Live Monologues/ Cues/ Intros
Introducing "I Hope That I Don't Fall In Love With You" ("KCRW Snap Sessions", Santa Monica/ USA. November 10, 1973): "This is a story... a tune here... it's about a guy who goes into one of those 24-hour restaurants where they give you the refill on the coffee, so you can sit for, shit, four or five hours. So he walks in there and he's checking out the waitress, Bernice, with a tag on her thing... and... So he just checks her out all night, plots and schemes on how he's gonna get from the booth to get her into his Plymouth. And finally he just chucks the whole thing and goes back to just using his imagination. You can buy the imagination just about anywhere now. And it goes like this." (Transcription by Ulf Berggren as sent to Raindogs Listserv discussionlist. February 19, 2000)
Introducing "Ice Cream Man" ("KCRW Snap Sessions", Santa Monica/ USA. November 10, 1973): "I'm just gonna do a couple more, and then I want Bob Webb to come out and join me in a couple of closing tunes. So let me do this, and then... I think Bob is back there somewhere. [Bob: 'I'm right here'] There he is! When I was... I guess it was about 1966-67 or in there, and Wolfman was still... down here in the Southland... he's now on syndicate on K-DAY (?) of Los Angeles, and he's lost a lot of his pizazz. You call him up and eh... I mean, I got a hotline number, you can still call him up. 'Hello buddy'. He just seems to have lost a bit of his fire, you know, it's like: [with Wolfman Jack's voice] 'K-DAY!' And that's it. And then he lets you talk for a while, and then, you know, he says, [Wolfman's voice] 'I gotta go. Bye!' But I remember calling him before, and sometimes he'd talk to you like ten-fifteen minutes, he'd... like, put on a tape and spin it and have the whole program happening while he talked to you on the radio. He used to get long distance calls from Oklahoma City, and would just get in a big to-do with the operator over it. He'd never except it, and you'd hear the other guy on the other end going, 'I wanna talk to Wolfman!' And the operator said, 'I'm sorry...' 'Mister Jack! Mister Jack, we can't have you talking over the operator's voice' and all this whole thing. But I remember one particular incidence that happened... I don't know, as far as I know I'm the only one that heard this. But it was eh... I guess it was probably about two in the morning and I used to eh... I don't know, it's funny, like I used to listen to his show like the way you tune in a TV program, you know. You wanna be there on time, you know, and you get everything happening... But, you know, usually when you turn on the radio you just... well, you just flick on the radio, you know, whatever's happening but... Wolfman, you always made it on time, he was twelve to two, and if somebody wasn't there he'd do a marathon show now and then. So, there's this guy called up... this is in town so he took the call. And he called up and said, 'Wolfman, my woman left me! What am I gonna do?' And [Wolfman's voice] 'Well, just don't worry about it! What's your name, boy?' He says, 'Jimmy, my name is Jimmy. And Shirley just left me.' Says, [Wolfman] 'Don't worry bout a thing, Jimmy. We'll get Shirley back for you, I promise you.' So he sends out a plea over the air. That's fifty... fifty thousand watts of soul power, I mean... I swear, I picked him up in Oklahoma City when I was driving through there. It was real faint though, it was like [makes static noises]. So he sends out these pleas, [Wolfman] 'Shirley, wherever you are! Jimmy loves you and he wants you back, and he's never gonna do it again.' Real sweet, you know. And so wherever she was, she heard it on the radio and she called up, and she goes eh... she goes, 'I wanna speak to Jimmy.' He goes, 'Shirley, Jimmy' and this whole thing goes back and forth, and all the time Wolfman goes, [Wolfman's voice again] 'All right! Aaaaaooooouuuuuu!' And I've told people about that, and nobody seems to have ever heard that. But it did happen, he brought two lonely hearts back together, right on the air. So never underestimate the power of radio. But eh... I mean, he used to offer helpful little hints too, and a lot of real important information over the air. He used it kind of as an educational service as well as entertainment. And that's how I found out about how you tell the sex of a chromosome. I mean, where else would you learn that, without Wolfman? You know how to tell the sex of a chromosome? [inaudible reply from one in the audience] Oh man, you blew my joke! All right, I'll do this thing... " (Transcription by Ulf Berggren as sent to Tom Waits OneList discussionlist. February 17, 2000)
Introducing "Depot, Depot" (Folkscene/ KPFK-FM, Los Angeles/ USA. August 12, 1973): "A little bluesy thing about the Greyhound Bus Depot downtown, it's funny, not many people go to downtown LA, Free Press did a big article called "Downtown LA, Who Needs It?". I've been going there since I moved here, I've been here a year, I go to hang out down there, I live in Silver Lake so I'm about 10 minutes from downtown. I go down there just to hang out - not too many people live down there, really, people work down there and hang out, that's all. I'll do a song called Depot."
Introducing "(Looking For) The Heart Of Saturday Night" (Folkscene, Los Angeles/ USA. August 12, 1973): "It's a new song, I'm anxious to play it, it's kind of about driving down Hollywood Boulevard on Saturday night, Bob Webb and I were kicking this around one afternoon, Saturday afternoon it was, the idea of looking for the heart of Saturday night, hadn't really worked on any tune about it yet, we're both real Jack Kerouac fans and this is kind of a tribute to Kerouacians I guess."
Introducing "The Ghosts Of Saturday Night" (Folkscene/ KPFK-FM, Los Angeles/ USA. July 23, 1974): "It's about National City which is primarily a sailor town, a suburb of San Diego, where the infamous Mile Of Cars is on National Avenue and at the north end of National Ave is the Burge Roberts Mortuary and the Golden Barrel, Escalante's Liquor Store, sandwiched in between a Triumph Motorcycle shop and Burge Robert's is Napoleone's Pizza House, it's been there for a good 25 years and I worked there when I was real young. I've worked since I was 15 there and I guess not till I was away from it for a long time I could really sit down and write something constructive about it. This is called Ghosts Of Saturday Night or Looking Out From Napoleone's"
Introducing "Depot, Depot" (Folkscene/ KPFK-FM, Los Angeles/ USA. July 23, 1974): "This is a bit of local colour here, this is about 6th & Los Angeles in downtown Los Angeles, about the Greyhound Bus Depot, about going down to the depot on a Saturday night with plenty of quarters for the TV chairs and it's just a great place to take a date."
Introducing "Diamonds On My Windshield" (Folkscene/ KPFK-FM, Los Angeles/ USA. July 23, 1974): "This is about driving in the rain. I used to make that track from San Diego to Los Angeles a lot, usually with several pit stops on the way with engine trouble. So this is about driving in the rain, circa 1973, so slip me some crimson, Jimson."
Introducing "On A Foggy Night" (Folkscene/ KPFK-FM, Los Angeles/ USA. July 23, 1974): "This is the soundtrack for a film - the soundtrack was written quite a bit later than the film - the film came out about 1947 and I wrote it just a couple of weeks ago and it's about a foggy night on one of those "triangle" films that you see on The Late Show and this is just about the eternal triangle - like George Raft and Fred McMurray and Rosalind Russell - and somebody has to go and it's going to be George Raft in this case and Fred McMurray's got this old Plymouth and he's on this foggy road with McMurray in the trunk, a little bit of his lapel sticking out the back of the trunk and this song comes on the radio ...."
Introducing "San Diego Serenade" (Ebbets Field, Denver/ USA. October 8, 1974): "You know, a funny thing happened to me this afternoon. It was eh... 'bout the same thing happened the last time I came to Denver. It was down at the... well it was Seventeenth and Wazee. Right down at the railway station, and it was like... Well, I went past the station, way out on the tracks, and I found a couple of hobos out there. And so I watched them for a while. It was a little... short little sucker, bout that big, he was kinda bent over. And they were both passing a can of Hormel beans back and forth between 'em, you know. One of them took one look at that can of beans, looked down at the little sucker, and he slammed it down on the track and said, 'That's the last ever can of beans I'm ever gonna eat!' Buddy looked up at him and said, 'The hell you wanna do that for, Al? You threw away all the beans!' 'Didn't you notice about a mile back, at the farmhouse, a nice young lady, a whole pen of Rhode Island Red. I'm gonna go back and eat chicken dinner!' Buddy said, 'She ain't gonna give you no chicken dinner!' But he's down the tracks and he's back in half an hour and he's got mashed potatoes aaaaall over his face. He's shaking a big drumstick, says 'What do you think of that?' Buddy says, 'Now how did you get that chicken dinner?' 'I told you 'bout that nice young lady down there with a whole pen of Rhode Island Red . I told her a Bible story.' 'Bible story? My Lord, I don't know no Bible story. Which story did you tell her?' 'I just told her 'bout Samson and all the strength in his long black hair. How he slew five thousand Philistines with the jawbone of an ass.' [a BURP that's been a long time comin'] Buddy says, 'Hey', and heads down the track. He's knocking on the door and a nice young lady comes to the door and he says, 'I've come for my chicken dinner. Fix it up nice and hot right now!' She says, 'All you have to do is tell me a Bible story, Sir!' He scratches his head for a while, then he looked up and he said, 'Well... Christ, I only know one. It's about Swanson. Now, Swanson was a hairy motherfucker, he ate down five thousand Filipinos, stuck 'em in the ass with a jawbone, now where's that chicken dinner?'" (Transcription by Ulf Berggren as sent to Raindogs Listserv discussionlist. April 8, 2000)
Introducing "The Goodnight Loving Trail" (Ebbets Field, Denver/ USA. October 8, 1974): "This is a song by Utah Phillips, the golden voice of the great Southwest. And it's about a... it's about a... like a cook on a wagon trail, you know. They used to call him the old woman... Oh, hush up now, I'm trying to sing this damned thing now! I ain't opening the show tonight! Well, this is Utah Phillips, the golden voice of the great Southwest, and it's about a cook on a wagon trail. And they used to call him... they called him the old woman, see. Cause he can't work anymore and he can't ride. So it's kinda like... Charlie Wooster. They'd give him an apron. Always got a five o'clock shadow, and they'd just whop up a good mess of (?) And it's called 'The Goodnight-Loving Trail', which is an old cattle trail, named after Mister Goodnight and Mister Loving." (Transcribed by Ulf Berggren. Listserv Raindogs discussionlist. January, 2000)
Introducing "I Hope That I Don't Fall In Love With You" (Ebbets Field, Denver/ USA. October 8, 1974): "I haven't had so much fun since Granny put her tits in the wringer... This is a song I haven't played in a while. But they asked me to do it and... It's about a... well, it's kinda forged out of my vivid imagination. This particular evening, it was in San Diego, a little place called ???? where I'd been caught. I'd just gone south where I could work. There was one of those voluptuous young waitresses there. Oh, it's just that the light and shit... have a coffee and watch. But you know, you always end up just kinda checkin' 'em out, and then go down to like Bob's news stand and get a magazine and go home and use my imagination instead. So this is eh... about that sort of thing." (Transcribed by Ulf Berggren. Listserv Raindogs discussionlist. February 19, 2000)
Introducing "Ol' '55" (Passims, Cambridge/ USA. November 10, 1974): "This a about a '55 Buick Roadmaster. I don't know if there's any real bona fide Buick owners out there tonight. But my goodness, that's an automobile that I swear by. It's a car that's seriously as slick as deer guts on the door knob. Climb aboard one of those suckers, make you feel like a new man. And eh... I always had these cars that I bought for like a hundred and twenty-five dollars. You sink 'bout thirty-five hundred into them, and you sell 'em for twelfe fifty or so. [A lot of noise adjusting the microphone] Rattle like a damned sewing machine... And eh... I stuck to the Buick line for several years. I had two Specials, one was a kind of... now how can I put this? It was kind of monkey brown and eh... monkey feces brown, you see what I mean. Two-tone. It was a lot of chrome, kinda looked like a Wurlitzer jukebox. And I had two of those Specials, the other was kinda vomit yellow, it [?]. And I had a couple of Centuries, finally I had a Super. And then I finally picked up on this Roadmaster, and lucky to get it! So this is called 'My Ol' '55'." (Transcribed by Ulf Berggren. Tom Waits eGroups discussionlist, 2000)
Introducing "Drunk On The Moon" (Folkscene/ KPFK-FM, Los Angeles/ USA. January 12, 1975): "This is about Denver, Colorado. I always stayed at a place called the Oxford Hotel which is down on 17th & Wazee about a block away from Larimer Street. Larimer being just full of a lot of ghosts down there on Larimer Street shopping for images in the trash cans - boy, that's old Kerouac and Cassady stomping grounds. It's really changed quite a bit. They put up what's called Larimer Square now which is kind of like a contemporary little boutique sort of shopping centre. It looks awful ridiculous cause right across the street is some real bona fide serious winos - right out in front of a place called the Gin Mill, another place called the Terminal Bar. Terminal Bar is a block away from the Santa Fe train depot so they called it the Terminal Bar but they had no idea that like 20 years later the place'd be filling up with terminal cases. This is called Drunk On The Moon, there's all different kinds of moons - silver slipper moons and there's cue ball moons and there's buttery cue ball moons and moons that are all melted off to one side and this is about a muscatel moon..."
