It has come to my attention that a lot of the music featured here is somewhat tricky, a characteristic perhaps magnified by my obsessive attention to goofy chords, strange time signatures, and curious instrumentation. Some folks might take this to mean that if music lacks such tricky traits it would fail to communicate with me – or worse, that it means I’m a freakin’ snob.
In fact, I like music that sounds like monkeys banging on logs just as well as anyone else. Better still when the lyric basically expresses the timeless simian theme of (as noted scholar James Brown would put it) “uuggh!” And there’s almost no better monkeys-banging-on-logs music than the deathless opening drum wallop of “My Sharona.”
I wasn’t old enough when the song came out to be the jailbait-drooling-at guy singing the song, but I was certainly old enough to get the “uuggh!” – something the single’s cover model communicated quite effectively, in fact.
As brilliantly caveman as that riff is, the Knack was always regarded a bit suspiciously…mostly because caveman riffs are usually more effective coming from folks a lot less clever than Doug Fieger and company. (Note, though, that one James Osterberg was in fact valedictorian of his high school class in Ypsilanti, Michigan.) In fact, the thing that nearly ruined the song for me was the very long guitar solo – a solo that I just discovered was even damned longer on the original album, compared with the single version we know and love. It’s nearly five minutes long forchrissakes – what kind of caveman widdles away forever on a far-too-fleet-fingered guitar solo? I swear, it’s positively masturbatory…
Anyway, I still felt the track would be immensely improved in a more svelte, sinewy package. So I whipped out the editing pencil earlier this evening, and with a few flicks of the wrist, here’s a new, sleek version that comes in at a nice little 3:20.