R.I.P. -- Doug Fieger (The Knack)

Honoring my friendship with music legend Doug Fieger

By Kelli Richards
February 18, 2010 | Comments: 2

DougFieger.jpgIt's been awhile since I posted my last blog entry. You might say I took a sabbatical from it during this past year in light of all the flux with the economy and several other challenges. But I've got my voice back now, and I fully intend to start blogging again more actively on a regular basis.

What's calling to me tonight is to honor my friend and colleague Doug Fieger, leader of the rock band The Knack who had a monster commercial hit with "My Sharona" in the late 70s. I first met Doug when I was a teenager -- and my best friend Cindy & I went to meet The Knack's plane when they landed in San Jose, saw their show in Palo Alto, and subsequently had a chance to meet the group after the performance. The scene at the airport (and at the show) was like nothing since Beatlemania; the hysteria was palpable.

Not long afterwards I began my career in the music industry. And given a big part of my focus has always been working closely with artists, I was fortunate enough to befriend Doug along the way. Most recently he was kind enough to support me at a book signing at Digital Hollywood, along with several other notable artists (including Stewart Copeland), when I published my book "The Art of Digital Music" -- co-authored with David Battino -- a few years back. Doug was recovering from initial treatment for brain cancer at the time, but he was in great spirits and you wouldn't have known he was suffering that day in any way. He and I stayed in touch periodically over the last few years since, mostly me checking on his progress, letting him know I was thinking of him, and wishing him well.

Last night when I was producing the annual Pollstar Awards show at the Nokia Theater in LA we were in full production --- and I was with my long-time business partner rocker Todd Rundgren backstage when another artist friend of ours, David Pack of Ambrosia, broke the news to me about Doug's passing. He was only 57 years old & left us far too soon. I was stunned and saddened, but since I was in the middle of producing the show it wasn't an opportune time to mourn. However Doug has been on my mind & in my heart all day today. There's a great tribute to his work and his legacy by pop critic Will Harris. Doug's amazing body of work went way beyond "My Sharona". Two of my personal favorites of Doug's tracks were "Africa" on The Knack's third album "Round Trip", and "Serious Fan" by their album of the same name some years later (early 90s).

As an artist, he leaves a legacy that speaks for itself. As a friend, I treasure the memories of our exchanges -- and his kindness & generosity. He will not be forgotten.


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2 Comments

Thanks for sharing that, Kelli. The only time I met Doug Fieger was at our booksigning, but I truly found him to be a pleasant and interesting guy. I remember discussing how he was hoarding analog recording tape to ease the transition to digital.

kelli,

You have such a good way with words...no doubt knowledge was gained touring the world with my buddy, as I call him "Uncle Toddler"

btw, I just bought the book by s Copeland (digital audio..)

take care and say hi to the old man for me
xoxoxoxoxo


Shwing

aka Bob McCarron

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