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Ben Gibbard Spoke About How Adam Schlesinger Helped Him ‘Realize A Life-Long Dream’

For a good portion of March, Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard performed daily livestream concerts, although he recently changed the series to be a once-a-week occurrence. His first weekly show happened yesterday, and during the performance, he paid tribute to Adam Schlesinger, the Fountains Of Wayne member who recently passed away due to coronavirus complications.

Gibbard covered Fountains Of Wayne’s “Barbara H.,” and before playing the song, he spoke about how Schlesinger was part of one of the proudest moments of his career. Gibbard wrote a song called “Me & Magdalena” for The Monkees’ 2016 album Good Times!, which Schlesinger produced, and Gibbard said Schlesinger was a big part of his song selection:

“I never got to meet Adam. We had a lot of connective tissue, a lot of friends in common, but we never had a chance to actually meet. I owe him a huge debt of gratitude because he was integral in picking ‘Me & Magdalena’ for The Monkees to record four years ago. I always thought, as one always does in life, that you’ll have plenty of time to say ‘thank you’ or ‘I love you’ or give somebody a compliment or what have you, and that day obviously did not come. But from the bottom of my heart, I’m so grateful for him to help me realize a life-long dream.”

Gibbard previously wrote of the song, “Before The Beatles, before The Velvet Underground and before punk and/or indie rock, The Monkees were the first band I truly loved. Their albums were always on in our home when I was a kid (especially Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd.), and I learned to sing alongside them. I spent countless hours in front of the TV in the ’80s watching Monkees reruns wishing I could climb through the screen and be in the show with them. They made being in a band seem so fun — and godd*mmit, it should be! For these reasons and a million others, I can say with absolutely zero hyperbole that contributing ‘Me & Magdalena’ to this album has been the greatest honor of my career.”

Watch Gibbard perform “Barbara H.” above, starting at around 42:49 into the video.

Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.