Evan Dando in Brazil – a Lemonhead on the phone
Continuing our series that I’m going to call “Evan Dando in Brazil”, what I have to say is, believe it or not, Evan Dando called me. Yes, a little while ago, through a video call made by Antonia, who, as you know, is his girlfriend-fiancée. But before I reveal the content of the call, it is inevitable to make some digressions. Come with me.
Meeting and dealing with famous people in music journalism
It is harrowing to work with music journalism, in fact, any type of journalism that involves more or less direct contact with a lot of “famous” and recognized people (among which at least a half dozen are fatally in your old quota of idols ). That’s because at the same time that you have about 100 contacts on your cell phone with Kevin Bacon’s degree of separation 1.5, you have your crappy professional ethics that tells you to restrain yourself at all times and keep all the impressions – good and bad – related to certain figures, as well as their personal data.
But I didn’t even get to the truly distressing part, which is the expectation: the journalistic craft confers, let’s say, an “aura” of importance to the act of the interview – which serves to defend us from the stupid people (who also I won’t tell you who they are). On the other hand, we tend to invade the field of friendship when admiration is simply too huge to be kept in a drawer as the article airs. If the opposite is not always pleasant, that is, artists who try to approach me at all costs, to the point of asking me for even stupid favors; I have to believe that a journalist trying to get closer to his idols, old or new, might be the same… And in this mined territory, it is obvious that we end up making some surprisingly good friends that are in the media.
But we also get tangled up in our own vanity with overthinking, imagining and even stalking whether the person liked the article or not, whether they shared it or not (if they didn’t share it, it’s because they’re too cool and I’m small, never because sometimes the person simply did not have the desire or time to read). The fact is that I have millions of stories in my memory to be told and at the same time millions more that I still want to be able to tell, but I have to face the truth that it is humanly impossible to separate the personal from the professional for more than 15 minutes of tape rolling. Maybe one day.
The fascination with the Lemonheads
As an incorrigible collector of cd’s, dvd’s and vinyl, I’ve developed, throughout my life, the habit of looking for titles that don’t yet exist in my shelf of more than 2,500 items. If you thought it’s practically impossible to find something I don’t have, you’re right. That’s why I limit the search to one specific band: Lemonheads. When I find a record store, the letter “L” is always the first one I look for. This also happens on the internet, where the cache of the main sites already typed by me “Lemonheads” or “Evan Dando”.
And this passion has been going on since I was 15 years old (I’m 43, so do the math), that is, this search became part of my identity, just as I absorbed all kinds of mannerisms and influences from the which I imagined as the cool side, in fact, the only side of this being named Evan Griffith Dando, which inevitably led me to be a more romantic and melancholy guy than necessary, it’s true, a persona that only got stronger when I could watch two Lemonheads concerts in Brazil.
Almost real virtual encounters
As I have a parallel career in Digital Marketing, my first intention when doing a great article on the Lemonheads (the one about “Hate Your Friends”) was to rank my website, that is, to become a reference on the subject before Google. So, as a fishing trip (something Evan really enjoys, apparently), I caught some big fish that swam light and free around the World Wide Web like Ben Lee, John Sthrom, Ben Deily, Kenny Lyon and David Ryan…. predicting that I was close to “fishing”, also, one of the most present people in my life these days, even in the virtual environment, Susan Dando, the affectionate mother who proved to be accessible at absurd levels.
If he could talk he’d tell me – and he could
We’re back to the call, as I know this is the part you wanted. As it is not known, I wrote the first article of this series in the impetus of getting the spotlight before the “ctrl c + ctrl v media” with the information that I had collected, thinking about the already published texts based on the contact between Evan and Antonia’s family. There wasn’t time to interview Evan – also because he prefers to give interviews only during the promotion of his tour here – but even so, I believed I had good material, and the positive feedbacks I’ve received since then confirm that.
But I confess that receiving feedback from Evan Dando himself was not something I expected. In fact, I never expected anything from him other than the possibility of interviewing the guy one day, because he has already given me so much through the art he produces (especially the feeling of comfort). That’s why when I received a video call at lunch time, I got off track and, as much as I tried to swim towards my module 15 minutes of tape rolling, I couldn’t reach it. I blanked.
A Lemonhead on the phone
Having had the opportunity (which I hope was the first) to be with Evan for a few minutes, listening to me, gave me the impression that I was talking to myself. It seems that when we idealize a person so much, it is very difficult to get rid of that image when we are face to face. And I confess that I attributed to Evan all the characteristics that I would like to have, and that I thought I had. Beauty, talent, success, style… Seeing him face to face was like seeing my image on someone else’s body, you know, like in those stupid movies.
But unlike me, I soon realized that he was a humble guy, actually a child (in a good way, of course). With his palms together, he thanked me for the article, confirming that he was really happy in Brazil while hugging Antônia (almost childishly). I tried to babble some English – which tends to escape me at these times – I asked him what words in Portuguese he knew. Trying to overcome himself, he says that he learned to say “Mutantes” and I continue asking him if he liked the band, to which he said yes… Well, while Antônia played the providential role of the interpreter, here are the information that emotion allowed me to collect:
- Tour in Brazil in March/23 will not be restricted to São Paulo, passing through cities like Curitiba and Porto Alegre, with BH being considered, everything still to be confirmed;
- Evan intends to record a jazz album around here (that’s right, for those who don’t know, Evan has some forays into jazz like the performance of “Solitude” by Billie Holiday);
- The repertoire of the solo shows here will not be the same as the last tour (namely, album “It’s a shame about Ray” played from top to bottom) – by giving this information maybe I let out an “much better”, at which he laughed, demonstrating that he wasn’t in the mood to repeat the repertoire either.
And that’s all I got before Evan logged off and turned his attention elsewhere. Who knows, another song, another sound, another noise… After 43 years of being Evan, it only took 5 minutes for me to finally be just me.