Posted in music on March 20, 2014

(via @killquilty [Sadie of Speedy Ortiz])
thai

One of Austin, TX's most iconic outsider landmarks -- Daniel Johnston's "Hi How Are You?" mural on Guadalupe & W. 21st -- is now on the side of an asian restaurant called... Thai How Are You? (?!?!?!). This happened last year when David Roberts and his wife Noi Sukkij bought the space which used to be a restaurant called Thai Spice. There are other branches of that restaurant still in Austin and they wanted to change the name:

He and his wife wanted to initially open a "quiet little Thai caf├ę," but soon realized that high rent at the restaurant that suffers a dip in business during summer called for a new strategy.

After researching the history of Johnston, whose mural is constantly being photographed by passersby, Roberts decided to capitalize on the musician's fame in an attempt to drive traffic to the restaurant. Roberts reached a financial agreement with the Johnston family to appropriate the famous slogan as part of the restaurant's new name. - [Austin 360]

While the name is of questionable taste, and probably makes anyone familiar with Johnston a little sad, on the plus side, Roberts has also vowed to keep the mural as-is and looking good:
"It will be the same mural, no changes to the form or any of that," assures Roberts. "I didn't know the history, and my wife certainly didn't know the history. I had seen the mural and thought it was just one of those interesting quirks about Austin. Only while we were there and saw the attention that it gets every day did it start to pique my interest."

Roberts looked into the mural's history and eventually came upon Johnston's website, hihowareyou.com, which helped put him in touch with two people: Dick Johnston, Daniel's brother, and Heather Olson, an Austinite who's worked with the Johnston family "for nearly a decade" on various marketing items like T-shirt sales. Together, the three decided to embark on the restoration. - [Austin Chronicle]

Did anyone eat at Thai How Are You? while at SXSW?

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Comments (35)

I hate everything

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 10:36 AM

no speedy ortiz news yet brooklyn vegan still somehow finds a way...

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 10:38 AM

Good. Guy was an anti-Semite f him

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 10:44 AM

THE HORROR! Has anyone asked Perfect Pussy five questions about this yet?

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 10:45 AM

MORE PUNS

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 10:46 AM

As much as I dislike Johnston I love the Pun!

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 10:48 AM

It's as lame as Speedy Ortiz opening for Stephen Malkmus. Well maybe not THAT lame.

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 10:54 AM

Anything to get a bit of Speedy Ortiz on the news ticker. Garbage.

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 10:57 AM

That's so sad(ie).

Posted by Smack | March 20, 2014 11:05 AM

11:00 yeah to laugh at him. Looks like he is sponsoring a thai restaurant. What a dumbass

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 11:09 AM

houston is the new austin

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 11:13 AM

If he doesn't have a problem with it and has been monetarily compensated for it, who cares?

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 11:13 AM

keep houston weird

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 11:14 AM

Hanson is more talented then this guy ever was.

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 11:14 AM

I rather see Green Day in concert then this dweeb and I hate Green Day!

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 11:21 AM

Why is it in questionable taste? It's a fucking Thai Restaurant. You're going to task some poor business owning asshole with not only preserving the mural for your sensibilities on the building you dont own, but also making sure he doesn't in any way reference it because it violates your bullshit sense of commercial impropriety? Buy the building or get over your self importance.

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 11:33 AM

I'm fine with cultural appropriation but christ what a stupid fucking name.

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 12:17 PM

No mention of Sound Exchange. BV do your research on one of the greatest punk record stores in Austin's history.

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 12:30 PM

Sadie Dupuis: "Wow it really is a shame how Daniel Johnston's family made a financial agreement with this restaurant in a way that exploits indie rock.

Anyways, off to my SXSW shows sponsored by Tito's Vodka and Esurance!"

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 12:49 PM

"outsider landmark"-contradiction in terms

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 1:26 PM

Everyone who's up in arms about this steals records off of the Internet, daily.

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 1:35 PM

There used to be a Thai restaurant in my hood called "Thai Tanic." They named their restaurant after a ship involved in one of the worst maritime accidents in (not to mention a terrible movie). Guess how many people took to the Twitter machine to register their disgust? Ummmm...wait...let me just...oh, it was ZERO.

Anyways, I think "Thai, How Are You" is pretty funny.

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 1:52 PM

It's a shame that in today's musical economy, people need to embrace previously abhorrent revenue streams to succeed. That being said, even if it seems tacky and unfortunate, it sounds like he did it the right way (reached out to Johnson, made a financial agreement, etc). Far be it from me to criticize a way for a mentally ill man to make a modest living.

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 2:11 PM

I went to a kinky thai restaurant called Thai me up!

When Justin Timberlake was in Bangkok he sang Suit and Thai!

Queen back in the day also played Thai your mother down!

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 2:17 PM

thai can't take it anymore

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 2:52 PM

The last two jokes are thai'd for originality

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 3:08 PM

Anybody know if Thai Seagull is on tour right now?

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 3:32 PM

Thai-l Hitler?

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 4:01 PM

Perfect Pussy Cafe is next

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 4:32 PM

Thai Have Lost All Desire For Feeling

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 4:36 PM

Thai Dull Wave, hit Austin last week, still reeling

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 4:44 PM

I'd rather eat at The Pita Pit.

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 4:54 PM

I'd way rather eat at Pita Pit, but this establishment is a local fave.

Posted by Anonymous | March 21, 2014 1:02 AM

Anyone know how many times DIIV Thai'd off at this year's SouthBY ?

Posted by Anonymous | March 21, 2014 3:22 AM

Fugg yeah get marinated´╗┐

Posted by Chop Angeles | May 20, 2014 5:49 AM

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