Introducing "On A Foggy Night" (Folkscene/ KPFK-FM, Los Angeles/ USA. January 12, 1975): "There's a stretch of highway from Blythe to San Diego - I drove all night from Nogalis and I got to Blythe and I hadn't washed my windshield. Driving through Blythe at about 3 o'clock in the morning I sort of imagined all these Eucalyptus trees hanging over the highway and these big radio towers which weren't really there. I was just driving a long time. And I've talked to truck drivers that say that same stretch of highway they imagined being in a forest - if you've been driving for a long time but there's something about coming into town on highway 8 that's exciting. But when we were going out there was a fog bank up around Hecumba(?) and - God, a mysterious wet fog was hanging over the highway and so we're coming down and this is about driving on a foggy night on an abandoned road late at night ..."
Introducing "Nighthawks Postcards" (WAMU Radio: Washington/ USA. April 18, 1975)"I'll tell you a story, I did this last night at the Cellar Door, a friend of mine, John Heard (Hurt?), accompanied me on piano, a great piano player, he sounds like George Shearing or early Dave Brubeck, Steve Allen, he's a great piano player - it's called Nighthawk Postcards From Easy Street which is going to be the title of my next forthcoming album and it'll be out in October some time, a little narrative piece, I started writing it on the corner of 12th & Wazee St in downtown Denver, Colorado, out in front of a place called the Terminal Bar, now that's about a half a block from the Santa Fe Freight Depot there and originally the name they gave to the bar had to do with the fact that it was so close to the Santa Fe Freight but now 20 years later every terminal case in town beats the pavement to get there. I started writing it in Denver, I finished it up on 23rd St in New York City - so this is kind of an improvisational adventure into the bowels of the metropolitan region, kind of a travelogue piece - when the highway is a wet slick anaconda of a 2 lane and you're motivating and negotiating a hairpin turn behind the wheel of a serious powder blue Ford Fairlane, with the whispering brushes of wet radials on wet pavement .."
Introducing "Better Off Without A Wife" (Nighthawks At The Diner. July 30/31, 1975): "For all the bachelors out there tonight. Yeah, for anybody who's ever whistled this song (plays the wedding march). Or maybe you've whistled it but you've lost the sheet music. Eh-heh-heh-heh. This is eh.... Well, actually, I don't mind going to weddings or anything. As long as it's not my own, I show up. But, eh... I've always kind of been partial to calling myself up on the phone and asking myself out. You know... (whoops from the audience). Oh yeah, you call yourself up too, huh? Yeah... Well, one thing about it, you're always around! Yeah, I know. Yeah, you ask yourself out, you know. Some class joint somewhere. The Burrito King or something. You know... Well, I ain't cheap, you know. Take yourself out for a couple of drinks maybe, you know. Then you'll be... some provocative conversation on the way home. And park in front of the house, you know, and you... Oh yeah, you�re smooth with it... you know, you put a little nice music on. Maybe you put on like... you know... like shopping music, something that's not too interruptive, you know. And then, you know, and eh... slide over real nice, you know, say, 'Oh, I think you have something in your eye'. Eh-heh-heh. Well, maybe it's not that romantic with you, but Christ, I... you know! It ain't... you know... Take myself up to the porch, and take myself inside. Oh, maybe... I make a little something, a brandy snifter or something. Would you like to listen to some of my back records. I got something here... Well, usually about 2.30 in the morning you've ended up taking advantage of yourself and... there ain't no way around that, you know. Yeah, making the scene with a magazine, there ain't no way around... I'll confess, you know, I'm no different, you know. I'm not weird about it or anything. I don't tie myself up first, I just... you know. I just kind of... spend a little time with myself. So this is kind of a little anthem here..." (Transcribed by Ulf Berggren as sent to Raindogs Listserv Discussionlist, October 31, 1999)
Introducing "Eggs And Sausage (Nighthawks At The Diner. July 30/31, 1975): "I was always eh... kinda wanted like to consider myself kind of a pioneer of the palate. A restaurateur if you will. I've wined, dined, sipped and supped in some of the most demonstrably demi-epitomable bistros in the Los Angeles metropolitan region. Eh-he-he-he... Yeah, I've had strange looking pattie melts at Norm's. I've had dangerous veal cutlets at the Copper Penny. Well, what you get is a breaded Salisbury steak and a Shake'n'Bake, and topped with a provocative sauce of Velveeta and half-and-half..., eh-he-he-he. Smothered with Campbell's tomato soup. He-he-he-he... You see, I had kind of a eh... well, I ordered my veal cutlet, Christ it left the plate and it walked down to the end of the counter. (...?...) waitress (...?...), boy she's wearing those rhinestone glasses with the little pearl thing clipped on her sweater. The veal cutlet come down trying to beat the shit out of my cup of coffee but... Coffee just wasn't strong enough to defend itself. Eh-he-he-he..."
Introducing "Emotional Weather Report" (Nighthawks At The Diner. July 30/31, 1975): "Well... an inebriated good evening to you all. Welcome to Raphael's Silver Cloud Lounge. Slip me a lil' crimson, Jimson. Gimme the low-down, Brown. Now what's the scoop, Betty Boop? I'm on my way into town. Christ, while we're at it, I want to thank Dawna for opening the program for us. I'm so goddam horny that the crack of dawn better be careful around me! Yeah... I wanna pull on your coat about somethin' here tonight. Yeah, a little news I'd like to throw in your direction. See, I... I used to know a giiirl... Yeah, and it was a hubba-hubba and ding ding ding, I said baby you got everything. A week later it was a hubba-hubba and ding ding dong, baby it sure didn't last too long! I know, things are tough all over, and they ain't getting any better. I was moved to kinda squib a little bit of kind of an emotional weather forecast for you this evening. What I'm talking about is, well you know, I've been playing night clubs and staying out all night long. Comin' home late. Gone for three months, come back and everything in your refrigerator turns into a science project. So you get designs on a waitress, you know? She got three or four kids. She's sorting out her checks and she's counting out her change. You say, 'Hey baby, heat me up a bear claw on the radar range.' Well, then it gets real cold..."
Introducing "Nighthawk Postcards" (Nighthawks At The Diner. July 30/31, 1975): "[upright bass solo] Goodness gracious, my bass player should be chained up somewhere. Mongrel... canine... growl. I wanna take you on kind of an inebriational travelogue here Yeah, ain't got no spare, you ain't got no jack You don't give a shit, you ain't never comin' back. Maybe you're standin' on the corner of 17th and Wazee Streets. Out in front of the Terminal Bar There's a Thunderbird movin' in a muscatel sky... He-he. You've been drinkin' cleanin' products all night... Open for suggestions... Eh-he-he-he. It's kinda 'bout... well it's kinda 'bout goin' down to the corner. Say, 'Well, I'm just goin' down to the corner to get a pack of cigarettes, I'll be back in a minute' " (Transcription by Ulf Berggren, 2000)
Introducing "On A Foggy Night" (Nighthawks At The Diner. July 30/31, 1975): "Well, I think it's about time I took you on an improvisational adventure into the bowels of the Metropolitan region. Looks like a bona fide high voltage decked out in full regalia Angelino audience, driving in Subarus, Pintos, Malibus, Oldsmobiles. A small suburban community. This is kinda 'bout two thirty in the morning. You been standing on the corner of 5th and Vermouth, and you climb into the helm of a 1958 monkey-shit brown Buick Super, and you're on your way home. A luxury automobile, bought at Dollar Bill's Easy Autos for next to nothin'. You're cruisin' along, everything's goin' fine. Put a little smooth music on the stereo. Light up an Old Gold, save the coupon! Gotta think in terms of that patio furniture and that Toro mower, man. Yeah. You're on the Santa Monica freeway headed in an easterly direction, you just passed the La Cienega good turn-off, and you run into a cold fogbank... "
Introducing "Warm Beer And Cold Women" (Nighthawks At The Diner. July 30/31, 1975): "Hey, how are ya? This is about a... well, I'd kinda reached the end of an emotional cul-de-sac one particular evening. It was a strange sort of evening. I ended up at a little vino place called The Three Little Pigs. Well, I was starin' at the beer nuts, and the swizzle sticks, and the three little pigs... I was gettin' a lot of visual and verbal insubordination from a double-knit character in the corner, and... One of those nights... "
Introducing "The Ghosts Of Saturday Night" (Coffee Break radio show, WMMS-FM. Cleveland/ USA. December 3, 1975): "After I quitted (I was working on a Mobil station) and I was fifteen, eh I started working as a dishwasher and a cook at a place called Napoleone's Pizza House. And eh, worked there for years, for Joe Sardo and Sal Crivello, and eh it was a gas. Ehm well, like every night about eh 4 o'clock in the morning, all the white vinyl booted gogo dancers and all the sailors would come over about a quarter o' four. And eh just about that time Joe would go out in front just to check out the traffic on the street. You know, he would like leave his paper hat and he'd fold his apron and he would go out and stand in front of Napoleone's. Across the street from The Golden Barrel and Escalani's Liquor and Mario's Pizza. There's a Shell station right on the corner, and a Westerner and a Club-29, and a Melody Club, Phil's Porno and Iwo Jima Eddie's tattoo-parlor. And there'd be a cab out there combing the snake..."
