Bruce Ravid | The Official Website Of Doug Fieger

This Is My Song

Bruce Ravid

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Bruce Ravid

They say a guy never forgets his first, and that’s certainly true for an A&R guy and his first signing. My first was The Knack. I got to be part of something truly spectacular at the time, and part of something that will last eternally. For me that not only meant lifelong friendships with the band, but also with many of their friends and fans. Their music has touched many millions, and Doug always said it was about having fun. We all know what happens when we encounter a fellow Knack fan. They get a gleam in their eye that exceeds how they might react to the mention of almost anyone else. I’ve long felt that if Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was the gateway to the 90’s, then “My Sharona” was the gateway to the 80’s.

People often congratulated me on “discovering” The Knack. As much as I appreciated the kudos, that was far from the truth. Just after my arrival in Capitol’s A&R Department, The Knack quickly became the talk of the town. I saw the band at The Troubadour and immediately fell in love with them. So did about fourteen other labels, as it turned out. My strategy for winning this battle was to get the Capitol Tower excited about them, from top to bottom. While other labels would have one or two people show up, we had everyone from executives to assistants Getting The Knack at their live shows.

Doug had a heart the size of the universe. He always had a clear view on things and after becoming sober in ’83, he helped countless other people get their lives together. Doug was often called upon to council well-known artists because he could relate to them so well. Kurt Cobain was a huge Knack fan. Doug was scheduled to meet with Kurt at the rehab center, but the Nirvana singer went AWOL and killed himself. Doug always wondered if maybe he could have had an effect, but he also felt that what happened with Kurt was thus meant to be.

Doug and I had dinner and saw a movie every few weeks. He was one of those brilliant people who were conversant on virtually everything. It always amazed me that while Doug didn’t closely follow the news, he could still speak in depth on any current topic. I’m sure you know he was one of the world’s biggest Beatle fans. When Doug married Mia on a Maui beach, he sang “I Will” to her. What a moment! I was with Doug and Sharona the night John was murdered. When we heard the news, Doug reacted like many of us did, times three. Once we recovered, we went out for French food, to celebrate Lennon’s life. John probably would have wanted it to be that way.

I interviewed Doug for my annual Madison winter radio marathon in January, 2007. We talked about things like the writing of “My Sharona” and how he worked with other musicians who had abuse problems. You can hear it here.

Bruce Ravid

Browse Friends

  • Richard Lewis

    Richard Lewis

    My wife and I watched in awe as Doug and the Knack blew the roof off of the jammed House of Blues on Sunset a few years back

  • Berton Averre

    Berton Averre

    I'll always remember Doug as he was in the writing room. And he was great.

  • Pamela Des Barres

    Pamela Des Barres

    I remember one gorgeous night when he picked up my old Gibson and serenaded me with every Beatle song I asked him to sing. It was breathtakingly beautiful, etched in my heart for eternity.

  • Jeff Lynne

    Jeff Lynne

    I always enjoyed jamming with Doug, it seemed like he knew the chords to every song ever written,
    you could never catch him out.

  • Wayne Kramer

    Wayne Kramer

    There’s a photo of Doug on his website as a young boy with his Hofner bass. In my memory, that’s the fellow I met at the Grande Ballroom in Detroit...

  • Bruce Kulick

    Bruce Kulick

    Doug thankfully loved the track... Jeremy and I were stoked and when the recording session was to happen, Doug was in and out of the studio in an hour! Total pro.

  • Robert Greenfield

    Robert Greenfield

    One day, Doug called to ask if I wanted to be in a band. (I remember when Doug used to call me his voice was so high, I thought it was a girl.) Sky was born.

  • Don Was

    Don Was

    doug fieger burst into my life on the first day of 8th grade, september 1965... he'd been expelled from a private school... and seemed determined to wave his freak flag high...

  • Elliot Easton

    Elliot Easton

    Doug was my best friend. There are only a small handful of people in this world who even know what the hell I'm talking about in all matters of life and pop culture.

  • Ringo Starr

    Ringo Starr

    Doug Fieger was a friend. Peace and Love, Ringo.

  • Brian McNelis

    Brian McNelis

    It is really because of Doug that I started playing guitar. Guitar is always something I thought I could never do. So at 42 years old, I thought, maybe I can do this...

  • Harold Bronson

    Harold Bronson

    It was while I attended a Knack performance in August, 1998, at the Galaxy Theatre in Santa Ana, that I appreciated Doug's sartorial dedication to the 1960s.

  • Sherman Allen

    Sherman Allen

    One night, Doug sent me off into the night with a Gretsch White Falcon. Now, I'm five foot six on a good day, so it never crossed my mind to play a 17" hollowbody. I'd never used a Bigsby in my life.

  • William Stout

    William Stout

    I loved The Knack, Doug's writing and his onstage persona. It turned out, unknown to me, that he was a huge fan of my art.

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