Friday, May 20, 2011

Show Tunes: Frank Mills

The Lemonheads: Frank Mills


There have been many covers of the various groovy pop hits from Hair, the sixties celebrational musical which first hit Broadway in 1968 - from the Cowsills' 1969 chart hit title track to Three Dog Night's Easy To Be Hard, from Quincy Jones' version of Walking In Space to Canadian folkpop singer-songwriter Serena Ryder's wonderfully bombastic 2006 take on Good Morning Starshine, which I posted way back in May of last year when I took on the topic of showtunes coverage at Cover Lay Down.

But my favorite has to be this 1992 cover from The Lemonheads - likely just Evan Dando, performing under the name of the band he led and founded, plus either a drum machine or some random bandmember patting gently away on a guitar case. Frank Mills appeared as a coda of sorts on their alt-pop album It's A Shame About Ray, and surprisingly, though it had already been recorded by the likes of Liza Minelli and Barbra Streisand before them, their performance manages to come off without a hint of irony. Instead, it's delicate acoustic grunge, tender and raw, much like Dando himself, who was quite literally a crackhead throughout much of the early nineties, but has since cleaned up a bit.

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