conglomerate Sony Music.

"My Sharona" spent six straight weeks at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100 in 1979. It was the biggest hit of the year. Fifteen years later the track gained renewed interest when it was featured in the film Reality Bites . [5] It was also featured regularly in a Saturday Night Live skit parodying Janet Reno. The follow-up hit to "My Sharona", "Good Girls Don't", stopped a notch short of the Top 10, peaking at No. 11. Their album Get The Knack spent five straight weeks at No. 1. Three million copies were sold in the United States and 6 million sold worldwide.

<i>Reality Bites</i> 1994 film by Ben Stiller

Reality Bites is a 1994 American romantic comedy-drama film written by Helen Childress and directed by Ben Stiller. It stars Winona Ryder, Ethan Hawke and Stiller, with supporting roles by Janeane Garofalo and Steve Zahn. The plot follows Lelaina (Ryder), an aspiring videographer working on a documentary called Reality Bites about the disenfranchised lives of her friends and roommates. Their challenges exemplify some of the career and lifestyle choices faced by Generation X.

<i>Saturday Night Live</i> American late-night live television sketch comedy and variety show

Saturday Night Live (SNL) is an American late-night live television variety show created by Lorne Michaels and developed by Dick Ebersol. The show premiered on NBC on October 11, 1975, under the original title NBC's Saturday Night. The show's comedy sketches, which often parody contemporary culture and politics, are performed by a large and varying cast of repertory and newer cast members. Each episode is hosted by a celebrity guest, who usually delivers the opening monologue and performs in sketches with the cast as with featured performances by a musical guest. An episode normally begins with a cold open sketch that ends with someone breaking character and proclaiming, "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!", properly beginning the show.

Janet Reno former Attorney General of the United States

Janet Wood Reno was an American lawyer who served as the Attorney General of the United States from 1993 until 2001. President Bill Clinton nominated Reno on February 11, 1993, and the Senate confirmed her the following month. She was the first woman to serve as Attorney General and the second-longest serving Attorney General in U.S. history, after William Wirt.

Fieger released two solo albums. First Things First was released in 1999. Hankerings, a Hank Williams tribute, was released posthumously in 2010.

Hank Williams American country music singer

Hiram King "Hank" Williams was an American singer-songwriter and musician. Regarded as one of the most significant and influential American singers and songwriters of the 20th century, Williams recorded 35 singles that reached the Top 10 of the Billboard Country & Western Best Sellers chart, including 11 that ranked number one.

Additionally, Fieger provided lead vocals on two tracks on Was (Not Was)'s 1983 album Born to Laugh at Tornadoes . Shortly before his death, he provided lead vocals for the track "Dirty Girl", from Bruce Kulick's 2010 album BK3 ; "Dirty Girl" was named 29th-best song of 2010 by Classic Rock magazine.

Personal life

Fieger underwent brain surgery in August 2006 to remove two tumors. He later was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2007, which required extensive chemotherapy and removal of half of his lung. [6] His former wife, Mia, contributed to Fieger's care during his illness.

After battling cancer for years, Fieger died at his home in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Woodland Hills on February 14, 2010. He was 57 years old. [7] [8] In addition to his older brother, Geoffrey Fieger, survivors included his younger sister, Beth Falkenstein.

Fieger wrote "My Sharona" for Sharona Alperin, his girlfriend. Fieger and Alperin married other people, but they remained friends. Alperin visited him frequently in his final months. "People that meant so much to him in the music industry, came to pay their respects to him," she says. "It was really beautiful." [9]

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<i>Get the Knack</i> 1979 studio album by The Knack

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Cant Put a Price on Love 1980 single by The Knack

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"(She's So) Selfish" is a hit song written by Doug Fieger and Berton Averre that was first released by the Knack on their #1 debut album Get the Knack in 1979. It also appeared on a number of live and compilation albums. It was intended for release as a single, but was prevented by its "scatological" lyrics. It was inspired by the same woman who inspired the band's #1 single "My Sharona." It was praised by critics for its hooks and style, but criticized for its nastiness and sexism.

"Your Number or Your Name" is a song written by Doug Fieger and Berton Averre that was first released by the Knack as the 2nd song on their #1 debut album Get the Knack in 1979. It also appeared on a number of live and compilation albums.

References

  1. "Doug Fieger passed away at age 57. He was leader of an L.A. band, the Knack and sang 'My Sharona'". Los Angeles Times . 2010-02-15. Retrieved 2010-02-15.
  2. "Motormouth". ABA Journal. Retrieved 20 September 2014.
  3. "Behind the mouth: Geoffrey Fieger". Web.archive.org. 2004-12-16. Archived from the original on April 18, 2005. Retrieved 2013-01-11.
  4. [ dead link ]
  5. "Entertainment Weekly profile". EW.com. Retrieved 20 September 2014.
  6. [ dead link ]
  7. Ben Sisario (2010-02-16). "Doug Fieger Dies at 57, Singer of 'My Sharona'". The New York Times . Retrieved 2010-02-16.
  8. Eagan, Paul (2010-02-14). "Knack lead singer Doug Fieger dies of cancer". Detroit News . Retrieved 2010-02-15.
  9. Guy Raz (2010-03-06). "The Woman Behind 'My Sharona'". NPR-ATC. Retrieved 2010-03-07.