Daniel Johnston R.I.P.- Austin, TX songwriter*

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by DrAftershave, Sep 11, 2019.

  1. robbroncs

    robbroncs Forum Disgrace

    i'll second the documentary suggestion. one of my favorites

    was a casual fan. but loved everything about him. rest easy, daniel
    this song always gave me chills
  2. MikaelaArsenault

    MikaelaArsenault Forum Resident

    New Hampshire
    He died of a suspected heart attack at his home.
  3. RoryMcBride

    RoryMcBride Forum Resident

    I was lucky enough to play bass in a band for Daniel in Cardiff in 2007

    It was quite the experience.
  4. Up there with - and in the tradition of - Harry Nilsson, Paul Williams, and Randy Newman.

    The quintessential 4-track cassette pop song master.
    He knew what he had was enough. Every time I wanna move his fingers to the right chord I go.. but nah, it's the right mistake.
    I've never been able to make the mistakes so gracefully. Daniel Johnston's recorded output is filled with "Oh wait, nah, that.. yep, that works".
    Completely original.

    robbroncs and quicksrt like this.
  5. Helmuth

    Helmuth Well-Known Member

    United kingdom
    What was the venue? And care to share more about what it was like? Diolch en fawr in advance.
  6. RoryMcBride

    RoryMcBride Forum Resident

    It was the Point in Cardiff Bay (don't look for it; it's not there anymore) and Rhodri who played banjo and pedal steel on the night has found his blog entry for the night that encapsulates everything:

    Daniel Johnston in Cardiff, July 2007

  7. Rest well in peace, Mr. Johnston.
    phantomime likes this.
  8. jimac51

    jimac51 A mythical beast.

    An R.I.P thread that will continue to be monitored more than the usual. Johnston was a polarizing figure and that is fine with me. While thinking of his passing,I heard an awful promo on our local NPR affiliate,WDIY,drawing attention to "folk music". They program "fold music" five nights:an oldies Peter,Paul & Mary-hootenanny show with no perspective;a night based on live recordings from local coffee house ,Godfrey Daniels; then a structured night of bluegrass.mountain music & old timey(the true gem of the week,though I should admit it is put together by a good friend);a Celtic night and finally two hours of a hodge podge mixing lots of current singer/songwriters with the rest of the styles heard during the week. Problem is,they still leave lots out and worst of all,little illumination on what they select and reasons why. Meanwhile,there is Daniel Johnston. And if one is defining "folk",it doesn't get much "folkier" than Daniel. With limited resources,he had something to say.
    As a child of the '60s,the singer/songwriter was a part of my listening experiences and I loved listening to Sun. night FM radio where folkie DJ Gene Shay was on as well as an episode of the Goon Show and some Frank Zappa-a true stew of eclectic listening. Much of what is termed "folk music" could use a little shot of Daniel Johnston if only to make sure one is paying attention.
    I just read an obit from The Wrap,trying to present Daniel's work to the masses. Outside of two lines about his mental illness, augmenting that with telling of his "rabid cult following "and some kinda well-known musicians,someone stumbling across this story with the day's news would come away not knowing what the fuss is all about. The expected story(and,indeed,it is included in the obit) of Kurt Cobain wearing Johnston artwork on a tee-shirt might mean little since Cobain has been gone 25 years,especially if someone didn't live through those times.
    There are a few singers who have brought me to tears. Some of them are Tom Rush, Frank Sinatra,Bill Evans and Daniel Johnston.
  9. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Forum Resident

    Just learnt of him tonight through this thread.
    Seems through art he transcended so much, poignantly life's reality is not the same.
    What a brave soul, tonight Iam reevaluating and appreciating what I have in my own life.
    Thanks Daniel.
    eyeCalypso, Davido, angelo73 and 2 others like this.
  10. jimac51

    jimac51 A mythical beast.

