Legendary songwriter and artist, Daniel Johnston passed away of natural causes at his home in Texas late on September 12th. Leaving a major void in the musical industry, Johnston kicked the bucket at just fifty-nine years of age. A moment to mourn, loving fans around the world have reached out to Johnston’s family through their social media platforms. Along those who passed on condolences were producer Jack Antonoff, musician Beck and even film star Elijah Wood who all referred to him as the cult musician he established himself as throughout his many years in the music industry. As a homage to the legend himself, we take you through time to reminisce about the memories he left-back.
An accomplished player
Born in California in 1961 and raised in West Virginia, Johnston became known as a songwriter after moving to Austin, Texas. His reputation in the city grew after he started handing out cassette tapes of his no-frills home recordings to people in the street. A cult figure on the local music scene, he gained wider exposure when MTV filmed a program on the Austin music scene in 1985 for its series The Cutting Edge.
The dawn of his fame
It was his aching emotional sincerity of songs, Life In Vain and True Love Will Find You In The End that earned him a fiercely loyal fanbase. Yet another singer and songwriter, Kurt Cobain once described him as the best songwriter on earth, and famously wore one of Johnston’s t-shirts to the 1992 MTV Awards.
Jack of all trades
Johnston was also known as an artist and comic-book writer, and his magic marker cartoon drawings were an inspiration for The Simpsons’ creator Matt Groening. He was even asked to turn Jeremiah the Innocent, the alien frog featured on the cover of his album Hi, How Are You, into a mural in Austin. The peak of his career in 2006, his artwork was featured in a major exhibition at New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art.