Up at 12:30. Laze around and eat bakery stuff Scott brought back from work last night. Went to Mexican restaurant - great tacos. Back to house then to music store - Joe needed strings. Met Brian's father.
The food in Austin was always great. We were at an advantage by having Brian and the rest of of 'Glass Eye' tip us off to good restaurants.
Left for show 9:30 or so. Great club. Big bitchin' (sort of) sound system. We unload our gear and the place fills up. No liquor license. Free soda's for the bands. Danny Johnston opens. Acoustic guitar and vocals. Brilliant - definitely weird guy - very sensitive. Gave us two tapes of his music. Gave us a song - lots of Austin bands do his songs.
Daniel Johnston is a true original. He was (is) very shy and known for slipping out of a club and running down the street like he was getting away from the scene of a crime. I asked Joe if he remembered the tapes and the specific song because I don't think it was 'Rocketship' which we later covered on Bucky Fellini. From Joe:
"Yes, we got an original Yip Jump, and you are correct, the song was not Rocketship. It was "Casper". I think he actually gave Rodney the lyrics on paper out of his notebook. (The quality of those tapes was poor. I remember we had to crank the sound all the way to hear them in the van, and the hiss was loud.)
I think the other tape was "Hi, How Are You". I also remember, when we went back to Austin in the winter of 1986 to record Bucky, I got some more tapes which sounded much better (Songs of Pain and More Songs of Pain - I think, though these were purchased by me, not given from Daniel - by this point he started having his really crazy episodes and would soon move back to WV) and Brian gave us a parody tape someone made called "How Hi Are You?"
I cannot remember now what reason we had, if any, for covering Rocketship and not Casper. I do remember it was going to be for a tribute compilation that never saw the light of day."
Joe also wrote a diary on this tour and provided me his mention of Daniel:
8/16 - [At Southbank show] "Daniel Johnston went on first, alone with his guitar. He sang three songs all of which were excellent. The first was called 'Casper the Friendly Ghost.' The second was a song about climbing a mountain to write songs and the last was a new one (according to Scott [from Glass Eye]) called 'Funeral for Our Love,' a sad song with a funny ending. Daniel is a rather shy performer so after the third song he ran away even though the crow cheered for more."
"I go on to mention that the next band, Black Spring, covered four songs written by Daniel Johnston. Someone (maybe Scott) must have told me they were Daniel's songs. So, already there were Austin bands playing his music. I also wrote that later, after the show, a drunk guy called "Governor" rambled on about "Daniel Johnston's sudden appearance on the Austin scene" among other things."
It was the next day, 8/17, that Daniel gave Rodney "Casper", while riding with us in our van to the show in San Antonio. I believe it was also this day that we received the two tapes from him.
'Black Spring' next - bad stuff. Then us - real good show. Great crowd response - encore with 'Hangin' 'Round and the Fez. Very good show. Glass Eye next - good songs but the sound was fucked up. Out by 2AM. Got paid $175. Back to house - beers and bed.
My opinion of 'Black Spring' did not dissuade member Barry Shank from writing a dissertation on the Austin music scene 9 years later.Posted by Dean at August 16, 1985 10:22 PM