I fell in love with the band Fountains of Wayne in the mid ’90s.
Fountains of Wayne was a New York-based power-pop band, formed by co-songwriters Adam Schlesinger and Chris Collingwood, with lead guitarist Jody Porter, and drummer Brian Young. Although the band is best known for its 2003 Grammy-nominated single “Stacy’s Mom,” just about everything they recorded is much better than that.
After I went to their first live show, I was hooked.
I loved the music and their shows were pure fun. The band was having a great time and it showed. Whenever they played anywhere near where I live (Philadelphia) I’d drop everything and go.
Even if it was inconvenient. Even if it meant cancelling other plans. Even if I couldn’t find a friend to go with and ended up going on my own.
They were one of the few bands that I, a middle-aged woman, would happily stand through a two hour concert for (usually right up in front of the stage, beaming with joy, mouthing the words to every song.)(Yeah, I’m one of those fans.)
Seeing FOW live was one of those things that made life worthwhile.
The band drifted apart in 2013, but it wasn’t one of those spectacularly acrimonious bitter band break-ups, and I lived in hope that they’d get back together.
And then COVID killed Adam Schlesinger. He was just 52.
So much for that dream.
Nobody saw that coming, and fans of the band were devastated. Including Conan O’Brien, who featured a tribute to Schlesinger on his show.
So if you ever wanted to see FOW live? You’re shit out of luck.
Thankfully, there are hours of FOW performances on YouTube that you can enjoy.
But it isn’t the same.
There’s nothing like seeing a live show.
There’s nothing like being there, in the minute, part of the scene, in the audience at a great performance. And every FOW show I went to was great.
In life, as in music, timing is everything. Just because something you love is there now, don’t assume it will be there forever.
Never turn down the opportunity to do something you love.
I’m glad that I saw the band so many times. I’m glad that I made that a priority. I’ve gotten a lot of things wrong in my life. I’m glad I got that right.