Interview with Evan Dando by Roger Morton

From NME 27th March 1993


Far out! Here he is, Mr Beautifully Blown-Away, hangin' out in cool-fun-in-the-sun Melbourne to work and play, body-surf, beach-bum and look for buttons on the sidewalk. Moist poster dreamboy Evan Dando chases the beig star in his own Magic Roundabout world, confirming his Slacker Icon status as the Lemonheads bask in the glow of their post-'Ray' success.

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The sun hangs high in the sky over Melbourne's beach-bum quarter. On the modest stretch of sand down by the bay, driftwood bales in the end of summer heat. A few bleach'n'tan rollerbladers surf the concrete path at the top of the beach.

In the boho bookshops and quirky boutiques, barefoot twentysomethings browse. A few screams can be heard from a waterside rollercoaster ride. A six-piece marimba band entertains the strolling shoppers with some crazy outback-of-the-mind trance rhythms.

Some freaky kid strolls past with a huge cockatoo perched on his hat. At night a few tranny hookers lean in doorways. This is a cool place to hang out with the Lemoheads. A Lemonheads kinda town.

On this lazy weekend, in this easy-going place, you could do a whole bunch of real fun things. You could go and see a band called Pool Koala play in a beer barn. You could find out what a local band called Suede are like. You could maybe drop into rehearsals for the forthcoming All-New Laughter-Packed Ethnic Spectacular musical, Wog-A-Rama.

Or you could lope along with the Lemonheads for their three shows in Melbourne and find yourself drunkenly perplexed at four o'clock on a Sunday morning, watching a girl getting whipping in an S&M club while Evan Dando toys with the idea of lining up for a whipping too. Easy choice, really.

"Hi," is the first thing Evan says. Then he says, "Cool." Then he says, "I know how it feels." At the start of three days of Lemoning out, down at the soundcheck for the first show in a mid-sized pub-club called The Prince Of Wales, Mr Beautifully Blown-Away himself, Evan Dando, sets the tone... Well, like, friendly. And kinda stoned in love with life. And certainly empathetic as far as people and places and pebbles on the beach are concerned.

But this is not a good day for Evan. Something to do with wiping out badly while body surfing in Perth the other day and thinking he had lung cancer when it was just a pulled muscle. Evan has these downer Dando days when he's not on it. In white T-shirt and shorts, he bends his lanky frame on to a bar-stool and rolls the first of an
endless series of roll-ups.

"I don't know what it is today," he says. "Maybe it's like my time of the month, or something." You would think that Evan would be riding the crest these days. The career view for the Lemonheads is as rosy as the lenses in Evan's sunglasses, lying there on the bar. And for sure, in general, Evan's feeling up, and annoyingly, babblingly excited and happy to splash about in the ripples of 'It's A Shame About Ray"s success.

But there are more things in Mr Dando's head-world than global chart figures and offers to fly to NY or LA to do this magazine cover or that MTV VJ-ing slot. Sometimes, hanging out with Evan, you get the feeling that he's hanging out on some weird little twinkling star all of his own. That beige coloured one just above the horizon, probably.

Now let's get this clear about the Lemonheads. What the Lemonheads were is not what the Lemonheads are. They used to be a Boston three-piece pre-grunge guitar band who'd kicked into life back in '86, supporting the Pixies, released a trio of mangled rock albums on small labels and signed to Atlantic/Warners for a fourth, occasionally transporting album, 'Lovey', in 1990.

They existed in the US noisecore netherworld,accountable for in terms of their position vis-a-vis Hüsker Dü or Mudhoney or Buffalo Tom and substantially notable for their singer's love of the odd old country tune and a predilection for weird cover versions like Vega's 'Luka' and Mike Nesmith's 'Different Drum'.

That was the Lemonheads - thrash melodies, Boston roots and a bit of a Charles Manson fixation as a side order. Frankly, even as Nirvana loomed, they were a specialist concern.

What happened to change all that was this. While touring the `Lovey' album, a less than gorgeous experience which temporarily split the band up (bassist at the time Jesse Peretzand drummer David Ryan quit, although Ryan later rejoined), Dando found himself in Sydney. Hanging out with enthusiastic local scenesters Tom Morgan, Nic Ryan (who eventually replaced Peretz on bass) and a cast of loopy local (drug) buddies, a re-energised Dando wrote most of the songs for 'It's A Shame About Ray', a set of hyper-addictive acoustic-based pop spurts which only the emotionally lobotomised could fail to regard as a classic. Maybe it was something in the surf.

