Quotes: Influences And Favourites

"Kathleen was the first person who convinced me that you can take James White and the Blacks, and Elmer Bernstein and Leadbelly - folks that could never be on the bill together - and that they could be on the bill together in you. You take your dad's army uniform and your mom's Easter hat and your brother's motorcycle and your sister's purse and stitch them all together and try to make something meaningful out of it."

Tom Waits (1973): "I listen to AM radio a lot cause I don't have an FM, I listen to Ray Charles, got a lot of old Ray Charles records, let's see - Diana Ross [laughs] - I like her a lot, got some old Billie Holliday records, I listen to her, and Mose Allison, I'm real fond of Mose Allison, Dale Evans, Miles Davis, a little bit of everything. I try to integrate different styles in my writing, it's important to do that. With a piano it's easier for me to write, I can find a lot more things that I could never find on guitar so it helps with writing on the piano. I played guitar before I played piano, I'm no technician, no big fancy fingers." (Source: Folkscene 1973, with Howard and Roz Larman (KPFK-FM 90.7). Date: Los Angeles/ USA. August 12, 1973)

Q (1973): Did you always want to be a musician? TW: "Yeah, I guess so, I couldn't think of anything else I really wanted to be, seems to be today nobody wants to be anything but, nobody wants to be a baseball player anymore or anything - everybody wants to be a rock n roll star. I was always real interested in music, it never really struck me to write until I guess about the late 60's, about '68 or '69 I started writing, up until then I just listened to a lot of music, played in school orchestras, played trumpet in elementary school, junior high, high school, went through all that and hung around with some friends of mine that played classical piano and picked up a few little licks here and there, played guitar and stumbled on the Heritage - and actually the first real songwriter I really saw and really got enthused about was Jack Tempchin and that was in about 1968 at the Candy Company on El Cajon Boulevard, he was playing on the bill with Lightning Hopkins and he was real casual and everything, it was just something I wanted to try my hand at, so I tried my hand at it, I don't know, I guess you get better as you go along, the more music you listen to and the more perceptive you become towards melody and lyric and all. The only place really to play in San Diego were folk clubs. I used to go to a lot of dances. I played in a band in junior high called The Systems... I played rhythm guitar and sang. I listened to a lot of black artists, quite a few black artists. I had a real interest in that - James Brown and the Flames were real big, I went to O'Farrell Junior High School, all black junior high school, and I went out to Balboa(?) and saw James Brown - he knocked me out, man, when I was in 7th grade. So I've kept up on that scene too and I listen to as many different kinds of music as I can." (Source: Folkscene 1973, with Howard and Roz Larman (KPFK-FM 90.7). Date: Los Angeles/ USA. August 12, 1973)

Tom Waits (1974): "Various groups, mainly junior high, doing Surfaris, and Ventures, and Beach Boys, and that sort of thing. Nothing like what I'm trying to do now. Actually, the first songwriters on record, I guess, were James Brown and Ray Charles. The first album I ever bought was "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag". I was going to Farrell Jr. High and James Brown was my idol at the time. But the first real songwriters I came into first-hand contact with were around San Diego. All local people at the Heritage and the Candy Company and the Back Door and eventually Jack Tempchin, Ray Bierl, and Ted Staak (credited by LC as being San Diego's first folk songwriter, now living a recluse in Oregon). There weren't that many, but the ones that were playing here were all worth listening to." (Source: "From Bouncing To Hooting To Playing The Road" San Diego's Weekly (USA) Vol. 3 No. 27. July 18 to July 24, 1974. By Lou Curtiss and Stephen Swain)

Tom Waits (1974): "The first time I heard any spoken word that I was really impressed with was an album called Kerouac/Allen - Steve Allen & Jack Kerouac and he talked while Steve Allen played some stuff and he just talked over the top of it and it was real, real effective - I had never heard anything like it" Interviewer - You read a lot of Kerouac, don't you? TW: "Well, I've read all of his work, actually I've discovered some magazine articles by him that are in some very colourful magazines like Rogue and Cad - magazines like that. he used to publish stories and there were a lot of articles written about him in those skin magazines. But I've read everything I can get my hands on by him." Interviewer - Any other writers? TW: "Oh, yeah, Charles Bukowski is probably one of the most colourful and most important writers of modern fiction, poetry and prose, in contemporary literature right now. I'd say he's at the vanguard in my book, he just levels me, I've been reading Charles Bukowski." (Source: Folkscene 1974, with Howard and Roz Larman (KPFK-FM 90.7) Source: audio tape. Date: Los Angeles/ USA. July 23, 1974 (June 10?))

Tom Waits (1974): "...there are songwriters that I like that aren't so well liked - it's still a matter of what your own taste is but I do think there's a strong difference between someone like Randy Newman who is certainly a craftsman when it comes to putting a song together, someone who can evoke such a feeling from his listeners and it comes from him really sweating over a song and then you take somebody like - I don't want to slander anybody, we're on the air- but take somebody like [mumbles] who really writes ridiculously childish songs that don't have meat to them or real vision - I think it's certainly craft." (Source: Folkscene 1974, with Howard and Roz Larman (KPFK-FM 90.7) Source: audio tape. Date: Los Angeles/ USA. July 23, 1974 (June 10?))

