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This is what happened to Fountains of Wayne with Stacy's Mom turning 20 years old
Featured Image Credit: Associated Press / Alamy Stock Photo/YouTube

This is what happened to Fountains of Wayne with Stacy's Mom turning 20 years old

Where did the band go after Stacy's Mom?

‘Stacy’s Mom’ is one of those feel-good songs from the early 2000s that you just can’t help but sing along to.

It’s catchy as hell and it’s got a 10/10 music video, making it one of those perfect pop-rock anthems that remains on the airwaves to this day.

But what if I told you that, behind the scenes, Fountains of Wayne weren’t having as much fun?

Rise To Fame

Before they founded Fountains of Wayne, Adam Schlesinger and Chris Collingwood had been in a bunch of other bands together, from Wooly Mammoth to Are You My Mother to - my personal favorite - Three Men Stood Side By Side Have A Wingspan of Over 12 Feet.

Eventually, they settled on the name Fountains of Wayne, taking inspiration from a lawn ornament store in New Jersey.

While working on their debut album, Adam and Chris agreed to split the rights to their songs 50-50 to keep things simple - even if they wrote separately.

“Adam tries to sit down and write every day,” Chris once told Pop Entertainment in an interview.

“As a result, he’s got a huge catalog of stuff every time we go to make an album, and we whittle it down. In general, we like to keep it about 50-50 on the album.”

In 1996, the band released their self-titled first album, but it wasn't exactly a chart climber.

The band went through a lot of names before they settled on Fountains of Wayne.
Abaca Press / Alamy Stock Photo

Before they went on tour, Adam and Chris recruited the other half of their band: drummer Brian Young and guitarist Jody Porter.

In the background, Adam was doing amazing solo work. Not only was he starting to find success with his band Ivy, but he had written the song ‘That Thing You Do’ for the 1996 Tom Hanks film of the same name, which unexpectedly became the movie’s big hit and was even nominated for an Oscar.

So Adam probably wasn’t too pushed about Fountains of Wayne’s shortcomings.

In 2000, Fountains of Wayne were dropped by Atlantic Records after the release of their second album. That was as clear a sign as any that the band needed to take some time off.

Eventually, the guys got back together to make their own music independently, and created their third album Welcome Interstate Managers, which included the song ‘Stacy’s Mom’ in 2003.


As you can probably guess, the song was an instant hit, and Fountains of Wayne’s first mainstream song.

“I was really surprised,” Chris recalled. “I think once we made the video - because we didn’t really get a whole lot of radio airplay until the video kind of got big - once there was the video, I was a little bit more thinking it was going to happen.”

The video, which is permanently etched into all of our brains at this point, starred model Rachel Hunter as ‘Stacy’s Mom’ and saw her pole dance in her kitchen, making for arguably one of the most iconic music video moments of all time.

The boys would strike gold with 'Stacy's Mom'.
YouTube/ Fountains of Wayne

The song dominated the Billboard Hot 100 for a whopping 17 weeks, became one of iTunes’ first ever ‘Most Downloaded Songs’, and even got the band nominated for two Grammy Awards.

While the band definitely enjoyed the success, there were concerns that their new fans might not be able to see past their one big hit.

“I just hope that people can like dig a little deeper than the single. I hope that this record is not over after ‘Stacy’s Mom,’” Chris had said at the time.

That quote might not have aged so well.

Still, Fountains of Wayne kept riding the wave of success - but it wasn’t long before they hit the rocks.

The end of Fountains of Wayne

In 2006, while Fountains of Wayne were on tour in Tokyo, Chris suffered a mental breakdown and was admitted to hospital for two weeks.

“I had a breakdown. I completely lost it,” Chris would tell the Boston Globe in a later interview.

“I was convinced I could see someone around the door. But when I followed them, they weren’t there.”

In 2011, Fountains of Wayne released their fifth and final album, Sky Full of Holes, which did relatively well, but sparked a major rift between Adam and Chris.

“It was no fun to make,” said Chris of their final album in an interview with Louder Than War.

You can't deny that this was a cultural reset.
YouTube/Fountains of Wayne

“There were two different writers with two increasingly different visions, and we spent more time fighting than recording.”

While Fountains of Wayne never officially broke up, they played their final show in October 2013 and never got on stage together again.

Asked a few years later if there was a future for Fountains of Wayne, Adam was pretty hesitant.

“I don’t know if Chris wants to do it anymore,” he told Louder Than War.

“Getting the last Fountains of Wayne record finished and out in the world was sort of a nightmare, frankly.

“If we can find a way to work together and have fun and be creative again and not have it be miserable, I’m totally into it. But I’m too old to have band fights.”

The guys all went on to work on their own projects after that.

Brian Young is now the drummer for The Jesus and Mary Chain, among other bands. Chris started a new band called Look Park, and Adam, as he always did, worked with tonnes of different artists.

In 2019, while promoting Look Park, Chris admitted that he and Adam didn’t really talk anymore.

Adam admitted that he didn't really see a Fountains of Wayne reunion happening.
AFF / Alamy Stock Photo

“I don’t even know where Adam lives now,” he told Boston Globe. “I’m not ruling it [a reunion] out, but I really don’t know.”

That reunion never would come to be, though, because in 2020, Adam passed away unexpectedly after experiencing complications related to Covid-19, aged just 52.

And that’s where the story of Fountains of Wayne and ‘Stacy’s Mom’ ends, I’m sorry to say.

Tributes for Adam poured in from all corners of the music industry.

Diane Warren tweeted: “RIP Adam Schlesinger. Love and prayers to his family. Thank U for the songs.”

Tom Hanks wrote: "There would be no Playtone without Adam Schlesinger, without his That Thing You Do! He was a One-der. Lost him to Covid-19. Terribly sad today."

A tribute from Jack Antonoff added: "Adam Schlesinger took pop music writing to its classiest and most untouchable place. An honor to live at the same time he made his work."

And Adam's partner in crime Chris wrote: "My thoughts are with Adam’s children and his parents, who treated me as one of their own."

Topics: Music