According to Evan, he just learned a bit of Oz-style thoughtless enjoyment. Lemon bassist Nic Dalton, who also runs Sydney's jumpingest indie label Half A Cow, and fronts his own band, Godstar (with Evan occasionally on drums), puts it this way: "When he hooked up with myself and Tom (Morgan), I just think we gave him that extra thing that music's fun. Because they were about to split up. If you listen to 'Lovey', you don't know what sort of area the music's going into, but with 'Ray' it's definitely a focused record and that's what gave it the magic. He started writing more fun songs, which a lot of the old fans hate. I'm sure there's a lot of the old fans going, 'We hate those guys', because we've made the Lemonheads a pop band."

Pop fun. Well, that's kind of the point, isn't it? That was the spirit in which the band recorded their version of 'Mrs Robinson' which, initially to their embarrassment, took the Lemonheads to Top Of The Pops-style success around the world. Goodbye to hardcore heavy weather, hello sunshine fun. Mostly.

In Melbourne, there's certainly a good measure of Oz bonhomie surrounding the Lemonheads. A mini-entourage of mates from here and around, popping in, sharing beers with Nic and drummer Dave Ryan, and on the first night providing one of the support bands in the form of Smudge.

Smudge are a loveable, sloppyhead Dinosaur Minor trio who put out the now globally famous 'Don't Wanna Be Grant McLennan' through Nic's Half A Cow label, much to the former Go-Between's displeasure (his management threatened to sue). Fronted by Tom Morgan, who co-wrote both 'Bit Part' and the title track on 'Ray' with Evan, they also have a certain Alison Gallaway on drums.

I am amazed. That's the Alison whose E trip inspired Evan's 'Alison's Starting To Happen' on the 'Ray' album. To a Lem-fan, this is like bumping into Ruby Tuesday. "Erm, well it is me. But it's just the one line in the song," she says, trying to hide behind a strawberry blonde mane, and swiftly sneaking away.

The Oz effect on the Lemonheads appears to be still working wonders. At the first show. in amongst the power riff pummelling given to songs from 'Ray'. they slot in three new songs. There s the gunked-up prettiness of 'It's About Time', which is about Juliana Hatfield, Evan's ex-Blake Babies 'close friend' who sung on 'Ray'.

There's 'Style', a brilliant ram-a-lam punky thing about drugs. And there's the heavy sonic sprawl of 'The Great Big No', co-written with Tom Morgan, which deals with nothingness (heavee, man). Evan was loafing around and writing songs in Sydney for three weeks after Christmas. In all, ten and a half songs have been written for the next album, set for recording in LA in May.

Dando still plans to make space to tour Australia withNic's band Godstar later in the year. The sunshine scene is still working for him. According to Nic, however, the 'scene' is mostly just a bunch of young, vibrant bands who've come through in the wake of Ratcat having three Oz Number Ones a couple of years back.

Labels started running around trying to sign up the new guitar bands, but as a trust-able musician running his own label, Nic managed to sign the coolest. Smudge, Swirl, Crow, Hippy Drivel, Godstar, The Daisy Grinders and Sidewinder are all on Half A Cow. Beasts Of Burden, The Clouds, and Cruel Sea on Red Eye and The Meanies on Au-go-go are also worth looking out for.

With Nic faxing around madly, setting up deals for Half A Cow as he travels with the Lemonheads, Oz should mean a lot more than Grant'n' INXS in the near future. So let's go surfing now...

"Mostly I've been sticking to body surfing since I've been here," says Evan, surfing ashtrays and beer glasses in a bar off St Kilda beach. "I just haven't gotten it together to rent a board. It's too much trouble and fuss and mess to get a board and wax. The ocean's just there and I just dive in."

Back in the '70s, Evan's travel-happy parents used to head out to Biarritz in France, where Evan would stand around grumpily embarrassed at the disco parties, and do some surfing. "I haven't done it for years but I really love
it. It's good fun. It's, erm, well, it's like a guitar solo, man. No, it is! You have this free space where you can do funny curves. And if it gets too curvey you fall off!"

Of course, we would have gone surfing, but, see, there were interviews to do, and photo-sessions to shoot, and in-store appearances to make and gigs to be gigged. The same as Evan's being doing for years, only now there's much more of t.

