Wednesday, October 14, 2015

TMFW 110 - The Real Estate Agent Who Inspired a #1 Hit

Using a woman's name as the title (and subject) of a song has long been a good shortcut to songwriting success.  The '70s and '80s spawned a number of hits using that formula: TMFW 72 subjects Boston's "Amanda,"  TMFW 23 subjects Toto's "Rosanna," and TMFW 32 Bonus Fact subjects Hall & Oates' "Sara Smile" are three good examples out of dozens.  
Today's TMFW is about a famous "name" tune of the early '80s: The Knack's "My Sharona."  I love that song.  The track was the debut single for The Knack, and was released in 1979.  It was a big hit, spending six weeks at number 1 and topping the year-end chart.  Being a young(ish) person, I only really came to appreciate the song when it made a "comeback" of sorts following its appearance in the 1994 movie Reality Bites.  (In fact, the song was released as a single off the movie soundtrack, and charted at 91.)  
Like the Blues Traveler song "Hook" in TMFW 20, I often sang the lyrics to "My Sharona" without ever really paying any attention to them.  But if you really listen, they are pretty suggestive.  Actually, they are straightforwardly and aggressively suggestive.  The whole song is a come-on by the singer to Ms. Sharona, asking repeatedly when she will finally give in and hook up with him.  The lead-in to the refrain has the singer offering "never gonna stop, give it up, such a dirty mind, I always get it up for the touch of the younger kind."  Classy stuff.
As it turns out, there was a real Sharona, and the song was pretty much autobiographical.  Doug Fieger, the lead singer of The Knack, was 26 years old and living with his girlfriend of several years when he met Sharona Alperin.  Ms. Alperin was only 17 years old, and was still in high school at the time, but Fieger was smitten.  He asked her out several times, but she said no, and though she continued to be a fan and friend of the band she was steadfast in her refusals.  Frustrated, Fieger wrote "My Sharona" as a sort of plea.  (Sharona inspired at least two other songs on The Knack's debut album, too - "Frustrated" and "(She's So) Selfish.") 
Alperin was flattered/impressed by the song, and is the cover model for the "My Sharona" single (you can see it at the top of this post).  The song, in addition to being a giant hit, worked as intended.  Fieger and Alperin dated for several years, with Alperin traveling the world with the band during their heyday.  
Alperin and Fieger remained friends after their breakup.  Today, Alperin is a real estate agent in Los Angeles.  You can see her current listings (and hear the song that she inspired) at  Fieger died of lung cancer in 2010, at the age of 57.  Sharona was with him during his last days, and spoke at his funeral.
When you place it in the context of a 26-year-old begging a high school girl to "give it up," with lines like "keeping it a mystery, it gets to me, running down the length of my thigh," "My Sharona" is a front-runner for creepiest #1 song of all time.  But it's freaking great, too.
BONUS FACT:  One of my favorite "name" songs of the '70s is 1977's "Ariel," by Dean Friedman.  It peaked only at 26, and I discovered it only a few years ago (thanks, XM!), but it is just about a perfect specimen of '70s post-hippie AM Gold.  
BONUS FACT 2:  "Ariel" is from Paramus, New Jersey, where everything is still closed on Sunday (and they are proud of it, thankyouverymuch).
BONUS FACT 3:  I did not discover this until doing research for today's entry, but Friedman also wrote the 1981 song "McDonald's Girl," a fun song about a crush he has on "an angel is a polyester uniform."  That is of particular interest because TMFW-favorite Barenaked Ladies frequently covered "McDonald's Girl", and radio play of that song helped them secure their first record deal.  But the song did not appear on any of their commercial releases.  In my youth, it was a sort of shibboleth to identify fellow "real" Barenaked Ladies fans.  


  1. This is the perfect blog for anyone who wants to know about this topic. The article is nice and it is pleasant to read. I have known very important things over here.
    Real Estate Investment

  2. Explore the Web Based Softwaare of Web Parking Software:
    For those people who are in search for the best web based software that are creatively developed, designed and intended for solving parking problems, you don’t need to look any further since Web Parking Software is the ideal choice that you should take into account. In addition to this, the company strives hard and work together to make their parking related services quickly accessible from the Internet. Web Parking Software has a professional, dependable and competent management team with in-depth expertise in the field of parking management, business management and IT computer software.
    The well trained and fully skilled engineers of Web Parking Software spent almost two years with their parking management team to create their first parking management and permit system. Apart from this, the company took daily procedures on snail mail, fax, phone and paper for almost a decade and at the same time applied a cloud based internet delivery system to enhance the reliability, organization and method. On the other hand, the web based software of Web Parking Software has an excellent deal of programming complex code and man hours.
    The entire interface was built to look simple and with a few mouse clicks, you will have a full control of your own building. They also include other non parking components that have the ability to facilitate management that include CRM components, email blasts and a lot more. Moreover, Web Parking Software together with their sister company Callbeforetow are part of CBT software that is fully operated by CBT Inc. The company wants to take the dissatisfaction out of parking management for townhouses, condominiums, home owners associations, apartments and other parking areas. This is one of the reasons why Web Parking Software has reinvented how the parking management should be done.
    The web based software of Web Parking Software was built for commercial property, board members, apartment managers, property managers and anyone involved in overseeing a managed parking environment. With the existence and help of Web Parking Software, you can be sure that all your parking problems will be completely solved by simply using the web based parking software of Web Parking Software. The web based parking software of Web Parking Software is a great system that will allow you to have a full control over your buildings whether onsite, by using your phone and even at your office. Most people who already tried and avail the services of Web Parking Software are all astounded and satisfied with the quality of their web based parking software.
    Once you decided to use their service, you are assured that you can able to eliminate about 75 percent of your paper work. Web Parking Software will guarantee their valued clients that they will never be disappointed with their services and most especially their web based parking software. If you want to learn and know more about the web based parking software of Web Parking Software, just feel free to visit their website at and see it for yourself.

    Parking Management Software
    online parking software
    Cloud based parking solutions

  3. This is an awesome motivating article.I am practically satisfied with your great work.You put truly extremely supportive data. Keep it up. Continue blogging. Hoping to perusing your next post
    home for sale Stone Oak

  4. The track was the debut single for The Knack, and was released in 1979.mallorca property

  5. The whole song is a come-on by the singer to Ms. Sharona, asking repeatedly when she will finally give in and hook up with him.Kensington Greece

  6. All the blog works are exhibit of what we call, Brilliant.
    real estate developers in uae


  7. Great post! looks so Good informative post i love to read. Thanks you so much.

    Microsoft Server 2016 Migration
    Microsoft Server 2016 Support

  8. I would be happy if you could help us. I hope my site will be Google accepted and put it ahead so that I can grow and hope that it will come to me. Rea Estate Markets


  9. This post is absolutely fantastic and Lots of great information. Thanks

    Server 2016
    Microsoft Server 2016 Migration

  10. Great post! I am actually getting ready to across this information, is very helpful my friend. Also great blog here with all of the valuable information you have. Keep up the good work you are doing here.
    Ajax Real Estate