|Birth name||Daniel Dale Johnston|
|Born||January 22, 1961|
Sacramento, California, U.S.
|Died||c. September 11, 2019 58) (aged|
Waller, Texas, U.S.
Daniel Dale Johnston (January 22, 1961 – c. September 11, 2019) was an American singer-songwriter and visual artist regarded as a significant figure in outsider, lo-fi, and alternative music scenes.Most of his work consisted of cassettes recorded alone in his home, and his music was frequently cited for its "pure" and "childlike" qualities.
Johnston spent extended periods in psychiatric institutionsand was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He gathered a local following in the 1980s by passing out tapes of his music while working at a McDonald's in Dobie Center in Austin, Texas. His cult status was propelled when Nirvana's Kurt Cobain was seen wearing a T-shirt that featured artwork from Johnston's 1983 cassette album Hi, How Are You .
Beyond music, Johnston was accomplished as a visual artist, with his illustrations exhibited at various galleries around the world. His struggles with mental illness were the subject of the 2005 documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston . He died in 2019 of what is suspected to have been a heart attack.
Johnston was born in Sacramento, California, and grew up in New Cumberland, West Virginia.He was the youngest of five children of William Dale "Bill" Johnston (1922–2017) and Mabel Ruth Voyles Johnston (1923–2010). He began recording music in the late 1970s on a $59 Sanyo monaural boombox, singing and playing piano as well as the chord organ. Following graduation from Oak Glen High School, Johnston spent a few weeks at Abilene Christian University in West Texas before dropping out. He later attended the art program at Kent State University, East Liverpool, during which he recorded Songs of Pain and More Songs of Pain .
When Johnston moved to Austin, Texas, he began to attract the attention of the local press and gained a following augmented in numbers by his habit of handing out tapes to people he met.Live performances were well-attended and hotly anticipated. His local standing led to him being featured in a 1985 episode of the MTV program The Cutting Edge featuring performers from Austin's "New Sincerity" music scene.
In 1988, Johnston visited New York City and recorded 1990 with producer Mark Kramerat his Noise New York studio. This was Johnston's first experience in a professional recording environment after a decade of releasing home-made cassette recordings. His mental health further deteriorated during the making of 1990. In 1989, Johnston released the album It's Spooky in collaboration with singer Jad Fair of the band Half Japanese.
In 1990, Johnston played at a music festival in Austin, Texas. On the way back to West Virginia on a private two-seater plane piloted by his father Bill, Johnston had a manic psychotic episode; believing he was Casper the Friendly Ghost, Johnston removed the key from the plane's ignition and threw it outside. His father, a former U.S. Air Force pilot, managed to successfully crash-land the plane, even though "there was nothing down there but trees". Although the plane was destroyed, Johnston and his father emerged with only minor injuries. As a result of this episode, Johnston was involuntarily committed to a mental hospital.
Interest in Johnston increased when Kurt Cobain was frequently photographed wearing a T-shirt featuring the cover image of Johnston's album Hi, How Are You that music journalist Everett True gave him.Cobain listed Yip/Jump Music as one of his favorite albums in his journal in 1993. In spite of Johnston being resident in a mental hospital at the time, there was a bidding war to sign him. He refused to sign a multi-album deal with Elektra Records because Metallica was on the label's roster and he was convinced that they were Satanic and would hurt him, also dropping his longtime manager, Jeff Tartakov, in the process. Ultimately he signed with Atlantic Records in February 1994 and that September released Fun , produced by Paul Leary of Butthole Surfers. It was a commercial failure. In June 1996, Atlantic dropped Johnston from the label.
In 1993, the Sound Exchange record store in Austin, Texas, commissioned Johnston to paint a mural of the Hi, How Are You? frog (also known as "Jeremiah the Innocent") from the album's cover. [ citation needed ]After the record store closed in 2003, the building remained unoccupied until 2004 when the Mexican grill franchise Baja Fresh took ownership and decided that they would remove the wall that held the mural. A group of people who lived in the neighborhood convinced the managers and contractors to keep the mural intact. In 2018, the building housed a Thai restaurant called "Thai, How Are You". Thai How Are You permanently closed in January 2020. The building remains empty.
