“another lad who had a lot of problems with thinking … he was in different institutions and hospitals all his life and would make funny little cassettes of all his songs, on an out-of-tune piano or guitar: beautiful, poignant, sad little pieces.”
Who did David Bowie often look to for inspiration? Look no further than legendary and brilliant outsider artist Daniel Johnston. Per Tom Taylor at Far Out Magazine, one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century drew inspiration from the late great musician and visual artist from Austin, Texas.
David Bowie once dubbed Johnston a “one-man Beach Boys … also another lad who had a lot of problems with thinking.” Even after he became a superstar, Bowie looked for new ways to push himself or get out of a stumbling block, and in 2005, Bowie provided the following tagline for the documentary film The Devil and Daniel Johnston: “Daniel Johnston reminds me of aspects that made me love art in the first place.”
Other artists who drew inspiration from Daniel Johnston and or covered his songs include Kurt Cobain, Beck, Wilco, Death Cab for Cutie, The Flaming Lips, Elizabeth Moen, and beabadoobee, among others.
See the full list by Far Out Magazine of David Bowie’s inspirational artists throughout the years.