09 April 2020

Fountains of Wayne

Fountains of Wayne is a Grammy-nominated American power pop band. The group was formed by songwriters Adam Schlesinger and Chris Collingwood. They met as freshmen at Williams College and began playing music together. After college, Collingwood formed the Mercy Buckets in Boston and Schlesinger formed Ivy in New York City, but they connected again in 1996 and formed Fountains of Wayne.

Chris and Adam -  Fountains of Wayne
Chris and Adam performing in New Jersey (2007)

The band name was taken from a garden and lawn ornament store in Wayne, New Jersey  by that name. Adam Schlesinger grew up in nearby Montclair. The store can be seen in The Sopranos episode "Another Toothpick" but it closed in 2009.

The entrance to the kitschy Fountains of Wayne store in NJ (2007)

Their biggest hit single was "Stacy's Mom." The single was powered by a popular music video, directed by Chris Applebaum, about an adolescent boy's attempts to get closer to the mom of his girlfriend Stacy. The mom was played by model Rachel Hunter. The clever video includes allusions to the 1962 film Lolita and 1982's Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

Adam Schlesinger says "Stacy's Mom" was a tribute to a band they liked, The Cars. The Cars' song "My Best Friend's Girl" has a similar instrumental intro. Cars frontman Ric Ocasek thought that the intro was a sample from his song "Just What I Needed" but the band says they performed it in the studio. Ocasek was asked to be in the video for the song but declined. (Wikipedia)

The band stopped recording but toured for a while after the album Sky Full of Holes.

Collingwood recorded an album as the singer/guitarist in Look Park

Schlesinger went on to record with Tinted Windows. This "supergroup" was formed by guitarist James Iha of The Smashing Pumpkins, singer Taylor Hanson of Hanson, Bun E. Carlos of Cheap Trick and Schlesinger. Adam also wrote many songs for other artists and for TV, Broadway and movies.

Adam Schlesinger died of complications due to the COVID19 virus in April 2020.

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