Talk:Daniel Johnston

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Biography / Musicians (Rated B-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Biography, a collaborative effort to create, develop and organize Wikipedia's articles about people. All interested editors are invited to join the project and contribute to the discussion. For instructions on how to use this banner, please refer to the documentation.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by WikiProject Musicians.
WikiProject United States / Austin (Rated B-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject United States, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of topics relating to the United States of America on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the ongoing discussions.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by WikiProject Texas - Austin (marked as Mid-importance).


I do not contest that the article is not perfect. But to me it seems important to have access on informations about an artist covered by Beck, Tom Waits or mercury Rev and many others...

Bipolar disorder?[edit]

I snipped

Johnston suffers from severe bipolar disorder, and has had varying luck with different treatments. He has been institutionalized for periods.

It's been a couple of weeks since I requested the source for this, and none has been provided. It's quite likely true, but we shouldn't be relying on editors' memories for this sort of fact.

It can be reinserted in the article provided it is accompanied by a source citation, per the verifiability policy. Dpbsmith (talk) 00:37, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Daniel's manic-depression began to manifest in the early eighties (Yazdani 1999, p.7-8) around the time of his first recording, Songs of Pain, and before Hi, How Are You?.
Hyacinth 09:01, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

This Houstin Chronicle article refers to Johnston's condition as manic-depression (aka bipolar disorder), so I'll put that reference into the article. Schi 01:44, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Not that it's important right now, but the 2006 documentary should be reference enough regarding his bipolar disorder (talk) 22:58, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

"Manic Depression" is an outdated name for bipolar disorder and is inappropriate to continue using unless speaking of his diagnosis historically. Even Wikipedia's entry for Manic Depression sends you to "Bipolar Disorder" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:41, 23 October 2008 (UTC)


I took photos of his recent concert in Atlanta [1] and [2] but not that I look at them they're not very good biography photos. If people want, I'll open these up as supplemental photos and I'll try to get a better primary photo next time I see him in concert. [Sumdog][talk] 15:22, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

As I suspect the current photograph will be deleted soon (its copyright status is hazy), I have solicited photos from the Daniel Johnston fan site. There are also several photos on Flickr (although the ones currently licensed under CC are not good). If my appeal to the fan site is unsuccessful, I will beg a photographer on flickr for a few. --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 23:58, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

I have received permission for a few photographs, and I have uploaded them to the commons. They are all included in Commons:Category:Daniel Johnston. I replaced the one on this page with one of these photos. I really like this one, personally. --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 00:25, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

We already have permission to use the one you deleted, and it has been up for over a year with no trouble, it's a great, more or less recent photo don't monkey with it, doof!

Please remain civil. If you look at the photos page you will see it was tagged as "without proper copyright tag" on Jan 8, 2007. This means, unless someone provided evidence that the picture is in the public domain (an implausible claim). Or otherwise gives evidence for our permission to use it, it will be deleted tomorrow. Until the copyright status of the old image is cleared up, the new image should remain. If you can clear up the status of the image, than I would be happy to return it to the article here. --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 18:49, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
Unfortunately this is one of very few pictures we have of Daniel. If you own the rights to a better one (or know someone who does), I would be happy to help you upload it and change the picture on the article. --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 20:22, 25 August 2007 (UTC)


"It has recently been confirmed that he is the "the coolest man to ever live" by Jesus Christ himself." I'd like to see a reference for this...


