I cheated a little today. I actually landed on “Joanna” by Kool & The Gang. But right before it was an absolute perfect power-pop single by a little band called the Knack. On the cover is a young Sharona Alperin – who was dating lead singer Doug Fieger at the time – wearing a sheer white tank top and a rebellious pout. Sorry Joanna. If you had been a picture sleeve, you may have had a fighting chance. But now we’re listening to “My Sharona” and there’s nothing you, Kool, or the Gang can do about it.
I don’t think I need to tell anyone that “My Sharona” (released in 1979) is the quintessential New Wave Rock song. It’s powerful and exhilarating. The riff (written before anyone even knew Sharona, incidentally) is catchy and recognizable. You can sing it to any random co-worker (dundun dundun dun dun – DAHHH! – da-duhhh dunnnn!) and they’ll instantly come alive while rhetorically asking, “when you gonna give me some time, Sharona?” If there’s a better love song out there, I haven’t heard it.
The one downside to this 7″ single is that the extended guitar solo, right before the segue into the short pause and the final cries of “My Sharona”, is shortened by almost a minute. No worries. It’s still a fine piece of music, short or long. I love this song like cupcakes on Christmas.
Interestingly enough, the B-side is quite a fine little song in it’s own right. “Let Me Out” is short, fast and energentic. It sound reminiscent of early Beatles, instead tricked-out and supercharged. This song is also found on their album Get the Knack. I might have to indeed ‘get it’.
Today, Sharona Alperin is a successful real estate agent and is married with two kids. Sadly, her onetime love Doug Fieger passed away from lung cancer in 2010. Though their relationship never blossomed, they remained close friends through his illness up to his death. Their legacy together lives forever in this memorable New Wave classic.