Tuesday, September 8, 2009

126. Meeting Daniel Johnston

Friday night began with dinner at Boom Noodle, where we indulged in all sorts of tasty Japanese snacks. DELICIOUS! Afterward, we decided to wander over to Moe Bar for a drink while waiting for the Daniel Johnston show to start.

We were standing on the corner outside of Neumos while Jesse and Kelsey had a cigarette, when all of a sudden Jesse's eyes got really big, and he whispered, "That's him. That's Daniel Johnston". I turned around to find Daniel standing about 5 feet behind me, also smoking a cigarette and staring down at the sidewalk. Jesse collected the nerves to go introduce himself, and told him how much he was looking forward to the show. Daniel replied with, "Oh, good luck to you".

At that point he seemed to become aware of Kelsey and I watching from our original position, so Jesse waved us over to introduce us. Daniel shook both of our hands and for an instant, snapped out of his distracted sort of fog just long enough to make eye contact with me, smile, and say, "Oh wow, you look like Barbie!".

We talked about his robot necklace and he asked us where he could find something decent to eat. Jesse managed to get an autograph on his ticket, after which there was a lot of really adorable fan-boy dancing to celebrate. I snagged him one of the posters with Daniel's artwork from the girl's bathroom to go with it. I didn't get an autograph for myself because I've always felt weird about them. I'm much more excited just to meet the person I think. But I'm really not that into collecting "stuff" either.

My pals and I ended up snagging a spot on the railing of the upper balcony right over the stage, putting us about as close as you could get. It was really hot and muggy, but totally worth it. Daniel's performance was brilliant, but in this sort of savant kind of way. He was visibly struggling, yet every song was sweet and honest, and completely heart-shattering to watch. I wasn't expecting such openness from someone who seems so disconnected and lost in his own head. At the end he took requests from the audience and sang Walking the Cow at Jesse's suggestion (thanks to our super sweet spot putting us close enough for him to hear).

I'm really happy I got to go. It was perfect.

1 comment:

Janieac said...

Dang. Sounds like a pretty perfect night indeed.