April 28, 2016

Featured 45: The Knack's My Sharona

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Every week or so we will be dusting off an old 45 and putting them on display. Along with the picture of these old gems, we will have a story about each of them. Once a 45 has been featured and replaced with a new one, it will be moved into The Archives. Here’s the latest entry:

In April of 1979 The Knack recorded a song that went on to be the fastest selling single to reach a million in sales since The Beatles released “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” in 1964. That almost naturally led to them being compared to the Fab Four. They were even on the same Capitol Record label as The Beatles. That comparison was the kiss of death for The Knack. “My Sharona” was their only hit and they went down in Rock history as the biggest one hit wonders of all time.

The song was the brain child of rhythm guitarist Benton Averre. The tune had been bouncing around in his brain for almost five years. When he joined The Knack he played the instrumental elements of the song to Doug Fieger (died 2/14/2010) the lead guitarist and singer in the band. He loved it, but the group still had no lyrics to go with the catchy tune.

Doug and Benton sat down and wrote those lyrics in 15 minutes. The inspiration was a real woman named Sharona who was the girlfriend of Benton. At first Benton didn’t like the idea of using his girlfriend’s real name in the song but became convinced that it fit the beat so well that it had to be used. She even became the cover of the singles sleeve that is pictured.

The song itself was a bit of a throwback to the 60’s Rock with some more modern elements mixed in. Listen and you will hear a bit of “Gimme Some Lovin’” by the Spencer Davis Group and a little “My Generation” by The Who. That is especially true of the stuttering of “muh muh muh my Sharona” Like so many other songs the elements of the song were turned upside down and backwards so it had its own identity.

The success of the song led to high expectations for another hit single. That was never to be. The song itself has been rived a couple of times over the years thanks to movies and TV. In 2008, "My Sharona" was ranked in two Billboard 50th anniversary charts. It ranked 75 on the Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Song and 16 on the Top Billboard Hot 100 Rock Songs. So what happened to the woman who inspired the song? Sharona Alperin lives and works in real estate in Los Angeles. She has her own website with the domain of mysharona.com. The song is even played as you open the front page of the site.



1 comment

  • Comment Link Otto Greenleaf Friday, August 16, 2019 posted by Otto Greenleaf

    Doug Fieger's brother represented Dr. Jack Kevorkian when he was on trial. I've always loved "My Sharona". Especially the un-edited version.

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