Austin Establishes ‘Hi, How Are You?’ Day to Honor Daniel Johnston
The city of Austin, Texas has declared January 22, aka Daniel Johnston’s birthday, “Hi, How Are You?” Day to support residents struggling with mental health issues. Named after the outsider folk legend’s album and mural of the same name, the holiday intends to boost mental health awareness and encourage locals to seek care.
“It’s a reminder to reach out to our friends and neighbors to see if they’re OK,” Austin Mayor Steve Adler said in a statement to NPR Music. “And for those experiencing mental health issues it’s a reminder that you’ve got a whole community that can handle an honest answer because we want to help you get the help you need.”
Johnston, whose struggles with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are well-documented, gained notoriety in Austin in the ’80s for his lo-fi bedroom recordings. He painted the famed “Jeremiah the Innocent” frog—also featured on Hi, How Are You’s cover—on a wall outside a since-shuttered record store in 1993. The “True Love Will Find You In the End” singer concluded his final tour in November.