This story was updated on Wednesday, December 8, 2021.
Forty years after the release of The Knack’s hit song “My Sharona,” the inspiration for the song is working as a real estate agent in Los Angeles.
Sharona Alperin, a team leader with Sotheby’s International Realty in Los Angeles, said fame from the song has followed her all her life. Even though the song about unrequited love peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 on Aug. 25, 1979, people who hear Alperin’s name for the first time still ask if she’s “that Sharona.”
“I was working in a clothing store and that’s where I met Doug Fieger,” Alperin told radio station WTOP, referring to The Knack lead singer. “He had invited me to come hear rehearsals. I went to a studio. Basically, I remember Doug asking the band, ‘Should we play it?’ and someone said, ‘Sure, let’s play it for her.'”
That song’s catchy chorus about Fieger’s sudden infatuation with Sharona ended up being a hit and Alperin became a household name.
“He breathed me in, he used to tell people,” Alperin added. “He told me, not long after he met me, that he was absolutely in love with me, and we were going to be together, one day.”
Alperin has since used the fame of the song to promote her work — her real estate website is mysharona.com — and the hit plays on her homepage. Alperin, team leader with Sharona Alperin & Associatees, oversees seven agents. As part of Sotheby’s International Realty, the team sells multi-million dollar homes in Beverly Hills and Santa Barbara to stars as well as more affordable apartments and rentals in Downtown Los Angeles.
According to Alperin’s bio, she is also among the top 2 percent of NRT’s 50,000 agents nationwide. The most expensive listing on her site is the former Beverly estate of producer director Darryl Zanuck, now up for sale for $39.7 million.
“‘My Sharona’ has had an impact on my ability to understand the entertainer’s mind, there’s something simpatico,” Alperin says on her website. “You’ve got to care to the n’th degree. You can’t drop the ball for one minute.”
Alperin began working in real estate not long after the release of the song. But a lot of time has gone by since then. Alperin now has two kids while Fieger, who was the band’s lead singer and co-wrote the song at a time when both he and Alperin were in separate relationships, passed away from cancer in 2010.
Still, Alperin is surprised that many young people today still know and want to talk about the song. Its riff and “m-m-m-my Sharona” chorus are still favorites all these years later.
“You’re talking about 40 years later, and the reaction is the same as it’s been, almost the entire time,” Alperin said.