|Title: "Radio-Radio" on W-PIX102 FM.
Source: audio tape. Transcription from tape by "Pieter from Holland" as published on the Tom Waits Library. Thanks to Chas Vrba and Gary Tausch for help with transcription
Date: New York. February 17, 1980
Key words: Mink DeVille, New York
Radio-Radio On W-PIX102 FM
SONGS ("Red Shoes By The Drugstore" from Blue Valentine, "On Broadway" by The Drifters, "Mixed Up Shook Up Girl" by Mink Deville )
TW: Yeahhh, well hello. Hello, you eh just listened to eh "Red Shoes By The Drugstore" eh a tune of mine eh. It was on eh eh the last record of mine. And eh we've listened to "On Broadway" by The Drifters. We just listened to "Mixed Up, Shook Up Girl" by Mink DeVille(1). I caught his show at The Bottom Line last time he was in town. And eh it was eh a substantial gas for me. Eh Mink and I played on the bill in Boston eh before Christmas. And eh it was a fascinating evening. It was a pleasure for me to meet eh Willy(2). And eh, so eh. yeah.
DJ: New York's newest citizen. Tom Waits.
TW: Yeah, I moved here eh about a month ago. I stayed at the Chelsea for a couple of weeks until I got located. And eh I eh just found an apartment on eh 26th and 8th you know eh and eh... yeah. Got a nice neighborhood and I'm just glad to be in New York..
DJ: You're gonna be working in New York Tom?
TW: Eh yeah, well I'm writing an album now(3). I intend to record it here in New York in a month or so. And eh.
DJ: So eh the whole Tom Waits operation is been moved to New York?
TW: No eh, yeah, most of my operation is in Los Angeles, but eh I eh am in New York. So eh.
DJ: All three suitcases eh?
TW: Yeah, eh I didn't come with much. You know eh I travel real light. And eh, but eh, yeah. So I got some fine [...?...] and a nice crib and eh. I think I'm gonna enjoy it here very much.
DJ: What were the reasons you wanted to move. Getting out of the scene where ever you were?
TW: Well eh you know eh I think eh the Harbour Freeway just lost its fascination for me. And I eh grew up in Los Angeles and eh, I spent a lot of time there but, since I've been on the road. It's been almost 8 years now, and eh I've eh kind of been shopping for eh a new urban centre. And eh.
DJ: 8th Avenue has an appeal all of its own.
TW: Yeah it's, it's eh, I like it eh, I've got like 4 windows on 8th Avenue. And eh..
DJ: Well that ought to keep you up!
TW: Yeah eh.
DJ: You've been talking before about how you can watch the economy of New York. decline.
TW: Oh, eh! There is this guy eh. Eh well there's a lonesome businessman eh in and eh right on my block who's eh, eh a pimp. And eh he's got cracked patterned leather. And the lining is falling out of his overcoat. And eh I don't think he has a car. And eh he's eh I think he's kind of like watching the trend in Macey's windows. You know eh..he's eh.
DJ: A symbol of some decline in New York city!
TW: Eh, heh, heh... It seems to it eh he's fallen on hard times and seen better days and eh.
DJ: Keeps the neighborhood interesting.
TW: Yeah that's right, yeah, eh...
DJ: You're listening to RadioRadio, that's where you are, on PIX-102, and our guest disc-jockey tonight is eh Tom Waits. And eh we got a lot of records to play. And a couple, some of them are some really interesting things. You don't hear them all the time, which is really unfortunate..
TW: Yeah eh "Walking The Dog" by Rufus Thomas(4) eh. That brings back a lot of memories for me. Eh I used to dance quite a bit when I was in high school. I eh I went with a girl named Suzy MonteLongo(5) and she's wouldn't have it any other way. And eh she dragged me to eh every dance in town. And her brother was a leadsinger in eh a group and eh this was his, his big number and eh. So let's listen to eh "Walking The Dog".
DJ: For Suzy MonteLongo and her Lover. We'll be taking some phone calls at: 2129720300.
SONG ("Walking The Dog" by Rufus Thomas )
TW: Well it brings back a lot of memories for me eh "Walking The Dog" by Rufus Thomas. And eh I like to eh play eh a "Sam and Dave" tune eh. And eh I like to dedicate it to Brendon [?]. And eh they gonna be at eh TRAX on the 22nd this month. And eh, so eh..