Q (1974): Are there other songwriters you listen to - besides Randy Newman? TW: "Yeah, I listen to him and I like Mose Allison, I think he's a very economical songwriter with his - he's so damn stylized that you can't help but love him to death - he's like honey poured all over you - I admire him a great deal. I still listen to "These Foolish Things Remind Me Of You" - now was that George Gershwin or was that Cole Porter? That was Cole Porter, there was a similar song along the same lines by Gershwin." (Source: Folkscene 1974, with Howard and Roz Larman (KPFK-FM 90.7) Source: audio tape. Date: Los Angeles/ USA. July 23, 1974 (June 10?))

Tom Waits (1974): "Musically pulling influence from Mose Allison, Thelonious Monk, Randy Newman, George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Ray Charles, Stephen Foster, Frank Sinatra... My favorite writers, Jack Kerouac, Charles Bukowski, Michael C. Ford. Robert Webb, Gregory Corso, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Larry McMurtry, Harper Lee, Sam Jones, Eugene O'Neill, John Reechy and more." (The Heart Of Saturday Night Press Release. October, 1974)

Tom Waits (1975): "My musical education began at a small folk club - the Heritage, I'm sure some people here are familiar with the Heritage which is now just nothing but a memory, a small club in San Diego which had a lot of traditional music, a lot of country artists, bluegrass, that sort of thing. I soaked it in like a sponge. I sat on the door and I listened to as much as I possibly could and I don't know, right now, the songwriters that I admire - I admire Johnny Mercer, Oscar Hammerstein and George Gershwin - Cole Porter, Randy Newman - I don't know, I just don't listen to that much country music anymore." (Source: Folkscene 1975, with Howard and Roz Larman (KPFK-FM 90.7). Date: Los Angeles/ USA. January 12 (February 13?), 1975)

Tom Waits (1975): "He (Lord Buckley) was someone that I listened to for several years. I still enjoy listening to him for what he had to offer. He was a real bebop prosody cat, certainly a real pioneer in the 50's along with Ken Nordine and Jack Kerouac, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Gregory Corso, all those cats. He did a lot of nightclub dates but for the most part he's not any sort of a household word now, He was kind of a ghost out of the 50's that kind of left before he arrived." (Source: WAMU Radio Interview. Date: Washington, DC. April 18, 1975)

Tom Waits (1975): "I listen to Rudy Ray Moore, Oscar Brown Jr, Ken Nordine, Lord Buckley, Jack Kerouac who I've just been fortunate enough to obtain 4 albums from - from the 50's, he made an album on Hanover Records with Steve Allen in New York City in 57 that did an instant nose dive except among his enthusiastic constituents that bought the record - it was essentially Steve Allen playing jazz behind Kerouac and Kerouac was just telling stories. I like Randy Newman a great deal, I like London Wainwright." (Source: WAMU Radio Interview. Date: Washington, DC. April 18, 1975)

Tom Waits (1975): "Even though I was growing up in Southern California, he [Jack Kerouac] made a tremendous impression on me. It was 1968. I started wearing dark glasses and got myself a subscription to Downbeat ... I was a little late. Kerouac died in 1969 in St Petersburg, Florida, a bitter old man... I became curious about style more than anything else. I discovered Gregory Corso, Lawrence Ferlinghetti ... Ginsberg still comes up with something every now and again." (Source: "Not so much a poet, more a purveyor of improvisational travelogue". New Musical Express. Todd Everett, November 29, 1975)

TW (1975): "There's a fascinating album that came out in '57 on Hannover Records: "Kerouac/ Allen". It's Jack Kerouac telling stories, with Steve Allen playing piano behind him. That album sort of sums up the whole thing. That's what gave me the idea to do some spoken pieces myself." (Source: "Not so much a poet, more a purveyor of improvisational travelogue". New Musical Express. Todd Everett, November 29 1975)

Tom Waits (1975): "I listened to the Hitparade when I was young y'know? I used to listen to Reverend Gary Davis and eh Mississippi John Hurt and I jumped around a lot. I listened to eh Thelonious Monk and Bill Evans and eh Clarence "Frogg" McHenry and Huey Piano Smith and Art Tatum and eh.. Lord Buckley and Lenny Brice and Harry "The Hipster" Edison and eh Rudy Ray Moore on Redd Foxx and eh... Well Rodney Dangerfield... But eh.. No I was listening to eh... Jesus, well Charlie Parker and Miles Davis and eh... Aaargh and eh... Yeah, Dion and the Belmonts too, The Sparkletones, The Spiders, lot of stuff on Sun Records that I got hip to later. Eh... yeah. In fact just the other night we heard "Black Slacks" by The Sparkletones. I hadn't heard that in years, and eh... Yeah I listened to a lot of Rhythm & Blues, a lot of vocal groups and eh just about anything I could get my hands on, or anything that I thought was real authentic and valid y'know?" (Source: The Coffee Break Concert radio show on WMMS-FM (Cleveland/ USA). Conducted by Kid Leo (Lawrence James Travagliante). December 3, 1975)