    Here is an example of how few knew how to classify his art. About a year ago,I stumbled upon a copy of Space Ducks buried in the kiddie book section in a surplus store. Four bucks. There is nothing kiddie about this comic-just another example of how his art was misunderstood.
  11. vince

    vince Stan Ricker's son-in-law

    Just got here...found out this morning....
    I first heard his cassettes while living in New Orleans, in 1990.
    While I'm not the biggest Dylan fan, I can understand that many people can't get past his voice.
    Somehow, with Daniel, I was able to do just that.
    Here's to the man who fought his demons, and made some real catchy songs while doing it!
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
    adriatikfan and ChristopherTeuma like this.
  12. octophone

    octophone fit and working again

    Very sad to hear this last night. My firsttouch with his work was through Sonic Boom/Spectrum's cover of "True Love..." and I was quite shocked when I heard the original. But that unvarnished purity felt singular and , indeed, it was. "The Devil And Daniel Johnston" is absolutely heart-breaking; I teared up several times watching it, finally breaking when he father says of trying to help his son have a normal life of some sort "...and we're running out of time".

    No more songs of pain now Daniel. Just look towards the light and sing, sing, sing. RIP.
    ChristopherTeuma, Jarra Lad and vince like this.
  13. nyarlathotep

    nyarlathotep Mr. Somewhere

    Another musical lodestar of my generation gone.
    mr. steak likes this.
  14. Grunge Master

    Grunge Master 8 Bit Enthusiast

    Absolutely love this song.
    "I just stepped out of the donniker/ I don't know what happened, and I can't remember"
    I remember having to look up just what a donniker was! (carnival slang for 'toilet'). Which makes sense, as he was in the carnival for a while.
    ChristopherTeuma likes this.
  15. Wally Swift

    Wally Swift Yo-Yoing where I will...

    Brooklyn New York
    I remember very clearly where I was the first time I heard Daniel. I was in the LP library at WUSB-FM Stonybrook pulling stuff for the improv program my friends were in the middle of when I heard "Walking The Cow" and quickly stopped what I was doing, went into the studio and asked what I was hearing. RIP.
    Davido, mr. steak and Grunge Master like this.
  16. Andrew_db

    Andrew_db Forum Resident

    Mount Joy, PA
    I was introduced to his music while I was venturing down a drunken YouTube rabbit hole. Over 2 years sober and his music is even more meaningful than before. Don't remember the first song that I heard but led to a very minor obsession with the music and him. I saw most of the Devil and DJ documentary but never got to finish it. Hopefully I can find it so I can finish it.
  17. vince

    vince Stan Ricker's son-in-law

    Great bonus footage on the DVD.
  18. JoeRockhead

    JoeRockhead Forum Resident

    New Jersey
    CaseyJames likes this.
  19. Dan33185

    Dan33185 Forum Resident

    Bummed to hear about this, he had a hard life and struggled with a lot of demons. He made some beautiful music despite those demons, and I'm thankful I was able to see him a few years back, definitely an experience like no other. He will probably always be underrated because he doesn't really fit a mold, but for those that "get" him, he's a treasure and will be missed greatly.
    All Down The Line and vince like this.
  20. misterclean

    misterclean Forum Resident

    Cleveland, Ohio
    Can't remember if the K. McCarty album was my first exposure to his work, but I also managed to find Yip/Jump Music, and that Continued Story 2-fer around the same time. Anyways, I'm really sad to hear this about this. RIP.
    eyeCalypso likes this.
  21. parkmebike

    parkmebike Stupidly Happy

    Damn, really bummed to hear this. RIP Daniel.
  22. HudsonDuster

    HudsonDuster Active Member

    new york
    I was livin' in a devil town.
    Didn't know it was a devil town.
    Oh, Lord it really brings me down
    About the devil town.
    And all my friends were vampires.
    Didn't know they were vampires.
    Turns out I was a vampire myself
    In the devil town...
    All Down The Line likes this.
  23. Syscrusher

    Syscrusher Forum Resident


    Ok man, you got me. I gotta get an album now. But it's never too late right?

    This is right up my alley, solo, unique vocal and... beautiful.
    Maurice and vince like this.
  24. Leviethan

    Leviethan Forum Resident

    Portland, OR
    He's the one with hope in his soul
    Can't let him slip through the hole
    He might just go away and never return
  25. bad_penny

    bad_penny Forum Resident

    Last saw Daniel Johnston on his farewell tour. It was often hard to watch especially since the tremors had grown worse. But it was better than him just staying home and doing nothing even if the tour was a cash grab contrived by his brother. Gibby Haynes was there that night and that made Daniel happy. That's how I would like to remember him.

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