SONG ( "When Something Is Wrong With My Baby, Something Is Wrong With Me" by Sam and Dave )
TW: Well eh, yeah hello good evening...
DJ: PIX-102. When something is wrong with My Baby, Sam and Dave.[TW drinking from bottle]. Romance, romance, romance.
TW: Yeah eh.
DJ: Were gonna take a few phone calls now ok? We're gonna switch eh. I'm not the smoothest thing with all this technical. Ready? Ok, ready. Here we go.
DJ: Aha! Now we're not really... I mean our mouths are moving two seconds before we are actually hearing it! Ha ha ha. So let's hit the phone. Ok here we go. Ready? Are you all set? Here we go.
FEMALE CALLER: [whispering] Oh boy.
TW: Oh boy.Hello?. Hello?..
DJ: You should turn your radio down, you might get confused.
TW: Yeah turn down your radio.. Hello? Darling?
DJ: [whispering] Are you eh... alright?
DJ: Eh I don't think she can handle it Tom. I think we should go to the next one. Here we go.
TW: Ok, hello?.. Hello?.
MALE CALLER: Hello?
DJ: Ah contact!
TW: Yes hello, good evening. Welcome to eh PIX102.
MALE CALLER: Hello?
TW: Hello, yes hello.
DJ: Turn your radio down.
MALE CALLER: Hello?
DJ: Turn your radio down!
MALE CALLER: Hello?
DJ: I can hear me!
MALE CALLER: Hello this is Tom?
TW: Yes, hello this is Tom Waits talking here. Who is this?
MALE CALLER: I can hear nobody!
TW: Aw, we're in trouble!....
NEXT MALE CALLER: Hello?
TW: Yeah, hello this is Tom Waits. Who is this?
CALLER: This is Monty from Middlesex
TW: Monkey from it'll sex?
CALLER: Yeah, New Jersey, I can't help it.
TW: Oh eh, have a little civic pride!
CALLER: You listened to any new wave bands at all?
TW: Yeah, sometimes I do. I've been listening to the radio extensively since I've arrived in New York.
CALLER: Your gonna make any more movies?
TW: Gonna make any more movies. I don't know. I had a small part eh in a picture with eh Albert Finney. And it's been directed by Michael Wadleigh. Eh shooting here in eh Manhattan..(6)
CALLER: Yeah I've seen you right outside, you are pretty good.
TW: Ehhh I don't know, it fits my calling. You know eh..
CALLER: Alright, thanks a lot.
TW: Ok, bye bye.
NEXT FEMALE CALLER: [Cold and detached] Hi.
TW: Hello, how are you?
FEMALE CALLER: I'm fine. Eh, this is a call about Ikettes.
TW: Oh yeah.
FEMALE CALLER: Eh, who is this?
TW: This is Tom Waits here.
FEMALE CALLER: [over enthusiastic] Hey Tom Waits!
FEMALE CALLER: Eh the Ikettes they had two other songs that weren't a hit. One is called "Peaches And Cream" and the other one is called "So thankful". And they were both on the Modern label which was one of the labels owned by the Bahari Brothers[?]. And some record experts tell me that Ike Turner was like a talent scout for them.
TW: Ike Turner was the talent scout for the Ikettes?
FEMALE CALLER: For the Bahari Brothers. He go around and he like eh recruit talent like in the.
TW: I think he was recruiting talent before he ever got in the entertainment business. Heh, heh..
FEMALE CALLER: .
FEMALE CALLER: .... So eh, I got eh, I just came back from San Francisco. I got a group named "The Atlantics" and I performed eh a version of "Walkin' The Dog"
TW: Oh yeah.
FEMALE CALLER: And also like eh: Dyke And The Blazers, Funky Broadway and Sam and Dave stuff.
FEMALE CALLER: And eh, like eh. Are these selections on the air your choices?
TW: Yeah eh. I tried to put together some sort of a, of a comprehensive program.
FEMALE CALLER: Well I really appreciate, you know eh another soul who's eh. into this particular brand of American iconography.
TW: Ah ha! Alright well eh.
FEMALE CALLER: So thanks a lot.
