While working at a McDonald’s in the 1980s, Daniel Johnston used to smuggle his tapes into bags of Big Macs. He spent decades crafting beautifully manic lo-fi pop songs in relative obscurity (among them, one titled “McDonalds on the Brain”) and received wider recognition in 2006 with The Devil and Daniel Johnston, a documentary about his battle with mental illness. This fall, the now-iconic singer-songwriter embarks on his final tour backed by a rotating cast that includes Jeff Tweedy & Friends, Built to Spill, and members of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. “It has been wonderful immersing ourselves in Johnston’s vast catalog of amazing songs,” says Built to Spill frontman Doug Martsch, who will support Johnston on stage in Portland and Vancouver next month.
IMAGE COURTESY OF JACKIE YOUNG.