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Fieger in 2005
Douglas Lars Fieger
(1952-08-20)August 20, 1952
|Died||February 14, 2010(2010-02-14) (aged 57)
|Relatives||Geoffrey Fieger (brother)|
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.
Life and career
Fieger was born in 1952 in Oak Park, Michigan, the son of June Beth (née Oberer) and Bernard Julian Fieger. His father is Jewish, and his mother is Norwegian. 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.
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.
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.
"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. 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.
Fieger released two solo albums. First Things First was released in 1999. Hankerings, a Hank Williams tribute, was released posthumously in 2010.
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.
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. 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. In addition to his older brother, Geoffrey Fieger, survivors included his younger sister, Beth Falkenstein.
Fieger wrote "My Sharona" for Sharona Alperin, his not-yet girlfriend. Fieger and Alperin dated for four years, but parted, marrying other people, remaining 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."
- "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.
- "Motormouth". ABA Journal. Retrieved 20 September 2014.
- "Behind the mouth: Geoffrey Fieger". Web.archive.org. 2004-12-16. Archived from the original on April 18, 2005. Retrieved 2013-01-11.
- [dead link]
- "Entertainment Weekly profile". EW.com. Retrieved 20 September 2014.
- [dead link]
- Ben Sisario (2010-02-16). "Doug Fieger Dies at 57, Singer of 'My Sharona'". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-02-16.
- Eagan, Paul (2010-02-14). "Knack lead singer Doug Fieger dies of cancer". Detroit News. Retrieved 2010-02-15.
- Guy Raz (2010-03-06). "The Woman Behind 'My Sharona'". NPR-ATC. Retrieved 2010-03-07.
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