TW: Ok, baby.
FEMALE CALLER: Bye, bye.
TW: Ok dear. Bye.
NEXT MALE CALLER: Eh. Hallo Tom
TW: Yeah hello, how are you?
CALLER: Alright I'm fine. Tell me, is that voice your real voice or is it a put on?
TW: No eh, I got it on 14th Street.
CALLER: Well either that or you are high on something.
TW: Heh, heh, heh..
CALLER: Eh well eh tell me, what do you think the chances are of "Gary Lewis and The Playboys" getting together again?(7)
TW: Well I've been working on that project. You know. Eh I'm the president of the..., the..., the, the "Gary Lewis and The Playboys" fan club. And eh, so eh any suggestions that you could offer in that I appreciate. You know.
CALLER: Well a friend of mine Bill Urings, who used to work on the Kingsborrough radio station is looking for a job. Maybe you could get him something in line of that?
TW: [agitated] Everybody is looking for a job buddy!
CALLER: Yes, yes I know all about it.
TW: Good night Irene!(8)
CALLER: Goodn..[cut off]
TW: Hello, this is Tom Waits.
NEXT FEMALE CALLER: Hi this is Linda.
TW: Hi Linda.
CALLER: Sorry had to call up on the radio to catch you.
TW: Hi how are you!
CALLER: Pretty good, pretty good.
TW: You know I moved.
CALLER: Yeah I know, I know.
TW: How are you?
CALLER: Pretty good, pretty good. You know with Valentines Day?(9)
TW: Yeah I know.
CALLER: And it was Sylvain's birthday at the same time?
TW: Yeah I know. I saw him on 8th Avenue a couple of days ago.
CALLER: Yeah, 8th Avenue neighbor.
CALLER: And I tried to call up all Valentines Day?
CALLER: To dedicate a song to Sylvain's birthday on Valentines Day?
CALLER: And so if you could play anything for him tonight?
TW: Oh I intend to, yeah.
CALLER: Oh great, great. Well listen it was nice talking to you and we're glad to have you in New York City.
TW: Ok thank you Linda, I'll call you.. Ok dear.
NEXT MALE CALLER: Hello hello?
TW: Yes, hello, hello this is Tom Waits.
CALLER: Hi this is Marc Siegal from Brooklyn and I wanted to ask you one or two things. Like I have all your albums and I noticed on one of them on the end there's, what is it "Step Right Up" you say something about sending something to the Tropicana Motor Hotel. Is there really a Tropicana Motor Hotel?(10)
TW: Oh yeah, there is. It's my old residence in Western Hollywood. I primarily wanted to find out how many suckers there were. And I wasn't getting a lot of mail at the time so.
CALLER: Well I would have sent something but I couldn't find out what a Creeping Charlie(11) was.
TW: Ah yeah, well it's like a houseplant that you have to murder primar to sending it. And eh, what you do is eh you commit like first degree murder on your houseplant and you put it in an envelope and eh I would like send the lyrics to that particular selection. And eh I received a lot of enthusiasm over there. The offer has been discontinued so eh.
CALLER: Also I thought I ask you, since you are really into the seamy underside where ever you go,
TW: I beg your pardon!
CALLER: Mmm. no? Well I don't no, I wanted to know how well New York is different from LA in that regard.
TW: It's eh it's shorter and it's narrower. And I eh enjoy being here very much. It's eh a it's a fascinating urban landscape. Thank you.
TW: Next caller.
NEXT MALE CALLER: Hello?
TW: Yes, hello.
CALLER: How are you doing Tom?
TW: I'm ok, how have you been?
CALLER: It's good to have you in the City, cause I think you are gonna enjoy it a lot.
TW: Ok thanks.
CALLER: How long are you going to stay?
TW: Oh eh I've moved here "lox, stock and bagel". So I'm..
CALLER: Hey all right, Freakin' on man. Will you perform anywhere?
TW: No I'm eh currently.
CALLER: Why not?
TW: Well I'm working on an album project.(3)
CALLER: Oh yeah? Not gonna be popping up anywhere?
TW: No I don't think so. I've been going to some clubs, but primarily been staying indoors working on eh.tunes.. eh..
