DOUG FIEGER R.I.P. ROCK IN PERPETUITY!

February 17, 2010

I was shocked when I checked Facebook this morning and saw my longtime pal Ellen Feldman had posted that our friend Doug Fieger, lead singer of the Knack, and co-writer of “My Sharona”, had passed away.

I worked with Doug in the studio helping on background parts when he was in the Sunset Bombers, a group DJ Scott Shannon and radio spot maker Joe Klein produced for Ariola Records. Doug was one of the most natural lead guitarists I’ve ever seen in the studio. He could emerge from driving a solid musical track track to playing a dazzling solo in a heartbeat, without overdubbing.

After the Sunset Bombers flew off into the horizon, I ran into Doug a few times at the Whiskey and the Starwood. He told me about a new band he was forming. A few months later Ellen Feldman, who was working at EMI records at the time, kept raving about this new group she wanted me to see, The Knack. You can imagine how happy I was to see Doug with a great band and a set that included “My Sharona.”

The last time I saw Doug, it was after his first #1 record. We were having dinner at Martoni’s Restaurant in Hollywood, with his girlfriend, Sharona and CBS’ Allan Rinde.  I remember we had a lot of laughs, hearing stories about the Knack on tour, but I don’t remember much else, since I spent most of the night flirting with Susan Lucci at the next table.

Doug was always a positive person and years later, even though he knew he was fighting a losing battle with cancer he said to others who find themselves in similar circumstances, “Don’t stop living your life. Do every possible thing you can to build up your body. Stop doing anything that might be hurtful to your body. Eat really well, exercise, stop smoking and stop eating junk food,” he advises. “I’m here to tell you that you can get through it. I can’t tell you it’s fun. But going through it, I have to say, is nowhere nears as bad as the fear of going through it. The fear of having cancer is way worse than the reality of having cancer.”

Doug Fieger R.I.P. ROCK IN PERPETUITY!

Respectfully, Artie Wayne

Copyright 2010 by Artie Wayne https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/

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9 Responses to “DOUG FIEGER R.I.P. ROCK IN PERPETUITY!”

  1. Joe Klein Says:

    I co-produced and engineered The Sunset Bombers album back in 1978.

    I don’t remember Artie Wayne having anything to do with any of the background vocals on this album.

    Secondly, Doug wasn’t the lead guitarist on the album, or even a guitarist. He was the bass player!

    Artie, you need to get your facts straight. Leads me to question the validity and accuracy of so many other stories you’ve posted over the last few years.

    I have read numerous other flawed, inaccurate or exaggerated claims you’ve made in the past, but out of respect to you chose not to call you out on them.

    But, when you make false and inaccurate claims on a project I was involved in that you didn’t even work on, I am compelled to speak out.

    I have written a little story about my own experiences with Doug and passed them along to Forgotten Hits. In my piece, even I (the engineer and co-producer) didn’t take credit for “helping” with parts on the record.

    Your claims are not only manufactured, but offensive.

    It leads me to question many of the other stories you’ve told about your intimate involvement in so many other events that occurred in the music business, which I don’t recall, even though I was working closely with you during the time you claim they happened.

    • Artie Wayne Says:

      Get over yourself Joe. You’re mind was probably “clouded” when this all happened. Fortunately, I got special label credit on the record “I Can’t Control Myself” by the Sunset Bombers for my participation …so I don’t have to prove anything else.

      I suppose you don’t remember that I used to pick up the lead singer of the group at a mental facility to take him to your sessions.

      What’s wrong with you? As far as any of my stories go I stand behind what I’ve written. I don’t know why you’ve chosen to attack me, when as your agent for radio and many years ago I got you over a million dollars in work.

      I promise you that I will from now on to tell the COMPLETE truth whenever I write about you…the COMPLETE truth! you know what I’m talking about.

      • Joe Klein Says:

        Artie,

        As you have done in the past, you have chosen to lash out, like an online school yard bully, at a person who dares to leave any kind of comment that questions the accuracy of your stories or your credibility in any way.

