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R.I.P. Doug Fieger of The Knack and punk producer Iain Burgess

By ; February 15, 2010 at 5:11 PM 

We’re a little late on this one, but Pitchfork has brought it to our attention that Chicago-based punk producer and engineer Iain Burgess died last week on February 11. He fell victim to cancer, or as the Chicago Sun-Times more technically phrased it, “a pulmonary embolism as a complication from pancreatic and liver cancer.” Not only was Burgess instrumental in producing and engineering for bands that helped shape the early Chicago punk scene (The Effigies, Naked Raygun, Big Black, Shellac), he was a mentor to Steve Albini, formerly of the band Big Black and currently of Shellac. Albini is known mostly for his production work and has produced some of the industry’s most important albums, such as Nirvana’s In Utero and Pixies’ Surfer Rosa. “Iain was a dear friend and mentor, and I consider him responsible for a good many of the best things that have ever happened to me,” Albini said of the late engineer.

Cancer claimed another figure in music over the weekend: frontman Doug Fieger (pictured, second from right) of the new wave/power pop band, The Knack, best known for the hit song “My Sharona” in 1979. Fieger co-wrote the song and sang on the track. Unfortunately, The Knack never enjoyed the same level of popularity again, although “My Sharona” continued to be played, covered, and parodied. Fieger died in Woodland Hills, California at 57 years old, after battling brain and lung cancer for six years.

Watch the “My Sharona” video below. It’s the best quality we could find:

(Chicago Sun-Times, Billboard/Associated Press)

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