I was saddened to learn of Doug's death a few days ago from my old friend singer-songwriter Peter Cases's "pcblog." Doug's being remembered mostly for his band The Knack's major hit "My Sharona" but I knew him from our few encounters as a terrific guy.
My older son Miles knew him much much better. They were good friends. Doug and he shared a love for customizing classic "American" cars and each owned a few (though I suspect for Doug it was more than a few) over the years when they both lived in L.A. Doug was also a mentor to Miles in more ways than one, including producing the demo CD for Mile's band—Spanish Kitchen—a favorite on the L.A. club scene in the '90s.
I had heard from Miles and others that Doug had cancer that kept recurring. In fact, I was thinking a lot of him when I had my brain surgery, because Miles had told me when Doug had some brain surgeries himself over the past few years. He became an example to me, because from what Miles said Doug didn't let it get him down or stop him from doing things he dug, like traveling and playing music and digging his customized classic cars.
As I understand it he'd bounce back from the brain surgeries and take off for another far flung destination, keeping in touch with family and old friends as he enjoyed what was left of his life. My surgery showed no signs of cancer, thank God, and as anyone knows who's been reading this blog, it left me with various motor and cognitive challenges, at least initially. So hearing of Doug's incredible acceptance of his reality, that cancer was impeding his brain and moving to other parts of his body, and yet he never became bitter or even down very much, as I understand it, was inspiring.
But he always struck me that way. Whenever I was around him, he came across as enthusiastic, generous with his time and energy and spirit, and completely without regret about what many tried to—incorrectly actually—portray as a "one-hit wonder" music career (as in this NY Times obit as opposed to this more understanding and factual Detroit Free Press, his hometown paper's obituary).
My condolences to his family and many friends and fans.