Tom Waits (1976): "First album I bought was James Brown - Papa's Got A Brand new Bag. Clarence Frogman Henry, Huey Piano Smith, Harry The Hipster Edison. I listened to Lord Buckley for a long time. I was always fond of George and Ira Gershwin and Jerome Kern and Johnny Mercer and Cole Porter and Irving Berlin. As far as contemporary artists at the time I wasn't listening to them. I was never a real trendsetter." (Source: Crawdaddy Radio Interview (by Michael Koskuna?). Date: late 1975 or early 1976)

Tom Waits (1976): "Yeah, well, I was always a reader. That makes me a little different, I guess. I love Nelson Algren's work, and I love Charles Bukowski, the poet. He has this new novel out, Factotum, and it's terrific. Talks about all the lousy jobs he had to take to be a poet. Lemme see. Oh yeah, I like Johnny Rechy: City of Night, Numbers and The Fourth Angel. Rechy is writing a script based on City of Night and I might get involved doing the music. He's another one who was never fairly appreciated." (Source: "Play It Again Tom". New Times magazine (USA), by Robert Ward. Date: Unicorn Club, Ithaca/ New York. Published: June 11, 1976)

TW (1976): "The '60's weren't particularly exciting for me, I wasn't into sand castles and I didn't have any Jimi Hendrix posters on my wall. I didn't even have a black light." (Source: "Sweet and Sour ". Newsweek: Betsy Carter with Peter S. Greenberg. June 14, 1976)

MH (1976): What are some of the things you do read? What literary influences have affected your style? TW: "Oh, you know, I read a little, not passionately or nothing. I like John D. McDonald, Damon Runyon, Carson McCullers, I like Charles Bukowski, Hubert Selby, Jr., John Rechy... " MH: All the Grove Press gang? TW: "Yeah, I like all those guys. I like Gregory Corso and Ed Sanders and Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, Larry McMurtry some of the time." MH: How about Richard Brautigan? TW: "No, no thank you, uh-uh"(Source: "Bitin' the green shiboda with Tom Waits". "Down Beat" magazine. Marv Hohman. Chicago. June 17, 1976)

MH (1976): Ken Nordine made a series of recordings in the late '50s, something called Word Jazz. Are you acquainted with it? TW: "Oh yeah, I used to listen to that. I was listening to Lord Buckley and Lenny Bruce too." MH: You obviously didn't hear those guys on the radio. What did you listen to when you were growing up? TW: "It was mostly the hit parade, that kind of stuff. There are a lot of composers I like: George and Ira Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Johnny Mercer, bless his soul, Cole Porter... " MH: That stamps you as somewhat of a trowback these days, more than a little out of sync with tha mainstream of the American music scene. TW: "Well, I do like some of the current people. I like Martin Mull, Randy Newman... Another composer I like is Bob Dorough. He wrote Baltimore Oriole back in the '50s; nowadays he writes mostly for kid shows. The first time I got hip to him was on an album called Poetry And Jazz, John Carradine was on it reading some Dylan Thomas stuff. Dorough did a Ferlinghetti poem, something called A Dog, I think." (Source: "Bitin' the green shiboda with Tom Waits". "Down Beat" magazine. Marv Hohman. Chicago. June 17, 1976)

TW (1976): "Hey, did you ever read that Kerouac novel - it's out in Grove - called Pic? It was written about '56, published after he died, it was written like a Mark Twain story, all in phonetic black jargon." MH: What about Mexico City Blues? Do you know that? TW: "Yeah, Kerouac had Charlie Parker in there, The Wheel Of The Quivering Meat Conception, a lot of real strange ones. I liked that a lot." (Source: "Bitin' the green shiboda with Tom Waits". "Down Beat" magazine. Marv Hohman. Chicago. June 17, 1976)

MH (1976): Hohman: As far as pianists go, who do you listen to and admire? Waits: I like al Red Tyler, Huey Piano Smith, all of Art Tatum, Professor Longhair. I like Mose Allison a lot; we did a Soundstage show together a while back. What's Thelonious Monk doing now? The best thing he had out was called The Man I Love. The last time I saw him in San Diego, his son was playing drums. I certainly admire him. I love his private solo version of 'Round Midnight, the way it drags and pulls at your heartstrings. Al Cohn and Steve Gilmore played that one night in a storeroom of some club in New York, it just killed me, man. It's such a low, moanin' lonesome, real tragic style. As far as other musicians go, I like Charles Mingus, Tampa Red, Bo Carter, Memphis Minnie... I saw Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, and Frank Sinatra at the Spectrum in Philadelpia a while back, Ella was amazing. That's the worst place to hear anything, but it's a great place for hockey." (Source: "Bitin' the green shiboda with Tom Waits". "Down Beat" magazine. Marv Hohman. Chicago. June 17, 1976)

