Since forming, recording, and touring lineups of the band have also included co-founder Ben Deily, John Strohm (Blake Babies), Doug Trachten, Jesse Peretz, Corey Loog Brennan, Byron Hoag, Ben Daughtry, Juliana Hatfield (Blake Babies), Nic Dalton (Godstar, Sneeze, The Plunderers), Dave Ryan, Patrick "Murph" Murphy (Dinosaur Jr), Bill Gibson (Eastern Dark), Mark 'Budola' Newman, Kenny Lyon, Vess Ruhtenberg, Devon Ashley, Karl Alvarez, Bill Stevenson, P. David Hazel and various others.
The Lemonheads' popularity grew in 1992 with the album It's a Shame about Ray which was produced, engineered, and mixed by The Robb Brothers (Bruce Robb, Dee, and Joe), followed by a cover of Simon and Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson", which eventually became one of the band's most successful singles to date. Cited as one of the most important alternative rock groups, The Lemonheads were active until 1997 and went on hiatus, but reformed with a new lineup in 2005 and released The Lemonheads in the following year. The band has been working on their next album that should be released in late 2008/early 2009.
Dando enrolled at Skidmore College, but couldn't maintain his grades and dropped out to pursue a career as a musician. Having signed to local label Taang! Records, the Lemonheads released the albums Hate Your Friends, Creator, and Lick with Deily and Dando sharing lead vocals and songwriting duties until about 1989, when Deily left the band. Dando then recruited David Ryan on drums, signed to major label Atlantic Records, and produced the album Lovey in 1990. Straddling punk, rock, country, and metal, this album was released a year before grunge became popular and did not sell well - roughly 30,000 copies.
The band officially renamed themselves from "Lemonheads" to "The Lemonheads" prior to the release of the Come on Feel the Lemonheads LP. A huge breakthrough single still eluded the band as they released Come on Feel the Lemonheads in late 1993. The band continued to tour featuring various lineups including bassist Mike County and guitarist Bill Peterson. This was a successful album but paved the way for future madness with tracks like "Style" and "The Jello Fund." The band enjoyed modest mainstream success, this time with the single "Into Your Arms" (their highest charting UK hit to date).
Dando famously befriended Oasis and appeared at the band's live shows. The cracks were beginning to show, and after one particularly disjointed interview where Dando (not being able to speak, having lost his voice after smoking crack cocaine) admitted to having a drug problem , he was no longer viewed as the "slacker sex kitten" of the previous year.
In 1996, Dando re-formed The Lemonheads, featuring old friends John Strohm and Murph (ex-Dinosaur Jr). This band produced another Lemonheads album, Car Button Cloth. While featuring jangly guitar songs such as "If I Could Talk I'd Tell You," this set also showed off the darker side of Dando's writing: "Break Me" and "Losing Your Mind" suggested that all was not well with Dando.
The band contributed to a 1996 tribute album for Schoolhouse Rock creator Thomas G. Yohe, which contained remakes of many popular "Schoolhouse Rock" songs - The Lemonheads' offered their take on "My Hero Zero."
The band toured successfully in 1997 and played a final gig at the UK's Reading Festival. Following a cameo line in the BBC's all-star cover version of Lou Reed's "Perfect Day" (which reached number one in the UK singles chart), Dando continued to play live solo shows.
On September 14 & 15 2005, Dando, Stevenson and Lattanzi performed two shows at Shepherds Bush Empire in London as part of the ATP Don't Look Back series, where they played the It's a Shame About Ray LP in its entirety. Live photos from this show can be seen here
In April 2006, The Lemonheads were signed to Vagrant Records. The album, simply titled The Lemonheads, was released on September 26, 2006 in the United States and one day earlier in the UK; the album featured special guests Garth Hudson and J Mascis on select tracks. To promote the album Dando toured the UK, Europe and US in late 2006 with a band consisting of Vess Ruhtenberg (bass) and Devon Ashley (drums) of The Pieces. In the US, they toured with Vietnam and Hymns (band) as support. The same line-up toured again in 2007 and 2008. The recording line-up of Dando, Alvarez and Stevenson played live for the first time together on a 20-date US tour in late 2007.
While The Lemonheads reformed, co-founder Ben Deily received a degree from Harvard University. He currently works as an Associate Creative Director in the advertising industry. His power pop/punk band, Varsity Drag, completed a 25-city European tour during January and February 2007, performing their own material alongside several Deily compositions from the first four Lemonheads releases. Varsity Drag continues to perform periodically in the Boston Area.
A deluxe reissue of Lemonheads' 1992 album It's a Shame About Ray was released in March 2008 (US) and April 2008 (UK) on Rhino Records., which features demos, B-sides and a DVD issue of the previously VHS-only Two Weeks In Australia, featuring footage from the band's Australian tour in the wake of their breakthrough album's release. To promote the reissue, the line-up of Dando, Ruhtenberg and Ashley performed the album in full at a number gigs between March and May 2008. Fall of 2008 has found the band touring again in Europe with Vess Ruhtenberg and P. David Hazel (drums) of Beta Male.
On 23rd April 2008 at the inaugural NME US Awards ceremony at the El Rey in Los Angeles, Dando received the classic album award for It's A Shame About Ray, and also performed My Drug Buddy and the album's title track acoustically. According to reports, soon after receiving the award, Dando deposited it into a garbage can, telling a minder "I don't want this".
It has been widely reported that The Lemonheads will release a covers album, entitled Varshons - a collection of 11 covers, including tracks by Gram Parsons, Wire (band), GG Allin, and Christina Aguilera. The album also features actress Liv Tyler performing a duet on Leonard Cohen's "Hey That's No Way To Say Goodbye". Despite several websites reporting a release date of 13th September 2008, the album was not released on this date. The band have yet to put out any official announcement regarding the release date or on which label the album will be released. A ninth album of original material has also been in the works and is due out in 2009.
|Release Date||Title||Label||Chart positions||RIAA certification|
|1987||Hate Your Friends||Taang!||Did not chart|
|1988||Creator||Taang!||Did not chart|
|1989||Lick||Taang!||Did not chart|
|August 21, 1990||Lovey||Atlantic||Did not chart|
|June 2, 1992||It's a Shame about Ray||Atlantic||#68 (U.S.), #33 (UK)||Gold|
|October 12, 1993||Come on Feel the Lemonheads||Atlantic||#56 (U.S.), #5 (UK)||Gold|
|October 15, 1996||Car Button Cloth||Atlantic||#130 (U.S.), #28 (UK)|
|September 26, 2006||The Lemonheads||Vagrant||#56 (UK)|
|2009||Varshons (covers album)||TBA||TBC|