        It’s unfortunate that you feel “attacked” by me, as you have on a few past ocassions, when I do little more than disagree with your facts and question the accuracy of a story.

        There is no special credit for you on The Sunset Bombers album and, no, I don’t recall you “helping” with the vocals on the song “I Can’t Control Myself.” The background vocals are the same as were on the original Manfred Mann recording of the song.

        Doug, in fact, is credited on the album as the group’s bass player (and a vocalist) and did NOT play guitar on this album, making your claims of the guitar brilliance that you say he demonstrated during The Sunset Bombers sessions simply wrong. But I noticed that this part of the text from your original post a couple of days ago (which was the primary subject of my first comment) has mysteriously disappeared! (This act, in itself, vindicates me from your meritless claims that I “attacked” you and that my own memories were faulty.)

        So, in response to your comment about my mind being “clouded” during those days (but not so clouded enough as to hinder me from co-producing and single-handedly engineering the Sunset Bombers album), I would suggest that you look to yourself and consider your own state of mind through most of the seventies and eighties when I and others we know were working with you. I’ll leave it at that, other than to pose the question. If it was my mind that was clouded, why is it that some of your own original words about those times have now been deleted from your blog?

        The guitar player for The Sunset Bombers, Rick Armand (whose name you didn’t mention in your story perhaps because YOU don’t remember it), was a very gifted player (from a very gifted musical family that you probably don’t recall). His performances on the album were stellar, and perhaps it was these that you were remembering and attributing to Doug in the now missing text of this post. (In respect to Doug, however, it should be known that he was a great bass player and his work on the album was excellent as well!)

        Regarding your comment about the lead singer of the group, Rick’s brother Nick (whose name you also failed to mention), yes, of course I remebmber what you were referring to. But the question posed by you was insignificant in the context of my prior comment. The inappropriate mention of Nick’s mental health was cruel and most insensitive. One must question your motive for even bringing up the subject, and shame on you for doing so.

        I welcome your writing the truth about me at any time. I have nothing to hide. It’s only when you write UNTRUTHS that I take issue. As for your cryptic reference about the “complete truth,” I don’t know what it is you’re referring to, but bring it on and write anything you like, if you feel the need.

        Perhaps your readers might be interested in some of the “truths” about your own life, past and present, that I am privvy to myself, but have chosen never to go public with out of respect and consideration for you. What I publish will be determined by what you choose to write as time goes on.

        I am proud of all my accomplishments. But, as most of us did back in the sixties, seventies and eighties, partook and indulged in activities and conduct at times that we might not be so proud of today, and I am sure that YOU know what I am talking about.

        Finally, publicly telling me to “get over” myself and posing such a degraded question as “What is wrong with you?” is hurtful, to say the least. Still, I’ll take the high road here and dismiss it as little more than an ill-spirited remark made in the heat of anger from a frustrated and self-absorbed promoter unable to deal with criticism, or threats to his own stated agenda.

        Despite your feelings to the contrary (which you have made known to me many times), blogs are about communication and interaction. They needn’t, and shouldn’t, always be used as a one-way vehicle for self-promotion and marketing. (I could use one or more quotes from you here but, again, I’ll take the high road and leave it at that.)

        My own goal with my comment was to correct inaccuracies you published, which was successful in a way, because you deleted the innacurate information. Is this the way you “stand by” what you’ve written, or, perhaps, just a clear demonstration of hypocracy on your part? In any event, was it necessary to belittle a friend of nearly four decades in the process to save face? Let your readers decide.

        The anger you have publicly directed at me (and others) from time to time is hardly one of your more flattering traits. I might suggest you craft more dignified posts and responses when you have an issue that angers you instead of lashing out from your bully pulpit like a defensive politician whose past statements or acts have been questioned.