Tom Waits (1976): "Oh, eh I like: Mississippi John Hurt. I like Hubert Selby Junior. And I like Chuck E. Weiss. And I like eh Lord Buckley, Neal Cassady and eh *?*, Shearing, Symphony Sid. And I listen to eh, Cole Porter, George and Ira Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Johnny Mercer eh... " (Source: The Mike Douglas Show (TV show). Date: Philadelphia/ USA. November 19, 1976)

RT (1976): "His influences take some unexpected detours. He admires Jerome Kern, Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, George Shearing, Oscar Brown jr., Lord Buckley, Peter, Paul and Marry, and Mississippi John Hurt." (Source: "The Ramblin' Street Life Is The Good Life For Tom Waits". "Rambler" magazine. Rich Trenbeth. Chicago. December 30, 1976)

Tom Waits (1976): "Yeah, I love Lord Buckley. I don't know, I like Clarence "Frog" McHenry, I don't know. I like eh Charles Bukowski and eh Hubert Selby jr., Nelson Algren and Mickey Spillane and Broderick Crawford, Wally Cox and eh I like eh Parnelli Jones, Andy Granatelli." (Source: WNEW FM: Vin Scelsa's Idiot's Delight. Date: Recorded MediaSound Studios NYC. December 14, 1976)

Tom Waits (1976): "I went to a predominantly black junior high school in San Diego, where the only music was black hit parade - James Brown, the Supremes, Wilson Pickett - but by then I'd had a lot of incongruous musical influences: jazz, Gershwin, Porter, Kern, Arlen, Carmichael, Mercer, Louis Armstrong, Stravinsky, Reverend Gary Davis, Mississippi John Hurt. During the height of rock and roll, I kept a low profile. I used to read Hubert Selby, Kerouac, Larry McMurtry, John Rechy, Nelson Algren. My reading now is mostly limited to menus and street signs. I liked comedians and storytellers: Wally Cox, Harry the Hipster, Rodney Dangerfield, Redd Foxx, Lord Buckley. I worked in a gas station, didn't do major repairs - Mrs. Ferguson would come in and want her tires rotated; kids want a dollar's worth; fill 'er up; ding, ding - and I worked in a jewelry store, drove delivery trucks, cabs, a Tropic ice-cream truck. Was a firefighter in a town near the Mexican border - brush fires, mostly. Drank coffee, played checkers, looked at Playboy, threw darts. Then I got a job as doorman at a night club in L.A. and I listened to all the acts from the door. I heard bluegrass, comics, folk singers, string bands. At the same time. I was picking up people's conversations in all-night coffee shops - ambulance drivers, cabdrivers, street sweepers. I did research there as an evening curator, and I started writing gingerly. I thought at some point I'd like to forge it all into something meaningful, and give it dignity." (Source: "Blues", The New Yorker. December 27, 1976 by James Stevenson)

TW (1976): "I wasn't thrilled by Blue Cheer, so I found an alternative, even if it was Bing Crosby". "I kept a pretty narrow scope on things," Waits says of those days. (Source: "Smelling like a brewery, lookin' like a tramp". Rolling Stone: David McGee. January, 1977)

TW (1977): "I listened to all kinds of music there. All kinds of stuff from rock to jazz to folk to anything else that happened to walk in. One night I saw a local guy onstage playing his own material. I don't know why, but at that moment I knew that I wanted to live or die on the strength of my own music. I finally played a gig there. Then I started writing down people's conversations as they sat around the bar. When I put them together I found some music hiding in there." (Source: "Smelling like a brewery, lookin' like a tramp". Rolling Stone: David McGee. January, 1977)

TW (1977): "I'm learning about stuff, too. Through the songs I'm writing now I'm changing my attitude towards things. I'm becoming a little more shrewd, a little more ..." DG: Cynical? TW: "Yeah. I don't take things at face value like I used to. So I dispelled some things in these songs that I had substantiated before. I'm trying to show something to myself, plus get some things off my chest. 'Step Right Up' - all that jargon we hear in the music business is just like what you hear in the restaurant or casket business." (Source: "Smelling like a brewery, lookin' like a tramp". Rolling Stone: David McGee. January, 1977)

TW (1977): "Most of the people I admire, they usually smell funny and don't get out much. It's true. Most of them are either dead or not feeling well. I like Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, George and Ira Gershwin, Hoagy Carmichael, Cole Porter, Rogers and Hammerstein - did I say Johnny Mercer?... Keyboard players that I was listening to, and continue to listen to, are Bill Evans, Mose Allison, [Thelonious] Monk, Art Tatum, Huey Piano Smith, Professor Longhair, Doctor John. But of the cats I admire, there's no trace of my admiration for them in my own style, you know what I mean? If I said I listen to Thelonious Monk, you wouldn't be able to go and find out where that comes into my playing. "I think Mose Allison. has been a strong influence on more artists than you can name, The Beatles, The Stones, Dylan. When Mose played Ronnie Scott's club in London in the mid-Sixties, it was a real event." (Source: "Tom Waits - Offbeat Poet And Pianist". Contemporary Keyboard magazine, by Dan Forte. April, 1977)