Considering the nature of the difficulty he has overcome, are we certain that this is appropriate for BLP? Do we have definite & stable evidence of his agreement?DGG 03:26, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Daniel's New Fascination with Nazism & Anti-Semtism[edit]

Should an area on his page be set aside to acknowlege this turn of events? Today at the Convention Center, Austin icon and OG “outsider artist” Daniel Johnston told two jokes before a jam-packed day stage crowd: 1. “I heard they just sentenced a man to the death penalty… for trying to commit suicide.” 2. “I heard the Jews are having a pajama party… at the concentration camp.” Daniel punctuated the last one, which drew a pretty uncomfortable silence, with a Nazi salute and a screechy “Heil Hitler.” SpyMagician 06:06, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

I don't see how this one incident deserves its own "area" in his entry, or how this incident is a new "fascination" with nazism and anti-semitism. If you listen to Daniel's 1990 broadcast on WFMU, he also cracks a Jew-joke, albeit not as offensive as the one at the event in question. His distrust of Jews is most likely a byproduct of his strong religious beliefs -- it's something he shares with Henry Darger, a devout Catholic who didn't like to pronounce his landlords Jewish last name. Whatever anti-semitic inclination Daniel may have, it is a miniscule part of his public persona (unlike say, Bobby Fisher), and does not deserve mention. 04:20, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
The link is dead, but either way, I think this only deserves mention if it a continuing thing. If this does become a reoccurring part of his personality that it mentioned often in the press, it should be mentioned here. Unless this incident causes a substantial controversy, it is probably not worth mentioning. --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 14:01, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

I placed a quick summary of it in the recent news section, with a link. I don't think we should be protective of anyone's reputation here. Controvery or not--- and there does seem to be some on various blogs--- It's certainly worth mentioning.

From the above..."His distrust of Jews is most likely a byproduct of his strong religious beliefs...". This sentence implies that strong religious beliefs lead to anti-jewish bias. Of course it has throughout history, in many cultures and many parts of the world, but the sentence is a bit crude, and not really accurate. If Johnston's brand of Christianity led to an antisemetic viewpoint, this would be a problem for him (and would make him an ignoramus), or the writer of the sentence feels that a strong Christian backround leads to a mistrust of jews (and I doubt if this is what the editor meant). More likely, it's a cultural issue. However, at no point in the documentary, The Devil and Daniel Johnston is the subject brought up.
Please, wikipedia is not a discussion forum. The sentence in question is not part of the article, nor will it be. Let's keep the discussion focused on the article. --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 20:53, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

Johnston's apparent antisemitism is certainly wiki-worthy; interpretations of why he tells antisemitic jokes are on less certain ground. I've reinstated an account of his behavior at SXSW 2007; if I can find an accurate account of his jokes I will add that. I sense a certain paternalistic tone to some of these comments, so to reiterate: there's no need here to protect this man's reputation.Goophus 10:29, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

While the blog post you cited may be a reliable source for the claim that he told this joke at sxsw, the statement from Goede is not. There is no way to verify that it was posted by Goede, for instance I could just now post a response by that name. --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 17:48, 20 May 2007 (UTC)
Plenty of other blogs cite this incident as well. I'll leave it as is for now (uncited), but I'll be adding their citations when I have the time. If I find other sources suggesting he did tell these jokes, do you believe they are newsworthy?Goophus 07:27, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
By wikipedia policy it cannot be there and not be cited (since Johnston is alive anything that puts him in a negative light must be cited). I have two concerns: (1) while mentioned in several blogs, I'm not sure it's sufficiently notable to warrant mention in a general article on him and (2) the claim by "Goede" cannot be verified since it is effectively an anonymous post to a blog (not a credible source). --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 19:06, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

If this is going to remain on the site it needs to be put into the context of his mental illness. Marring an entire entry with a piece of information that may or may not be true, especially given the lack of any sort of context or reason that this is worthy of inclusion under "recent news". There needs to be something written other than the possibility that he told an insensitive joke to make it worthy of inclusion. Including it alone like that makes it seem as if it is an undeniable fact that Daniel Johnston is racist, insensitive, and some sort of Nazi sympathizer, when the fact is that this comment or any "fascination" is due to his mental illness AND strict Christian upbringing.

It's not Wikipedia editors' business to parse why someone says or does what they do unless reliable news sources have done so. Unless this is covered in the media, it's not applicable to this article.--Gloriamarie (talk) 08:50, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

Has been classified as an artist?[edit]

His drawings sell for all kinds of money, and he did that famous mural of the "Hi, How Are You?" alien. I'm going to stick "artist" in his initial description. The phrasing as it stands sounds sarcastic. Bleedingcherub 00:41, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

"Just" bi-polar?[edit]

Do not misunderstand me, this is by NO means an insult to Daniel and his work, but his manner of speech, his writing style, and aspects of his current lifestyle all seem to point to the possiablity that he may also be autistic and suffering from some other metal illness then simply bi-poler syndrom. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:04, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

Personally, I still like the old term manic-depressive.George415 00:34, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

I agree that he's probably autistic, but that's mere speculation, not a publicized diagnosis. Bleedingcherub (talk) 06:08, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

The page says Daniel suffers from Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia, I think this should be changed to Bipolar Disorder only. There is no mention of schizophrenia in any official resource I have come across and the Boston Globe article cited does not mention his bipolar disorder, so this could most likely be put down to a mistake by the writer. HonestGeorge (talk) 18:08, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

This article also mentions that he has schizophrenia.--Gloriamarie (talk) 08:52, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

As I understand it, Bi-Polar Disorder (and I agree "Manic-Depressive" sounds better, plus Daniel himself uses the term in one of his early songs) is the only thing he's been "officially" diagnosed with; from a personal speculation standpoint, I disagree strongly with the autism conjecture, though Dan unarguably does have a very "childlike" aesthetic sensibility and sense of humor. Daniel seems without a doubt to be (to me) schizophrenic. Compare him to Roky Erickson, another musician sometimes lumped into the "Outsider Artist" category, and a diagnosed schizophrenic... In my opinion, if any one thing explains the incredible genius of Daniel's work, it's his schizophrenia. BUT, all that said, since he's never been officially diagnosed as anything other than Manic-Depressive, seems like that's the only mental illness Wiki should list. --Mikey 11:49, 7 January 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

i'm taking down the dubious statement about lsd in the introduction. no one ever said acid "caused" daniel johnston's illness, and it's well documented that the drug can exacerbate existing psychological conditions. if someone can find a citation for this statement, AND demonstrate why it has a place in this article's introductory paragraph, revert it. peterpumpkin87 —Preceding undated comment added 20:16, 17 January 2010 (UTC).

Schizophrenia does seem like a strong possibility, given his fascination with peculiar iconography and what looks like a shaky grasp on reality. The LSD didn't cause the mental problems, but it exacerbated them -- I don't have the precise citation, unfortunately, but this was mentioned in a Daily Texan feature back around 1988 or so.
On a different subject but possibly of interest to some of you, he sold corn dogs at carnivals when he was in West Virginia. In Austin, he worked for a while (this would be about 1986) in either the Burger King or the McDonald's in Dobie Tower, which is on the opposite corner of the former record store where his cassettes were sold. This is the location of the "Peace Frog" mural you see in this article. When it was turned into a restaurant, local citizens held a collection to pay them to preserve that part of the wall. Afalbrig (talk) 09:38, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

Schizophrenia with a co-occurring mood disorder (bipolar) is called "Schizoaffective." To say he's been diagnosed with both in the past can be correct, but he wouldn't hold both diagnosis at the same time as it would default to schizoaffective. As far speculation, I agree autism doesn't fit the childlike nature. There's possibly some developmental stuff going on. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:48, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

Whip It[edit]

Should we mention that both his Hi How Are You mural and shirt were featured in the recent film Whip It? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:14, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified one external link on Daniel Johnston. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true or failed to let others know (documentation at {{Sourcecheck}}).

You may set the |checked=, on this template, to true or failed to let other editors know you reviewed the change. If you find any errors, please use the tools below to fix them or call an editor by setting |needhelp= to your help request.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 05:58, 6 December 2016 (UTC)