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Album: Welcome Interstate ManagersReleased: 2003
This song is about a guy reminiscing over a girl he knew in his youth - a girl who has since grown up, moved to LA and become famous. The guy still loves the girl and hopes that she may one day return to Hackensack, a city in New Jersey, and to him.
Group leaders Chris Collingwood and Adam Schlesinger wrote the song, which isn't about a real person. Schlesinger says he didn't have a specific actress in mind when he came up with the lyric.
In 2009, this song was covered by Katy Perry on MTV Unplugged
. In our interview with Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne
, he said he was impressed by Perry's version. "Yeah, I think it's great," he said. "I thought it was interesting, because she reversed it so that the melody in the chorus is lower than the melody in the verse, which is the opposite of how we did it. But I think it actually worked out really well, gave the song a different vibe."
This song features in 2005 movie, Just Friends, starring Ryan Reynolds and Amy Smart.
Part of Schlesinger's childhood was spent in Montclair, New Jersey, and he couldn't resist the lure of rhyming "go back" with "Hackensack" in this song. The band is named after Wayne, New Jersey, where there were prominent fountains at a garden center along the main drag.