"Some days, Evan's day off consists of sitting in a hotel room on the phone, hanging up and waiting for it to ring again. It's really cool to see him rising to the occasion," says drummer David Ryan. The other reason why the Lemonheads are definitely not-what-they-were is that since the arrival of `Ray', Evan Dando, once a mere musician, and a deeply mortal grubby long-haired one at that, has butterflied into a whole new existence as 3D personality and moist poster dreamboy.

Big name photographer Bruce Weber recently snapped him for the cover of US high fashion art mag Interview. Hip American teen girl rag Sassy refers to him as 'His Beautiful Blond Sadness' On last year's UK Lemonheads tour, normally sensible women were turning up just to see if Evan was wearing boxer shorts under his pyjamas. To the more sociologically inclined he has made it through as a prime 'Slacker Icon'. Kurt, only not as curt.

Dando's personality promotion is for once, however, not a crass media invention. It actually makes sense. `It's A Shame About Ray' is the delight that it is largely because Dando's fallible, romantic, scrambled humanity shines through so clearly in those aching, life-enhancing strum-tunes. Fall in love with the record, and you fall in love with Dando. Hang around with the guy for a few days, and it's kind of hard not to.

You seem to be pretty good at hangin' out, Evan. How do you hang out?

"I have a good time for myself. I wouldn't know how to prescribe it for someone else, I think that's the whole thing, you just do what makes you interested in it. I just like goin' to the beach and I really like looking for shells on the beach and even looking for things on the sidewalk, like you can find cool things on the sidewalk. Even buttons. I have a collection of buttons that I found on the sidewalk. Just little stray things. I guess I have a fascination with stray things."

What's this attachment to inanimate things? Like, you did that song 'Stove' about your stove, and 'Paint' about a lonely crane. Is that a big part of your daily life?

"Yeah, I guess it is. I have my things. Like Kat from Babes In Toyland gave me a martyr nail. She didn't explain it, but she found this rusty nail. I was hanging out with her in Austin and she said 'Evan, here's your martyr nail'. I kind of took it and went `Woah!'. I have this little red road case for it andeverything. So that's the martyr nail. And then I found this chip from a manhole cover on the sidewalk in Shepherds Bush. It's just this cool bit of a manhole, and it's a perfect paperweight, and it says 'GR' on it, which could be my middle name, Griffith. It's at a perfect Scrabble holder angle, you know, like that. So I have this collection.

"It's so funny. My bag, which is like my home right now, is like a massive pocket. You know how at the end of the night you have a pocket full of things and you dump it out on the table? So when I get to my hotel room I just dump it all out and kind of sift through it. And then when we have to go I just throw it back in the bag."

We are lounging around in Evan's hotel room, a chaos of clothes and rubble which has exploded out of his bag. Evan is sifting for the right T-shirt to wear, trying on a crumpled purple number at the moment. Photographer Ridgers eyes the mangled garment suspiciously. "The invention of the iron has totally passed you by, hasn't it mate?" he observes. Evan just shrugs. "I could never get it together to get an iron or anything," he says, unfazed.

Later Ridgers points out what is patently true about Dando. He is totally free of rock star bullshit. Leave him alone at a bar for two minutes, and he'll be talking to someone. He just sort of drifts into contact. People collect Evan, like he's some six foot stray puppy. There's this childlike thing to him. Sometimes he's like some dreamy kid playing on his own. Maybe it's slipping back to when he was ten, before his parents split up. Maybe he's just better at playing than most of us.Before the second night's gig, he races off to ride the Luna Park rollercoaster, happy to zap round the rails in his own private orbit.

In the band's van, driving through Melbourne, he stares out the window, "Wow, man! Look at that building!", or drums away on his knees to whatever Dinosaur or Replacements or Neil Young tape's in the stereo. At one point he starts impersonating a mosquito in someone's ear (a pitch perfect impersonation, of course). He doesn't walk, he loafs. He doesn't talk, he splurges. "I must stop intruding my static into the conversation. 'Cause it gets really annoying and I come out badly from it."

When he laughs, which on a Dippy Dando day is a lot, it's this brilliant, zonked, hiccuping laugh. His current trick is to do this completely insane laughing without smiling thing where it looks like he's having a heart attack.

What did you do at college, Evan?
"I was only there about three months."

Yeah, but what did you do? 
"A lot of drugs."

