Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Logo #170: Daniel Johnston

Jeremiah the Innocent was drawn by Daniel Johnston sometime in 1983 for the cover of "Hi, How Are You" (subtitled "The Unfinished Album"). Dick Johnston, Daniel's brother: "Daniel drew the image in various forms on cassettes from 1983 to about 1986 when Stress Cassettes started reproducing them using an image very close to this. This exact image - the one used on t-shirts today - is probably from a drawing done specifically for the album on 12" vinyl." Quirt Cobain was a big fan, big fan. The documentary "The Devil and Daniel Johnston" was an affecting, rather thorough glimpse into the man's life. Although when it comes to outsider artists, some perspective is helpful - quoting here the esteemed Artie Philie in the November 2007 issue of VICE, in a review of an album by Ed Askew: "While I totally respect and appreciate the current trend toward rescuing outsider musicians from the murky past, we need to establish that just because some dude pressed the record button 30 years ago does not mean that he should have bothered. Every sad crazy person in history was not a Tootsie Pop with a bubble-gum genius treat hidden in the center. Some people just picked up a banjo instead of a tinfoil hat, and in either case the result was usually 10 percent amusing and 90 percent depressing. Sorry." You can buy a semi-plush toy version of Jeremiah here.

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