Monday, January 16, 2012
Genius on the Edges
I admit it. I am a big Tom Waits fan. Ever since I saw him perform as a freshman in college I was mesmerized. Heart Attack and Vine is one of my favorites, as well as the hauntingly beautiful Heart of Saturday Night, but I love his evolution too through Rain Dogs (I swear I think of lost little dogs every time I walk the city streets in the rain) and Bone Machine. I have to admit I lost track after that.
He paints such vivid portraits with his poetic lyrics and manages to trigger your emotions through the unglamorous side of life--rough and raw. His voice and increasingly unconventional instrumentation over time completed these tableaus of life on the edges.
I had the opportunity to work with Tom Waits twenty six years ago--not as a session musician or anything, though that would be cooler--but as a lowly PR manager trying to wrangle him to interviews and photo shoots. I did not register as anything more than an annoyance and it broke my heart. Well, not really, but I was disappointed and stopped listening to his music for a couple years. But there is no denying the guy is a genius.
And I will be listening to all the CDs of his I own today.
And just for fun---here is Tom Waits on the Mike Douglas show performing Eggs and Sausages and giving a classic Waits interview--seriously. Just the fact that he has to sit next to Marvin Hamlisch is priceless.