From the moment I heard Bruce Gary’s infectious drum beat on the intro to “My Sharona”, I was hooked. I had never heard of this band, The Knack. Then, of course, they were everywhere. “Good Girls Don’t” was the follow-up hit that proved once and for all this was no one-hit wonder. They were a two-hit wonder!
“…but the little girls understand” came only months later and it seemed to sound so much like “Get The Knack, Part 2” to me that I was not at all surprised the tracks had been recorded during the same sessions and that the band had initially hoped to release “Get The Knack” as a double-album.
My favorite Knack record, without a doubt, is “Round Trip”. Oddly enough, it is the album that got the band dropped by Capitol Records for being a complete commercial failure.
If “Get The Knack” was their “Meet The Beatles, “Round Trip” was The Knack’s “Revolver”. With songs like “Art War”, “Africa”, and “We Are Waiting”, they fused psychedelia with jazz chops and, while there were the obligatory standard pop songs (“Radiating Love” and “Soul Kissin’, for example), this experimental approach completely alienated the fans.
The band later broke up, Fieger having become addicted to heroin(!). They would reform repeatedly, as Fieger and Gary made half-hearted attempts to work around their differences. It was not to be, though.
Bruce Gary, of course, passed away last year, making any further full reunions impossible.
The good news, of course, is that The Knack are still very much alive, gigging consistently in the wake of Fieger’s recent recovery from cancer.
The band’s 1979 Carnegie Hall appearance was perhaps the pinnacle of Knack-mania, if you will. Here are some tracks from that performance.