|Title: Late Show With David Letterman (CBS TV show)
Source: audio tape, video tape. Transcription by "Pieter from Holland" as published on the Tom Waits Library
Date: Ed Sullivan Theater. New York/ USA. May 8, 2002
Key words: Alice/ Blood Money
Late Show With David Letterman (CBS)
DL: Our next guest is a legendary songwriter and performer. This man has two wonderful new CD's. One entitled Alice (right there) and the other one is entitled Blood Money(1). Ladies and gentlemen, here he is: Tom Waits! Tom?
All The World Is Green (live): Tom Waits (guitar, vocals), Andrew Borger? (Marimba), Matthew Sperry (bass), Colin Stetson (clarinet), Matt Brubeck (cello).
DL: Beautiful Tom! Good to see you again. Tom Waits everybody! We'll be right back! Nice to see you, thank you very much.
DL: That was great!
TW: Thank you.
DL: I really loved that, that was really enjoyable
TW: Thank you Dave
DL: How have you been? Good?
DL: Well, I notice you have eh. a lot of times when people have this much music they'll have like a double CD or something.
TW: Al right.
DL: ..but you have published, you have released two separate CD's?
TW: They're separate, yeah.
DL: And what is the philo.what was the strategy behind that?
TW: Well now if it was a good idea, I guess I'll take credit for it. And if it turns out not to be a good idea, I guess I'll blame it on somebody else.
DL: Well that's good. That's the American way!
TW: Yes it is.
DL: But I wonder, will it be a possibility. When people will say: "Oh I'll take this Tom Waits album and not this Tom Waits album" and one might be better then the other. Whereas when they would be together, everybody wins?
TW: I think you should get both, myself.
DL: Oh you think you should get both! (applause)
DL: Is there a different musical theme to each one?
TW: Both are completely unique and different from each other. But we had a lot of dough and we figured we'd make. (laughter)
DL: Well why not. So it's like putting out two books. They're both completely separate.
DL: .and they don't necessarily complement one another. But stand on their own individually?
TW: Thank you so much!
DL: You're quite welcome. (applause) Well that's just fantastic Eh family's good? How's the family.
TW: Family's great.
TW: You know I do field trips now. Well I drive on field trips. I don't know, the children seem to like me as a driver I ... (laughter)
DL: Well that's important, that's key.
TW: I have a lot of room in the car and eh I take the turns really fast. (laughter) They just scream and.
DL: They find that entertaining?
TW: They love that. The radio's on full blast.
DL: Hey, and what kind of places do you go on your field trips?
TW: Well you know the most interesting one was, we took all these kids. I took about 30 kids to a music store. And I figured: "Well, okay I'll drive on that". And we got there and I'm kinda standing over by the pianos and I'm thinking well eh: "I'm gonna be recognized any minute now."
TW: Then I decided to move over by the percussion. And eh I found an interesting lighting situation.
DL: You were ready to go.
TW: I'm ready. I'm ready for: "Aren't you that guy?". Nothing.
TW: I went over by the guitars and I waited. Nothing. I was a little let down.
DL: Yeah, I would think so.
TW: A week later they asked me to drive on another fieldtrip. This time they are going to the dump. Well it's recycling and all that?
DL: Yeah, I understand. Yeah.
TW: Twelve guys surrounded my car! (applause) . Go figure!
DL: There's nothing wrong with that!
TW: Everybody knows me.. at the dump!
DL: Yeah, well sure. Why don't you eh. Just eh. I'm curious about eh early jobs for you. What they were like. What kind of places you started in and memorable interesting experiences that you have?
TW: Well you know when you're the opening act for large groups. Sometimes you feel like a rectal thermometer. You're going out there. (laughter)
DL: Well, I'll take your word for that!
TW: Well, you're taking the temperature of the audience.
DL: I see, I see.
TW: (to the audience) Sorry, sorry!
DL: I understand.
TW: But eh, it's always.You get used to being in that position.
TW: And eh, but eh, actually one of the most interesting was eh Buffalo Bob... that I opened for..
DL: For eh. Howdy Doody Buffalo Bob?(2)
TW: The same guy!
TW: He was making a big comeback. He was working matinees in small clubs. And eh, there we were, me and Bob.
DL: But would people recognize him at the dump? I don't think so.
TW: I don't know.
DL: Eh we're lucky here. We got not one but two eh great collections of Tom Waits' new music. Good, good for you and good to see you and thank you very much.
TW: Thank you Dave, thanks.
DL: Tom Waits everybody. That's it. My thanks to everybody. We'll see you tomorrow night with Hugh Grant and skateboarder Tony Hawk. Goodnight everybody!
(1) Alice and Blood Money: Alice (the play) premiered on December 19, 1992 at the Thalia Theater, Hamburg/ Germany. Further reading: Alice. Woyzeck (the play) premiered November 18, 2000 at the Betty Nansen Theatre in Copenhagen/ Denmark. Further reading: Woyzeck.
(2) Howdy Doody Buffalo Bob:
- This was first mentioned in the self written press release for The Heart Of Saturday Night (1974). may 1-6, 1973. The Great South East Music Hall & Emporium. Atlanta, Georgia/ USA. Howdy Doody (w. Buffalo Bob, born Robert Schmidt on November 27, 1917) was one of the first American television shows for children. In 1947, NBC brought The Howdy Doody Show to television sets across the US. The TV show went off the air in 1960. From 1970 to 1976 Howdy Bob toured with his show and made hundreds of appearances across the US. Buffalo Bob died in 1998 at the age of 80.
- From "Tom's Wild Years" Interview Magazine (USA), by Francis Thumm. Livingston. 1989: FT: Some of your earliest tour bookings were legendary. For instance, you opened for Buffalo Bob and the Howdy Doody Revue in Georgia. TW: And Bob called me Tommy. FT: You didn't like that, did you? TW: I couldn't stand it and I told him. "Bob. please don't make me hurt you. I have a breaking point." FT: That's a weird line to use with a guy who holds a puppet with a plastic head. TW: And it was very strange, having seen him when I was a child.... FT: And there you were yelling at him. TW: He had had a big place in my life as a child. Later, when he was having a come-back. I was his opening act. We did matinees at 10 a.m. for screaming children and women in curlers, and there was candy in the piano. Show business was starting to look like a nightmare.
- From " The Resurrection Of Tom Waits", Rolling Stone magazine (USA), by David Fricke. Washoe House/ San Francisco. June 24, 1999: DF: "The gig with Fifties TV star Buffalo Bob and his marionette, Howdy Doody, was a double whammy: at 10 A.M., in front of housewives and kids. "I wanted to kill my agent. And no jury would have convicted me," Waits says, only half-kidding. "Bob and I didn't get along. He called me Tommy. And I distinctly remember candy coming out of the piano as I played. "Jesus," he sighs. "That's when you need the old expression, 'You gotta love the business.' "