DF (1977): Waits has never been much of a fan of what was considered "commercially acceptable," by AM or FM standards. As a teenager growing up in the Los Angeles of the mid-Sixties, Tom showed little interest in the Haight-Ashbury, acid-rock sounds, or the black-light posters and incense that went with them. Instead, he began discovering gems from his parents' dusty collection of 78s. "Wasn't anything real eclectic," he concedes, "Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Gene Krupa, Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller - nothing real 'inside.' But as an alternative to Blue Cheer, it was a welcome relief. I saw The Mothers once when I was about: fifteen or sixteen; I hated it. They were on a bill with Country Joe And The Fish, and I walked out. I wasn't a snob or anything - I just thought it was a waste of time." (Source: "Tom Waits - Offbeat Poet And Pianist". Contemporary Keyboard magazine, by Dan Forte. April, 1977)

JH (1979): Did you ever meet Kerouac? TW: "No, I used to dream about him. I remember one dream I had very clearly. I was in the kitchen in this apartment somewhere out in the Mid-West. There was a party and I was sat on the floor in this kitchen, and Kerouac came banging through the door. He was dragging this Mexican girl along by the hair, and he threw her up against the refrigerator and started slapping the shit out of her. He was screaming something, and she was screaming. And then I woke up." JH: Did you attach any special significance to that kind of experience then? TW: "Oh yeah, at the time, I was obsessed with Kerouac, but it's evened out now although he remains my hero." (Source: "The Neon Dreams Of Tom Waits". "New Musical Express" magazine. John Hamblett. London. May 12, 1979)

Q (1979): Did he get "Burma Shave" from the Nick Ray movie, They Live By Night, from 1947? TW: "Yeah, that's the one. In fact that's a great story. Very sad at the end where he gets mowed down at the motel. Farley Granger does soap operas now, I think. He was in Minneapolis and this woman disc jockey played it for him and he got a real kick out of it. He always played the baby-face hood. He don't work much any more. I guess Sal Mineo got most of his roles. Yeah, I used that. I kept coming back to that movie image. Also, I have a lot of relatives in this little town called Marysville, and a cousin, her name is Corrine Johnson, and every time I'd go up there from Los Angeles in the summers, she was always like you know 'Christ man - I gotta get outa this fucking town. I wanna go to LA.' She finally did. She hitch-hiked out and stood by this Foster Freeze on Prom Night. Got in a car with a guy who was just some juvinile delinquent, and he took her all the way to LA where she eventually cracked up. Burma Shave was a shaving cream company. Abandoned in the late Fifties. Useta advertise all along the highway. I always thought it was the name of a town." (Source: "Wry & Danish to go". "MelodyMaker" magazine. Brian Case. Copenhagen, Early 1979)

TW (1979): "Clarinet [for Potter's Field] was like the opening of 'Rhapsody In Blue'. That was what I had in mind... What I had in mind was Wildmark on the prow of a barge, bringing Thelma Ritter's coffin back from the pauper's burial ground of Potter's Field in a grey dawn: Pickup On South Street, Sam Fuller, 1952." (Source: "Wry & Danish to go". "MelodyMaker" magazine. Brian Case. Copenhagen, Early 1979.

DL (1979): Ah - what about some of your early influences? Early influences on you and your music? TW: I enjoy Rod Steiger. DL: Wait a minute! Wait a minute! Rod Steiger? OK...TW: Rod Steiger. DL: I have all of their albums. TW: I...er... I enjoy Lord Buckley. Lenny Bruce... DL: Lord Buckley! You lost the world! Nobody knows who Lord...TW: You know who Lord Buckley is! (Source: TV interview for "Don Lane Show". 1979)

VS (1980): You read any good books lately? TW: Ehm... I read eh "Requiem For A Dream" ehm... by Hubert Selby jr. It was very disturbing... " (Source: Interview for WNEW-FM by Vin Scelsa. November 2, 1979)

How'd that one [Heartattack and Vine] come about? TW: "I was in a bar one night on Hollywood Boulevard near Vine Street, and this lady came in with a dead animal over her arm, looking like she'd obviously been sleeping outdoors. She walked up to the bartender and said, "I'm gonna have a heart attack," and he says, "Yeah, right, you can have it outside." I thought that was pretty chilly. So I re-named Hollywood Blvd. "Heartattack." (Source: "Heartattack and Vine". Us promo pack: Stephen Peeples. September 4, 1980)

Tom Waits (1980): "That [On the Nickel] was written for the Ralph Waites motion picture of the same name. I don't think it's still showing anywhere. It was released about the time I got back from New York, in April sometime. It was a wonderful picture, I mean it, but it didn't make it. It wasn't no "Towering Inferno," just a small picture with a lot of feeling. It was set on skid row in Los Angeles, Fifth Street, downtown. The locals call it "the nickel." The film was about a couple of old friends who were reunited after some years. One had cleaned up and moved off the nickel and the other was still there, and dying from it. The one who'd cleaned up went back to find his old pal. It's a wonderful story." (Source: "Heartattack and Vine". Us promo pack: Stephen Peeples. September 4, 1980)

