(b. Jan. 22, 1961)
You know that feeling you get when you hear a really great pop song? I feel that way when I hear one of Daniel's. "True Love Will Find You in the End" and "Worried Shoes" stand out as poignant songs about love, heartbreak, and loneliness. With an open mind, his songs speak to so many, so easily, so accessibly - and of course, numerous artists have covered them.
Daniel, the man, has struggled with mental illness all of his life but luckily, Daniel has a caring family that have sought to keep him safe and able to write his lovely songs and draw his strange but captivating pictures. I wish to have an original drawing of my own some day. For now, I am happy to listen to his albums from 1983 that were recorded on a lo-fi tape player (Hi, How Are You and Yip Jump Music) while looking at the liner notes and sketches. I implore you all to as well. There is also a really great documentary about his life called The Devil and Daniel Johnston. Later this year there will be a photography exhibition and book that will premiere at SXSW in Austin.
Daniel Johnston (healthy and smiling):