Monday, January 22 was Daniel Johnston's 57th birthday, and in honor of that, Austin, TX has officially made that day Hi How Are You Day (named for his famous mural at 21st St. and Guadalupe). The day also marked the launch of the Hi How Are You Foundation which promotes mental well-being:
The “Hi, How Are You?” Foundation was created to generate new conversation around mental well-being. The name and city-proclaimed "Hi, How Are You?" Day were inspired by Austin’s love for the iconic mural painted by Daniel Johnston. On January 22nd (Johnston’s birthday) Austinites are encouraged to check in on a neighbor, friend, co-worker, family member, or loved one and ask, “Hi, How Are You?”. The Foundation, created with the support of the Johnston Family, provides a platform for the exchange of ideas and education on mental well-being. Johnston is a world-renowned musician and visual artist despite his own struggles with mental illness.
Its inaugural year was celebrated at Mohawk on Monday night which which was opened with an official proclamation by Austin mayor Steve Adler, and featured performances from Josh T. Pearson (Lift to Experience) & Jonathan Terrell (“True Love Will Find You in the End” and “Don’t Play Cards With Satan"); Glass Eye's Kathy McCarty, who released a whole album of Johnston covers in 1994, teaming with her old bandmate Brian Beattie for "Hey Joe" and "Living Life"; as well as Moving Panoramas, Will Courtney, Jane Ellen Bryant, and more.
Daniel himself also played a very brief solo set before having most of the night's performers back him for "True Love Will Find You in the End.” You can watch video of that and other performances from the night, below.
Daniel went on his "final tour" in 2017. Happy belated birthday, Daniel!