Twenty-nine years ago this week (11/4/79), the Knack played downtown’s Fox Theatre, a show that sold out in just a few hours. The band opened with the first three songs from their newly released album Get the Knack, which many critics compared favorably to the Beatles.
During the concert, detractors in the audience unfurled a large banner reading “Knuke the Knack” and “Get off your ego trip, the Knack suck.” The show continued and the banner eventually vanished; both the San Diego Union and Kicks magazine mentioned it in their respective reviews.
Few Knack biographies note that the band debuted Get the Knack at a San Diego venue. In February 1979, two months before its release, the Knack played the entire album for a Capitol Records showcase at the Catamaran near Mission Beach. Based on advance buzz, the Catamaran sold out, prompting the venue to host other prerelease live-album performances by then-unknowns such as the Motels and the Pop.
By November 1979, the Catamaran was presenting themed concert events such as a “San Diego New Wave Showcase” (which included locals the Penetrators and the Crawdaddys) and “L.A.’s Best Rock Night,” which featured both X and the Go-Go’s in their pre-album days.
– Jay Allen Sanford