Fifteen seconds of fame

Story by Chris Graham

Adam Smith was in the studio recording with his band when the producer, Chris Keup, had to step out to take a phone call.

It was a friend of Keup, Bob Novogratz, who was scratching around for a theme song for a new reality TV show featuring Novogratz, a successful New York City-based designer. Novogratz wanted a song that sounded Cheap Trick, if you remember Cheap Trick (“I Want You to Want Me,” etc.).

“Right after he got off the phone, he said, You guys interested in this at all?” said Smith, whose band is called The Invisible Hand. (Think the economist Adam Smith, and his observation of how markets work.)

“We sort of debated about it. It was like, Is this sort of like sacrificing some integrity? Are we selling our soul to the corporate man?” Smith said, self-ironically.

“Finally, we decided, No, this is great. This is good exposure,” Smith said, not thinking at the time that the 15 minutes that the band spent putting together the demo would land them on Bravo.

The TV show, “9 By Design,” premieres tonight at 11 p.m. on Bravo. The theme song is the demo done several months ago by Adam Smith and The Invisible Hand at White Star Sound.

“It’s our 15 seconds of fame,” Smith said of the song clip used in the show.

You think song clips at the front of TV shows, and naturally you think “Friends,” and The Rembrandts and their “I’ll Be There for You” tune that will play forever in reruns.

The band was thinking the same thing, and it wasn’t in the most positive of contexts at first.

“When we were talking about it, we were like, We don’t turn into a Rembrandts. We don’t want to get all Rembrandts on this. That was one of the big debates. Do we attach our name to this? Do we remove ourselves and just be this unknown entity?” Smith said.

“Then we decided, Well, people know The Rembrandts because of the theme song. It’s not necessarily how I would like to be known. But …”

On the web

– To sample the song, visit scroll down and click the video clip titled “Buying Their Lifestyle” A few seconds into the promo you’ll find a brief excerpt of the show’s theme song performed by Adam Smith & the Invisible Hand (minute 1:55 of the download).

– To listen to other works by “Adam Smith & the Invisible Hand” visit or

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