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I got sad news this afternoon- my friend the songwriter- artist  Daniel Johnston- passed away last night at the age of 58. The article below calls him a songwriting genius- and he was. Lots of great memories with Dan. He had been in failing health in recent years-his passing wasn’t a shock but I am feeling very sad this afternoon.  The picture above is Dan, my sister and myself- in the early 90’s.

below stories from the Austin Chronicle- Rolling Stone and Pitchfork.

Daniel Johnston, Cult Singer-Songwriter, Dead at 58


    • Thanks. He had in a difficult adult life- but he did so many of the things he dreamed of doing in high school. He wouldn’t have traded his life for a regular kind of life. It’s just sad that mental illness was such a part of his adulthood.

    • I saw a quote that was really interesting…Not sure if it was from the links you gave but to paraphrase it… Jeff Tweedy said he was creative in spite of his mental illness not because of it…
      But he was a friend to you which matters the most.

    • It always amazed me the great musicians who were fans of his- a who’s who. Cobain, Waits, Beck, Tweedy, etc.. Been thinking a lot about him the past month.

    • I’ve been reading articles about him and I think you are right…his music…will become more popular now…thats a shame for him… but I’m happy his music will probably go to a bigger audience.

    • I saw him the last time he was up this way ten years ago- and while it was great to see him–it wasn’t the old Dan I knew- it was sad. It was clear early on to me that he would never lead the 9-5- get married, have kids regular kind of life. He lived the life he dreamed of–its so sad though that he suffered with the illnesses that plagued him most of his adult life.

    • Thanks. A lot of great memories with him. My wife asked me if I ever saw him in concert- hundreds of times- all private concerts where I would yell out a tune and he played it. Sometimes I’d even ask for the same song 3 or 4 times in a row. .

  1. I’m very sorry about your friend. Failing health and witnessing someone going downhill are among our least favorite things in life, obviously. But at least he left his mark–and enjoyed doing it.

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