CALLER: Maybe I'll catch you man. He you ever read a book by a guy called William Kotzwinkle or William Kurtswinkle called "The Fanman"?(12)
TW: Oh eh that sounds familiar yeah.
CALLER: Cause you really remind me of that character.
TW: Oh yeah?
CALLER: Yeah you know eh "Fanman" is apparently cool and he's a New York City dude. Having you here make's it kind of all, you know eh. right.
TW: Well thanks very much.
CALLER: Hey, anytime. I'll catch you and I'll really try too.
TW: Ok eh..
CALLER: Play some heart for you. Bye bye.
TW: Ok, bye bye.
NEXT MALE CALLER: Hello, eh can I have this call a one-sided conversation where they don't hear me?
TW: Huh? Whatdoyou..?
CALLER: I wanna ask some questions, I'm a documentary filmmaker. And I'd rather not have the general public know what I'm saying or asking.
TW: Ok, maybe you should call back eh perhaps after the program is finished.
CALLER: What about doing a song? Could you maybe put me on hold and when a song comes on...
TW: Ok, well that'll be fine, we'll put you on hold.
DJ: [aside] On hold.... Ok, we're gonna do another record Tom.
TW: Yeah this is eh. You know, I don't get a chance to hear myself on the radio very often. And eh, I did hear myself once in Iowa, about six years ago. I couldn't get the station tuned in properly it was very disappointing for me. And eh, so eh. Yeah this is eh.
DJ: Well, we're on delay so you could go in the other room right after we start the record and catch it from the beginning.
TW: Arrgh no that's eh. We'll listen to something of eh..
SONGS ( "Sweet Little Bullet" and "Blue Valentines" from Blue Valentine)
DJ: We got eh Tom on the phone here. Talking to that guy we'll have to on hold for such a long time. They're still on the phone eh. Ah, ok. Eh still to come on radio. Tom is going to be here for a bit eh Jimmy [Ivene?]. That's your chair Jimmy, you can sit right here Jimmy. In front of the microphone. In FRONT of the microphone, how does that sound? He he he, wrong side! He he he. What were you doing Tom?
TW: This is W-PIX FM, New York's Rock and Roll and eh... Well eh the metropolitan area forecast for New York City is: clear and cold tonight with winds diminishing low in the upper teens (that spells trouble). Monday: sunny and not as cold, high in the mid eh upper thirties. Clear and not as cold on Monday night, low in the upper twenties. And Tuesday: mostly sunny and eh milder, high in the mid fourties (that's something to look forward to). A chance of precipitation is zero through Monday night (Christ!). Winds North West 10 to 20 miles per hour, this evening. Diminishing to 10 miles per hour later on tonight. West to South West 15 miles per hour. Monday: South West 10 miles per hour Monday night [deep sigh]. Aw man. It's gonna be cold. I have a feeling that god is saving the real winter for August. You know? Huh, huh, huh.
SONG ("14th Street" by Sylvain-Sylvain)
TW: Yeah, well we're back here. And eh, you just listened to "14th Street" by Sylvain-Sylvain(14). And eh, I'm eh, I gotta go see a man about a dog(15). And I eh, so I'm eh, on my way out here. So Eh, I like to thank you eh for having me. And eh.
DJ: That was our pleasure man. We like to thank you for coming and try to get you come again.
TW: All right yeah, I've got some, like some tapes I could bring up here. Eh, we could put on perhaps some night.
DJ: Ok, it's a deal. We'll definitely do that. Do watch [...?...] the pavement on your way out ok? Ha ha ha..
TW: I like to say hello to Doc(16) and I like to say hello to Sharon and Shelly(17) and eh Savage(18). And eh see my landlord Mr. Feldstein. And eh, And eh, so eh thank you for having me and eh..
DJ: We'll see you soon Tom. Thank you. Goodnight.
(1) Mixed Up, Shook Up Girl: from the album "Mink Deville". Released 1977.
(2) To meet eh Willy: This show was November 3, 1979 Harvard Square Theatre. Cambridge/ USA. Further reading: Performances
(3) I'm writing an album now: that would be "Heartattack and Vine" released September 1980. H&V was recorded in Los Angeles, not New York. Waits hadn't met Coppola yet.