Introducing "Nighthawk Postcards" (Coffee Break radio show, WMMS-FM. Cleveland/ USA. December 3, 1975): "Let's see eh... Well I could do you a kind of a [snaps fingers] Vroooooooom... vroooooomm... vrooooooom... You know eh, it's kind of a little inebriational travelogue here eh.. about eh... It was kinda like say: Well, hey look baby, I'll be right back, I'm just going down the corner and get myself a pack of cigarettes see... And you know, you get down and you hit the bricks and you notice there's kind of a Thunderbird move rolling across a muscatel sky... You see... You're standing there down there on the corner of 5th and Vermouth, it's a block away from the corner of Baby Why Did You Leave Me and Why Don't You Please Come Back Home..."
Introducing "Putnam County" (Coffee Break radio show, WMMS-FM. Cleveland/ USA. December 3, 1975): "Why don't I tell a story? I could do this piece called "Putnam County". This is about a place in Tennessee eh... It's a real town, a small town. It's one of those towns where... It's so small that the main drag is a transvestite... and eh..."
Introducing "Virginia Avenue" (Boston Music Hall, Boston/ USA. March 21, 1976): "This is a song about Reno, Nevada, Reno has a main drag called Virginia Street, it's called Virginia Avenue here cause it rhymes with do and blue and shit - everybody gets divorced in Reno - shit, it's the only goddamn place I've seen dentures in pawn shop windows - entire suburban families tryin' to hitchhike out and they're wearing Bermuda shorts, white socks, and wingtips and shit - real silly - I'd never pick em up. They take wedding rings and throw them in the river the day after they get married which is usually the day they get divorced - wake up and say, Who are you? - I don't know - who are you? My cousin took like a $2,500 wedding ring and threw it in the river - I said what'd you go and do that for - Christ - it's just tradition - expensive tradition - next afternoon I was in the middle of the river with my pants rolled up to my knees." (Transcribed by Gary Tausch. Tom Waits eGroups discussionlist, 2000)
Introducing "Kentucky Avenue" (Apollo Theatre, London/ UK. March 23, 1976): "I grew up on a street called Kentucky Avenue in Whittier, California. My dad was teaching night school at Montebello. I had a little tree fort and everything. I had my first cigarette when I was about seven years old. It was such a thrill. I used to pick 'em up right out of the gutter after it was raining. My dad smoked Kents. Now, I never liked Kents - I tried to get him to change brands. I used to repair everybody's bicycles in the neighborhood. I was the little neighborhood mechanic. There was a guy called Joey Navinski who played the trombone, and a guy called Dickie Faulkner whose nose was always running. And there was a woman called Mrs. Storm. She lived with her sister. She used to sit in her kitchen with her window open and a twelve-gauge shotgun [sticking] out of it ... so we took the long way around."
Introducing "Ol' '55" (West Chester Jazz Festival. West Chester/ USA. October 2, 1976): "Here's a real old song for you. Actually, it's about the very first car I ever stole. You know... I don't know, I still remain somehow a victim of circumcision, in the sense that I have a tendency to be cursed with terminal car trouble. And I don't expect it to let up at all. I never paid more than a hundred and twenty-five dollars for a car. And I ain't about to change now. But I would like to have maybe a 1976 Chevrolet station wagon, and sand it down and primer the thing. [member of the audience shouts something] You saw me in a station wagon? (Yeah) Where did you see me in a station wagon? (something) In Philly? Yeah, I was in a station wagon once. (something) Oh, you mean it was there at the intersection? (Yeah, I was something, something out the window) You were the one, yeah! I'd like to have a big round of applause for my brother-in-law right there. Phil's been out of prison now for a couple of years, but... (No, they ain't caught me yet!) Yeah, I know, that child molesting charge really got you, didn't it? I mean after a second offense and everything, it's kinda hard to say, but... (No, lucky first time!) (or something) Eh... Well, this is eh..." (Transcribed by Ulf Berggren. Tom Waits eGroups discussionlist, 2000)
Introducing "Jitterbug Boy" (West Chester Jazz Festival. West Chester/ USA. October 2, 1976): "You know, I was just thinking about my first Senior Prom, just before I came out here. I tried to perish the thought. I don't know... I took a girl named Margaret Terentino to the Senior Prom. And she wasn't that good looking really... I've seen better legs on a table, but eh... Better teeth on a comb. Better hair on my ass, as a matter of fact. Well, I wasn't... I wasn't any great catch myself! I had hemorrhoids, dandruff, and terminal acne. They used to use me for third base. I took a girl named Margaret Terentino and... Her brother was a big sumo wrestler, and her parents owned an Italian restaurant. And I had to borrow a car. And I was working... It was a dish washing job and a paper route at the same time. Doing a little social climbing. So I drove her all the way to Tijuana, and parked illawstrous right in front of a big sign that said, "Toe-away! No parking! We're not responsible for articles lost or stolen". Well, to make a long story shorter, the car got towed away, I got all juiced and shit, and threw up all over her dress. That was right after she threw up all over my slacks. So I ended up hitch-hiking and I got picked up by a guy named Joe Montelongo, and Joe was a big guy who used to sing in a band, and they did one song, it was 'Walking the Dog'. But they did it for about a half hour or so. So he let us in the car, and we got into a big fight and I dropped her off at a Sanders station, to go in and fix herself up. And I went home. And just about that time was when I ran into Chuck E. Weiss, a partner of mine. And he told me a long story 'bout when he was thirteen years old and he went into a telephone booth, and he found the key in the coinbox. If you think about that it's fascinating, because not only did that key fit in that particular coinbox, but it also fit about seven hundred and fifty other telephone booths. Eh-he... Well, push came to shove, he called up 'bout ten friends in there, and they had to drag him all over the city, and a week later Chuck E was thirteen years old, ridin' a limousine and smokin' Cuban cigars. Eh-he-he... And the headlines in the newspapers said, 'Ma Belle (?) Raided by Mafia'. A real caper. This is 'bout a jitterbug cat I met in the Pennsylvania station at three o'clock in the morning, named Rocky. One of those guys who's been everywhere, knows everything, done everything, you know... I mean, he definitely would sell you a rat's asshole for a wedding ring, and I'll say that without fear of contradiction. He told me he was wearing Hank Williams' boots. And they were loafers, you know... He said, 'Well, I had the tops cut off, cause you know... Well I'm a Jitterbug Boy...'" (Transcription by Ulf Berggren as sent to Tom Waits OneList discussionlist. March 12, 2000)
Introducing "Tom Traubert's Blues" (West Chester Jazz Festival. West Chester/ USA. October 2, 1976): "I'm gonna do a song called 'Waltzing Matilda'. It's not really the original 'Waltzing Matilda', I kinda bent it out of shape. And eh... but eh.. I was eh around this beautiful girl for a while and I was really crazy about her... so was her husband. So we could've made quit a trio on piano bass and drums. So eh what happened was eh... Well it's eh... Actually it's a real short story. I drank too much and I threw op over my tennis shoes and went to sleep in a men's room..."
Introducing "Jitterbug Boy" (The Shaboo Inn, Willimantic. November 9, 1976): "Well... I'd like to do eh... Well, this is a new song about an evening I spent in the Pennsylvania station In the wee small hours of the morning in New York City one night I was just trying to get to Philadelphia Cause every now and then you just have to go to Philadelphia That's all there is to it Regardless of whether you know anybody there or not, you just have to go to Philadelphia I woke up in the middle of the night and [?] to get to Philadelphia so I called on the phone to the Pennsylvania station There weren't no trains, there weren't anybody answering the phone I just had to get to Philadelphia, so I ran all the way up to 34th Street Walked inside and the place was just loaded with a veritable convoluted evening compendium And one straggler of a cat named Rocky leaning up outside of the information booth I took one look at him and I knew that he'd probably been involved at some point with an academic institution of higher learning And he was all over me like a cheap suit, eh-he-he-he Couldn't shake him, eh-he-he So we went to a place called Blarney Stone Yeah, so I went to Blarney Stone and drank cheap shots and beer in the memory of a guy named Charlie Denton that died in 1937 And sang songs aaaaall night long I said, I want a girl just like the girl that married dear old Dad [cheers from the audience] You too, huh? When I fall in love it will be forever Or I'll never fall in love [scat sings] Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think Destroy yourself, it's later than you think The girl that I marry will have to be Soft as a kitten and have a whole lot of money Well, at least a Bank Americard and Master Charge As we walked up 8th Avenue he was telling me all about when he used to hang out with... it was him and Mickey Mantle and Igor Stravinski and John F. Kennedy, and... Those were back in the old days... Said, me and Sly was like this... eh-he-he-he Don Drysdale, and I knew him when he was nothing and he hasn't changed a bit So I was sitting around with the Pope one night And who dropped in but Hank Williams, let me tell ya! And Hank was eh... cause those were the days when Hank was hanging out with Louis Armstrong, so they all came in together So we got Charlie Parker on the phone and said, 'You gotta get over here, man' And he looked me right in the eyes ???? and said I'm the jitterbug boy..."(Transcription by Ulf Berggren as sent to Tom Waits OneList discussionlist. March 12, 2000)
Introducing "Warm Beer And Cold Women" (Agora Ballroom, Cleveland/ USA. December 3, 1976): "Well, I'm all disoriented here! We'd like to do a... The ensemble here is completely nerve-ridden Well, we're gonna do a little song here... It's about a... I started out with bad directions to a party one night. You know how that is. The guy didn't speak English. Told us to get on 32 and run it all the way out. Ended up in a small little bar. And I've been into a lot of bars and... this was one of them. This (?) little place originally was a men's room, and they decided to knock out a wall and build on. A livin', breathin' example of urban renewal, extensive renovations, under new management, please pay when served, and... well..."
Introducing "Tom Traubert's Blues" (Agora Ballroom, Cleveland/ USA. December 3, 1976):"All right, thank you, like to do a couple of tunes here. A new song here. New uncharted territory here. This is about throwing up on yourself in a foreign country. You think it's eh inconvenient here. Try explaining it to someone who doesn't speak English. Will incarcerate your ass, put you in the barbed wire hotel for a couple of years and no one will ever hear from you again. Couldn't even get a post card off. This is eh.... "
Introducing "Diamonds On My Windshield" (WNEW FM: Vin Scelsa's Idiot's Delight. MediaSound Studios NYC/ USA. December 14, 1976): "Well, let's see here eh... I eh... ehm. I'm gonna do a thing about cars eh. This is kind of a, sort of a mutational eh sub cultural eh automotive eh Southern California fascination with the internal combustion engine. Maybe we do something here eh.. [starts snapping fingers] This is about a eh... I don't know eh, it seemed like getting my drivers license when I was a kid, was like ehm... You know eh, certainly a major event, you know eh. I mean it was almost as important as puberty. You know eh, so eh... Well the first car I ever had I bought for $125 from a guy eh who was leaving town, and he had to let it go and it was like eh, real sentimental to him, you know eh? It was a Buick Roadmaster and eh he said: "Well, turn it over." [imitates starting engine trouble]. Well I said: "Well, I give you $100 for it." Huh, huh... And eh, so this is a little bit of eh... little piece here about driving in the rain... No wipers, and a glove compartment full of moving violations. You know? Huh, huh..."
