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Adam Schlesinger, Fountains of Wayne, and Me

Ah shit.

That was my first reaction when my friend Dave texted me the news yesterday that Adam Schlesinger had died after contracting COVID-19. .

Though he had a wide and varied career as a film/TV/theater composer (That Thing You Do and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend ) and worked as a producer (weirdly often, it was with artists I already loved such as They Might Be Giants, The Monkees, and Motion City Soundtrack), for me the beginning and end will always be Fountains of Wayne.

I was hip to them almost from the start. Their first album came out in the fall of 1996, when I was a sophomore in college. I'd gotten a job at the campus radio station, which gave me access to a vast library of promotional CDs. Most of these went ignored, as the program manager had very narrow tastes (basically if it wasn't in top 10 on the CMJ charts he didn't touch it). I must have read about Fountains of Wayne in a magazine, and doubtless said magazine used the magic words "power pop" because I s…