According to Jeff Feuerzeig, Daniel Johnston is “right up there on the Mount Rushmore of greats like Dylan, Lou Reed, Brian Wilson, and Andy Warhol.” Photo: Courtesy of Jeff Feuerzeig When news broke that Daniel Johnston, cult musician and visual artist, died of a heart attack on September 11, 2019, at his home in Waller, Texas, tributes from fans and fellow musicians flooded in. The lo-fi, homespun humanity of his songwriting, immortalized in Jeff Feuerzeig’s 2004 documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston, had touched mainstream figures like Beck, Wilco, Bright Eyes, Sonic Youth, and Pearl Jam — many of whom covered Johnston over the years and came to know him as an icon of outsider art. As Feuerzeig’s film aptly captures, the life of the Hi, How Are You songwriter was dotted with triumph and tragedy; diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, he was institutionalized numerous times throughout the course of his career. Nevertheless, Johnston, who was 58 at the time of his passing, continued to create art until his final days. In the weeks following his death, Feuerzeig worked with Vulture to track down and speak with some of the late musician’s closest friends and collaborators. Together, they wished to… Read full this story
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