A Lemonhead in Minas Gerais
Who would have thought that one day I would say that Evan Dando returned to my state. But not to the capital Belo Horizonte (so far) but to the interior of Minas Gerais, where he naturally found a lot of heat, nature and cachaça. To think that the bucolic São João Del Rei, home of my father’s family, would give me the surprise of meeting my great idol again is unbelievable. On these same streets, many years ago, my guitar and I strummed some of the Lemonheads songs that I knew by heart and that kept me – and still keep me – company.
The pretext for Evan’s visit to the historic city was his special participation in his father-in-law, Renato Teixeira’s show. After appearing in many videos singing perfect Portuguese in the choruses of “Romaria”, Evan would finally take the stage alongside Teixeira, which consequently left him quite tense. After a lively and quick sound check, I met Evan and Antonia in the dressing room, where I was introduced to the pleasant ritual of listening to the new demos of the next Lemonheads album.
Despite not liking Whatsapp – saying that decent Americans shouldn’t use the app – Evan struggled to download demo by demo to his Brazilian account. But, with each track downloaded, he had a different reaction. Sometimes he emulated an imaginary drum kit, sometimes he took a cigarette out of his wallet, explaining the lyrics and the recording process song by song.
And yes, there were about 12 tracks, but he claimed that there were many more to integrate the next album which, in my opinion, will be a consistent mix between the punk/doom of “Lovey” and the pop of “Car Button Cloth”. Of course, we will also have alt.country tracks and, in this regard, the new, much heavier “Fear of Living” look surprised me a lot. We will even have the promise of a heavyweight featuring on the album, but Evan himself asked me not to reveal who it will be, so…
While showing me the songs, the battery on his portable speaker ran out, which left him extremely disappointed. Evan has the simplicity of a child, but like one, he cannot stand the slightest frustration. So, he went in search of a charger, but it was too late, I had lost track of Evan that night. Or I thought I had. I went to meet him again after his excellent participation in “Romaria”, a participation that left most of the night’s “old” audience with a question in their head, but certainly took a couple of Lemonheads fans present at the theater by surprise.
About Friday night, it was one of the most fun of my life. Especially because I took my wife to meet Evan and Antonia (who Desirée said more than once that she really liked). As for Evan, who she only (hardly) knew because of me, there was no affectation, which might have been strange for a guy used to being the center of attention. In fact, Evan was annoyed with all of us speaking Portuguese:”Which language is that?” However, my wife was brilliant when commenting on what she thought of the person Evan Dando, not the celebrity she doesn’t knew: “I think he has a huge heart.” Right in the bull’s-eye!
As for the career of more than 40 years leading the Lemonheads, that comes second. And not just for her, but for me too.