During his headline slot at Ohana Festival over the weekend, Eddie Vedder took time to remember Daniel Johnston with a heartfelt rendition of ‘Walking the Cow’.
The music festival, curated by Vedder himself which included a collaboration with The Strokes, took place in California over three action packed days. Vedder, who headlined the Saturday main event, took time to remember Daniel Johnston with a cover version of a song taken from his 1983 album Hi, How Are You.
“There was a guy, a great, great songwriter, who we lost less than a month ago,” Vedder said when speaking to the crowd. “I know Glen Hansard and everyone from Kurt Cobain to Lana Del Rey, an endless list of musicians, who were inspired by this man. He lived in Austin, Texas as a kid and started making tapes. Then he put them in a store and made copies of the tapes and the tapes got around to musicians. Before you knew it, everybody was talking and sharing the genius of this young man.
“That was quite a while ago, I think in the mid- to late-80s. He made music until he recently passed. He had a tricky time, but out of that tricky time came some of the most poignant songs and vulnerable heart that I’ve ever heard.”
He continued: “I remember Chris Cornell and I listening to him. We were sitting in this little room in my house where there’s a fireplace and a small couch — it’s not even a couch, it’s like half a couch. I didn’t want to say love seat because it might sound a little weird. But we listened for two hours straight and that turned into four hours and that turned into six hours.
“We were laughing and crying and then smiling so hard that tears were squeezed out of our eyes. We looked at one another, and I’ll never forget, we said, ‘He is better than both of us.’ His name was Daniel Johnston.”
Watch the performance, below.