Who is Daniel Johnston?
Daniel Dale Johnston is an aging (born 1961) songwriter / artist who gained considerable notoriety in the last twenty years as an outsider, indie music genius, beginning with his fledgling self-promotion on the streets of Austin, Texas in the early eighties. Whether people were listening or not, however, Daniel continued to produce hundreds of songs and art pieces, compulsively expressing a frank, painful, and heart-rending account of love, life, and loss that strikes a chord in the heart of thousands who hear him.
He has been in and out of mental institutions, facing scrapes with the law and his life, and now lives with his aging parents in Waller, Texas.
He has a remarkable following of fans, most
notably the late Kurt Cobain who often wore Daniel's "Hi How Are You"
T-Shirt in public before his death, Matt Groenig of "The Simpson's" fame,
David Bowie, and frankly a surprising list of key figures in the music and
What is all the fuss
about Daniel Johnston?
Daniel Johnston is without question a key poet and songwriter of his generation. His music is covered by artists in a broad range of music genre, and a simple pencil drawing of his art can easily draw over $100.
But if you are reading this FAQ question, it may be that you are unaccustomed to the raw, sometimes disastrous, but always hypnotizing performances of an untrained, unpolished Daniel Johnston. Over the years it has become apparent that his fans appreciate the faltering but heart-wrenching portrayals that only he can do.
He is credited with igniting the "low-fidelity" music of the 1980s, and is typically counted as a key figure in the "indie", "Lo-Fi", and "alternate rock" genre.
If you can't get past the faltering voice and asymmetric lyrics of Daniel, you may not be a part of the audience who loves music as Daniel does - not written "for" a music industry, but for himself. He appeals to those who share the love as art as a passion and not an enterprise.
What is the purpose of this
We've been warned
there would be questions like this! For this reason, we have
written a MISSION STATEMENT.
Can I contact Daniel Johnston?
Daniel does not have access to email or the
internet. However, we forward printed copies email to him weekly
or you may write to him at his P.O. box address in Waller, Texas.
See CONTACT US
Can I send my music
or art to Daniel to review?
Yes. Send it to the P.O. box address in Waller, Texas - see
CONTACT US. It isn't reasonable to
expect a response from Daniel, but he does enjoy and appreciate the work of
others a great deal.
What do I
need to know to COVER a song written by Daniel?
A "COVER" is when one artist performs a song written by someone else.
By and large, there are no restrictions about covering a song in a “not for profit” situation, or performing a cover live.
If you “publish” a cover (anyone’s song), there are industry mechanisms in place for the label to pay a “publishing fee” (copyright fee) which is standard throughout the industry, and amounts to something like 9 cents per song per copy SOLD (not just printed, but actually sold). Those fees are paid to publishing companies – Daniel’s publishing company is Primary Wave Music (www.primarywavemusic.com). You do not need "permission" to proceed, but if published copies are sold, the "per copy" fee for publishing must be paid quarterly to the publishing company. If you use a company as a LABEL, they should handle all this record-keeping and payment of publishing fees.
Who do I
contact to book a performance from Daniel?
Daniel's brother, Dick Johnston. See CONTACT US.
|How can I be notified if Daniel will be performing in my area?|
How do I go
about licensing Daniel's music for my band?
You can generally sing and perform covers of Daniel's music without obligation. When you reach the point you want to publish your cover, your label or publisher will know how to report and pay for use of copyrighted material. For any questions, you can contact Primary Wave Music Publishing. (see CONTACT US)