Introducing "Jitterbug Boy" (WNEW FM: Vin Scelsa's Idiot's Delight. MediaSound Studios NYC/ USA. December 14, 1976): "This is a song about eh... a cat I met at eh Pennsylvania station eh real late one night and eh... his name's Rocky... It seems there's always a guy named Rocky at Pennsylvania station... or any station for that matter. If there isn't you know eh, they usually have a (...?...) and rent one. And eh... The guy'd been everywhere, done everything. I was going to Philadelphia. He said: "Man, I'm going to Philadelphia." He said: "I'm gonna take a train." I said: "Well you know eh, don't take a train, let the train take you.". Huh, huh... "
Introducing "Semi Suite" (Kubo Koudou. Tokyo/ Japan. January 8, 1977): "I'd like to do a little American soap opera for you tonight It's called 'The Days of Our Lives' And as the world is turning on you You're falling on the edge of night In a small little town outside of Albuquerque I'll be there with bells on, baby You are my sunshine." (Transcribed by Ulf Berggren. Listserv Raindogs discussionlist. July, 2000)
Introducing "Burma Shave" (Austin City Limits. Austin/ USA. December 5, 1978): "Aarghhh... yeahhhh... You know eh... when I was a kid... my dad had a 1957 station wagon... It was a Chevrolet. And man did I love that car. I used to go in the garage at night and turn out all the lights and roll up against it. (laughter) Huh, huh. I think that's against the law! But I remember driving all the way across country, when I was a kid in the back... I remember seeing Burma Shave signs all the way across the country along Route 66. And eh, well this is a story about a young girl. This small little town, a place called Marysville. It's up around Yuba City, Gridley, Chico, they're all the same. The names are different. It takes about... oh 23 miles and you're in the next one and they got a Foster Freeze just like they had in the one you were trying to get out of... "
Outtro from "Burma Shave" (Austin City Limits. Austin/ USA. December 5, 1978): "And over by the Foster Freeze, well they're closing up now... Yeah, they're closing up... The waitress is going through her purse... There's only a few cars left... A truck rolls by... and there's another young girl, up against the Coke machine... with swizzle-stick legs, sucking on a Lucky Strike, and with a sign in her hand that says: "I'm On My Way To Burma Shave. And it's a hot summer night. And the fish are jumpin'. Fish are jumpin' and the cotton, the cotton is high... Your daddy's rich, your daddy's rich and your mamma's good-looking. She's so good-looking baby. Vroooooooommmm, vrooooommmmmm. So hush now, hush now. Hush now, don't you cry, don't you cry baby , don't you cry."
Introducing "A Sweet Little Bullet From A Pretty Blue Gun" (Austin City Limits. Austin/ USA. December 5, 1978): "This is a story about Hollywood Boulevard. And eh... Now you know there's all these young girls from the mid-west. Still pick up a Modern Screen magazine, get on a Greyhound bus, come on up looking for Clark Gable. And eh... they end up down on eh Wilcox Avenue. And ehm... there's a pimp feeding icecream to a dog. You know? It's eh... "Oh How The Mighty Have Fallen". This is about any night, when it's raining and it's pouring... "
Introducing "I Wish I Was In New Orleans" (State Theatre, Sydney/ Australia. May 2, 1979): "I used to know this girl named Suzy Montelongo. And her brother's name was Joe Montelongo. Joe always wanted to kill me. He sang in a band called the Rodbenders. Suzy Montelongo used to wear these angora sweaters. I'm crazy about angora sweaters. I guess it's kind of a hang-up of mine. She had angora socks, and angora shoes. I believe she was originally *from* Angora. I don't know where she is anymore, but every time I see an angora sweater, I think maybe inside will be Suzy Montelongo. Eh-he-he... Maybe she's in New Orleans. Well, I'll be there... " (Transcribed by Ulf Berggren. Tom Waits eGroups discussionlist, 2000)
Introducing "Jitterbug Boy" (State Theatre, Sydney/ Australia. May 2, 1979): "Well, this is a little song about a buddy-wuddy of mine. His name is Chuck E. Weiss. Chuck E. Weiss is the kind of guy that would steal his own car. Eh-he-he-he... And I'm a jitterbug boy..."
Introducing "Small Change" (State Theatre, Sydney/ Australia. May 2, 1979): "This is a story that takes place on 23rd street in New York City On a hot summer night A place called the Chelsea Hotel On this particular night, there was an incident that never made the papers No one squandered over this thing Kojak wasn't there this night Some little guy with bovine perspiration on the upper lip area walked over and said 'Bag 'im and tag 'im' It's about a guy named Small Change On this particular night he got rained on with his own thirty-eight..." (Transcribed by Ulf Berggren. Tom Waits eGroups discussionlist, 2000).
Introducing "Tom Traubert's Blues" (State Theatre, Sydney/ Australia. May 2, 1979): "This is eh, a song here eh. I kinda borrowed your unofficial national anthem on this whole thing... I'll give it back when I'm done. Eh, well I met this girl named Matilda. And eh, I had a little too much to drink that night. This is about throwing up in a foreign country. The feeling..."
Introducing "Burma Shave" (State Theatre, Sydney/ Australia. May 2, 1979): "You know, I remember... It rained all day the day that Elvis Presley died. And only a legend can make it do that! And you know, I remember when my baby said we were through. And she was gonna walk out on me. It was Elvis Presley that talked her out of it. And he gave me my first leather jacket. And taught me how to comb my hair just right in a filling station bathroom. It was Elvis that gave you a rubber on prom night. And told you that you looked real sharp. And you know, I think he maybe just got a little tired of repairing all the broken hearts in the world. And now I think maybe I understand why mechanics' cars never start. And why night watchmen are always sleeping on the job. And why shoeshine boys always have worn-out scooped-up shoes. But eh... [mumbles] A legend never dies, he just teaches you everything he knows. To give you the courage to ask her out. And I know, there's a small little town where dreams are still alive. And there's a hero on every corner. And they're all on their way to a place called Burma-Shave. Scrawled out across the shoulders of this dying little town, see? And every night it takes the one eyed Jacks. You know, a one eyed Jack is like a... You got one headlight burned out on your car. It's called a one eyed Jack. You can see them from across the railroad tracks. Over the scar on its belly, there came a stranger passing through."
Outtro from "Burma Shave" (State Theatre, Sydney/ Australia. May 2, 1979): "Well... I was talking to my brother-in-law. He said there was a wreck out on the highway. He saw the smoke from the tires and the twisted machine. Oh, but all you've got is just a nickle's worth of dreams. And they've been swindled from you on the way to a place called Burma-Shave. You let the sun hit the derrick and cast a bat wing shadow. It's up against the car door on the shotgun side. But you know something, baby? I swear to God, when they pulled you from the wreck you still had on your shades. And dreams are growing wild every night. Just this side of Burma-Shave. And there's another young girl out by the highway tonight with her thumb out Just a few trucks going by...Vrrrrrrrrooooom. Fish are jumpin', fish are jumpin' and the cotton is high..."
Introducing "Kentucky Avenue" (BBC's "Tonight In Person" TV show. London/ UK. July 26, 1979): "Here's a song about growing up. I grew up at a street called Kentucky Avenue. Well, I was born at a very young age, and eh when I was about 5 years old I used to... I used to walk down Kentucky Avenue collecting cigarette buts. And I finally got me a paper route. I used to get up at 1 o'clock in the morning so I could deliver my papers and still have time to break the law..."
Introducing "(Looking For) The Heart Of Saturday Night" (Uptown Theatre. Kansas City/ USA. October 8, 1979): "Well thankya... . I used to work in an Italian restaurant in a small place called National City. And it was right across the street from the Golden Barrel. It was right next to a place called the Westerner. There was a place called Ybu Ima Eddie's tattoo-parlour. Burge Roberts Mortuary... And I had this 1958 Buick Super at the time and eh.. it kinda made everything a little easier to handle... And on Saturday nights, well I was going with a girl called Margaret Terrentino. Her father owned this big restaurant and eh... I asked her to the prom it was the biggest mistake in my life... (laughter). Huh, huh, huh... Her parents couldn't stand me, they said I'd never amount to nothing. So this one's for you Margaret! (huge roar)"
Outtro from "(Looking For) The Heart Of Saturday Night" (Uptown Theatre. Kansas City/ USA. October 8, 1979): "And there's some cat walking down the street, and he's singing "Since I Fell For You". Ohhh and I'm huddled in front of this liquor store, I'm pumping dimes into the phone. Ohhh and they're lonely on Sunset and Vine. Ohhh and they're lonely on 32nd and Downing. Lonely on Broadway tonight. Oh, and they're lonely on 5th and Main. They're lonely on Harlem 125th Street, Lennox Avenue, and they're lonely on 23rd street and 8th Avenue. And they're lonely on 12th Street and Vine (applause). They're lonely on Gordon, they're lonely on Bandit(?). And they're lonely on Bourbon Street tonight baby. Oh, they're lonely on Canal Street... So put your arm around the one you love. You gotta hold her tight, on this lonely, lonely Saturday night. They're lonely on Hollywood Boulevard baby. Someone's all alone and blue. All they need is you, on this lonely Saturday night. They wanna be stumblin' baby, they wanna be stumblin' on the heart, on the heart of Saturday night. Stumblin' on the heart... stumblin' on the heart of Saturday night. All you need is a full tank of gas... to be with the one that you love... A lot of times you think you can make it all by yourself... They're lonely on Sunset and Boulevard tonight and they're stumblin'... stumblin' on the heart, on the heart of Saturday night... "
Introducing "Jitterbug Boy"(Uptown Theatre. Kansas City/ USA. October 8, 1979): "Well... thank you. It's really nice to be here. The only time I ever had any honest affiliation with Kansas City was when a friend of mine named Montclair de Havilland drove here over the weekend in a powder blue Lincoln Continental, just to get himself a can of Falstaff and some orange pants. Eh-he-he-he-he-he. Eh-he-he. He said, 'Man, this is the only city in the United States where you can get orange pants!' Eh-he-he-he... Eh-he-he... [With a voice from hell:] All right, calm down back there! Well, I dream of Jeanie with the light brown hair Flowing like a river Oh, but Jeanie won't talk to me anymore And I've got plenty of nuttin' And nuttin's plenty for me And I've got the sun in the morning And the moon at night Cause I'm a jitterbug boy..."(Transcription by Conor McMahon as sent to Raindogs Listserv discussionlist. August 13, 1999)
Introducing "Muriel" (Apollo Victoria Theatre. London/ UK. March 20/ 21, 1981): "This is a song about an American television personality named Ernie Kovacs who was very popular in the late 50's. He had his own show and he had a beautiful wife, Edie Adams,(here in a high pitched goofy voice he sings): "And you may ask yourself, how did you get that beautiful wife? How did you get that beautiful car?" Ernie was very fond of Edie, they were very close for many years. They went to a party in Beverley Hills one night. Edie took the Rolls and Ernie took the Corvair. That's just the way they had things worked out, and on Ernie's way home, he'd had a few cocktails, and he wrapped himself around a telephone pole there on Santa Monica and La Cienega, he's history now. Edie used to do advertisements for Muriel Cigars, it's a real cheap 10 cent cigar in the States and so this is about a guy in the lounge who's smoking a cigar and remembering - remember with me now." (Transcription from tape by Gary Tausch as sent to Raindogs Listserv discussionlist. July 19, 2000)
Introducing "On The Nickel" (Royal Oak Theatre. Detroit/ USA. May 5, 1982): "This is a song about eh, about downtown Los Angeles. And this is dedicated to all the little boys who are far away from home. There's a little park about two blocks off eh Main Street in downtown Los Angeles, where a lot of the gentleman of the area congregate around the 14th of April and do their taxes every year. And eh... and mostly all they talk about is Christmas and Easter, Thanksgiving and birthdays and eh... "
"The One That Got Away" (Tyrone Guthrie Theater. Minneapolis. May 9, 1982): "And I don't know how we ended up in Indiana. Wasn't my idea. 32 years old and I've never wanted to go to Indiana. It never occured to me. Even as a child. And that told me something. When I first heard of prospects for arrival in the Indiana area, I had reservations. But ah, Murray said that nobody works Indiana, so you guys'll clean up! Indiana is basically hungry. Hungry, and they want more and more for their entertainment dollar. You can fill that need. And at that point in my life I was not prepared to accept that kind of responsibility. I don't want any shit from Indiana. (applause) I mean I'm thinkin about... down the road... ah, day to day is one thing, but... we ended up in a little place, and on the marquee it said "Las Vegas style entertainment." That may sound good to you. When you've been out for awhile, you smell a rat. Some guy in Youngstown Ohio got mixed up with the mob, and they said "Listen, why don't you run a joint down in Valpariso." "We'll send you down there just till things cool off, and then you can come back and visit your family." And they said "Look, you guys'll love it, cause there's a hotel right next to the gig, a little Dairy Queen there." Everybody went "Wow...crazy." "The dough is great, you gotta be nuts not to not to take a gig like that." Well... I don't have a lot of regrets in my life... I lost my equilibrium and I lost my car keys...I lost my passport, my driver's license... my Visa, Carte Blanche, Bank Americard... lost everything that I hold dear to me. And I lost it in Indiana. I know what you're thinkin... that's no reason to blame Indiana. Well I'm just that way. So we do alot of travelin' now... go all over the country. But we don't go to Indiana." (Source: Tyrone Guthrie Theater. Minneapolis. May 9, 1982 "The One That Got Away". Transcript by Ken Langford, 2005)
Introducing "Tango 'Till They're Sore" (Concertgebouw. Amsterdam/ The Netherlands. November 4, 1985): "We had a little trouble getting in eh through the airport here. Nothing I couldn't handle. But eh I spent about twelve hours in a little room with bars on it. The guy there at eh the customs department took one look at me and eh mistook me for a criminal. I was [?] heavily. I was traveling with cash, I had a new suit. I had a shave and a haircut. I was wearing brassieres on the outside of my overcoat. But eh, I have seen pictures with people who dress that way. I thought it already caught on over here. I was wearing some eh nice stockings, and some heels (I like that ). Anyway he put me in a little room with three guys from Senegal, and eh an Indonesian family, three Vietnamese guys and eh four Portuguese prostitutes. And eh we all became great friends. In fact we've eh all decided to stay in touch and we're gonna be back in the same jail cell every year."
