It’s apt that Evan Dando is namechecked throughout Bret Easton Ellis’ novel ‘Glamorama.’ The veteran singer-songwriter is like a character out of pulp fiction.
Dando, 43, the son of a fashion model, is a strapping, good-looking, charismatic leader of a rock band. The Lemonheads figurehead has had hits, scores of women, including his ex-wife English fashion model Elizabeth Moses.
The laidback Massachusetts native, who lives in Manhattan, is a self-avowed drug dumpster. Dando once had a $500 a day habit. He tasted rock stardom during the early 90s scoring such hits as ‘Into Your Arms’ and a cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Mrs. Robinson.’
He walked away from the mad success during the early ‘90s. Dando, who will perform Saturday at the Record Collector in Bordentown, is an enigma.
“I’ve done things differently than most people in this business,” Dando said. “I’m not saying that’s good or bad but a lot of people didn’t understand it (his hiatus). I really was into the idea of taking a seven-year vacation. It was even longer than that. I was doing things that were as dumb as possible to see what would happen.”
Who in rock is as honest about their flaws and inexplicable behavior? Dando is an anomaly and a throwback. He truly doesn’t care what anyone thinks about his actions. Dando never hurt anyone but himself with his drug abuse. The only way that he hurt fans was by not creating or releasing material for nearly a decade. But Dando is one of those few characters left from when rock was a circus. Dando, like those before him, walked the high wire without a net. During his early ‘90s run, Britain’s NME tagged him as ‘geezer of the year’ and there was the anti-Dando fanzine, dubbed ‘I Hate Evan Dando.’ Dando made headlines hanging with celebrity pals, Johnny Depp, Noel Gallagher and Courtney Love. And then there were the drugs. When asked about his debauched, drug-fueled past, Dando noted that he has tried just about every chemical.
“The only thing I haven’t tried is the one when you see the little green people,” Dando said. “What’s it called? MDA. Not MNDA, which I have tried. It’s like a 20-minute thing where you need cushions around. Everyone sees the same little great people.”
Part of the thrill for Dando is surviving. Along the way he has made some great music, much of which is simple but catchy. ‘Confetti,’ ‘Rudderless’ and ‘If I Could Talk I’d Tell You’ are among the many notable cuts that he can call his own.
“I may have gotten sidetracked by some things but I’ve always loved the music,” Dando said. “No matter what I go back to it, eventually.”