In 2004, he released The Late Great Daniel Johnston: Discovered Covered , a two-disc compilation. The first disc featured covers of his songs by artists including Tom Waits, Beck, TV on the Radio, Jad Fair, Eels, Bright Eyes, Calvin Johnson, Death Cab for Cutie, Sparklehorse, Mercury Rev, The Flaming Lips and Starlight Mints, with the second disc featuring Johnston's original recordings of the songs.In 2005, Texas-based theater company Infernal Bridegroom Productions received a Multi-Arts Production/MAP Fund grant to work with Johnston to create a rock opera based on his music, titled Speeding Motorcycle.
In 2006, Jeff Feuerzeig released a documentary about Johnston, The Devil and Daniel Johnston ; the film, four years in the making, collated some of the vast amount of recorded material Johnston (and in some case, others) had produced over the years to portray his life and music.The film won high praise, receiving the Director's Award at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. The film also inspired more interest in Johnston's work, and increased his prestige as a touring artist. In 2006, Johnston's label, Eternal Yip Eye Music, released his first greatest-hits compilation, Welcome to My World.
Through the next few years Johnston toured extensively across the world, and continued to attract press attention. His artwork was shown in galleries such as in London's Aquarium Gallery, New York's Clementine Gallery and at the Liverpool Biennial in 2006 and 2008,and in 2009, his work was exhibited at "The Museum of Love" at Verge Gallery in Sacramento, California. In 2008, Dick Johnston, Johnston's brother and manager, revealed that "a movie deal based on the artist's life and music had been finalized with a tentative 2011 release." He also said that a deal had been struck with the Converse company for a "signature series" Daniel Johnston shoe. Later, it was revealed by Dick Johnston that Converse had dropped the plan. In early 2008, a Jeremiah the Innocent collectible figurine was released in limited runs of four different colors. Later in the year, Adjustable Productions released Johnston's first concert DVD, The Angel and Daniel Johnston – Live at the Union Chapel , featuring a 2007 appearance in Islington, London.
Is and Always Was was released on October 6, 2009, on Eternal Yip Eye Music.In 2009, it was announced that Matt Groening had chosen Johnston to perform at the edition of the All Tomorrow's Parties festival that he curated in May 2010, in Minehead, England. Also that year, Dr. Fun Fun and Smashing Studios developed an iPhone platform game called Hi, How Are You . The game is similar to Frogger , but features Johnston's art and music. Johnston played it during its development and liked it, although he was not familiar with the iPhone.
On March 13, 2012, Johnston released his first comic book, Space Ducks – An Infinite Comic Book of Musical Greatnessat SXSW, published by BOOM! Studios. The comic book ties-in with the Space Ducks album and an iOS app. Johnston collaborated with skateboarding and clothing company Supreme on numerous collections (consisting of clothing and various accessories) showcasing his artwork.
On March 1, 2012, Brooklyn-based photographer Jung Kim announced her photo book and traveling exhibition project with Johnston titled DANIEL JOHNSTON: here, a collaboration that began in 2008 when Kim first met Johnston and began photographing him on the road and at his home in Waller, Texas.On March 13, 2013, this photography book was published, featuring five years of documentation on Johnston. The opening exhibition at SXSW festival featured a special performance by Johnston along with tribute performances led by Jason Sebastian Russo formerly of Mercury Rev. The second exhibition ran in May and June 2013 in London, England, and featured a special performance by Johnston along with tribute performances by the UK band Charlie Boyer and the Voyeurs with Steffan Halperin of the Klaxons. On October 10, 2013, Jason Pierce of Spiritualized hosted the New York City opening of the exhibition, which included special tribute performances led by Pierce and Glen Hansard of The Swell Season and The Frames.
In November 2015, Hi, How Are You Daniel Johnston? , a short documentary about Johnston's life, was released featuring Johnston as his 2015 self and Gabriel Sunday of Archie's Final Project as Johnston's 1983 self. The executive producers for the film included Lana Del Rey and Mac Miller.