Introducing "I Wish I Was In New Orleans" (Folies-Bergere, Paris/ France. November 16, 1985): "This is about a guy who lived at a place called the Taft Hotel, which is in St Louis. He spent most of the afternoon staring at the wallpaper. And it was a water stain there. He thought it was a map of South America. Heck, it was good enough for him. This was his... the way he was traveling was just from going inside the water stains on the wallpaper in the hotels. It's just a concept... And he saved most of his time in a little bag, with a string on it." (Transcribed by Ulf Berggren. Tom Waits eGroups discussionlist, 2000)
Introducing "Christmas Card From A Hooker In Minneapolis" (Beacon Theatre. New York/ USA. November 21, 1985): "I was in Minneapolis - it was 200 degrees below zero - I know - you think I'm bullshitting, no, I swear to God, I was wearing just a bra and a slip and a kind of dead squirrel around my neck - he was colder than I was. The police cars would go by and they'd wave. Vrooooom... Merry Xmas, Merry Xmas, Merry Xmas - anyway - I got caught in the middle of a pimp war between 2 kids in Chinchilla coats, they couldn't have been more than 13 years old- they're throwing knives and forks and spoons out into the street - it was deep - so I grabbed a ladle - and Dinah Washington was singing "Our Day Will Come" and I knew that was it." (Transcription by Gary Tausch as sent to Tom Waits Yahoo Groups discussionlist. December 7, 2001)
Introducing "Cemetery Polka" (Beacon Theatre. New York/ USA. November 21, 1985): "I want to do something about all my relatives - everybody's relatives - actually, on my mother's side we have all the professors and the attorneys and on my dad's side we have all the psychopaths and the alcoholics. This is kind of a family reunion right in here, it's the only time they've ever really spoken to each other" (Transcription by Gary Tausch. Listserv Raindogs discussionlist. December, 1999)
Introducing "Tango Till They're Sore" ("Late Night With David Letterman" NBC TV show. New York/ USA. December, 1985): "Thank you eh. This is about a guy that eh fell out of a window on New Year's Eve. And eh, the only thing that broke his fall, was the fact that he had a little eh confetti in his hair. Needless to say he doesn't go anywhere without a little... confetti in his hair."
Introducing "Cemetery Polka" (WXRT-FM Radio. Chicago/ USA. July 11, 1986):"This is dedicated to all my dead relatives - who are still arguing from the grave with each other. On my father's side we had all the psychopaths and alcoholics and on my mother's side we had all the evangelists so they were finally united at the grave - this is a little family tree really."
Spoken intermezzo from "Down in the Hole" (Eugene Theatre, New York/ USA. October 16, 1987): "Well people, I got to speak to ya! Can I get an Amen! (audience: Amen!) Praise the lord (audience: Praise the lord!) Can I get a Halleluiah! (audience: Halleluiah). I can't hear you (audience: Halleluiah!) I just heard that... Well people, we were on our way to this meeting tonight, and we were boarding the big Jumbo jet over Dallas/ Texas. And the lord loooves Dallas/ Texas! And the lord loves New York city too! We pulled out on the clouds, we were seated in Clipper Class. Over my left there was an elderly Indian gentleman who seemed to be having some trouble with the tiny foil top that locks on the freshness on his strawberry preserves container. But I mean to tell you, he busted that top! Good god, he busted that top! Till I thought he would die... Well people, I couldn't staaand it any longer, I couldn't staaand it any longer! I had to help him out! And I snatched that container from his hand, and I tore open the foil top, and I spread his jam out on his toast for him! Can I get an Amen! (audience: Amen!) And you know people, you know the lord too helps us out of the little jams too! But people, only if you keep that devil down in the hole!"
Introducing "Cold, Cold Ground" (Orpheum Theatre. Minneapolis/ USA. November 1 1987): "This is actually about a guy that eh I met eh while incarcerated with three guys from Senegal, an Indonesian family and three Portuguese prostitutes. It's a very long story and I'll try and keep it brief. I eh ran into a guy in the same cel with me, who went by the name of: WOOLFEBOY. I said: "Aaargh com'on I'll call you W.B.... WOOLFEBOY. He wouldn't have it any other way."
Introducing "I Wish I Was In New Orleans" (Fox Warfield Theatre. San Francisco/ USA. November 5, 1987): "Things got a little snooty downtown here today. I was on one of those streets that... you know. You know the ones. Okay? I walked into a hotel, I knew somebody was staying at the hotel. I walked in the hotel I said: "Listen, can you direct me to the elevators?" and the guy said: "You mean the elevators to the rooms?" I said: "No, the elevator to hell!" (laughter) "Of course I mean the elevators to the rooms! Jesus Christ!"
Spoken intermezzo from "Way Down In The Hole" (Fox Warfield Theatre. San Francisco/ USA. November 5, 1987): "Well people, I got to speak about something! Can I get an amen! Can I get a halleluiah! Praise the lord! Have mercy... People, when I was on my way to this speech tonight, we pulled down in Dallas/ Texas. The lord loooves Dallas/ Texas. Well people, I mean to tell you the lord was working his wonders with his paint brush. All the many hues of his pallet. The almond, the many violets and the vermilion. And I was seated in Clipper Class. People I love Clipper Class! But I was seated next to and elderly Indian gentleman who was having some trouble with the tiny foil top that locks in the freshness on his strawberry preserves container. A problem we've all experienced from time to time... People I want you to know that he busted that top, till I thought he would die. And you know what I did!? You know what I did!? Well I tell you what I did! People I snatched the container from his hand, I tore open the foil top and I spread his preserves out on his toast for him! (applause). People, the lord is a very, very busy man. I do what I can... Jesus is always going for the big picture... and he's always there to help us out of the little jams too! Down in the hole!"
Introducing "Cold Cold Ground" (Wiltern Theatre. Los Angeles/ USA. November 9, 1987): "It's good to be back in the land of wigs and novelties. Go ahead and laugh, but when you need wigs and novelties, and you're in Indiana... You can hang it up, buddy! I looked everywhere. Woke up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, one thing on my mind I wanted a cigarette lighter as big as an encyclopedia. You know those? You open the top and it goes CINK! And then WHOOM! It's thrilling... It's good to be in the Wilshire district, you know. You know, close to everything. Shopping and that type of thing. All real important things with us. Actually, Wilshire's a little snooty, Western's very friendly. So we're kind of... we're kind of... Would you say we're at the corner of Friendly and Snooty? The two missing seven dwarfs: Friendly and Snooty. All right, this is a song about a little guy who lives in a little house... "
Introducing "Franks Wild Years" (Wiltern Theatre. Los Angeles/ USA. November 9, 1987): (takes a drink out of a refrigerator on stage) "Well I'm sorry I couldn't wait. You know how it is. You probably had one or two earlier. You look smart. I'm kiddin', I really am. It's how they built the pyramids you know? "You wanna go pick up that big rock over there? No I'm doing fine. Well, there's one of these in it for you. Well maybe a couple of them if you pick up both of those rocks. No, we're making a triangle over there. I'll tell you about it. Well get another guy to help you and I'll give him a beer too." Actually my doctor told me to stop drinking. I said: "You're nuts!" No actually, I woke up this morning and I was a doctor! I was puzzled by it, but I had the slacks, I had the clubs, I had the cards, I had the automobile, I had the wife... Everything, you know. And I was ready. I was in surgery this morning at 8 o'clock! Although a little shaky, but I pulled through. It's easy once you get... I watched to come love them. This is a story about a guy named Frank O'Brien."
