It’s probably been a long time since Lemonheads singer Evan Dando tried out for a band and got turned down. But there he is, perched on a stool in a suburban rec room, trying out for Erica Goldberg’s band, The Dropouts, in next Wednesday’s (Feb. 13) episode of The Goldbergs. In a preview of the ABC comedy, Dando is outed by Erica (Hayley Orrantia) as the guy who “stands outside the Wawa and buys beer for high school kids,” before he offers to play lead or rhythm guitar in her band.
In a statement, Goldberg’s creator and executive producer Adam F. Goldberg explains that it was an “awesome twist of fate” that he was once again able to employ one of his childhood idols in this show about growing up weird in a suburban Philadelphia neighborhood in the 1980s at the same time that Dando is promoting a new album of covers songs, Varshons 2. The singer happened to be in Los Angeles at the time the episode was taping, so of course Goldberg made the call.
“He popped in, we gave him some lines and he crushed it,” said Goldberg. “I love that the real Evan Dando is in the same scene as the actor we cast to play him.” Goldberg explained further that Dando happens to be the first cousin of his bast friend from childhood, Chad Kremp, who grew up across the stret from him in Jenkintown, Philadelphia.
“The entire Kremp family often appears on the show both in real life and as characters,” said Goldberg. “They are like my second family. It was always crazy that Chad’s first cousin was a rock star which began in the late 80s. I have memories of watching Evan play at weddings or family gatherings, and for a kid like me from a tiny town, it was just mind blowing.” Now, Dando doesn’t make the band, but the younger player who does, Evan (Luke Eisner), auditions succesfully by playing a single from the Lemonheads’ third albim, 1988’s Lick.
“I followed Evan’s career through the 90s and went to many Lemonheads concerts in NYC,” Goldberg said. “Since he was my best friend’s family, he always felt like my family in a weird way. Since The Goldbergs is a show about my childhood, naturally I wanted to bring Evan into it because he was there (with us in the 80s).”
Varshons 2, out Friday (Feb. 8), features covers of songs by the Jayhawks, NRBQ, Bevis Frond, Florida Georgia Line, Paul Westerberg, The Eyes, The Eagles, Lucinda Williams and Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds.
Watch Dando’s audition below and watch the full episode of The Goldbergs on ABC on Feb. 13 at 8 p.m.