Daniel Dale Johnston (born January 22, 1961) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and artist. Johnston was the subject of the 2006 documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston. He currently lives in Waller, Texas.
Johnston has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Both conditions have been recurring problems throughout his life.
Johnston's musical work gained some notoriety when he moved to Austin, Texas. Johnston began to attract the attention of the local press and gained a following augmented in numbers by his habit of handing out tapes to people he met. Live performances were well-attended and hotly anticipated.
In 1990, Johnston played at a music festival in Austin, Texas. On the way back to West Virginia on a small, private two-seater plane piloted by his father Bill, Johnston had a manic episode believing he was Casper the Friendly Ghost and removed the key from the plane's ignition and threw it out of the plane. His father, a former Air Force pilot, managed to successfully crash-land the plane, even though "there was nothing down there but trees". Although the plane was destroyed, Johnston and his father emerged with only minor injuries. As a result of this episode, Johnston was involuntarily committed to a mental hospital.
Interest in Johnston increased when Kurt Cobain was frequently photographed wearing a t-shirt featuring the cover image of Johnston's album Hi, How Are You which music journalist Everett True gave him. In spite of Johnston being resident in a mental hospital at the time, a bidding war to sign him ensued. He refused to sign a multi-album deal with Elektra Records because Metallica was on the label's roster and he was convinced that they were possessed by Satan and would hurt him. He also dropped his manager (who brokered the deal), because Johnston believed he too was possessed by Satan. Fanart Banner