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Young Frankenstein - 1974

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: Igor, would you mind telling me whose brain I did put in? Igor: And you won't be angry? Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: I will NOT be angry. Igor: Abby someone. Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: Abby someone. Abby who? Igor: Abby Normal. Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: Abby Normal? Igor: I'm almost sure that was the name. Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: Are you saying that I put an abnormal brain into a seven and a half foot long, fifty-four inch wide GORILLA?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Knack

My Sharona

The Knack are a Los Angeles-based rock band that rose to fame with their first single, "My Sharona", an international hit in 1979 (see 1979 in music).

The power pop of "My Sharona", coupled with the band's "retro" '60s new wave look, earned the band comparisons to the early Beatles. Many music critics of the era disliked disco, which dominated the music industry at the time, and were, at best, coolly receptive to other developing trends like punk rock, hip hop and heavy metal music. The Knack's power pop and hard rock influences earned them some critical credibility. After subsequent albums, there was a critical backlash against the band and they broke up amidst internal squabbles. They have re-united periodically over the years and in 2001 put out a studio album Normal As The Next Guy and a live DVD Live From The Rock N'Roll Funhouse. As of 2005, The Knack are still active and play at various venues.

Singer Doug Fieger, a native of Detroit, Michigan, had previously played in a country rock band called Sky as well as The Sunset Bombers. Fieger is the brother of Detroit-area attorney Geoffrey Fieger, best known for representing Dr. Jack Kevorkian in a series of assisted suicide cases. Of the three other original members of the Knack (Berton Averre - Guitar, Prescott Niles - Bass, and Bruce Gary - Drums), Averre and Niles still currently play with The Knack.
Bruce Gary went on to become a respected producer (archive recordings of Jimi Hendrix and new recordings of The Ventures) and a very successful sideman performing live and on studio sessions with artists such as Jack Bruce, Mick Taylor, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Spencer Davis, Stephen Stills, Rod Stewart and Sheryl Crow - and he did not join the more recent Knack reunions.

Several drummers have played for the group since Gary's departure including Billy Ward (Serious Fun album), Terry Bozzio (Zoom album), and David Henderson as 'Holmes Jones' (Normal as the Next Guy and Live at the Rock N Roll Funhouse albums). Currently Pat Torpey (Mr. Big) is playing the drums for the group.

All four original band members, including Bruce Gary, reunited in the studio on one occasion in recent years to record a track for a multi-artist compilation album saluting the British band Badfinger.

The Knack's original drummer Bruce Gary passed away from lymphoma on August 22, 2006. He was 55.

Parodies, samples and covers
With both the notoriety gained from being an international hit, and its distinctive rock guitar riff and signature drum sound, "My Sharona" has been the subject of numerous parodies, tributes, and sampling, including The Dead Kennedys "My Payola" performance at the 1981 California Music Awards (then known as Bay Area Music Awards), "Weird Al" Yankovic's "My Bologna", Cheech Marin's "My Scrotum" (from Cheech and Chong's Next Movie) and Run DMC's "It's Tricky". (for a longer list see article "My Sharona").

Studio albums
Get the Knack (1979) #1 (5 weeks) US, #65 UK 2x Platinum
...But The Little Girls Understand (1980) #15 US Gold
Round Trip (1981) #93 US
Serious Fun (1991)
Zoom (1998)
Normal As The Next Guy (2001)
Re-Zoom (Zoom with Bonus Tracks) (2003)

"My Sharona" (1979) #1 (6 weeks) US, #6 UK
"Good Girls Don't" (1979) #11 US, #66 UK
"Baby Talks Dirty" (1980) #38 US
"Can't Put A Price On Love" (1980) #62 US
"Pay The Devil" (1981) #67 US

External links
The Knack official website

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