Article by Joan Anderman

From the Chicago Tribune 5th Dec 1996


Evan Dando certainly doesn't try to hide from his image as a rock'n'roll flake.
Consider the Lemonhead leader's reaction to this description of him in Spin magazine: "a first-rate rock'n'roll weirdo, a less bonkers Syd Barrett for the generation that buys its psychedelics at Urban Outfitters."

"When I read that, I thought, 'Yes, my life is a success. I'm a first-rate rock'n'roll weirdo!"' Dando said. "Really, I was pleased with that. I try not to get carried away with my own press, but sometimes I read it and think 'score.' That was my whole idea in the first place."

Dando certainly seems the model of rock insincerity: pin-up model looks, an intentionally scatter-brained manner, highly publicized drug problem and a taste for smug cover songs such as REO Speedwagon's "Keep on Lovin' You."

He's even led one non-fan to start a newsletter titled, "Evan Dando Must Die."

Yet when he's on his game, Dando makes sunny, optimistic rock songs that are catchy but not cloying. His new album mixes fun songs like "The Outdoor Type," in which Dando admits he lied about being a backpacker to impress a woman, and more serious fare in which he alludes to his stay in a rehab center for drug addiction.

Dando, the only permanent member of the revolving-door band known as the Lemonheads, saw his life spin out of control in the aftermath of the 1993 album, "Come on Feel the Lemonheads."
That record wasn't quite the success that some had predicted, but it did well enough to mess Dando up. Mixing heroin and LSD led to a crash in Sydney, Australia. Through the intervention of his family, Dando was sent to a rehab center in New Canaan, Conn., which he doesn't credit for leading to a recovery.

"The only way you can quit drugs, at least from my perspective, is by not taking them anymore."


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