Dando might come on like this coo-ooool and affable hippy-head at times, but that's by no means the whole story. He's not averse to taking the piss out of his strung-out beach bum tendencies. "Dude, we're just gonna head down the coast and find the rippingest beaches. Can you dig it?" His problem with the "dude" word is well acknowledged in the Lemonheads camp. Planet Dando is a lot more on course than it sometimes seems.

"He's good at being the frontman in a number of ways, and I think that's one of the ways he's good at it," says David Ryan. "I mean, he is that way. He's a space cadet at times. Always losing things. I mean, you saw Nic and I today. It was, 'I'll look after your wallet, Evan' and 'I'll hold the ball, Evan'. So it's pretty genuine. But that's not at the expense of the fact that he's pretty bright too."

"He's a Pisces, and that's just a personality trait coming across," says Nic. "Most Pisces I've known are in the clouds. But he's not this slack person that wants to be in bed all day. He works really hard, and he knows what he wants and what he's getting."

The way Evan looks at it, the King Slacker crown belongs elsewhere.

"The whole thing begins with J Mascis, because he's the guy that brings words like 'baked' and funny American slang into songs. He was one of the first guys that really integrated that into serious songs, funny expressions like `baked' and... erm, `dude'! I can't remember any other ones. But it's a real misnomer for both him and myself, because we both work really hard at what we're doing."

But slackers were also supposed to be the misfit twentysomething generation left out by the Reagan and Bush years. Is that you?
"Well, there's something there, because living through the Reagan era in a lot of people caused a really healthy scepticism about the government, and also a pretty strong defeatism about changing things. So you tend to retreat into your music and rituals, and they call you 'slackers'. You're just trying to find some sort of environment where you can do something rather than being involved in the mainstream."

Do you take on board the hippy drop-out and spread love and peace ideology?
"I'm afraid I do. I think there's a lot of similarities between the '60s and what's happening now with a lot of young people who can't see their place in any established area, wearing a suit and shit. There are a lot of parallels, and yeah, I'm way into peace and love. The only thing I'm against is violence and lack of respect for another person. I think violence is really rude and unacceptable and intolerable."

Is it useful for you to be seen as a little whacked out?
"Yeah, well certainly over the years it's been a bit of an escape route for me. Like 'Oh yeah,don't rely on Evan for that because it's not an intelligent thing to do at this juncture'. But I've caught shit for that for years. And it's easy for people to think 'Oh he's just playing the lovable lunatic'. But I swear to God, I'm working on it. I've been through some character building experiences. I fell off the boogie board the other day and hurt my shoulder!"

Lemonheads songs rarely step outside your own head-world. You could say they're pretty insular.
"All I can write about is the way I happen to see things on a certain day. I wouldn't want to write about 'All across the nation people are joining hands for...' I woludn't really even want to write about causes that I believe in like non-violence. OK, here I go being pretentious. I think if anything I'm just providing an example, in that it wouldn't be too bad if people were more like me and tried to express themselves. That's all and that's enough. That's all I could give to the world - just trying to express myself. That's all I want to do."

Does it affect you much if you're watching TV and there's some atrocity on the news?
"Yeah I'm vulnerable to that kind of stuff. It makes my blood boil more than it makes me depressed. I can't look at it. I don't read the newspapers that much. I can't believe the way human beings treat one another. I just don't understand it and I can't dig it. I'm not optimistic about the future of the world either. Most countries are male-dominated and with all those men out there I don't necessarily think we're going to make it that long after the year 2000.

"Someone's going to get their undies in a bundle and they're going to f-in' blow something up and then we're all going to go. I think that the only thing that can save us now is women. I think they have a better grand picture on things.

"I respect a lot of things about women and I think that right now in history is a time when women should figure more in decisions and government. They're just needed right now."

Do you ever feel like Jake La Motta in Raging Bull, testosterone-flowing, punching the walls of his cell?
"Do I ever feel like that? I've always had a much sharper tongue than a lead fist. I'm the kind of person who when something really annoying has happened, like one of my friends has been insulted I lie awake at night thinking about the perfect line to say to them to get them. And you never feel more pathetic in your life than that `I shoulda said...' feeling.

"When our record label kind of screwed me over when our first record came out, I had fantasies of doing something really violent to their things. Like maybe just destroying things that they had. But luckily the label's come round a lot, so they're not in danger of getting vandalised by me any more."

