Fountains Of Wayne’s Adam Schlesinger Loses Battle To COVID-19 At Age 52

Fountains Of Wayne – Fountains Of Wayne

Adam Schlesinger, who co-founded Fountains of Wayne in 1996 and went on find success as a songwriter for film and television in the years after the band ceased to be an active touring force, died today (April 1) in New York of complications of COVID-19.

He had been hospitalized and placed on a ventilator in the last week, according to Variety, which also confirmed his death at age 52.

Despite his hospitalization, family and fans were hopeful for a recovery. Earlier in the week, former bandmate Chris Collingwood tweeted a statement from Schlesinger’s family saying that “his condition is improving and we are cautiously optimistic. His family appreciates all of the love and support.”

Although Fountains of Wayne hasn’t actively toured since 2013, it did book dates at Slim’s in San Francisco and Keswick Theater in Glenside, Pa., in 2019. But for the most part Schlesinger spent the intervening years making a name for himself writing songs for film and TV. 

In addition to five Emmy nominations for “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.” He’s also been nominated for his work on the Tony Awards, “Sesame Street,” and a Stephen Colbert Christmas Special. He was nominated in 2007 for an Oscar and a Golden Globe award for writing the theme to the film “That Thing You Do!,” which was directed by Tom Hanks.

Fountains of Wayne, which Schlesinger founded with Collingwood, earned two Grammy nominations in 2003: for best new artist (“slightly belated,” the band’s website notes) and best pop performance by a group for the single “Stacy’s Mom,” the video for which starred supermodel Rachel Hunter as the title subject, from the 2003 album Welcome Interstate Managers. He won the Grammy in comedy, however, for his work with Colbert.

Schlesinger also belonged to bands Tinted Windows and Ivy. He recorded five albums with Fountains of Wayne with Sky Full of Holes being band’s final recording, released in the U.S. by Yep Roc Records in 2011.

Fountains of Wayne was noted for live performances that belied its reputation as a power pop act. Among its earliest box office dates reported to Pollstar is an April 7, 1997 show with Sloan in support at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C., that sold 262 tickets of a 500-capacity. But later in the year, an opening slot for Smashing Pumpkins in arenas that put the band in front of big audiences for the first time. It was enough to merit the band a Hotstar cover feature in Pollstar that year.

Audiences grew over the next few years, and FoW also toured with artists including matchbox 20, Squeeze, Aimee Mann, Jill Sobule and Crowded House. Its last reported shows in 2013 were opening for Soul Asylum with Evan Dando also sharing the bill. Festival appearances included the Virgin US Festival at Pimlico Race Track in Baltimore and at Coachella, both in 2007.

Most recently, Schlesinger collaborated with Sarah Silverman on a stage score for an off-Broadway musical, “The Bedwetter,” which was to open at the Atlantic Theater Company this spring, according to Variety.