Tom Waits (1980): "It's [Ruby's Arms] a little bit like that Matt Monro thing, "I Will Leave You Softly" (sings a verse). I was trying to visualize this guy getting up in the morning before dawn and leaving on the train, with the clothesline outside. I just closed my eyes and saw this scene and wrote about it." (Source: "Heartattack and Vine". Us promo pack: Stephen Peeples. September 4 1980)

Tom Waits (1983): "It [Underground] was originally an opportunity for me to chronical the behavior of a mutant dwarf community and give it a feeling of a Russian march. People banging on steam pipes, thousand boots coming down on a wood floor at the same time. That chorus of men singing, kind of a 'Dr.Zhivago'-feel to it. It was the way I originally perceived it. I abbreviated some of the scope and wanted bass marimba to give it kind of an exotic feel. So, you get the note and you get that kind of a tall wood clang with the attack.... But I originally saw this... the theme for some late night activity in the steam tunnels beneath New York City. Where allegedly there are entire communities of ladies and gentleman living under difficult circumstances beneath the subways. When I was a kid I used to stare in the gopherholes for hours and hours sometimes. I tried to think my way down through the gopherhole and imagine this kind of a 'journey to the center of the earth'-kind of thing." (Source: "Tom Waits - Swordfishtrombones". Island Promo interview. 1983)

Tom Waits (1983): "It's [Shore Leave] kind of an oriental Bobby Blue Bland approach. Musically it's essentially very simple. It's a minor blues. I tried to add some musical sound effects with the assistance of a low trombone to give a feeling of a bus going by, and metal aunglongs the sound of tin cans in the wind, or rice on the bass drum to give a feeling of the waves hitting the shore. Just to capture the mood more than anything of a marching marine or whatever walking down the wet street in Hong Kong and missing his wife back home. I worked in a restaurant in a sailor town for a long time. It's Porkcola National City. So, it was something I saw every night. It was next to tattoo parlour and country&western dance hall and a Mexican movie theatre. So I imagined this Chinese pinwheel in a fireworks display spinning, spinning and turning and then slowing down. As it slowed down it dislodged into a windmill in Illinois. That same of... and then looked down on us. A home. Where a woman is sitting in the living room sleeping on chairs with the television on. When his having eggs at some grumulant joint, you know, thousands of miles away." (Source: "Tom Waits - Swordfishtrombones". Island Promo interview. 1983)

Tom Waits (1983): "This [Dave the Butcher] is an instrumental piece. It's a... actually I tried to find gallopy. Was it possible? So, I ended up playing on the B-3 organ. Well I wanted that carnival feeling on it. Kind of a nightmare alley with Tyrone Power and John Blundell. Kind of a monkey on wood alcohol. It was originally inspired by a gentleman who did tremondous amounts of religious things in his house and worked at a slaughter house. I was trying to imagine what was going in his head while he cut up load of pork loin and got completely out of his mind with a meat cleaver." (Source: "Tom Waits - Swordfishtrombones". Island Promo interview. 1983)

Tom Waits (1983): "My wife is from Johnsburg, Illinois. It's right outside McHenry and up by the ching-a-lings. She grew up on a farm up there. So it's [Johnsburg, Illinois] dedicated to her. It's real short. Somehow I wanted just to get it all said in one verse. There are times when you work on a song and end up repeating in the second verse what you already said in the first. So I thought I would be more appropiate if it's just like a feeling of a sailor somewhere in a cafe, who opens his wallet and turns to the guy next to him and shows him the picture while he's talking about something else and says: "Oh, here. That's her." and then closes his wallet and puts it back in his pants. It relates in some way to "Shore Leave" in the sense that it talks about Illinois. So thematically I was trying to tie it into "Shore Leave." (Source: "Tom Waits - Swordfishtrombones". Island Promo interview. 1983)

Tom Waits (1983): "I tried to get a 'chain gang work song'-feel holler [16 Shells From A Thirty Ought Six]. Get a low trombone to give a feeling of a freight train going by.. So, I wanted to have that kind of a sledgehammer coming down on anvil. Originally I saw the story as a guy and a mule going off looking for this crow. He has a washburn guitar strapped on the side of his mule and when he gets the crow he pulls the strings back and shoves this bird inside the guitar and then the strings make like a jail. Then he bangs the on the strings and the bird goes out of his mind as he is riding off over the hill." (Source: "Tom Waits - Swordfishtrombones". Island Promo interview. 1983)

Tom Waits (1983): "When my wife heard that [Town With No Cheer] for the first time she said: "Oh gee, you must have loved her very much." So I said: "Wait a minute. This is not a love song. This is about a guy who can't get a drink!". It's about a miserable old town in Australia that made the news when they shut down the only watering hole. We found an article about it in a newspaper when we were over there and hung on to it for a year. So I said: "Ah, I'm going to write something about that someday." and finally got around to it. That's a freedom bell upfront just trying to get a feel of a ghost town, tumbleweeds and that kind of thing. It's basically a folk song." (Source: "Tom Waits - Swordfishtrombones". Island Promo interview. 1983)