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Do you ever feel like Dylan,the rabbit from The Magic Roundabout?
"I've never seen it." 
It was this trippy kids programme made in the '60s, with a rabbit that used to sit around strumming a guitar, eating carrots and saying 'far out' a lot.
"I wish I'd seen the show. But, yeah, it's a funny job. You feel pretty stupid sometimes."

Dylan wasn't stupid. He just wanted to sit around and play his guitar.
"He just had simple desires? 
Oh definitely. I'm very simple. I'm just happy to play and sing for people. I really like it, it really makes me happy. And carrots are fine too."

Down at his lunchtime in-store appearance at the Gaslight record shop in Melbourne, it's blatantly obvious how much Evan enjoys just playing and singing for people. In-store appearances are usually embarrassing, half-cocked events. Dando transforms this one into a brilliant event. Under bright lights, in an overheating shop packed with teenage Lem fans, Dando does an acoustic set that borders on genius.

He banters with the crowd and takes requests, effortlessly knocking out breathtaking versions of songs from 'Ray. He does Gram Parsons' `Thousand Dollar Wedding' and the Gram-covered 'Streets Of Baltimore'. He even transforms 'Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow' and Abba's 'Knowing Me, Knowing You' into touching (and funny) golden moments.

The voice is perfect. The girls sigh and giggle and and one of them hands him a peace pendant which he wears. He is not, as he said in Interview, "a walking karaoke torture machine". He is Mr Bloody Entertainment, only twice as cool.

He's got the baby blue eyes. He's got the wide-open, courteous manner. He likes to ham it up a bit. He's got the
country tunes, and the croonster voice. He is the post-grunge Elvis, no less. He gets invited into Nirvana's rehearsal studios to play a bit of drums and down some red wine. "I've heard so much negative static about those guys, but they seemed like really nice people."

He's mates with Gibby from the Buttholes and Mascis from Dinosaur, and buddies with Winona Ryder and Johnny Depp.. Girls smile at him when he walks down the street. I can feel people starting to hate him already. Let's talk about `the pressure of success'.

"Yeah man, the pressure's there. It's like sometimes I don't know if I can do it. It gets really corny actually, between me and my manager. It gets really sappy. It's like a TV drama. Like, I'm talking to my manager on the phone and I ask her to call me Tough Stuff, or Toughie. It's really ridiculous! It's a soap opera. Yeah, I'm becoming really weird and sappy, at least to my manager, in private. I don't know why I'd spill the beans like this."

Do you get stressed out by the schedule?
"Hey, you get cauliflower ear when you've been on the phonetoo long. I don't know what that is. Your ear starts to feel really weird. It manifests itself in symptoms like cauliflower ear, or a big headache. When you're doing interviews all day you start feeling like, I dunno, a pump, or something, a handle on a pump. I dunno what it is, but you feel like you're going to throw up."

Do you get a feeling that too many people want a bit of you? 
"But I quite like that idea because I'm pretty generous with myself, and I like meeting people and stuff. I really feel that I was kind of cut out for the job in a way. I'm a bit of a ham, and a bit of a flirt, so y'know, there you go."

It seems like right now you could really exploit your position if you wanted to.
"Right. Personality posters for everyone. I'm just trying to figure out the guidelines that I'm going to set myself. I'm starting to draw the line in places."

Do you ever wish you were born ugly?
"Well, no, I was just born what I was and I wouldn't want to be anything else. I always think it's funny, when one person starts bandying around the this phrase 'sex symbol', it seems like everyone else does it. So I'm very cynical about that. I don't take it seriously and if it helps more people hear the music, then so be it. I don't quibble at devices like that because it's such a game, being in a band, and you're not the only person that's playing either. I don't mind compromise so much in rock'n'roll. I think rock'n'roll's a lot about compromising."

How would you take to finding yourself in the same sort of position as Bono or Michael Stipe?
"I know that it would always be really different for me. I'm not worried about Bono, or Morrissey, or Michael Stipe. They have their story too, and I'm not in it you know."

Are you capable of delusions of grandeur?
"Oh, right. Wow. Well, I admire Bono's pretentiousness. I think it's great the way he goes with it, and he knows he's pretentious and he loves it and it's cool. It's not my bag, but who knows, man. I might have a silver cowboy suit before you know it!"

