Title: Rain Dogs Tourbook
Source: Rain Dogs tourbook (scans). Thanks to Kevin Molony for donating scans
Date: 1985
Key words: Musical influences, Voice
Accompanying pictures
Page lay-out (page 3). Photography by Anton Corbijn/ Robert Frank
Page lay-out (page 5). Photography by Anton Corbijn/ Robert Frank
Page lay-out (page 9). Photography by Anton Corbijn/ Robert Frank
Page lay-out (page 11). Photography by Anton Corbijn/ Robert Frank


Rain Dogs Tourbook


My father played a little guitar and I had an uncle who played a church organ. They were thinking about replacing him because every Sunday there were more mistakes than there had been the Sunday before. It got to the point where 'Onward Christian Soldiers' was sounding more like 'The Rites Of Spring' and finally they had to let him go. They tore the church down and he took the organ and installed it in his house, he had the pipes going right through the ceiling. He was also a botanist, he lived in the middle of an orange grove where a train went by(1) and we used to visit him when I was very small and impressionable. I played a piano that had been out in the rain, of all things, some of the keys were stuck and didn't operate so I learned to play the black keys.

Uncle Vernon
Uncle Vernon
Independent as a
Hog on ice
He's a big shot down there
At the slaughterhouse
He plays accordian
For Mr. Weiss -


Well, it's 9th and Hennepin
And all the donuts have
Names that sound like prostitutes
And the moon's teeth marks are
On the sky Like a tarp thrown all over this
And the broken umbrellas like
dead birds and the steam
Comes out of the grill like
The whole goddamned town is ready to blow" -


Well ya play that Tarantella
All the hounds begin to roar
And the boys all go to hell
Then the Cubans hit the floor
And they drive along the pipeline
They tango till they're sore
They take apart their nightmares
And they leave them by the door

"Let me fall out the window
With confetti in my hair
Deal out jacks or better
On a blanket by the stairs
I'll tell you all my secrets
But I lie about my past
So send me off to bed forever more" -


The earliest music I remember was mariachi, ranchera, romantica - Mexican music. My father used to tune that in on the car radio. He didn't listen to jitterbug or anything like that.

It's true I'll never sing opera again. It is, however, an appropriate organ for conveying, uh. it's the right kind of horn for my car. People get out of the way when I blow it, it frightens children and gets me a seat at the bar. What more do you want from a voice?


(1) An orange grove where a train went by:
- Tom Waits (1983): "I have a very early memory of getting up in the middle of the night and standing at my doorway by the hall in the house and having to stand there and wait while a train went by. And after the train passed I could cross the hall into my parent's room. KM: Was there a trainyard nearby where you grew up? TW: Not at that particular house, but there were trains in all the places I grew up. My grandmother lived by an orange grove and I remember sleeping at her house and hearing the Southern Pacific go by. This was in La Verne, California. My father moved from Texas to La Verne and he worked in the orange groves there. I also have a memory of wild gourds that grew by the railroad tracks, and putting pennies on the tracks." (Source: "One From The Heart & One For The Road ". New Musical Express. Kristine McKenna. October 1, 1983)