How I got the Knack: Get The Knack

Get_The_Knack_album_cover

 

It was June, 1979, I had just finished junior year in high school. I was driving around in my parents’ sky blue Delta ‘88, it had an 8-track player in it, and I was cooler than cool could ever be because I got the Knack.

How could I not be psyched? I was going to be a senior. It was summer. I drove fast. I had just discovered marijuana. I had discovered the new Beatles. Turns out, I was the perfect sucker for which Capitol Records threw their bait at.

This is how I got hooked. Like the Beatles…

  • The Knack was a quartet.
  • The Knack wore matching black vests and white shirts.
  • The single “My Sharona” was released on the 1960s Capitol rainbow label.
  • The Knack recorded “Get The Knack” in thirteen days with $18,000. [The Beatles recorded “Please Please Me” in 13 hours for £400.]

urlFor God’s sake, “Get The Knack” even looked like The Beatles’ first American release, “Meet The Beatles”. How could this teenager not think he was in the middle of Knackmania?

In retrospect, instead of being four affable moptops from Liverpool, The Knack ended up being four snarky immature misogynist assholes from Los Angeles. Their second outing, “…But The Little Girls Understand” [1979] wasn’t good. “Round Trip” [1980] would be the final nail in the coffin. Ultimately, they were all hype without the substance. The only substance they had went right up their noses. Just saying.

By the time I was ready for the best senior year ever, The Knack had been replaced by disco. Sad trombone.

In my defense, “My Sharona”.

MySharonaCover.jpg

“My Sharona” starts off with a minimal drum hook, followed by a sliding bass line playing octaves, and then the guitar joining in where one would sing “My Sharona”, reminiscent of “Going To A Go-Go” by Smokey Robinson And The Miracles. Then Doug Fieger’s urgent plea, “Ooh, my little pretty one, my pretty one, when you gonna give me some time, Sharona. Ooh, you make my motor run, my motor run, got it coming off o’ the line, Sharona.” And then the harmony on “time, Sharona”, simple and effective. I was convinced this was the feeling a kid had in 1964 when they heard “I Want To Hold Your Hand”.

But the credible moment of why this single is significant. The guitar solos. To this day, I love that second guitar solo on the bridge. Avoid the single mix which clocks in at 3:58, it edits the solo. Listen to the full album version [4:52]

“My Sharona” was parodied the same year it came out. Steve Dahl, Chicago DJ of Demolition Disco fame, sang, “Ayatollah”, and “Weird Al” Yankovic, odd-haired parodist, sang “My Bologna”.

#TakeItToTheBridge, #IGotTheKnackByEverlastSamplesShoutAndShimmyByJamesBrownAndMySharona

4 thoughts on “How I got the Knack: Get The Knack

  1. Pingback: Imperial Bedroom Part 1 | The Home Of DJ Sung Mo Koo

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    • I love that song too. Very reminiscent of “I Should Have Known Better”, but dirtier. I also love how “Let Me Out” starts off a little like “I Saw Her Standing There”.

      Like

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