Saturday night, I found myself in
I began to think back to the documentary about
One of the most important themes of the film, and
Later, the same would occur with Daniel Johnston's bizarre drawings. He was hailed in the New York Times as the next big thing in "outsider art". His Crayola drawings of eyeballs and superheroes were fetching four and five figures apiece primarily because the man was looked at as a sort of idiot savant.
The film that depicts this artist's life even stinks of exploitation. Somehow the filmmakers were able to piece a narrative from
This brought me back to last night's performance. The show was highly orchestrated to include
I wanted to know who orchestrated this tour. Who was exploiting Daniel Johnston now? Then I realized it was me.
Well, it wasn't just me, but I was one of many. The caricature or ghost of what was once Daniel Johnston was in
The show was memorable but strange. Memorable in that who knows how many more times anyone will be able to see Daniel Johnston live? He is a living legend, the Bob Dylan of the indie world.
The show was strange in its practice and celebration of the exploitation of what Daniel Johnston is and was. Skinny kids who don't know what the man has been through or aging hipsters hanging on to their glory days both clang to something not even the performer was in touch with anymore. Daniel Johnston was a ghost of himself, grayed and misshapen.
Much like his fading voice, Daniel Johnston was a unique piece of American musical lore. The sad part is that he faded, broken and hoarse.