Friday, January 7, 2011

JDIZZY's 365 # 240: I Had Lost My Mind

I Had Lost My Mind - Daniel Johnston (1982)

Music geeks have always had a taste for outsider music in their mouths. I believe it stems from the universal love bestowed upon Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, Pink Floyd's only album fronted by Syd Barrett. Barrett's descent into madness is well documented on his cult classic solo debut The Madcap Laughs. It is a devastatingly beautiful collapse, showing brilliance peaking through the drug-induced dementia. If he could have maintained reality, I can't imagine what Barrett would have delivered to the world.
Syd's story and his music are what make me love Daniel Johnston so much more. Not only does he suffer from mental illness, but he is more prolific than Barrett ever dreamed possible. Yes, there are tracks that can simply boggle the sane listener's mind, but there are pop gems spread throughout his discography, like today's selection. Only just longer than a minute, it tells a clear story of absurdity, all through an upbeat sunny melody. It is psych pop for psychotics.
If I can start you anywhere on your journey through Mr. Johnston's oeuvre, it would be here. Then, jump ahead to his major label debut (and bow), 1994's Fun. Listen to what comes out of the man in a real studio, and wish Atlantic could have figured out a way to keep him on the roster.

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