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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

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Jay Allen Sanford Oct. 30, 2008 @ 12:15 a.m.

Knack singer/guitarist Doug Fieger RE the Knuke the Knack campaign:

"I understand the idea in the Western world that you build up your heroes in order to tear them down, but I was a little surprised at the vehemence with which we were attacked. It seems to me it was all out of proportion to what it was that we were and what we attempted to do, which was to play well-crafted, well-written, well-performed, fun pop music, for an audience that might like it."

(Phoenix New Times, September 17, 1998)

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