(4) Rufus Thomas was born March 26, 1917 in Cayce, Mississippi. His biggest hit by far was "Walking the Dog," which made the Top Ten in 1963, and was covered by the Rolling Stones on their first album. The cool thing with this song is, Rufus whistles all the way through. It's exactly the same whistle you hear Waits doing from the mid 1980's and later. Maybe he was inspired by this song.
(5) Suzy Montelongo (sp?):
- Tom Waits (1976): "I used to know this girl named Suzy Montelongo. Her brother's name was Joe Montelongo, Joe always wanted to kill me" (Sydney March, 1979).
- Tom Waits (1976): "I was gone for eh quite a while on the road doing clubs and eh, I ran into a cat named Joe Marlelongo. I used to take out his sister. I used to take out both of his sisters. I mean individually... yeah... And eh... I ended up at a place called the Tiki Room eh one night and eh Joe showed up... But eh, it was kind of a eh time to reminisce, and eh..."(Source: "WNEW FM: Vin Scelsa's Idiot's Delight" MediaSound Studios NYC. December 14, 1976)
(6) Shooting here in Manhattan: That would be: "Wolfen" directed by: Michael Wadleigh. Released 1981. Albert Finney as Dewey Wilson. There has been some discussion whether or not Waits did this cameo. So here it is.
(7) Gary Lewis, son of comedian Jerry Lewis, was the lead singer and the drummer. The other Playboys were Jim Keltner, Ron Hicklin, Al Capps, and Stan Farber. Still active on the oldies circuit, he fronts various backup bands under the name the Playboys.
(8) "Goodnight Irene". Credited to Leadbelly. Recorded by Jim Reeves, January 9, 1958. Read lyrics: Goodnight Irene (Orphans, 2006)
(9) Valentines Day, that would be February 14. That's 3 days earlier. Linda must be from New York, and she's apparently talking about Sylvain from "Sylvain Sylvain"
(10) Tropicana: Further reading: Tropicana Motel.
(11) Creeping Charlie
(12) Book by a guy called William Kotzwinkle: The author the caller is referring to is William Kotzwinkle and the Book is called The Fan Man Written in 1972. It is about a man named Horse Badorties. A funny, dirty, messed up hippie. The book is about a concert that he is trying to arrange for his "Love Chorus" and the misadventures he has along the way. The character Horse Badorties is similar to Tom Waits in many ways and likes to pepper his speech with the word "Man" to the point of absuridity, as in "My pad, man, is like the coolest place, man, that one could ever hope to live in, Man. The book is very funny. Kotzwinkle went on to write many other books and is probably most famous for writing the novelization of the film E.T.
(14) "14th Street" by Sylvain-Sylvain: From the album "Sylvain Sylvain" by Sylvain Sylvain. Sylvain recorded this self-titled debut in 1980, which consisted of traditional, smoothed-out, highly melodic pop/rock with a variety of influences. Its 1981 follow-up was released under the name (and title) Syl Sylvain and the Teardrops, but like its predecessor, it was a commercial failure, and Sylvain was dropped by RCA. He released an independent single in 1983 but has not been heard from since.
(15) Gotta go see a man about a dog: as the outro from "Nighthawks At The Diner", 1975.
(16) Doc: Could be Doc Pomus or maybe "David Doc Feuer". Credited on Foreign Affairs. Heartattack and Vine". Us promo pack: Stephen Peeples. September 4 1980.: "SP: One more question about the album. On the front cover, at the top right, the name "David 'Doc' Feuer" is printed along with a New York phone number. Whoever he is, he's going to get a lot of phone calls... TW: "That's not his real number. I'll give you his real one if you need it. He's a psychiatrist who needs the work. Actually, I put my phone number on the back of a record once and got lots of phone calls from people with real clinical problems. I never really knew what to say to them. So I told Doc I'd put his number on there and he could handle 'em."
(17) Shelly: might be Shelly Manne (The album 'Small Change'. Album released: September, 1976. Drums; The album 'Foreign Affairs'. Album released: September, 1977. Drums; The album 'One From The Heart'. Album released: early 1982. Drums ("The Wages Of Love", "Is There Any Way Out Of This Dream?", "Old Boyfriends")
(18) Savage: Probably Bobby Savage. Credited on Foreign Affairs. "I'll see you in Coney Island", 1977.