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.
Singer Doug Fieger was a native of Oak Park, Michigan, a northern suburb of Detroit, Michigan, and grew up in the 9 Mile/Coolidge area. The brother of attorney Geoffrey Fieger (later known for representing Jack Kevorkian in a series of assisted suicide cases) Fieger had previously played in an eclectic rock band called Sky as well as the Sunset Bombers. Although Sky had received a modest amount of acclaim, including being produced by Rolling Stones producer Jimmy Miller, the band broke up without having any chart success. As a result, Fieger made the decision to move to Los Angeles and start another band.
Shortly after arriving in L.A., Fieger met Berton Averre (lead guitar, backing vocals and keyboards), and the two started a songwriting partnership. Fieger had also known Bruce Gary (drums) for years before forming the Knack in 1978 with Prescott Niles (bass). Niles was the last to join, a week before the band’s first show in June 1978. In the meantime, Fieger had been doubling on bass on a series of demos that the group had shopped to several record labels, all of which were rejected. Some of these songs later made up the band’s debut album Get the Knack, and included “Good Girls Don’t”.
In 2005, the Knack made an appearance on the TV program Hit Me, Baby, One More Time, performing “My Sharona” and Jet’s “Are You Gonna Be My Girl”.
In 2006, Doug Fieger and Berton Averre filed a lawsuit against the rap music group Run–D.M.C. for copyright infringement. The lawsuit alleges that the defining guitar riff from “My Sharona” was used without permission in the Run-D.M.C. track “It’s Tricky” from their 1986 album Raising Hell.
In 2006, during a performance in Las Vegas, Fieger became disoriented, developing a dull headache, and grasping for the words to the songs that he had written and performed for years. Diagnosed with two brain tumors, Fieger underwent surgery and radiosurgery and returned to performing. However, he still continued to battle brain and lung cancer until his death on February 14, 2010, in Woodland Hills, California, at the age of 57, effectively bringing the band to an end.