Thursday, April 2, 2020

The Best Of Both Worlds

Ellis Marsalis, 1934-2020
Adam Schlesinger, 1967-2020

My heart is heavy.

It's not that I wasn't already afraid.
Or that I needed faces to go with the stats.
Or that I thought this would all just disappear.

But maybe I wasn't so afraid.
Maybe I did need to be shaken up.
Maybe I did try to just do what I was told for awhile, and it would go away.

I promised myself Burning Wood would be the happy distraction until all of this was over. But yesterday was difficult.

Back to our regularly scheduled programming tomorrow.

Be well. Stay safe.

Thanks Adam.
Thanks Ellis.



I'm surprised how upset I am with the death of Adam Schlesinger.

Fountains of Wayne brough me and my family such joy. Adam could write a perfect pop song and did so many times.


Joe said...

Ellis Marsalis - - A great man...

Bill said...

I was always hoping there would be another Fountains of Wayne album. Sky Full off Holes has grown on me over the years, and I was hoping the lads would get back together some day.

One of the things I like about the band is how Chris Collingwood could own the songs that he didn't write, so I you couldn't tell who had written which song. They were Fountains of Wayne songs, not Chris or Add songs.

Spotify put together a nice This Is Adam Schlesinger playlist, which is making me happy and sad this morning.

A walk in the woods said...

So sorry to hear this news.

pmac said...

Mr. Marsalis had a standing gig at Snug Harbor in NO - every Fri night, 2 sets. About 4 mos ago, he retired from it. Thankfully, we got to see him on the penultimate Fri. He was in decent health for his age, but the virus......
I loved Fountains of Wayne, but the song of Adam's that got me the most was one he wrote for the Colbert Christmas special several years ago, entitled, "There Are Much Worse Things To Belive In." Every holiday season, a close friend, Debbie Davis puts on a fantastic holiday show ("Oh Crap, It's Christmas") and performs that song. And every year, I bawl like a new born. Here's a video of Debbie performing the track from a few years ago.

Unknown said...

I was an NYCD regular. In a true High Fidelity moment, I can remember you (Sal) walking through the Amsterdam belting out "Lost in Space" the Tuesday Utopia Parkway came out. I was a massive fan (of the store, of Schlesinger, Ivy, Fountains of Wayne, etc).

This all truly blows.

M_Sharp said...

Very unfortunate. Both were great talents.

neal t said...

It's only going to get worse boyz, buckle up.

George said...

Yes...a brutal day, Sal. Thanks for honoring them.

Robin said...

Such great gifts of music we were given with these two, I'm so sad. I've listened to a lot of Marsalis family yesterday and today, especially "Joe Cool's Blues" and "Loved Ones".

And also "Welcome Interstate Managers", what a great album. Adam wrote "That Thing You Do!" of course, but he was also a huge part of the music on the TV show "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend", songs so clever, smart, weird and fun, it made me love him even more.

I'm comforting myself with music and the voices of those I love over the phone during these painful uncertain days, and I cried for these two sweet souls today and for all of us.

"I used to know you when we were young you were in all my dreams..." ("Hackensack", my favorite FoH song).

Zippy said...

You stay safe too, Sal.

Whattawino said...

I met my wife at a FOW acoustic show at Fez (Under Time Cafe) in December 1999. The band would remain one of our faves as we fell in love with each other as well as continuing our love affair with Adam and Chris (and the rest of their amazing band, Jody and Brian!) So many songs to sing along with! Albums filled with them. I’m playing some of them right now! And I’m thinking of taking a Sick Day!

dogbreath said...

Confess it was "Stacy's Mom" got me into the band, thanks to Rachel Hunter, as well as this very blog featuring tracks from time to time. Love the humour, clever lyrics & musicianship in their stuff, courtesy to Adam Schlesinger in the main. Sad loss among so many sad losses.

Alexi said...

Adam Schlesinger- this one really hurts. Early 50's, great guy, thriving talent, father. I got into Fountains of Wayne way back, partly from Sal's heads ups, and they quickly became my favorite band of the era. Back in the day when my kids were just beginning to find music on their own, they loved them too, so FOW really became my family's go-to togetherness music for years. We saw many live shows, I tracked down all sorts of boots and interviews, the full fan obsession. I always thought they would re-form at some point- those songs deserve to be heard, not forgotten. Chris and Adam's songs were not only unbelievably catchy, they were clever and - a real rarity in good pop- often laugh out loud funny. In interviews, the humor, but also encyclopedic musical knowledge, and basic menschness was there. We saw them do a unique all-ages show at Lincoln Center's Allen Room once. Adam, noting the youngsters in the crowd, introduced "Bright Future In Sales " by saying "Here's a song about SHIPS" (protecting the tender ears from the "shit" in the chorus). He wrote well too- he did a great column for the NY Times that my brother George solicited and edited. I met Adam once on the checkout line at the Harlem Fairway- he was gracious and funny. He even humoured the fan geek in me: when I asked if we would ever hear the full version of "Help!" that they did for a TV show, he patiently explained that they didn't own the rights to that and some other odds and ends.
It is hard to believe he is gone.
Thanks Sal and all the other commenters for some good musical leads, and, as always, sharing the passion.