Song For Adam
As many of you know, my dear friend and Ivy bandmate Adam Schlesinger died last month from COVID-19. There are a handful of fortunate people who knew him well, and I had the honor of falling into that group. But that has bestowed upon me this mounting sense of pressure to offer up something meaningful and poignant to the rest of the world who cares about him and wants more color. But Adam’s death has incapacitated me. It has sunk me into a dark place of mostly silence.
I became friends with Adam two years before Ivy. And when we finally did start Ivy it proved to be the catalyst for everything wonderful and magical that would follow. Ivy was the first thing that worked for me and him, right out of the gate, and it was thanks mostly to Adam’s uncanny drive, vision and intuition. It was Adam who convinced me to drag my wife Dominique (kicking and screaming at first) into a career as Ivy’s lead singer despite the fact that she had never sung before. It was a role Dominique ultimately grew to love and fully embrace, and years later we would all laugh about our good fortune, and praise Adam for his sharp vision. Ivy’s success enabled Fountains Of Wayne to get signed by our then label Atlantic Records, and it afforded me the unique opportunity to launch my own projects like Unfiltered Records and my bands Brookville and Camera2. Adam, Dominique and I were blessed with 20 years of unforgettable experiences together. We were so woven into the fabric of each other that many people thought Adam was actually Dominique’s husband. Nine albums, countless world tours, living in NYC apartments across the street from each other, family vacations together on Martha’s Vineyard, watching with pride as our babies grew up side-by-side into teenagers. The list of shared experiences is endless.
I think I’ve been rambling a bit here, and this is not meant to be any kind of eulogy. So I’ll get to the point…
Dominique and I had been sheltering-in-place with our kids at our Martha’s Vineyard house since mid March. We knew Adam was sick in the hospital with Corona but weren’t too worried. A life-force as powerful and radiant as his would not be snuffed out very easily, certainly not by a bad case of the flu. Yet on April 1st Dominique ran into my makeshift studio screaming “Adam died! Adam’s dead!!! He’s fucking DEAD!!!“
I can barely tell you what happened for the many weeks that followed. Just a surreal and blurring roller coaster ride of denial, hysteria, panic attacks, and emotional and physical breakdowns. I found myself confronted daily by countless “Adam Schlesinger Dead At 52” headlines and touching eulogies about him. Yet I could not pull myself out of the dark abyss to offer up my own voice. Every day that went by I sat in paralyzed silence. And anyway, it’s not in my DNA to ever publicly express things so personal and tragic like this…
For those that might have been waiting for a eulogy or simply a statement from Dominique or I…for that radio silence I am truly sorry. I had the honor of knowing Adam like I did, and have felt a powerful sense of obligation to say something meaningful about him. But the only expression I seemed capable of was writing this song about him. This “Song For Adam” says most of the things I could never have mustered up in a eulogy or rare social post, and it’s the best way I know how to comment on Adam’s death. I can’t upload the song to Facebook unless it’s a video, so I just threw a bunch of photos into iMovie…
Adam and I both believed that all of us, sadly, will fade away no matter our achievements, no matter the level of greatness, wealth, accolades, love, or adulation we attain. He, me, you and everyone will all disappear someday, and the world will just continue to spin, immune and indifferent to our absence. So I hope my “Song For Adam” helps keep him in our hearts and minds just a little bit longer, as we push back against a world that soon seems to forget us all….