Introducing "Ninth And Hennepin" (Wiltern Theatre. Los Angeles/ USA. November 9, 1987): "Well, we're gonna do a little story for you. This is one of those dreams, where all the people you never ever wanted to see again... were all there! And they want to spend some quality time with you! You follow me? Well, they've all joined you at the corner of Ninth and Hennepin... "
Introducing "Straight To The Top" (Fox Warfield Theatre. San Francisco/ USA. November 5, 1987. Waits after his "costume change", returning as a white-jacketed lounge entertainer, complete with the cigars and the golf club):"Oh, you're beautiful! No no! I know, I know You hear that all the time, you know [sings] "You are beautiful to me." Wow, I mean... it's wild, but right now, I don't know I feel closer to you than I do to my own family. And that's kind of tragic when you think about it. I don't know, I feel I can look right inside those black little hearts of yours. And I feel that I know you all individually and as a group. I don't know, it's wild, it's never happened before. Is it a full moon, I don't know? Have a cigar! Know what I'm sayin'? [starts throwing cigars out into the audience] One for the balcony [throws one into the front rows instead] Whoa! I'm sorry, baby! I threw my arm out in spring training. I lost everything in the stock market. But there's only one place to go... "
Introducing "Jitterbug Boy" (Wiltern Theatre. Los Angeles/ USA. November 9, 1987): "Eh, I saw a place just outside of Western. A place that sells 'Used Erotica'. Think about it! Will they clean it? WHO cleans it? Are they licensed? All these questions came to my head. HOW used is it? WHO used it? You follow me? There's a place... there's a theatre right outside Western with seven X's... I mean double X, okay. Triple X, eeheh. But SEVEN X's? Girls without skin?! That's all I could think. You know? THAT I want to see. 'Come here, baby! You're a doll. I love you...' Okay..."
Introducing "I Wish I Was In New Orleans" (Wiltern Theatre. Los Angeles/ USA. November 9, 1987): "Well... I had a rough flight down here, you know. I don't know, we came in... we didn't come into L.A. actually, we came into Bob's Airport! (laughter) Eh, actually my reaction was the same as yours. Eh, but when you think about it, Bob's there all the time, you know? It's very simple, they have a little lobster bar there and eh... I gotta introduce you to Bob, you'll love Bob."
Introducing "I Wish I Was In New Orleans" (Wiltern Theatre. Los Angeles/ USA. November 9, 1987): "Well... look, I think the question I get asked the most is... I mean, it happens a lot. Enough that I would remark on it. A lot of people come up to me and they say, "Tom, is it possible for a woman to get pregnant without intercourse?" And eh my answer is always the same. I say, "Well, listen. We're gonna have to go all the way back to the Civil War." Apparently, a stray bullet actually pierced the testicle of a Union soldier, and then lodged itself in the ovaries of an eighteen year old girl, who was actually a hundred feet from him at the time. Well, the baby was fine. She was very happy, guilt free and eh... Of course, the soldier was a little pissed off. When you think about it, it's actually a FORM of intercourse, but NOT... for everyone. Those who love ACTION maybe."
Introducing "More Than Rain" (Wiltern Theatre. Los Angeles/ USA. November 9, 1987): "Eh this is about all the bad days in the world. I used to have some really bad days. And I kept them in a little box. And one day I threw them out into the yard. Oh, it's just a couple of innocent bad days. Well, we had a big rain... I don't know what it was growing in, but I think we used to put egg shells out there and coffeegrounds too. Don't plant your bad days! They grow into weeks, the weeks grow into months, and before you know it you got yourself a bad year. Take it from me: CHOKE those little bad days! CHOKE 'em down to nothing! There are your days, CHOKE 'em! You choke my days, I'll choke yours! All right... It's more than rain..."
Introducing "Jitterbug Boy" (Draken Theatre. Stockholm/ Sweden. November 26, 1987: "This is about when I lived in a hotel. I lived in a hotel for a long time and... Long beyond the time necessary for me to stay in a hotel. I had an analyst who insisted that I'd stay in a hotel under all circumstances. And under no circumstances was I to move out of this hotel. And I was paying him a lot of money, so I thought I'd better take his advice. So I stayed in this hotel, forever! And there was a nice little cigarette machine in the lobby, and a swimming pool that was painted black. It matched my mood in the water most of the time. It was a thrilling place. And my analyst is now living in that hotel. And he pays ME three hundred dollars, so it all balances out. Actually, I get asked a lot of questions. I guess that the question I get asked the most... well, I mean I get asked often enough that I would remark on it to you tonight. In fact, somebody just today came up to me and asked me... [somebody in the audience yells 'How's the wife and kids?'] That's the one! Thank you very much, Sir! Everybody wants to get in the act! How long have you been out of prison now, Sir? See, that's what happens when cousins marry. Anyway, you're still working out at the airport, right? Okay, we'll be seeing you bright and early! Actually, the question I get asked the most is... and somebody today, just... I mean, out of the clear blue sky, somebody came up to me and said 'Tom, is it possible for a girl to get pregnant without intercourse?' I get that all the time. I mean, I get asked that all the time! Anyway... I said, for the answer to this we're gonna have to go all the way back to the civil war. Apparently a stray bullet... This is the truth! A stray bullet actually pierced the testicle of a Union soldier, and then it went on to lodge itself in the ovaries of an eighteen year old girl who was standing two hundred, maybe three hundred feet from him at the time. They'd never even met! How's that for luck! Anyway, you know, she was very happy of course, cause there was something kind of immaculate about the conception, and she did a lot of interviews and that type of thing, and people flew in, and she was on the cover of a lot of magazines at the time. The baby was healthy. Of course, the soldier was pissed off, wouldn't you be? It's actually a FORM of intercourse, but I don't think it's for everybody. Unless you like action. I like action! This is a little song about eh... I got it right out of the encyclopedia..."(Transcription by Ulf Berggren as sent to Tom Waits OneList discussionlist. March 16, 2000) Introducing "Tom Traubert's Blues" (Center for the performing arts, San Jose/ USA. December 30, 1990): "It's funny eh. This is one of those songs that I sung [..?..] and I never quite figured it out. It's like a rug, you know some rugs have a design and you go: "Hey what is that?" Oh it's not like a rug! That was a bad eh analogy, well you know. Well it's just one of those songs that puzzles me. And eh, so I sing it and I get further puzzled. Eh, alcohol and eh writing don't mix. If they do it takes a long time to unravel them..."
Introducing "Jitterbug Boy" (Storming Heaven Benefit, Healdsburg/ USA. August 11, 1996): "Good evening. Thank you! I know: what have I been doing? Well, I've gone back to school... traffic school. I don't have to pick a major right away, that's what I loved about it. I'm gonna go with something really light at first, just like "seven units", and "failure to yield", something like that. Actually, I ran into somebody just the other day that I went to traffic school with, and I said 'Jeff! How are you?' And we exchanged greetings. And he was the guy that first told me that there are only two things that you can throw out the window of a moving vehicle on the freeway without getting arrested. And I know what those two things are. The first one is easy. [someone in the audience yells 'Water'] Water, exactly! The second one's a little tougher. Are you ready for this? Feathers! Think about that for a while. Now that's without the bird. That's why I got arrested. I assume. I argued... I'm a jitterbug boy..."
Introducing "Burma Shave" (Storming Heaven Benefit, Healdsburg/ USA. August 11, 1996): "Ths is about a small little town... When I was a kid we used to drive cross country. And for those of you who are old enough, you might remember the Burma-Shave signs on the side of the highway [some applause]. Thank you, all six of you! Anyway, this is about that. My dad yelling at me to hold my horses! And thirty years later I yelled at my kids to hold THEIR horses. So this is about a small little town. One of those tiny little towns by the side of the road. And somebody thumbing a ride trying to get out of town..." (Transcribed by Ulf Berggren. Listserv Raindogs discussionlist. November, 1999)
Introducing "Tango Till They're Sore" (Storming Heaven Benefit, Healdsburg/ USA. August 11, 1996): "This is a song about suicide. But it's a FUN song. So don't go gettin' depressed!"
Introducing "Filipino Box Spring Hog" (KCRW-FM radio. Santa Monica/ USA. March 31, 1998): "In my old neighbourhood we used to have rent parties- if you couldn't make the rent. So they'd have a big festival out in the alley and cook a pig and invite a lot of people and charge them money of course - but most people brought something too. So they'd dig a big pit and then cook a big pig and there's like 200 people there and they're out in the alley. But I was staying in this place where I had a mean landlord and everybody hated the landlord and we were gonna have the - wasn't any point in having the rent party cause you'd already been evicted and so somebody got the idea that we' d have this big barbecue - we'd have it in the house. So they sawed all the floorboards out of the living room and dug a hole in the living room and put the box springs of a mattress down there and underneath the box springs there was a lot of madrone and eucalyptus and then we put the pig on top of the box springs and we had this big barbecue. It was memorable, everybody'd still talking about it - so anyway, this is about that."
Introducing "Ninth & Hennepin" (SxSW festival. Paramount Theater, Austin/ USA. March 20, 1999): "This is about a scary corner... It's a place called "Ninth & Hennepin". The ironic thing about this is, that it's no longer scary. That's how long I've been around. It went from scary... to kinda fun! And it really kinda upset me. Eh, you know, now they've got the unisex hair parlor there and eh,... you know the yogurt ehm... the eh... the funny shoes with eh... you know. But in the old days, it was no place you wanted to be. It was a little donut shop, a 12-year old pimp came in one night. I was in the middle of a war. Another guy firing live ammunition outside. All he had was knives and forks and spoons. And he incorporated the donut shop as his... barricade. And I just happened be... well having a donut. I haven't had my donut since... . (laughter). Cause I know where donuts lead! On the jukebox it was playing "Our Day Will Come". It was too perfect. Well it's Ninth and Hennepin..."