In July 2017, Johnston announced that he would be retiring from live performance and would embark on a final five-date tour that fall.Each stop on the tour featured Johnston backed by a group that had been influenced by his music: The Preservation All-Stars in New Orleans, The Districts and Modern Baseball in Philadelphia, Jeff Tweedy in Chicago, and Built to Spill for the final two dates in Portland and Vancouver.
On September 11, 2019, Johnston was found dead from a suspected heart attack at his home in Waller, Texas, a day after he was released from the hospital for unspecified kidney problems. It is believed that he died overnight.
Roger Kynard "Roky" Erickson was an American musician and singer-songwriter. He was a founding member and the leader of the 13th Floor Elevators and a pioneer of the psychedelic rock genre.
The Yonder Mountain String Band is an American progressive bluegrass group from Nederland, Colorado. Composed of Dave Johnston, Allie Kral, Ben Kaufmann, Adam Aijala, and Nick Piccininni, the band has released five studio albums and several live recordings to date.
Douglas Wayne Sahm was an American musician, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist born in San Antonio, Texas. Sahm is regarded as one of the main figures of Tex-Mex music, and as an important performer of Texan Music. He gained fame along with his band, the Sir Douglas Quintet, with a top-twenty hit in the United States and the United Kingdom with "She's About a Mover" (1965). Sahm was influenced by the San Antonio music scene that included conjunto and blues, and later by the hippie scene of San Francisco. With his blend of music, he found success performing in Austin, Texas, as the hippie counterculture soared in the 1970s.
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Jad Fair is an American singer, guitarist, graphic artist, and founding member of lo-fi alternative rock group Half Japanese.
Donald Ray Walser was an American country music singer. He was known as a unique, award-winning yodeling "Texas country music legend."
"I Turn My Camera On" is a song by American indie rock band Spoon, the third track on their fifth studio album, Gimme Fiction (2005). It was first released as a download single on March 30, 2005, and later as a 7-inch and CD single on July 4, 2005. It was released through Merge Records in the US and Matador Records in the UK, who also distributed the download release. The song was written by band frontman Britt Daniel and produced by Daniel, Jim Eno, and Mike McCarthy. Daniel wrote the song after hearing "Take Me Out" by Franz Ferdinand, and was influenced by the works of Prince to sing with falsetto vocals on the track. Daniel's lyrics are about "emotional distance", centering around a narrator who documents their surrounding world with a camera instead of actually engaging with it. Musically, the band focused more on creating a sound influenced by dance and soul music.
Songs of Pain is the first album by folk singer-songwriter Daniel Johnston, recorded on a simple tape recorder and released on Compact Cassette. Johnston recorded these songs in the basement of his parents' house in West Virginia. It was recorded in 1980 and 1981, and handed out to friends by Johnston. It was rereleased on cassette by Stress Records in 1988, and on Compact Disc in 2003 by the label Dual Tone, together with More Songs of Pain as Early Recordings Volume 1.
Yip/Jump Music is the fifth self-released music cassette album by singer-songwriter Daniel Johnston, recorded over the summer 1983. The album was re-released on cassette in 1986 by Stress records, and in 1988 released on CD and double LP by Homestead Records. The album has been re-released twice by Eternal Yip Eye Music: once in 2003 on CD and CD-R, and once in 2007 as a double vinyl LP.
Hi, How Are You: The Unfinished Album, commonly referred to as simply Hi, How Are You, is the sixth self-released music cassette album by singer-songwriter Daniel Johnston, recorded in September 1983. It is arguably his most popular album. Johnston claimed that he recorded it during a nervous breakdown, and called this his "unfinished album".
