'My Sharona': the real Sharona remembers late Knack singer Doug Fieger

Among the friends and family who attended services for Knack lead singer Doug Fieger was Sharona Alperin, the real-life inspiration for “My Sharona.” Alperin, who dated Fieger for more than three years, toured around the world with the Knack and is now a real estate agent in Los Angeles who makes wise use of the domain name mysharona.com. “I spent the entire weekend with him, with his body [at the services],” she told EW today over the phone. “It was beautiful to see the people who paid him respect on his deathbed — the people who he was the biggest fan of.” Alperin, who had kept in touch with Fieger until recently, commented on the frontman’s undying zeal for his genre up to the present. “He was so devoted to rock and roll — a walking encyclopedia,” she said. “He would know the b-sides of every single in the day. Just a real fan.” Fieger, who died after battling cancer for several years, “was too young for sure,” said Alperin. “But I’m grateful that he’s out of pain.”

The sleeve of the 1979 hit single featured a real picture of Alperin. She said the photo shoot took about 10 minutes, because “that’s just what I would walk around in, a t-shirt and Levis…I guess it was considered raunchy since you can see my nipples through the shirt. Nowadays, that outfit would be considered tame.” Despite the ubiquity of “My Sharona” when it first charted and since its revitalization in 1994’s Reality Bites, Alperin says the effect of being the subject of such a popular song has been overwhelmingly positive. She admits that back when “My Sharona” was constantly on the radio, there were one or two times she might have turned it off, but when she hears it now, she listens. “How many people have a song written about them?” she asked. “I mean, who would I be to say ‘it’s too much’? I don’t tire of it.” Some of the most surreal moments, she said, are when she randomly hears no-lyrics versions of the song at the supermarket and dentist’s office. Alperin also gets at least one message a month from friends who just want her to know “My Sharona” is on. Family members recently called her from a Dodgers game: “They’re playing your song!”

“About 70 percent of the people I meet, as soon as I introduce myself as Sharona, they say “My Sharona,” said the Sharona. “And another 20 percent, you can tell, they’re thinking it in their heads. It’s so funny.”

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Comments (13 total) Add your comment
  • izikavazo

    That was my favorite song for a very long time.

  • Yep

    Yep, I hope so

  • Sabrin

    Even after 31 years, the song “My Sharona” still kicks butt! I can remember 1979 when I was 18, graduated from high school, in the Marines, moved to So. Cal and acted very flirty and thought I ruled the world! :) This song is part of the soundtrack of my life, for sure. RIP Doug and thank you Sharona for inspiring him by just being you!

  • Michael H.

    Revitalization is misspelled.

    • Cindy S.

      Excuse me, but isn’t it pretty petty and trivial to point out a spelling error in a moving tribute about somebody’s beloved and dearly departed friend?

      • barnacle

        Hey,really good job Michael H.
        Now I will be worried all day if I am dotting my i’s and crossing my t’s.
        You know, all the important stuff.

      • Peter

        It would be trivial if the closet friend of the deceased was writing the article, but they’re not. Barnacle, try telling an editor how unimportant spelling and grammar are, and they can tell you how quickly they would be fired from their unimportant job.

      • princeminski

        Sharona also ended a sentence with a preposition. Sure ruined the article for me.

      • devnull

        Cindy S – yes it’s very trivial, Michael H is an idiot. I found Sharona’s comments moving and like most (I hope), couldn’t care less about a misspelled word. It’s the content that matters here. If you do much public posting you quickly see that the “spelling police” are everywhere, they never have anything to say except to point out errors.

  • Jean Genie

    Good to hear from Sharona, especially with the disclosure that they stayed friends. As for the cover, it probably wouldn’t be allowed in WalMart & whatnot in 2010 – “won’t somebody think of the children?!” Sharona/her counterpart WOULD have to look like something out of a fantasy/video game – or like Taylor Swift.

  • flippy

    I have to agree with “the Jean”; that is an incredibly hot photo, and you no doubt still turn quite a few heads, ladyship. Sharona, I’m glad Doug knew you and wrote about you.

  • Bobby

    From what I’ve been informed — and I know some of Doug’s closest friends — there were no services for Doug. So how come this story refers twice to Doug’s “services”?

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