Introducing "Ol' '55" (VH1 Storytellers show. Los Angeles/ USA. April 1, 1999): "This is a song about an automobile. I had a '55 Buick Roadmaster when I was a kid. Actually, this really eh... was inspired by an old friend of mine named Larry Beezer, who... I was staying at the Tropicana Hotel, and I got a knock on the door very late and... Was that a clap for the Tropicana? Excellent! I don't think I got any new towels for the whole like nine years I was there. But I never asked, I didn't wanna upset anybody. This is about eh... What was it about again? It was about eh... It was about the car! All right, Beezer came over at about 2 a.m. He said, 'I'm on a date, and she's only seventeen, and I gotta get her back to Pasadena. And all I got left on the car is reverse.' I said, 'How can I help?' He said, 'I need gas money', and so he sold me a couple of jokes. He said, 'You can have these jokes, and you don't even have to tell folks that they're mine, cause you paid for 'em for chrissake!' And I said, 'That sounds like a good deal to me.' Anyway, he rode home, in reverse, on the Pasadena freeway. In the slow lane. I think they should give awards for that kind of thing! But anyway, it was a '55 eh... what was it? Was it a '55 Caddy?" (Transcribed by Ulf Berggren. Tom Waits eGroups discussionlist, 2000)
Introducing "What's He Building?" (Cirkus. Stockholm/ Sweden. July 14, 1999): "This is a story about your neighbor And my neighbor And the neighbor you are soon to become I guess what gets me is, I know two or three things about my neighbor And that's all I wanna know And from that I can build a story First of all, he told me he was from Tampa Well, then explain the Indiana plates to me My neighbor's name is Cunningham And the thing I think about, with a name like Cunningham, is If you're a ham, then you weren't very cunning, were you? That was a very private thought And unnecessary to be sharing with Cunningham But sometimes at night, when I hear things like that I think, what the hell is he building in there?..." (Transcription by Ulf Berggren. Tom Waits eGroups discussionlist, 2000)
Intro (Cirkus. Stockholm/ Sweden. July 14, 1999): "Did you realize that the male spider has his penis at the end of one of his legs? Of course, exactly which leg he's not saying. 'Baby, take my boot off, will you? Oh yeah, just undo the laces. Give me a little foot rub, will you?' Aah. A little biology lesson there. Did you realize that the weasel and the ermine are the same animal? True! In the winter it's called weasel and in the summer it's called ermine. So if you see a girl wearing ermine, you can go up to her and say, 'I really like your weasel!' And I will come down and testify for you in court! I've done it before." (Transcription by Ulf Berggren. Tom Waits eGroups discussionlist, 2000)
Introducing "Can't Wait To Get Off Work" (Cirkus. Stockholm/ Sweden. July 14, 1999): "All right. We're over here now... [at the piano, stage right] Good to be here! In Stockholm area. I tried to get a little sleep last night. I don't know about you, but in my room, I look out the window and it's always light. Is it different for you? Did I get a bad room at the hotel? Is there construction going on? What is it? I know, it's part of the charm. That's why we decided to bring the lights down in here. Way down. Okay. What did I want to say? Oh, here's a good one! You know rats? Interesting thing about rats. If they stop eating, their teeth will go right through the top of their head. Just something to think about. Believe me, rats think about it all the time. The three ages of man. Do you know what the three ages of man are? Youth, middle age, and "You look good!" That's okay. Okay, old song or new song, what's it gonna be? [Just about everyone in the audience shouts "OLD!"] Bastard! [One guy in the audience adds "Very old!"] Hey, don't try to pull that crap on me! [The guy shouts "The Piano!"] Right, buddy! And it's paid for! [Another guy asks "Is it sober?" but he's ignored] Is it the same over here as it is in the States, that the word "espresso" now means civilization? Is it true here? ["NO!"] Good! That's why we came. In the States now, wherever you go, the word "espresso" is synonymous with High Living. So you can be in a bad neighborhood, it may say "CASKETS. SICKROOM SUPPLIES. LIVE BAIT. AMMUNITION. ESPRESSO!" You know what I'm saying, it's like "Okay, let's stop!" Okay. We'll get straight to the A material! I'm surprised these are going over as well as they are! Excellent English, and I commend you. I'm working on my Swedish. I work on it alone in my room, at night, with the lights out. [Big cheer] Oh, I didn't even... I didn't even get that myself! I see, that was a Swedish joke! Better keep that in the act. Okay. This is true. You know, in medicine now, they're starting to use leeches again. Thank God some things are going backwards! Of course, you can only use a leech once... [major feedback on the microphone] and then you have to kinda... [more feedback] throw it out... or you get a lot of feedback! That's been my personal experience in the field of medicine anyway. No, actually, if you use a leech on your skin, and you take off the leech after you're done using the leech, and everything's been leeched, it leaves a scar, but the scar is an exact replica of the logo for Mercedes Benz. True! And they say there's no truth in advertising! I used to work in a pizza place, and it was right next door to a mortuary, so you used to get a lot of jokes about the mortuary and the restaurant being adjacent to one another, and trading services or... that type of thing. But it did get me thinking, cause... I remember late at night, I used to think that there are only two ways to go. You're either buried, which is nice, cause it's quiet. And then there's cremation, which is also nice. You know. Because it's warm. But that's it! So I started thinking, okay, burial and cremation, okay but... what about me? Isn't there something else I can choose from? In the other column? Then I thought, well maybe I just have to come up with it myself. And because I worked there, in a restaurant, I thought, maybe... being creamed? What's wrong with just plain old creamed? Exactly! I think it'd go over well here in Sweden. Because they come in a little can, and your name is on the front of the can, and on the back of the can are the ingredients and... You know what I mean. Then they put Uncle Bob right up on the shelf, next to the beans and the tuna, where he belongs. Okay..." (Transcription by Ulf Berggren as sent to Raindogs Listserv discussionlist. March 31, 2000)
Introducing "A Little Rain" (Congres Centrum. The Hague/ The Netherlands: July 21, 1999): "This is a little story about the crooked tree and the straight tree. Do you know that story? [No response from the audience] Obviously you have heard that story... [laughter]. You see, once upon a time there was a forest and there were two trees in the forest, and there was a crooked tree and there was a straight tree. And the crooked tree used to look over at the straight tree and say, 'Gee, look at you, you're straight like that, I wish I was straight like that.' The crooked tree would look up to the straight tree, and the straight tree would look down on the crooked tree and say, 'Look at you, you're crooked! You're always gonna be crooked! You're nothing but a crooked tree! You're crooked and that's all there is to it!' So one day the lumberjacks came into the forest... [laughter] and they looked around, and they saw the trees... And one of the lumberjacks said, 'Just cut off the straight trees!' And the crooked tree is still there, till this day... growing strong and strange... That's the story... [a rousing ovation]."
Introducing "Chocolate Jesus" ("Late Show With David Letterman". CBS TV show. New York/ USA. September 27, 1999): "This is a eh... a song for those of you in the audience who have trouble getting up on Sunday morning and going to church... I've discovered something, ehm... it's a candy item. It's actually kind of an immaculate confection. It's eh... there's a cross on one side and there's a bible inscription on the other, and eh... you put it in your mouth and when it's gone you can... get up and leave. So... This is something for the kids on eh Easter. This is called eh the 'Chocolate Jesus'."
Introducing "I Can't Wait To Get Off Work" (KBCO-C studios. Los Angeles/ USA. October 13, 1999): "I worked at a Pizza place when I was a kid. It was next to a mortuary and there were a lot of jokes about the food. And eh... anyway I guess this is the... this is for all the restaurant workers out there in the world... "
Introducing "Invitation To The Blues" (Sala Kongresowa. Warsaw, Poland. May 26, 2000): "Okay, this is about a restaurant... where the food is lousy... consistently... But there is a beautiful girl in there. And it's worth eating there... for an opportunity to see her. ... In fact they can poison you for all you care. As long as it's her shift. She's up against the register... "
Tom Tales (official transcript Glitter and Doom, 2009): "Okay, alright, thank you, alright… now we can chat a bit. Okay, um, this is really weird. You know, vultures, I’ve seen a lot of vultures since I’ve entered the Texas border, a lot of vultures. The interesting thing about vultures is that, well, the reason they spend so much time in the air is because they’re so light because they eat so infrequently. So they’re mostly feathers, so a lot of times you’ll see them doing this and you’ll think “Oh, he’s probably going to land soon and eat,” but a lot of times he’s thinking to himself “How the fuck am I gonna get down there?” Now here’s the sad part and imagine if you had to make the same choice yourself. After dining, and frankly most vultures that are injured, this is according to the Bird Rescue… most vultures that are injured were injured while dining. That’s kinda sad… to be hit by a car while you’re eating, but the problem is that once they’ve landed and they’d eaten a lot, they eat so much cause they eat so infrequently, they eat so much that they can’t take off without throwing up. I know, that’s tough… so what a choice, you know, you just had a big meal and you have to lose the whole damn thing just to get back up in the sky again. I think of that all the time when I’m having hard times.
Here’s another interesting thing about them, the gas company has started using them to spot gas leaks in the field, because, well… think about it. They think it’s a dead animal but it’s just a gas leak, you know, so they gather… anyway, I find it interesting anyway. Okay, enough about me. Okay, uh, one last thing… you know during World War II, they made, this is in Germany… they made a soup, like an alphabet soup, only instead of the alphabet it was swastikas and they called it pastika soup and apparently it was very popular in Berlin. I’m sorry about that one too.
Okay, here’s something really interesting, I found interesting anyway. You know, rats don’t eat because they are hungry… they’re just grinding down their teeth, and if you don’t believe that, well… my dad found a rat in a room, a concrete room where there was absolutely nothing to eat, not even a rock… and he’d been in there for two weeks and hadn’t had nothing to eat. What happened with his lower teeth is they’d grown through the roof of his mouth and had come out through the top of his head and his uppers had gone down through his chin and they looked like a little goatee. I know, I know… it’s hard to find people that are as interested in these things as I am.
One last thing. Now, they found out that elephants in India, you know they have to wear a big bell around their necks so people know where they are all the time, and you can imagine how fucking annoying that must be, you know, especially in the middle of the night when you’re hungry. So now, elephants scoop up a big hunk of mud and they stick it in the bell to dampen the clapper and then they go off in the middle of the night and steal bananas. Pretty good.
Okay, well… we were in Oklahoma for a while, boy it’s weird in Oklahoma… well it’s weird everywhere if you think of it like that but in Oklahoma, they’ve got laws, there’s laws down there that are still on the books that they feel compelled to enforce. That’s what bothers me and I’m not traveling with an attorney so it makes it difficult, you know, you can’t wash your car on Sunday using wooled underwear, especially if you are wearing an unusual haircut. I never got the connection there between the haircut and the underwear… the other thing that’s weird is that chewing tobacco is strictly enforced, that took some getting used to. Uh, what else? You can’t photograph a rabbit in the middle of the week for some reason, it’s okay on the weekends, I guess they like it better on the weekends… I don’t get it. The other thing is you can’t eat some place that is also on fire. That really limited our choices. Okay, uh, let’s see… there’s something else, here’s another weird one… you can’t get a fish drunk in Oklahoma. They just had a lot of problems with that, they finally had to put an end to it… and you can’t make a monkey smoke a cigarette, that’s the other thing… I know, I know, I know…
Okay, let’s see. Do you know that shrimp, this is really disturbing though, but shrimp... they never give anything to charity. I’ve never known a shrimp to give anything to charity and it’s always bothered me and finally someone told me that basically they’re shellfish and it’s gonna happen… okay, I knew I went too far with that. Thank you for putting a stop to it. Okay, does anybody out there have a parrot? Do you own a parrot is the question. Does anybody in the whole audience own a parrot? Okay, well then you can understand why I went on E-Bay and bought a year’s supplies of parrot diapers. Man, I’m telling you… parrots, I like the conversations; I like the fellowship, but damn… get a grip. Here’s a theory that I have and I’ll run it by you because you’re here… my theory is that if everybody in China, on the very same day, at the very same time, on the very same day, got up on a ladder and jumped as high as they could and came down on the ground, you know, that it would throw the whole Earth off its axis. I haven’t been able to get anybody to go with me with that, like the United Nations or anything… uh, anyway, we should be ready on our side. We’ll pick a day, buy a ladder, get ready… uh, just to keep things… okay.
Okay, what else? Oh, the graveyard shift. Now, when I was a kid I always worked jobs at night and I always had graveyard shifts and everybody kind of threw that expression around very loosely and I wondered what the hell is a graveyard shift is anyway? Other than the fact that you’re working at night, okay I know that much, but what’s the origin of the expression graveyard shift? And then I worked for a while in a graveyard and my boss, Joe Corvello, he explained it to me. What happened in the old days, way, way, way back, hundreds of years ago, people were very nervous about being buried alive, not anymore nervous than we are today it’s just that the technology was not really with it, you could be taking a nap and they’d fucking bury you. So, there was a law that everybody who got buried had to have a string tied around their wrist in the coffin and then they’d run it up through the roof of the coffin and then they’d go up through the dirt and then they’d go over the branch of a tree on which they’d put a bell… and then there’s a guy who sits in the graveyard all night long waiting to hear a bell… that’s the graveyard shift. You’ll like this one too… the bell and the whole apparatus and everything, you know if you find the guy who actually is alive and underground, he’s called a dead ringer. I’m not kidding.