Right now, Dando doesn't need a silver cowboy suit. The day after the second show, another thunderburst melodic assault course, this one in front of a hall full of stage diving Melbourne University students, Nic, Dave and Evan go for a stroll along the waterfront to shoot some more photos. Nic and Dave form a sort of earthbound double act to Evan's moody, loopy, space-dude.

Nic, the Oz 'music nerd', has his sensible finger in too many other pies to worry about gradding any of Evan's limelight. Dave, the Eng Lit major, is happily channelled into his other serious pastime, writing ten hours a day when he's away from the band. And besides, he hasn't slept in three nights.

It's certainly part of the Lemonheads' strength to have a drummer who can talk about "refracted lens narrative", and a bassist who can recite the history of guitar pop backwards. But for public relations purposes, Evan is the natural star. He's good at 'public relations', particularly if the public is female.

Down on the waterfront, curious girls stop to look at the long-haired pretty-boy who's having his photo taken, and Evan makes flirty faces at them. One of them wants to know his name. "Is that Evian, as in the water" she asks. No, but if you could bottle it...

What are you like in bed?
"I dunno. I like to think of myself as fairly sensitive in bed. I don't f***in' know. I don't think that's something you can really yammer about effectively, sex. I mean, I don't read Cosmopolitan magazine. I'm pretty against the notion of rating yourself sexually. Whoever I'm having sex with, it's entirely different."

You're unusually open about past relationships. You even write songs about specific people like 'Hannah And Gabi' and now 'It's About Time', which you announce as being about Juliana.
"I don't see any reason to hide it. And maybe one person in 20 will actually be interested in what's behind it. I played 'It's About Time' for Juliana on the telephone, and she likes it, so I got the OK. I wouldn't record it if she didn't like it. I mean, that song to me is Juliana's imprint on me. I tend to write songs when I've been away from people for a while and I notice this fingerprint they've left on my brain. So you, like, powder it after a while. It's a good feeling, especially if you miss somebody. It's a way of bringing them back to you."

There's this myth that's developed about you as some sort of wandering Lothario.
"Yeah. The Mick Jagger type. No, I'm joking. That's just a joke about that lamely titled album, 'Wandering Sprit'. Actually, you know, I've turned into a real prude. Like, I don't sleep with people any more. Maybe it's something to do with trying to find the right girl. Sure I'll fool around with people, 'cause that's really fun. But I feel like it is something semi-important when you sleep with someone and I don't necessarily want to sleep with a lot of people. I don't need to do that. It's too much trouble to sleep with a lot of people."

What's the most number of girls you've slept with in a week?
"You mean ever? Probably five or four. But that was a while ago. Seven? That was a while back."

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Before the final Melbourne show in a pub called The Corner, Evan sits on his own at the far end of a roof garden, rolling cigarettes. Dippy Dando has legged it. Perhaps one of those random waves of depression, the ones that make him feel like hiding from everyone, has rolled in.

The show that night is up to scratch. They give it their best shot, but the crowd give Evan a hard time, shouting and whistling when he tried to play an acoustic song. At the end, Evan dumps down his guitar and walks off, exasperated. There's no encore, the venue's management are unhappy, and the heavy-handed bouncers chase Nic around the club, mistaking him for someone who's nicked a slab of beers.

Outside in the street, as the Oz police turn up to investigate, Evan wanders up to the gaggle of kids who are still hanging around and apologises, genuinely.

Later that night, when somehow we end up at the Hellfire S&M club, a weird mix of heavy techno and light bondage, Evan stares intently at the blonde girl tied to a wooden frame who's being whipped by a guy in leather. He edges his way through the crowd of voyeurs, and shouts in her ear. "Are you getting paid for this? Do you work here?"
"No," she tells him through gritted teeth. "I volunteered."
That blonde wasn't faking it, and neither is Evan Dando. The next day he'll pack his worldly belongings into a bag, and head on out of Melbourne, leaving a hell of a mess on his hotel room floor, and a few less pebbles on St Kilda beach.

"I like those stars that change colour," he told me before he vanished. "They're usually low on the horizon, and they sparkle and twinkle with all different colours. Orange, red, blue and green and orange again. I'm sure those are easily explained.
"But I've been noticing this star in the sky and it's beige. I'm curious about the beige star. I'm not sure what's going on up there on the beige star. Meanwhile, back on the beige star. Ha ha ha ha!"

Shine on, Mr Lemonhead. May your chicks turn to emus, and knock your dunny down, as they say in Australia.