Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Getting the Knack

When I was 14, I got to kiss 2 members of The Knack, who, in 1979 or so, had big hits with "My Sharona" and "Good Girls Don't," and played a local Dallas college's auditorium. My friend's mother was cool and she drove us to the show and made herself scarce for a few hours while waiting to pick us up after. (My mother was not cool and I had to sneak out of the house with a verboten tube-top hidden beneath a button-down shirt.)

Once on the college campus, I immediately made friends with a college-boy selling programs. I let him stroke my ass and he then gave me and my friend backstage passes. It was that easy! (Funny, in high school and my first years of college I wore a size 3 jean---I thought my butt was terribly flat, as did my girl-friends, but guys were constantly commenting and trying to grab. This being the era of Cheryl Tiegs, not J-Lo.)

Despite the ass-stroking, I was a completely dorky (albeit blonde tube-topped) 14-year-old and at home had spent hours making up a poster-board (complete with glued-on glitter) that read "We Want Doug Backstage!!" "Doug" was "Doug Feiger," the lead singer. When my friend and I held up the sign during the show, people behind us told us to put it down. (Yikes. "Where's your Knack Spirit, People?!") But the band photographers came out front and took our picture.

After the show, we did go backstage. I recognized the bass player, Prescott Niles, and asked if I could kiss him. He laughed and said sure. We puckered up and smacked chastely on the lips. Then I recognized the guitar player, Berton Averre, and asked if I could kiss him. He laughed and said sure. He slipped me a bit of tongue. Then I saw lead-singer Doug sitting in a corner with his girlfriend, THE "Sharona" of "My Sharona." They both signed my program, Sharona writing something like "To the little girls."

Then my friend said her mother was waiting, so we'd better leave. And we did. (Sorry, no orgies or general debauchery to report!) We both kept our backstage-pass stickers on our jeans and wore them to school the next day. Since The Knack, despite their 2 hits, wasn't very well-known in my small school (Styx and Boston were the big bands then), most people were somewhat puzzled by what those patches on our jeans represented. To me, at the time, they represented very devout emotional/intellectual feeling! Despite my home-made "Doug" poster insinuating sluttiness, I more accurately really, really loved the energy of The Knack and knew every word of every song on their first album by heart. The ass-patting was weird; the "kissing strangers" was also weird. And simultaneously triumphant. I was constantly aware that everything that was happening to me I'd be bragging about later; I was also amazed at the "power" I had that let me meet my idols, just based on my blonde hair and my 14-year-old skinny butt. And amazed at how bold I had been acting---I'd never really behaved in an overtly sexual way prior to this time.

In the next couple of years, I went on to buy the group's second and third albums---"But the Little Girls Understand" and...I can't remember the third's title now. By the late-'80s, The Knack had completely faded from the public eye, but were trying to make a comeback. In '89 or so, they played a small rock club, the Back Room, in Austin. I went to see them there and by chance made eye contact with and flirted for a couple of minutes in between sets with the drummer, Bruce, the one band member that I hadn't talked to 10 years ago. I guess I hadn't developed my groupie skills in 10 years--- a drunken orgy STILL didn't ensue!


Rpeyton said...

Why Miss Stephanie, your a cheeky little tart.....

That reminds me of a friend who slept with a porn star dancing at a local club, he came back a few months later I said if he rembered him, that would be something!!!

He didnt...ah tragic romance...lol

Beth Austin said...

Just you wait, R. Coming soon is my close encounter with Julian Lennon.