        You have repeatedly told me that you feel there are “no rules” in blogging. Perhaps not for you, if you choose not to follow them. But know that accepted blogging etiquette suggests that a blogger post an update or clarification to a post rather then maerely delete the erroneous information posted (especially when there is a comment about the content of the post) and leave the original words unchanged, or address the comment and explain the irregularities. This would have been the far more proper and ethical way to handle this, rather than to cowardly delete the innaccurate information in question and unfairly paint me as some sort of raving lunatic with an irrational grudge against you. Deleting the text you chose to lose, while leaving my comment intact and posting a reply to it is, frankly, the act of a coward.

        Artie I have been your biggest fan and supporter at so many times in your storied career, and have made many positive comments on your blog when I felt they were warranted. I am disappointed and hurt that you chose to write what you did in response to my most recent comment, however. It’s particularly disheartening to me that you directed your discontent at the very person who played a major role in getting you to start blogging and have made so many suggestions to you how to improve your blog and take it to a much higher level. Frankly, I expected much more from you.

        With all due respect, perhaps it’s you, Artie, who needs to “get over” himself.

        That’s my story, and, like you, I stand behind it.

        Joe Klein

  2. Joe Cerisano Says:

    I don’t wanna piss anybody off but…. Wow, this is really interesting. It takes a lot of balls to call somebody out. whatever…

  3. Artie Wayne Says:

    I just got an e-mail from Scott Shannon WPLJ, one of the top “classic” hits DJs in the country, who was the co-producer of The Sunset Bombers.

    ARTIE,, YOUR MEMORY IS CORRECT!….

    I HAD PUT TOGETHER A GROUP OF GUYS TO DO A POWER POP/PUNK ROCK ALBUM OF COVER SONGS I HAD PICKED OUT, IT WAS A CONCEPT PROJECT, AND WE CAME UP WITH THE NAME, “THE SUNSET BOMBERS”, AND I WAS PRODUCING THE ALBUM ALONG WITH THE L.A. LEGEND, JOE KLIEN, YOU HAPPENED TO HANGING OUT IN THE STUDIO THE NIGHT WE DID THE VOCALS FOR A REMAKE OF THE TROGGS GREAT SONG, “I CANT CONTROL MYSELF”, THE LATE DOUG FIEGER DID PLAY GUITAR ON THE TRACK, AND OUR LEAD SINGER, NICKY HAD PROBLEMS WITH THE VOCAL CADENCE THAT I WAS LOOKING FOR, SO ARTIE SAYS: “LET ME TRY TO WORK WITH HIM”, 30 MINUTES LATER, WE HAD THE TAKE WE WERE LOOKING FOR.

    SCOTT SHANNON

  4. Artie Wayne Says:

    “By popular demand we are ending the rantings of Mr. Klein and we respectfully suggest that given his need to vent he start his own blog”

    Artie Wayne

  5. nick armand Says:

    one day i can give my account of the band and my own accounting of the rise and the fall i lived it i recorded and went on the road with it to scott it was a concept to me it was real i took the ride saw doug make it and i am stilstanding with as much energy but no regrets i have a illiness i deal with it 3 4 out of five of my children have graduated from college i will allways will have my passions answered and at 58 i will run with anybody up or down a hill music for those that cant walk the walk will allways have their own fantasy on the past i was making custom tee shirts in the 1980,s and was on the bus going to westwood saw you on the bus and you had tee shirts truth has been my nickname i got no reason to lie thanks joe . doug played with us in the ratz and if we wouldnt of fired the other bass ed holmes doug there would have never been the knack

    • Hymie Says:

      Nicky — whats up. I use to work the door at Madame Wongs! Alan Yee, Esther’s nephew was a fan of yours. You used to hang there, pretty hard back in the day. Anyway, you probably don’t remember but one night after the club closed, we went to Zucky’s down the street — it was packed. Somehow, we got into a fight with some drunk dudes over there. Salt shakers were flying. Guys in leather jackets were tumbling across tables. No harm no foul. No one got kicked out. Full of adrenalin, we settled down and had a snack but were to pumped to eat. Ahhh, those were the days.


  6. […] blog post on the band and Doug:  https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/2010/02/17/doug-feiger-r-i-p-rock-in-perpetuity/   (and read the comments […]


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