Tom Waits (1983): "It [In The Neighbourhood] has that salvation army feel. All things signed. Have a drinking song. I was trying to bring the music outdoors with tuba, trombone, trumpets, snare, symbals, accordian. So it had that feeling of fliniesque type of marching band going down the dirt road. And with glockenspiel to give it a feeling of a kind of a demented little parade band." (Source: "Tom Waits - Swordfishtrombones". Island Promo interview. 1983)

Tom Waits (1983): "I tried to give a little 'Nino Rota-feel to it [Just Another Sucker In The Vine]. Kind of like a car running out of gas, you know, just before it makes the crest of a hill and it starts to roll back. And.. Alright. I tried to picture two Italian brothers in small circus arguing on the trapeze. One of them with a bottle of ten high and it's litard. Doing the dozens on each other and throwing insults as they cross each other in the mid air. Or the feel of a band on the deck of Titanic as it slowly goes under. The title is really kind of a lyric to it, it's like you know... Actually I originally planned to write a lyric called: "It's more than rain that falls on our parade tonight". (Source: "Tom Waits - Swordfishtrombones". Island Promo interview. 1983)

Tom Waits (1983): [on Frank's Wild Years] "Charles Bukowski had a story that essentially was saying that it's the little things that drive men mad. It's not the big things. It's not World War II. It's the broken shoe lace when there is no time left that sends men completely out their minds. So this is kind of in that spirit. Little of a Ken Nordine flavour... I think there is a little bit of Frank in everybody." (Source: "Tom Waits - Swordfishtrombones". Island Promo interview. 1983)

Tom Waits (1983): "It [Swordfishtrombones the song] has kind of a Cuban night club feel to it. It's a story to try and give an overview of a character... Tenkiller Lake, that's in Tulsa, Oklahoma. So, "He came home from the war with a party in his head and an idea for fireworks display." (Source: "Tom Waits - Swordfishtrombones". Island Promo interview. 1983)

Tom Waits (1983): "It's [Down, Down, Down] best described as pentecostal revron man. I was stranded in Arizona on the route 66. It was freezing cold and I slept at a ditch. I pulled all these leaves all over on top of me and dug a hole and shoved my feet in this hole. It was about 20 below and no cars going by. Everything was closed. When I woke up in the morning there was a pentecostal church right over the road. I walked over there with leaves in my hair and sand on the side of my face. This woman named Mrs. Anderson came. It was like New Years Eve... Yeah, it was New Years Eve. She said: "We're having services here and you are welcome to join us." So I sat at the back pew in this tiny little church. And this mutant rock'n'roll band got up and started playing these old hymns in such a broken sort of way. They were preaching, and everytime they said something about the devil or evil or going down the wrong path she gestured in the back of the church to me. And everyone would turn around and look and shake their heads and then turn back to the preacher. It gave me a complex that I grew up with. On Sunday evening they have these religious programs where the preachers they are all bankers. They get on with these firering glasses and 700 $ suits. Shake their finger at America. So this is kind of my own little opportunity at the lectern." (Source: "Tom Waits - Swordfishtrombones". Island Promo interview. 1983)

Tom Waits (1983): [on Soldier's Things] "He has footnotes about character called the Celbi. The theory is that if somebody rides a bicycle long enough eventually the bicycle becomes 30% human and you become 70% bicycle. It's like the things that you have in your pocket. If you are carrying them there long enough, they take on certain atomic human characteristics. Sometimes you go to a garage sale or you go to a pawn shop or anywhere and look through other peoples things. Shoes in particular, that have walked around with somebody else inside them for a long time, seem to have...Seem to be able to almost talk. So, it's just trying to string together different items that... Instruments are always like that. After you come home from...This guy comes home from service and "everything's a dollar in that box", you know." (Source: "Tom Waits - Swordfishtrombones". Island Promo interview. 1983)

Tom Waits (1983): "It's [Gin Soaked Boy] a bit of a Howlin' Wolf -feel... Tried to get that 'rrrrr'-thing. Tried to get the vocal sit way back to recreate the recording conditions that existed prior to advanced technical capabilities. We had it recorded by one round microphone. So, your dominance on the track depended entirely on your distance from the microphone. Also get a room-feel. So Biff Dawes miked the room with several of these contact mikes on the glassnet type on thing. So it got a real sense of the air of the place. It has a bit of an old feel to it." (Source: "Tom Waits - Swordfishtrombones". Island Promo interview. 1983)

Tom Waits (1983): "It [Trouble's Braids] has a bit of a Mongolian feel. Try to get the image of trouble being this little girl. Pull on trouble's braids. He should chase you around and about a guy who's in trouble. Our hero is at this point being pursued by blood hounds. So he stays away from the main roads." (Source: "Tom Waits - Swordfishtrombones". Island Promo interview. 1983)

TW: "It's [Rainbirds] kind of an epiloque to the story. After he floats down the stream on an old dead tree. It's kind of... you know...It's a morning you hear the birds and it starts to rain and he's off on another adventure somewhere." (Source: "Tom Waits - Swordfishtrombones". Island Promo interview. 1983)

