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The Knack Biography

Home > Music > K > Knack, The > Biography

Years Active: 1978–1981, 1986-Present
Genres: Rock, New Wave, Power Pop

The Knack was a new wave rock group from Los Angeles who rose to fame with their massive international hit single, “My Sharona,” in 1979. Lead singer, Doug Fieger hailed from Michigan, and played with the bands Sky and Sunset Bombers before moving to Los Angeles and forming The Knack.

Fieger met Berton Averre (lead guitar and keyboards); Prescott Niles (bass); and Bruce Gary (drums) over a period of one year from 1977 to 1978 and recruited them for his band. The band got their start playing gigs at local venues around Los Angeles, building up a local following before releasing their debut album, “Get The Knack,” on Capitol Records. The album peaked at the #1 spot on the Billboard Album chart for five consecutive weeks. The lead single, “My Sharona,” also peaked at #1 on the Billboard Album Chart.

The Knack's second album, “...But the Little Girls Understand” emerged in 1980, and while it met with success, it wasn't as commercially successful as their debut album. The band embarked on an extensive and exhausting tour of the U.S., Canada, Europe, New Zealand, Australia, and Japan for the next year. The third album, “Round Trip,” appeared in 1981 to disappointing reviews, peaking at #93 on the Billboard Album Charts. Around this time, the band added Keyboardist Phil Jost to breathe new life into their diminishing sound. However, by 1982 in-house fighting and label disagreements left the band fractured for good as they parted ways. 1986 saw The Knack reunite for a benefit concert, which sparked a number of local gigs for the next few years and lead to a an offer from Charisma Records. The band's debut for the label, “Serious Fun” arrived in 1991, and the lead track off the album, “Rocket O' Love” scored a top ten hit for the band on alternative radio stations. When the Charisma label collapsed in 1992 after the death of its founder, Tony Stratton-Smith, the band parted ways once again.

1994 saw the band reunite after a resurgence of the band's hit song, “My Sharona” in the hit feature film, “Reality Bites.” 1996 marked all four original band members heading back into the studio to record a tribute album to the band, Badfinger. The band followed up with extensive touring and continued to record new material through to the 2000s. Duane Leinan joined the Knack as a touring musician. In 2006, Fieger was diagnosed with two brain tumors and underwent surgery. He recovered to resume touring and playing live, however, he continued to battle brain and lung cancer until his death on February 14, 2010, in Woodland Hills, California, at the age of 57.