The Lemonheads lead singer and one of the most popular 90’s Alternative Rock icons
Evan Dando turns 52
He was one of the 90’s Rock music sex symbols, as someone wrote back then, “grungy” but washed and clean with nice hair.
Evan Dando, was born Evan Griffith Dando on March 4, 1967 in Essex, Massachusetts, the son of a former model. In 1986 he dropped out of school and formed The Lemonheads, their debut concert took place on that same year in Cambridge. The band gained a fast local popularity in the Massachusetts area and were signed by a local indie band with whom they released their first three albums: “Hate Your Friends”, “Creator”, and “Lick”. A blend between punk, rock, country, and metal, The Lemonheads were on their way and at the right place for the Alternative Rock revolution that controlled the airwaves during the early 90’s, but Dando quit the band abruptly, returning soon after. He worked together with his then girlfriend Juliana Hatfield during the hiatus from The Lemonheads. In 1990, with Alternative Rock bands starting to get more airplay, they were signed to major label Atlantic/Warner, where the album “Lovey” was released in that same year. Dando then moved to Australia where he begun to write new songs with friends. While there, he wrote most of the songs that would be included on their first big hit “It’s a Shame About Ray” released in 1992. The album included their smash hit “Mrs. Robinson”, a punk-inflected cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s hit. Evan Dando wasn’t only a good songwriter but he started to get attention due to his looks. At a time where Grunge was the thing to be, Dando became an odd piece in the movement. The Lemonheads fit somehow in that wave, however, Dando was too good looking, and his shredded Levi’s were always clean, along with his washed hair. Because of that, he became the “grunge star” that fashion magazines were waiting for and his face appeared on several magazine covers with People listing him among the “50 Most Beautiful People”. But he didn’t kept the pretty boy image for too long. Though an outsider to the Seattle scene, he became close friends with Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love, and so, drug rumors started to spread. In an interview with Q magazine, he admitted he smoked crack cocaine and regretted it. In 1993, the group released the album “Come on Feel the Lemonheads”, another big hit that featured the hit single “Style”, “The Jello Fund”, “Into Your Arms” and also “It’s About Time” and “Big Gay Heart” . During the group’s touring in 1994, Dando befriended Oasis and appeared at some of their live shows. Also during 1994, he was controversially photographed in bed with Kurt Cobain’s widow Courtney Love soon after the Nirvana frontman was found dead, holding a teddy bear between both while kissing, rumor was that teddy contained part of Cobain’s ashes. As the 1990’s and the alternative rock revolution winded down, so did The Lemonheads. The band continued to tour and record, although without the same popularity and success as they had during the first half of the decade. In 2005, Dando put together a new lineup for The Lemonheads and in 2009 they released “Varshons”, a collection of 11 covers, including tracks originally recorded by Gram Parsons, GG Allin and Christina Aguilera. The album also features vocal performances by actress Liv Tyler and model Kate Moss. On most of their tours since 2010, The Lemonheads have included the entire “It’s a Shame About Ray” album on the setlist. He continues to work regularly with former girlfriend Juliana Hatfield and in 2003 Dando released his first solo album, “Baby I’m Bored”. Evan Dando turns 52 today
Look back at the 1992 music video “Mrs. Robinson” by The Lemonheads
Also watch the 1993 music video “Into Your Arms” by The Lemonheads
Listen the compilation “The Best Of The Lemonheads (Atlantic Years)” on Spotify
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