Adam Schlesinger, the co-founder of rock band Fountains of Wayne and the Oscar-nominated and Grammy-winning songwriter of That Thing You Do and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, has died from coronavirus-related complications. He was 52.
Adam Schlesinger was hospitalized on Tuesday after contracting the coronavirus COVID-19 amid the global pandemic. The musician, who in addition to being a Grammy-nominated bassist for the band behind “Stacy’s Mom” earned acclaim for his original music collaborations for film and TV, died Wednesday from complications related to the virus.
“As many of you are aware, Adam had been hospitalized with Covid-19 and hough he had been making some small improvements over the last few days, Adam’s condition was critical and he was ultimately unable to recover from Covid-19 complications,” read a statement from the Fountains of Wayne attorney via CNN. “He was truly a prolific talent and even more so, a loving and devoted father, son and friend. We are terribly sorry to convey this loss.”
Schlesinger co-founded Fountains of Wayne with college friend Chris Collingwood, and went on to earn a Grammy nod for the band’s 2003 hit “Stacy’s Mom.” Schlesinger’s tongue-in-cheek humor and pop-rock genius would aid him in his Hollywood career, which stretches back to his Oscar and Golden Globe-nominated work on the 1996 Tom Hanks movie That Thing You Do. Schlesinger co-wrote the title song in the beloved musical comedy film, a Beatles-inspired earworm that managed to sound like it had traveled right from the 1960s.
Schlesinger would go on to become valued songwriter in Hollywood, writing and producing songs for Music and Lyrics, Josie and the Pussycats, A Colbert Christmas, and most recently, the CW musical comedy series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, for which he earned four Emmy nominations and won one. He scored two other Emmys for his lyrical contributions to the 2011 and 2012 Tony Awards telecasts.
Called “one of pop’s great collaborators” by NPR, Schlesinger was happy to share the credit for his works. Every Fountains of Wayne song was co-billed to Schlesinger and Collingwood, and Schlesinger wrote for — and with — singers in various bands, from Dominique Durand in Ivy, Taylor Hanson in Tinted Windows, or Anna Nordeen and Reni Lane in Fever High. And of course, for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Schlesinger wrote or co-wrote a whopping 157 songs with star and creator Rachel Bloom and music supervisor Jack Dolgen.
Because of his willingness to share credit on his songs, Schlesinger’s pop genius was often overlooked. But Schlesinger had a talent for conjuring up a whole era or genre with a few simple notes, and could bang out a sincere ballad as easily as he could sharply satirize pop music.
“He was a genius,” Bloom, with whom Schlesinger was set to collaborate with once again a stage adaptation of The Nanny before his death, said in a tweet following his death.
Police in Crowley, Louisiana have issued an apology for using the siren heard in “The Purge” to signal the 9pm local time curfew that has been put into effect in the city because of the coronavirus outbreak via NME. The curfew prohibits citizens from leaving their homes between the local hours of 9pm and 6am. The police department said the curfew went into place because the city is located in the state’s Acadia Parish, which has “received the worst rating for the rapid spread of the virus. It has been put into place in order to try and slow the spread.” Police are giving citations to people who violate the curfew. People traveling to or from work must have documentation from their employer.
An alarm used by police at the beginning of the month was the same alarm heard in “The Purge,” James DeMonaco’s 2013 horror thriller about a fictional America where for one night it becomes legal to commit any crimes, including murder, for a 12-hour period. The alarm in “The Purge” is heard to signal that the killing and crime sprees can begin. The first “Purge” film starred Ethan Hawke and launched a franchise that includes three follow-up movies and a series on USA Network.
Crowley Police chief Jimmy Broussard said in a statement to the local ABC news affiliate KATC that he was unaware the signal being used for the coronavirus curfew was the same signal heard in “The Purge.” The chief assured citizens that the “Purge” siren would not be used again. The siren caused enough of a stir that an additional statement was released by Acadia Parish sheriff K.P. Gibson.
“Last night a ‘Purge Siren’ was utilized by the Crowley Police Department as part of their starting curfew,” the statement said. “We have received numerous complaints with the belief that our agency was involved in this process. We were not involved in the use of the ‘Purge Siren’ and will not utilize any type of siren for this purpose. Calls regarding this matter should be directed to the Crowley Police and Chief Broussard and not the Acadia Parish Sheriff’s Office.”
Universal Pictures is scheduled to release the next “Purge” movie in theaters this summer, but the film is likely to be delayed because of the coronavirus. The studio was not involved in the Crowley police department’s use of “The Purge” siren.