Excellent!” yells grunge god Evan Dando of his status as one of PEOPLE’S 50 Most Beautiful. “Let’s stay firmly on skin level.” Fine. There’s plenty to talk about. Under the flannel shirt and laissez-faire hair, the 26-year-old leader of the rock band Lemonheads is a classically handsome, Boston-bred preppy. Blessed with beach-smooth features, Dando is seen by Melody Maker magazine as “a windswept skateboard king.” Playing down his good looks (“something for people to tease me about”), Dando, the son of a lawyer father and artist mother, was a punk-obsessed high school “nerd” jokingly labeled Mr. Popularity.
The Lemonheads’ first big hit was a 1992 remake of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson,” from The Graduate. Dando is hip to older women: His first crush, in the fifth grade, was on a sixth grader. Says sister Holly, 28, a social worker: “Evan’s always loved girls, and they’ve always loved him back.” Now winding up the tour promoting Lemonheads’ latest album, It’s a Shame About Ray, he’s practicing selective celibacy. “I’d rather just make friends,” he says. “Sex with strangers doesn’t really feel too good.” On the lookout for a “tall, sleepy-eyed woman who can paint, sing, run around and go swimming,” he’s not singing the blues. Says Dando: “I wouldn’t want to be anyone else.”