Fountains Of Wayne’s surviving members will reunite for Wednesday’s “Jersey 4 Jersey” benefit concert, as a tribute to founding member Adam Schlesinger, who passed away on 1 April, due to complications from COVID-19. Sharon Van Etten will stand in on bass and backing vocals for the live-stream, joining frontman Chris Collingwood, guitarist Jody Porter and drummer Brian Young, who will play their first show together in seven years.
In a statement, Collingwood said, “Brian, Jody and I are honoured to be part of the ‘Jersey 4 Jersey’ benefit, and grateful that Sharon was able to perform with us. Adam would have been proud that Fountains were helping to raise money for fellow New Jerseyans.”
Van Etten also commented, sharing that, “As a New Jersey native, it means so much to me to participate in the NJPRF charitable event that gives back to this community. Adam was an incredible songwriter and I am truly humbled to join Fountains of Wayne in his honor.”
Presented by the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund, “Jersey 4 Jersey” will feature a who’s who of famous New Jerseyites, including Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Tony Bennett, Charlie Puth, Halsey, Kelly Ripa, Chris Rock, Chelsea Handler and Danny DeVito. The one-night event will raise funds to support the state’s most vulnerable communities amid the pandemic.
Schlesinger, who died at the age of 52, was one of the industry’s most accomplished songwriters – not only penning power-pop gems for Fountains of Wayne, but also for artists like The Jonas Brothers and America, as well as for the indie-pop band, Ivy, of which he was also a member.
Schlesinger was also a prolific writer for film, TV and theatre. An EGOT contender, the Grammy and Emmy Award winner’s credits included the title track for 1996’s That Thing You Do!, songs for Steven Colbert’s star-studded special, A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All! and, perhaps most notably, his contributions to the CW musical comedy series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. At the time of his death, Schlesinger was collaborating with Sarah Silverman on the stage adaptation of her memoir, The Bedwetter, as well as with Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s Rachel Bloom, for a musical adaptation of the TV series The Nanny.