Daniel Dale Johnston (born 1961) is an American musician and artist. Although he is not too well known, he has a strong cult following. Johnston is usually known for his lo-fi recordings from the 1980s, his most popular album being Hi, How Are You?
, released in 1983.
Along with writing music, he is also an artist/cartoonist. In a sad literal case of the Mad Artist
trope, Johnston has been diagnosed with both bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, and has been in and out of mental institutions.
- Archive Panic: The man has a giant library of released music.
- Author Appeal: Comic Books, unrequited love, Satan and Mc Donald's
- Big Lipped Alligator Moment: Some tracks off his older albums are pretty out there, IE, Something More, from Don't Be Scared which is a 3 minute long audio collage of various noises, background chatting, etc. Also, the random keyboard fills from the Fun album.
- Careful With That Axe: in "Don't Play Cards With Satan",(1990 version) Daniel, shouts at the top of his lungs for 2 instances of the word "Satan" .
I heard the voice of SATAN!!!!
Crying in the woods...
- Colbert Bump: Received one after Kurt Cobain wore the famous "Hi, How Are You" t-shirt to the VM As.
- Crazy Awesome
- Mad Artist: Sad real-life example. He has both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and has been in and out of mental institutions.
- Mood Whiplash: In the album 1990, the previously mentioned Don't Play Cards With Satan ends with Daniel screaming "SATAN!!" at the top of his lungs. The next track is the happy and uplifting True Love Will Find You In The End
- New Sound Album: Daniel's earlier albums mainly featured songs that were played on a piano. 1991's Artistic Vice did not feature any piano at all.
- One of Us: Saying that Daniel really likes comic books would be an understatement.
- Rockumentary: The Devil and Daniel Johnston.
- Three Chords and the Truth: On guitar, Daniel pretty much only plays the A, A minor, E, E minor, G,C and D chords.
- The Tyson Zone: Falls into this as a there's a lot of stories of him escaping mental institutions and the like.
- Vocal Evolution: Dan's voice changed a lot over the years. In the early 80s, his singing voice was almost boyish (listen to this recording of "To Go Home" off 1982's The What of Whom, in which he sounds like a 12-year-old). By the late 90s, his voice had changed dramatically, probably due to chain smoking.
- The Woobie: If you read about the man's life, you'll be thankful that you have it easier.