The Knack's Berton Averre and Prescott Niles Alter Hit Song 'My Sharona' to Declare 'Bye Corona'
The surviving band members played the reworked version of their 1979 song while self isolating at home
This rock band dusted off their instruments to let the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) know it has overstayed its welcome.
Last week, two of the founding members of The Knack, Berton Averre and Prescott Niles, gave an official reimagining of their 1979 song “My Sharona,” instead shouting “Bye, Corona!” to the beat of the iconic tune.
In the clip, posted on YouTube, Averre, 66, joked about fans inquiring whether they would do a Sharona/Corona parody — “because, apparently, there aren’t enough of them.”
Since the band’s lead singer, Doug Fieger, died in 2010 (at age 57 due to lung cancer, according to The New York Times), Averre said he wouldn’t be belting out the song because “trust me, you don’t want to hear me croak it out.”
The musician instead decides to give a guitar lesson in how to play the song’s solo, as information about the contagious respiratory virus scrolls along the bottom of the screen. At the end of the video, Niles, 65, patches in to play bass and say the revamped lyrics with Averre, both practicing social distancing in the comforts of their homes.
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“Get the hell outta here,” Averre says to the pandemic at the close of the clip.
Since their 40-year-old song has seen a surge in popularity due to its rhyming with the coronavirus, The Knack will donate digital streaming royalties of “My Sharona” from the first quarter of 2020 to Music Health Alliance. The organization provides health care support to uninsured music industry members.
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A number of musicians with songs applicable to the pandemic have used their hits to inspire and inform fans around the world.
Singer JoJo did a full-on rewrite of her 2004 single “Leave (Get Out),” swapping the lyrics to instead promote self-isolating and preventing the spread of the virus. “Stay in! Right now! Do it for humanity!” JoJo, 29, sang in the new version.
Elsewhere, ’80s pop star Tiffany kicked off a viral challenge tied to her hit song “I Think We’re Alone Now,” where fans share how they’re passing the time while quarantining. And Gloria Gaynor used her 1978 song “I Will Survive” to coach people on how to best wash their hands.
“I just like to spread joy, peace and love,” Gaynor, 70, told PEOPLE about using her music to help during the pandemic. “It’s corny, but it’s needed by everybody. I’m happy to be a positive influence in anybody’s life.”
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.