The song that has been floating about in my head today is “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Your Grievience” by Daniel Johnston.
Like most Daniel Johnston songs, it is fairly simple, with emphasis on the words- in this case the notion that you should probably sort out problems before the day is out, or else they’ll eat you up! I like this. Daniel’s message throughout his music is the sometimes naive thought that love will out, and always conquer hate, I like this even more.
And I agree- the tiniest sliver of light defeats darkness.
Daniel Johnston is fairly new to me, in his carnation as an artiste. I had already had one of his tracks within my collection for two decades (sounds more dramatic than 20 years, don’t you think?) . “True Love Will Find You In The End” was covered by ex-Spacemen 3 Sonic Boom in his new band Spectrum. The cover to the cd and 12″ was a psychedelic work of beauty. In a clear case, take out the cd and hold up to the light, you get a wonderfully ‘trippy’ stained glass window effect. With the 12″- leave it in! It’s clear yellow vinyl, totally- no label! Fantastic, only problem being it is very difficult to read the sleeve info.
FFWD two decades (yeah, like it) and I’m trawling youtube (ubiquitoustube?) for videos of my new favourite band Tom Williams And The Boat (they’ll crop up again), and whadayaknow? a version of Tom doing a solo version of” True Love…(etc)”, and he mentions the name Daniel Johnson, a quick rummage for those Spectrum singles- and time hasn’t been too good with the ink (or my eyes?), but HEY! I can just make out Daniel Johnston!
Get a free download of Tom Williams and The Boat covering
‘True Love Will Find You In The End’ here
Johnston has, as I mentioned, a very simple style- and very captivating. The sleeve notes to The Late Great Daniel Johnston (a great introduction- one cd of his tunes one cd of people covering his tunes- he lends himself well to being covered by eels in my opinion [that sounds weird, I mean the band ‘eels’ of course!]. Thanks for the recommendation Tom) sum it up when the guy says he listened Johnson’s stuff with a friend and they fell about laughing- some of his stuff is just him, guitar- sometimes piano- recorded at home on a basic cassette recorder. Listened to later at home alone, the real beauty and pain of the guy comes through-strangely beautiful (beautifully strange?).
Daniel Johnston, wonderful songwriter, quirky performer- lover of love, and that HAS to be the main point.