Skip to main content

Dando and Parsons

(Yes, this mid-90s era photo is of Evan Dando
dressed in a Gram Parsons t shirt)
As I (and countless others) have written before, Gram Parsons left a huge musical legacy for a man who died an early death. While many have emulated his style, no one comes closer than Evan Dando, both with The Lemonheads and as a solo performer. The career of Dando has more than a few parallels with the career of Parsons, including being "the next big thing" while not quite making it.

The Lemonheads' music was fun three chord rock during the Seattle grunge era, when everyone hated themselves and wanted to die. Thus, Dando's lyrics were often criticized for being childlike by people who missed the point entirely. Tho popular in the early to mid 90s, the Lemonheads never reached superstar status, in much the same way Parsons' work with the Flying Burrito Brothers and as a solo artist never seemed to get off the ground.

The parallels don't end with great music greeted with less than stellar receptions. Both are legendary substance users, with Parsons dying at 26 from tequila and downers, while Dando admitted to using crack cocaine before disappearing from the music scene for several years. Both musicians sang duets with very talented women, Emmylou Harris in the case of Parsons and Juliana Hatfield with Dando.
Better still, Dando has performed covers of Parsons' songs, such as this:


Is Evan Dando the Gram Parsons of his generation? Perhaps so. And while Gram left us far too young, Dando has continued to make great music almost in spite of himself. May he long continue.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Anatomy Of A Photo: Angel Of New Orleans

New Orleans is famous for its cemeteries, and rightfully so. They are cities within a city, gathering places for the living in honor of the dead. Monuments abound, and the piece above was striking on an overcast June day.

Quote Of The Day, Hemingway (Again)

Before you react, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you criticize, wait. Before you quit, try. - Ernest Hemingway

Anatomy Of A Photo: Gram's Grave, My Pick

Gram Parsons was a musical pioneer, multi instrumentalist, and fellow Georgian. The creator of Cosmic American Music left a strong impression in his short career, and the music he made continues to inspire. I visited his grave in New Orleans some years ago (getting directions to his grave site from a lady assisting at a funeral, who saw him perform with the Flying Burrito Brothers - opening for the Grateful Dead at the Avalon Ballroom in San Francisco, no less - was an experience I'll never forget). It was decorated with shells and small keepsakes from fans, and this time I brought my own: a pale blue guitar pick I'd had since the late 80's when I was bassist in a garage band. Not sure where to place it, I went for the most natural choice, between the thumb and index finger on the marker. It fit perfectly.