It's Spooky is a collaborative album by musicians Jad Fair and Daniel Johnston. It was first released in 1989 on 50 Skidillion Watts Records, under the title Jad Fair and Daniel Johnston, and contained 25 songs on its cassette and CD versions, but only 20 on the LP. It was re-issued on CD in 1993 on Paperhouse, with six bonus tracks, and then in 2001 on Jagjaguwar, with the same bonus tracks, plus an enhanced CD bonus video of Johnston performing a version of his song "Don't Play Cards with Satan." On April 10, 2020, Joyful Noise Recordings released a 30th Anniversary edition of 1,500 copies of a double LP on "Casper white" vinyl, remastered by Kramer, with the additional song "Ashes on the Ground", a 7" flexidisc of Johnston's "I Live My Broken Dreams," which was previously unreleased, and new liner notes by Fair, Kramer, Everett True and Jeff Feuerzeig. Joyful Noise has also made it available for download, but not including "Broken Dreams."
"Walking the Cow" is a song written and recorded by singer-songwriter Daniel Johnston from his 1983 album Hi, How Are You. The title was inspired by an illustration on a wrapper for Blue Bell ice cream depicting a young girl attempting to lead a reluctant cow by its reins.
Glass Eye were an influential art rock group based in Austin, Texas, and were primarily active from 1983 to 1993. Popular in Austin, and on the college radio and tour circuit, the band's unusual and unique musical style, blending melodic hooks with dissonance and occasional tendencies for the avant-garde, delighted critics. Considered "one of Austin's most popular and influential bands", their commercial success never matched their critical acclaim. Through self-release, and being signed to Wrestler and Bar/None Records, they released four LPs, two EPs and one single, and when the band regrouped in 2006, they released their previously lost final LP, Every Woman's Fantasy, on their own label, Glass Eye Records.
This is a list of the discography of Daniel Johnston, who lived in Austin, Texas.
Neon Indian is an American electronic music band from Denton, Texas. The music is composed by Mexican-born Alan Palomo, who is also known for his work with the band Ghosthustler, and as the solo artist VEGA. The project has been characterized as defining the 2000s music genre known as chillwave.
Hi, How Are You is a third-person platform game that is based on the art and music of Daniel Johnston. It was developed by Peter Franco and Stephen Broumley of Dr Fun Fun and Smashing Studios for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Players control Jerimiah the frog and navigate platform mazes in order to win back his true love from Satan.
Continued Story with Texas Instruments or simply Continued Story, released on cassette tape in 1985, is the ninth self-released album by Daniel Johnston. Johnston was joined on the album by The Texas Instruments, who co-wrote four tracks. The album includes a cover of the Beatles song "I Saw Her Standing There." It was released on CD in 1991 by Homestead Records and re-released in 2003 on a dual-album CD, along with the 1983 album Hi, How Are You, by Johnston's own label, Eternal Yip Eye Music.
Jason Archer is an American artist living in Austin, Texas. He is the creator of a variety artworks as a director, animator, painter, and muralist both collaborative and solo. His work includes political satire and Texas inspired characters including Jesus Cornbread & the Alcoholics and Stray of the Dead. Archer’s early career in animation earned him a Grammy and an MTV Video of the Year Award for directing and animating "Frijolero", a music video for the Mexican rock band Molotov. Currently, Archer co-owns Show Goat Mural Works, a company that installs large scale murals such as Daniel Johnston’s ‘Love is the Question. Love is the Answer’ and his very own ‘Conservatorium of Infinite Wisdom, Sustenance and Guidance.’ Archer has participated in numerous art shows, exhibitions and events ranging from SXSW, East Austin Studio Tour and the inaugural Pop Austin International Art Show.
Gremlin Have Pictures is a solo album by 13th Floor Elevators singer Roky Erickson, released in 1986. Described by Billboard writer Morgan Enos as "a grab-bag of acid rockers, acoustic ballads and assorted oddities," it compiles material recorded between 1975 and 1982 in various venues, and with three backing bands, The Aliens, The Explosives, and Blieb Alien. It includes a cover of the Velvet Underground's "Heroin."
Groover's Paradise is an album by Doug Sahm, produced by musician Doug Clifford and released on Warner Records in 1974. Following his return to Texas after his success with the Sir Douglas Quintet in California, Sahm settled in Austin, Texas. As the local music scene thrived, he was featured as the main attraction in local clubs and he recorded his debut album for Atlantic Records.