January 08, 2021

'My Sharona', 'Valerie', 'Marjorie' - songs inspired by real people

The Knack

A lovely article in the New York Times about songs named after real people like Dolly Parton’s 'Jolene', Kinks' 'Lola', Sting's 'Roxanne'... Dave McCabe's 'Valerie' was inspired by Valerie Star, a makeup artist, who dated the singer, but the song was popularised after Amy Winehouse recorded her version. Ms. Star thinks “it was a brilliant song, and I loved everything about it. It described that moment in my life and those trials and tribulations that I had gone through in the most quintessential way". Sharona Alperin was the subject of the Knack’s 1979 hit 'My Sharona' - band's singer Doug Fieger wrote it as a love letter to her and got her thanks to the song. When she decided to leave him it was because of the "my" part of the song - "when we broke up it was time to be my Sharona”.