|Title: The Arsenio Hall Show
Source: The Arsenio Hall Show (USA). Syndicated TV talk show hosted by Arsenio Hall. Transcription from tape (excerpt) by "Pieter from Holland" as published on the Tom Waits Library
Date: September, 1992
Keywords: Bone Machine, Keith Richards, Conundrum
The Arsenio Hall Show
[Performs a stunning version of "Goin' Out West"]
AH: [pointing at Waits' shoes] I assume, I assume someone designed those for you custom?
TW: Oh no uh, I just spray painted 'em.
AH: Oh, uh [laughs]... You did that!?
TW: I did it all by myself, yeah.
AH: [laughs] ... Oookay! That's cool. Uh.. [laughter from the audience]. Could you do a pair for me?
TW: I sure can.
AH: Let's start where I know people want me to start. "Who's your favourite New Kid?" No, I don't wanna... [laughter]... You know I was listening to the CD today...
AH: ... and "Jesus Gonna Be Here"...
AH: The groove man! Where did that come from inside you. It sounded like some Alabama gospel!
TW: Yeah, it's just a gospel song you know. "Jesus gonna be here, is gonna be here soon".
AH: Yeah, how long have you been into gospel?
TW: Well, I sang in the church when I was a kid and I've always been attracted to gospel. And I was a soprano when I was a boy.
TW: That all changed [laughter]. But uh... now my voice is a lot more managable, so... You know?
AH: Uhm... [laughs]. Your wife writes also, right?
TW: Yes, she does. We wrote a lot of the songs on the record together.
AH: It's a good record. What was writing with Keith Richards like?
TW: Well, you know uh... You'll always finish SOMETHING. You might finish the bottle, you might not finish the song [laughter]. He's great, he's very musical, he's good with animals [laughter[. No, he can stand at the edge of a cow pasture making all the cows in the whole pasture come to you, just like... [makes inviting gestures]. It's true!
AH: You have a habbit of making instruments out of things that no one else has used. What's on this CD that's not traditionally an instrument?
TW: Uhm... Well there's farm machinery on it. Uh, just found farm machinery. We welded it together in something called a Conundrum(1), which is a metal cross with uh... It looks kind of like a torture device, but it's, it sounds better then it looks. Uhm, and it's just a, just a... It sounds like a jail door...closing.
AH: Yeah [laughs]. I've heard that noise! Uh, we'll be right back with Tom!
(1) Conundrum: Percussion rack with metal objects. Made for Waits by Serge Etienne. Further reading: Instruments: Conundrum