What a drag...
Doug Fieger, the lead singer of the rock band The Knack, has died after a battle with cancer, his brother, the prominent Southfield attorney Geoffrey Fieger, confirmed today.
He was 57.
Fieger sang lead vocals on the 1979 hit "My Sharona," which held the No. 1 spot for six weeks.
He attended Eleanor Roosevelt Elementary School in Oak Park and Oak Park High School.
Fieger was living in Woodland Hills, Calif. and was being treated at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
"Everybody knows they're going sooner or later," Fieger told Detroit News columnist Neal Rubin in a January interview. "I don't know any better than anyone else when I'm going.
"I've had 10 great lives. And I expect to have some more. I don't feel cheated in any way, shape or form."
Geoffrey Fieger said the family will issue a statement later today.
Detroit native Jaan Uhelszki, a former editor at Creem Magazine in Detroit who is now a music writer based on the West Coast, knew Doug Fieger when he had the band Sky, which predated The Knack.
"He had a radiant talent," she said. "He was determined and pugnacious with big dreams, most of which he achieved."
Aaron Goff, who taught both Fiegers at Oak Park High School, remembers Doug as talented but less outgoing and bombastic than his brother Geoffrey.
"He was a nice young man," Goff said. "He wasn't extroverted like Geoffrey. He kept to himself a little more."
But Detroit News columnist Laura Berman, who grew up next door to the Fiegers in Oak Park, said she never doubted Doug Fieger was headed for stardom.
"He was one of the most extraordinary people that I ever met," Berman said. "He was the pied piper. He was so charismatic and admired that people would just follow him everywhere."
Fieger was always putting on dramatic productions -- staging his own funeral with his brother Geoffrey's help when he was about 10 and Samuel Beckett's theater of the absurd classic "Waiting for Godot" in high school, she said.
"I'm more surprised that he wasn't a big star all his life than I am that he became a star," Berman said. "He always felt destined for stardom and intent on making himself a star."