Cancer claims The Knack’s Doug Fieger

By Story courtesy of
Singer and composer known for the hit “My Sharona”
Douglas Lars Fieger, 57, lead singer of the rock group The Knack and composer of the 1979 No. 1 hit “My Sharona,” passed away at his Woodland Hills, Calif., home on Feb. 14, 2010. Fieger had battled lung cancer for six years. He had outlived — for many, many years — his doctors’ prognoses.

Born in Detroit in 1952 and raised in Oak Park, Mich., Doug was the middle son of the late June and Bernie Fieger. While still attending Oak Park High School, Fieger wrote to The Rolling Stones’ producer, Jimmy Miller, to ask for an audition. Miller responded, and after hearing Fieger and his band, Sky, perform in the Fieger family’s basement, Miller signed Fieger to a two-album reocrding deal with RCA Records. Sky traveled to England with Miller to record both their albums at Mick Jagger’s home studio, called called “Stargroves,” and at The Stones’ main studio, Olympic Sound.

In 1970, Fieger moved to Los Angeles after graduating from high school. After Sky disbanded in 1973, Fieger began composing songs for a new group he envisioned forming in L.A. The rest is history.

Fieger formed The Knack in 1977 with L.A. natives Burton Avarre on lead guitar, Prescott Niles on bass and Bruce Gary on drums. The Knack became L.A.’s hottest club band, and there was a bidding war to secure the band’s recordings rights. Capital Records won.

The Knack’s first album, Get The Knack, became an overwhelming success and the No. 1-selling album of 1979 in the world. The band’s monster hit, “My Sharona,” came from this album; it was the No. 1 single for 1979. The catchy tune continues to find a home on radio, TV commercials and, perhaps most famously, in the movie “Reality Bites.”

Get The Knack also contained three other Top 10 hits: “Good Girls Don’t,” “She’s So Selfish” and “Frustrated.” The Knack toured the world on the album’s success.

The band’s next two albums, But The Little Girls Understand and Roundtrip, were successful by most measures, although they never attained the status of the #1 Get The Knack.

The Knack continued to tour and record for the next 30 years, only stopping within the last year due to Fieger’s illness.

In addition to writing for The Knack, Fieger penned hit songs for other recording acts, including the song “Sould Food to Go” for the Grammy Award-winning group Manhattan. Fieger also produced other acts and recorded with other artists on their records, including his longtime friend Ringo Starr.

Fieger regularly appeared as one of John Goodman’s poker buddies on the hit TV show, “Roseanne.”

In person, Fieger was brilliant, witty, with a wry and biting sense of humor. To those who loved him, his sometimes outspoken and argumentative nature (another Fieger family trait) was recognized as a thin façade for a caring and gentle soul. Someone once remarked, tongue-in-cheek, that “Doug had more friends than he could shake a stick at, not that he didn’t try.”

In the Buddhist tradition, Fieger was to be wrapped in a shroud and left to lie in repose for three days. His remains will be cremated. A memorial is pending for relatives and close friends. In lieu of flowers or contributions, the family hopes that you continue to fill your homes and hearts with music.

Fieger is survived by his older brother, Geoffrey, his younger sister, Beth Falkenstein, his nieces and nephews, Freya, Gretel, Julian, Aidan and Quinn, and hundreds of friends. He also remained very close to his former wife, Mia, who was with him continuously at the end.

On behalf of Doug, his family wishes to thank all of his loyal friends and fans for their years of support and well wishes. He did not suffer. He is in a better place. And wherever he is, his love and music will continue to shower down upon all of us who remain in this mortal coil, forever.

Story courtesy of

Leave a Reply