Tom Waits (1983): "Lately I've found an appreciation of Harry Partch who built and designed all his own instruments and died several years ago in San Diego. His ensemble continues under the name of The Harry Partch Ensemble, a friend of mine, Francis Thumm, plays the chromelodeon. I'm sure that many of your readers will be familiar with his work." (Source: "Skid Romeo". The Face magazine. Robert Elms. Los Angeles. September, 1983)

Tom Waits (1983): "I've always been afraid of percussion for some reason. I was afraid of things sounding like a train wreck, like Buddy Rich having a seizure. I've made some strides; the bass marimbas, the boobams, metal long longs, African talking drums and so on ... I listened to some Mongolian stuff when I was getting ready to do this record (Swordfishtrombones). It sounded like Tibetan Voodoo. It caught my ear and helped me some." (Source: "The Beat Goes On". Rock Bill magazine (USA). October 1983, by Kid Millions)

KM: What are your favourite movies? TW: "La Strada, 8 1/2, that Kurosawa film Ikiru." (Source: "One From The Heart & One For The Road ". New Musical Express magazine. Kristine McKenna. October 1, 1983)

KM (1983): What was the last record you bought? TW: "This thing with Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli. Beautiful stuff on there like "Nature Boy". I like the kind of notes they play, notes like skipping a stone across water. Just go with those notes, they take you away." (Source: "One From The Heart & One For The Road". New Musical Express magazine. Kristine McKenna. October 1, 1983)

Tom Waits (1983): "There was a lot of music in my family. Eh, I had an uncle Robert who was a blind organist at a Pentecostal church. Eh... he had a pipe organ in his bedroom. And eh... I remember going to see him when I was very young, and eh... See, my mother used to sing in a kind of a Andrew Sisters type of quartet. My dad, he listened to Mexican music. I don't know, I didn't have a lot of encouragement to be honest. But sometimes that's good you know? What you end up doing is a reaction to all that. So primarily eh... black music, eh... New Orleans music. Eh... James Brown I listened to in the sixties, eh Wilson Picket, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Ray Charles eh... " (Source: Saturday Live Interview With Tom Waits. BBC Radio One (UK) by Richard Skinner. October 22, 1983)

BC (1983): He is typically modest about the actual music [Swordfishtrombones], giving credit to British expatriate jazzman, Victor Feldman. TW: "He suggested instruments I wouldn't have considered - squeeze drums, Balinese percussion, marimba - things I'd always been timid about." (Source: "Tom Waits For No Man". Melody Maker. Brian Case. October 29, 1983)

Tom Waits (1983): [on the song Soldier's Things] "It was a rainy night at the pawn shop, and all these sailors, and I looked around, I saw all these musical instruments, picture frames, and - uh - one of the sailors pawned a watch, and the song was just there, sitting there." (Source: "Tom Waits For No Man". Melody Maker. Brian Case. October 29, 1983)

BC (1983): And we hit the street, Tom toting his Collin McInnes novels and rapping about Eddie Jefferson, Slim Gaillard and Moondog (Source: "Tom Waits For No Man". Melody Maker. Brian Case. October 29, 1983)

Tom Waits (1983): "Francis Thumm is an old companion of mine, he is a professor and he also plays the crumelodian in the Harry Partch Ensemble, so it was Francis Thumm who interested me in Harry Partch. "Partch was an American hobo and the instruments he made were all built from things that he essentially found on the side of the road, not literally but figuratively. He dismantled and rebuilt his own version of the whole concept of music and its purpose, but I just like the sounds he makes." (Source: "Swordfish Out of Water: Tom Waits". Sounds magazine by Edwin Pouncey. November 15, 1983)

Q (1983): Where does your inspiration come from? TW: "Sometimes I get up in the middle of the night when I'm still drunk from sleep. I go over to the piano in the dark and just hit random arbitary notes and like where your hand goes it goes there for a reason. "If you put a little baby down at a piano, she doesn't know anything, she likes to hit it over here because there are more black notes, or there may be some missing so she goes down here. "I like those things, it's like Steve Allen used to look out of his window at the telephone wires and he would wait for birds to come and sit on them so that he could score the melodies they made when they landed. "They weren't great melodies but it was still an interesting approach to writing melody. If you're paying attention there are always ideas, they're growing under your feet."(Source: "Swordfish Out of Water: Tom Waits". Sounds magazine by Edwin Pouncey. November 15, 1983)

Tom Waits (1983): "I like Thelonius Monk, he's so gnarled, he's like a piece of machinery that's pulled up the bolts on the floor and gone off on its own." (Source: "Swordfish Out of Water: Tom Waits". Sounds magazine by Edwin Pouncey. November 15, 1983)

Tom Waits (1985): [on New York City] "I could go out on the street and drop my trousers and start singin' 'Fly Me To The Moon' and no one would notice. I could shave my head and put on a dress and pee in a beer glass and... You invent your own apartment that you travel with in New York, you have to be a little off-centre because the things that you see are overwhelming... unless you stare at your shoes, which a lot of people choose to do in order to make it here. I'm absorbing a lot here, it all goes in someplace, but it's hard to tell what effect it's had on you till you move on." (Source: "The Marlowe Of The Ivories". New Musical Express magazine. