Daniel Johnston

Hi, How Are You

Daniel Johnston (b. 1961) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and artist. Johnston has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder which has been a recurring problem throughout his life. In 1990, on a two-seater plane piloted by his father Bill, Johnston had a hypomanic episode believing he was Casper The Friendly Ghost and removed the key from the planes ignition and threw it out the window. His father, a former Air Force pilot, managed to successfully crash-land the plane. 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.’ 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 labels roster and Daniel was convinced that they were possessed by Satan and would hurt him. He also dropped his manager who brokered the deal, because Daniel believed he too was possessed by Satan. Ultimately he signed with Atlantic Records and released Fun, produced by Paul Leary of Butthole Surfers in 1994.

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