You know, about a year ago… this is really weird and I don’t tell everybody this… during the summer I ingested some pond water, you know, and it’s the weirdest thing… a couple of days later I started to feel something moving in there. I thought, am I pregnant? I don’t know… Anyway, several months went by and I finally had to go to the doctor and they put an ultrasound on me and they found three toads in my stomach… oh boy. But you know they’re off to themselves, they’re off to one side, and you know… why put them on such a bummer… it’s only a drag when we’re watching television and they get really loud and other than that, you know, I’m fine with it, it’s just a thing.
Okay, who has the largest brain in proportion to its body? No, no, no… the ant, swear to god. Who has the largest penis in proportion to its body? No, no, no, no… the barnacle, thank you. Okay, we’ll get on to some actual songs in a minute here… there are more insects in one square mile of Earth then there are people on the entire Earth, think about that, more insects in one square mile than there are people! Imagine if they got to vote or drivers licenses or anything… now, um, you know what the moon smells like? (People yell: “cheese!”) Wrong again, you’ll love this… fireworks. That’s what Neil Armstrong told me, “It smells just like fireworks, man.” And it makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? That’s where we’ve been shooting them for all these years. He says it’s just crazy up there with the fireworks… Do you know how many omelets you can get out of an ostrich egg? Fourteen… that’s a lot of omelets. I’ve gotten along with most of the ostriches I met and um okay… let’s see…
Here’s one… you know the word “bamboozled”… didn’t you ever wonder what the hell they mean when they say “bamboozled”… well way, way, way back, thousands of years ago in China when you got busted for something, they take a piece of bamboo and they’d whack you. You know if you took like fourteen candy bars, you get fourteen whacks. You see the connection though? Bamboozled, bamboo, bamboo, bamboozled… okay, that’s all. One last thing about Sara Bernhardt, the famous American actress… hey, she was a babe, man… she was a total babe. She had her own train car, she slept in a coffin and when she was seventy, she was playing Juliet, babe. Think about that, Juliet… at seventy… and she lost a leg and when she lost her leg, Barnum and Bailey bought her leg, of course… and put it in formaldehyde and charged like, six, eight bucks to come see it. And that was depressing for her, of course… cause she was working across the street, you know, the full her… and to know that your leg is over there making more money than you was so depressing for her… but that’s the business, that’s the business that we’re in. One day, Moe Green got a bullet in the eye but this is the business that we’re in. (Man yells: “Hey Tom, I want to have your baby.” Oh Jesus… well you know, nowadays, I think it’s possible. See my manager, Stuart Ross, but I gotta tell you, my sperm is very expensive now. I’m like a fucking race horse, baby.
Have you’ve wondered why you can never swat a fly? How do they know we’re coming? They don’t know what a swatter is. Do they say “Yeah, swatter coming, swatter coming…”They have no idea what a swatter is. I’ll tell you what happens… they take off backwards. It’s that simple… they’ve taken off backwards their entire lives… okay, that’s all. (Audience members yelling) Uh, my health? My health is fine… you know what, write it down and pass it forward and I’ll take a look at it.
Anyway, Neil Armstrong was the first man on the moon who actually walked on the moon and the guy right behind him on the ladder going down to get to the surface of the moon, now that was Buzz Aldrin… he said “Neil, you are the first man to walk on the moon… I am the very first man to wet his pants on the moon.” He said that, really, he did. He said it to me personally. I know Neil and I know Buzz, so there… and you don’t… okay. But then again, Science Magazine said that the compression of actual moon rocks, the closest thing that they can find on Earth that is closest to the compression of the rocks from the moon is provolone cheese or Vermont cheddar… I’m not shitting you, I wouldn’t shit you… and pig fetuses, you know, they are injecting pig fetuses now with human hormones because they want to use their organs to transplant them into humans so they want to give them some kind of humanistic juice in there so that when the transfer happens, it’ll be a little more commensurate with the… it’s crazy. But now pigs, the fetuses are being born with strangely human faces… one looked just like my Uncle Phil, exactly like my Uncle Phil, even Phil said it looked like him. Ok, I know, I know… we’ll get on, we’ll get on, we’ll get on… What was that for? Because we’re getting on, right? Oh, I see… you’re trying to push me into a song… I know that trick. You know the problem here? The problem here is you guys have never worked together before and you have no actual elected officials so it’s kind of like the early days of America, you know, and everybody’s kind of yelling shit out and somebody’s going “Shut up, shut up…” What? See… you have no President; this is what we call Marshall law.
Ah, okay, do you want another little story or a song? What do you want? That sounded like a cross between a story and a song… you see you can’t get all in line… get in line, babe. Okay, alright, it’s up to me, that’s it… I’m gonna have to take over… Oh, oh, way down in Oklahoma we went to the Spam museum, that was really amazing. They’ve got stuff carved out of Spam, they have portraits of people carved out of Spam… never seen anything like it, but as a Spam fan, I took some of that home with me and I got some of that in my living room and all like little portraits, you know, and “Whoa, whoa… what is that Tom, what is that?” and I said: “Whoa, it’s Spam, it’s Spam”. The thing is it never really deteriorates, the smell is not like it’s decomposing… it’s impossible for it to decompose… and that’s what you’re smelling is really the freshness of it, the eternal freshness of it… it’s kind of embalmed meat is what it really is… what? Oh, oh, oh…I read today that one out of every ten men is important. One out of every ten… and then I realized I read it wrong, I went back and it said “One out of every ten men is impotent”. I don’t know how I changed… I left the R out… so which are you, are you important or are you impotent? I guess that’s all there is to choose from.
I don’t know about you but I spent my entire day at the lost baggage center, you know, have you ever been over there? Fascinating… how they advertise it… things from all over the world… at incredible prices. Its lost baggage is basically what it is… if you ever have lost a bag, your bag is there being sold to somebody else… and it’s right here in Birmingham, I swear to God. So, here’s the ironic thing… I flew in to go to the last baggage center early so that I could shop for basically underwear and socks and they lost my bag. Isn’t that crazy? Okay… here’s one that maybe you’ll like… spiders, spiders, our little eight legged friends, the spider… when the male spider is done building his web, you know those elaborately beautiful webs that they build at night while you’re sleeping and you wake up in the morning and it’s glistening and beautiful like that… when he’s done building the web, he reaches out one of his legs… we assume it’s a leg that he’s reaching out, not certain but we assume it’s a leg… and he strums the web and the sound that that makes… that’s not the actual sound, how could I know the actual sound? But it’s not bad, is it? I mean, if you were a female spider, you’d be like… anyway, what happens is that the sound that the web makes is irresistible to the female spider and she comes… some of them come in from different states when they hear that and they get in line for the big guy. Anyway, it’s just kind of a kooky thing that happens in the world.
In Oklahoma, you can get in trouble for kissing a stranger. Think about that, I mean you can go to jail for kissing a stranger. I mean, we’re all strangers at a certain point, how could the world continue if somebody didn’t kiss a stranger, right? But, uh, I travel with an attorney so… here’s another thing; you know that a mink and an ermine are the same thing? And you know that a mink and an ermine are all members of the weasel family? And if you see a beautiful woman wearing a mink, you can walk right up to her and say “I love your weasel.” And she can’t slap you… I mean, theoretically she can’t slap you. I would do it with an attorney present at all times… so every time in the world there’s a male ejaculation, I know that’s a tough word so from now on we’re just gonna say “it”… whenever “it” happens, it releases two hundred and fifty million sperm… now only one of those sperm obviously can actually fertilize the egg… so if you’re here, you’re already a winner. You know what I mean? That’s the way I see it.
Okay, here’s a little story for everybody now… you know what really gets me? I was in a community, let’s just say it was a bad neighborhood and I used to refer to it and I’d say 9th and Hennepin, boy, 9th and Hennepin… here’s what bothers me, they really cleaned the place up and every time I said 9th and Hennepin, people looked at me like I was doing card tricks for a dog… and some guy would say “You know my wife, she got some sandals down there… they have a little frozen yogurt place”. And I went: “You could get killed for sandals down there!”
Anyway… okay, you know I’ve always been a word guy, I like weird words and I like American slang and all that and words that are no longer being used… I like to drag them out of the box and wave them around… this is an interesting one, it’s amazing how in addition to punctuation just a little pause in the wrong place can just completely transform the meaning of something. I’ll give you a really good example… you know, you’re at the ball game and you got your hot dog and you look around and say “Where are all the condiments?” and they point over there and you go “Oh, okay there’s the condiments.” I’m so glad that they said it like that because when I said it I heard “Where are the condom mints?” That’s just me and I have to live with me. I didn’t say it back to her or she would have slapped me but then I thought that’s not a bad idea… someone could get a hold of something like that and come up with a whole new product… I just offer it to you tonight and we’ll just wait and see what happens.
I made one really ridiculous purchase… you know this is really weird… somebody took a picture of me and they got a picture of my watch, you know, and they said “Well he was wearing a really ratty suit but I think he had about $300,000 watch on. I really got a kick out of that… $9.99 at CVS, but hey, if it looks like $300,000, it is! I’m in show business. (Audience member yells: play everything!) Everything? Play everything? I don’t have that much time. I was out there earlier and I sat in some of those chairs you’re sitting in now… pretty damn comfortable, maybe a little too comfortable. You have your own TV? You mean in the chair? You see some of the seats are better than others… she has a VCR and an I-Pod thing you can hook into. Does your chair vibrate? That’s the vibrating chair. I heard it’s against the law to have an unusual haircut here… and you can’t buy booze without a note from your wife. That’s really weird… I travel with an attorney, of course…
Here’s another thing… a little food thing. You know how every time you get a piece of fish they give you a little piece of lemon with it and everybody thinks that it’s because the flavor is so much better with lemon on it… untrue. The idea was when people ate fish originally, they were so afraid of ingesting bones and having the bone caught in their throat and dying, somebody told them if you put a little lemon in your mouth after you have a bite of fish, it will kill the bone, it’ll dissolve the bone, it’ll just disintegrate the bone, which of course is total bullshit but that’s what happened and now we’ve got lemon and fish and all that… I had a math teacher when I was a kid whose name was Mr. Falby and he had a piece of fish during a test we were having and he choked on a fish bone and he died in the middle of our math test… it was kind of an answer to a prayer that I made earlier. It wasn’t that specific… I didn’t mention anything about the fish or the bone or even on that day… but we have a connection I guess.
I’m sorry, what? You’re still working at the airport? I’m happy for you. I’ll see you on our way out. Here’s a deal… pardon me? Piano is just on beer and wine now. You know what really bothers me is when somebody tells you that their cell phone is also a camera. I just hate that. What’s wrong with having something that’s just what it is and being happy about it? It makes me want to say to them… “My sunglasses are also a tricycle.” But I don’t… okay, we’ve been traveling for about two months now so the laws change from community to community. It’s just bizarre the kind of laws that are still on the books… that’s one of the laws here in Edinbourough that you can no longer order eggs and sausage and it’s sad but it’s just the way it happened with that new mayor. What do we have, what do we have, what do we have? Oh we were gonna try and do this one, we’ll see, this is um…"