Apr 012020

O-to-the-M-to-the-G. I’ve been so excited about this trial balloon of an RTH second coming (at Easter time no less!) that I couldn’t pick one from the pile of posts that I was considering to use to say “Hi Again Townsmen!”. Sad that it turns out to be one that just came to light:

Adam Schlesinger, Fountains of Wayne singer, dead at 52 from Covid-19

Mr. Moderator turned me onto Fountains of Wayne years ago and I was hooked from the first song he played me- Radiation Vibe which is also the first song from their first self-titled release.

My now 21yo son started learning to play guitar about 8 years ago and I turned him on to FOW. He sang Stacy’s Mom at his 5th grade karaoke graduation celebration. He had to ask the DJ to play it as it wasn’t on the “kids approved” list that his elementary school requested. (The apple doesn’t fall far.)

A few years later I took him to his first concert- Fountains of Wayne at The Roxy. He loved it. I bought him a t-shirt that he wore years after it fit.

Actual t-shirt
not actual size

He felt that that single experience with his dad effected his life in such a profoundly positive way that, because the shirt no longer fit, he did this-


  12 Responses to “Rock Loses One of Our Own to Pandemic”

  1. This one hurts. He was just a few years older than me (I just turned 49) and that damn 1st album is GOLD. I still hear those songs in my head most days, Especially “She’s Got A Problem” and “Leave The Biker” (and I wonder if he every has cried, cause he couldn’t get a date to the prom).

    I had a CD store that I sold right before I started peeping in on RTH (about a year before I started to comment) and the 1st FOW record was playing all the time. Eventually I had to stop playing it when customers were around or I would have to sell them MY copy. Bad business, good Cd hoarding (Whoreding?). I still have that copy.

    Lastly, I saw them one time at Music Midtown, a 2-day Atlanta Music festival. I decided to go day of, had no ticket and did not even know the full line-up.I knew The Doors of the 21st Century were playing (it was not good) and Chris Robinson (pretty good) and The Strokes (not for me), but the surprise was FOW playing on the 3rd stage (on a soccer field) in the middle of the day. There were 200 people watching them (room for 5,000?) and they KILLED. One of my top shows and I didn’t even know they were going to be there.

    Feels good to jabber away again on RTH

  2. Sorry your son has reached this point, sammy. I guess John Lennon was my first music hero to die and affect me on a personal level, with Marvin Gaye soon after that. I drifted away from FoW after that excellent debut album, but I also liked an album by Ivy that Schlesinger was behind. (I haven’t pulled that one out in ages!) I don’t like the fact that any talented musician who seemed like a good person has died from this. I especially don’t like the fact that someone younger than me had to go. Wishing us all the best-possible health.

  3. cherguevara

    Yeah, I’m really, really down about this. Adam Schlesinger was like an everyman Questlove. He was just part of the zeigeist somehow, with two bands that sounded completely different, and his songwriting for film and TV. A friend of mine posted this song:

    I mean, you could put in a third the effort and have a song good enough for a kid’s TV cartoon. And as I’ve seen pointed out on social media, so many people are posting their favorite Adam Schlesinger songs and they’re all different songs (though “That Thing You Do” is probably the most posted). He was a musical chameleon who co-wrote with his bandmates and let them have the bulk of the limelight. He also had a label that didn’t last long because he was putting out music that was clever but probably not “commercial.” (Full disclosure, I worked on one of those records, Dan Bryk’s album “Lover’s Leap.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uv_97f_VBqI )

    He came off like a regular guy, who happened to be really talented and made good, smart music. The 1st FOW album came out just when I had moved to NYC, and it was such a NY-centric album, with so much energy and so many hooks, it’s as though it was custom made just for me and that phase of my life. The 2nd album was disappointing to me at the time, but it’s become a dark horse favorite since then. All of their albums have at least a handful of winning songs, I saw the band live several times and they were always on-point.


    Adding to how much this sucks is that he was just a few years older than me, so losing a musician of whom I am a fan is not only depressing but also terrifying. Please be safe, everyone.

  4. How about a little love for the short-lived Tinted Windows?! An odd assortment of musicians – Schlesinger, James Iha of The Smashing Pumpkins, Taylor Hanson of Hanson, and Bun E. Carlos of Cheap Trick – leading to one album that was a rocking, power-pop, glammish fantastic meteor. I got to see them live and they were every bit as good as the album.

  5. I’m sad about this one and posted about it on both FB and Instagram as well. I’m a big fan of the 1st 3 Fountains of Wayne albums, especially the first 2, and the later ones have their moments, too. I also liked That Thing You Do and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend a lot, too and yeah from what I hear, he seemed like a very nice/down to earth person as well.

  6. ladymisskirroyale

    Loved Ivy. And anyone who wrote songs titled “We Tapped That Ass,” “I Could if I Wanted To” and “Where’s the Bathroom?” was A list for me!

  7. sammymaudlin

    OK, OK, OK…I need some guidance. I have heard of the Ivy project but never dipped a toe in. Looks like they’ve got 6 albums. Allmusic suggests that Apartment Life is the best. Yes? No? Maybe so?

    And I’m guessing that the lady on the front of one or more of their album covers is Ivy member, Dominique Durand. Whaddup with her?

  8. I’ve got Apartment Life, and DD is the singer. I remember it being a solid album – not power poppy, though. I’ll try to give it a spin tomorrow. You should check it out.

  9. Hello RTH.

    Wanted to chime in about Ivy, my favorite of Adam Schlesinger’s projects. Yes, Apartment Life is their best album; it was a favorite of mine in college. Dominque Durand is the lead singer; the group is rounded out by Schlesinger and Durnad’s husband, Andy Chase. Some of the guests on Apartment Life include Lloyd Cole, Dean Wareham, and Stan Demeski of the Feelies.

    Like Mr. Mod says, it’s not power-pop. Jangly, sometimes with synths and drum loops, with occasional Bacharach touches and a general sophisti-pop mood. So yeah, it’s very late-’90s, but I think it’s one of the best examples of that type of thing that was in the air during that time. I certainly pull Apartment Life out much more frequently than I do my old Ben Folds Five, Rufus Wainwright, and High Llamas albums. Or Painted from Memory, for that matter.

  10. Funny to see that Lloyd Cole plays on Apartment Life, Oats. I still haven’t revisited the album today, but last night I was trying to think of how I remembered it sounding, and I kept coming back to the couple of Lloyd Cole records I know (one’s called something like Don’t Get Weird On Me, right?). That Bacharach thing comes up on both those records, too. Your ending line, Oats, intended or not, was well played by dusty RTH standards.

  11. Not covid, but Bill Withers has died as well. I think I posted back in one of the earlier RTH iteration of having once read that he was unique in that he had no real antecedents musically nor any musical descendants and that strikes me as pretty accurate.

  12. Hi all — Been on a crazy Fountains of Wayne jag last few days — after day two my 12 year-old says “they had some good songs.” My brother turned me on to Apartment Life right after it came out when he was living in NYC. Hadn’t listened to it years.

Lost Password?

twitter facebook youtube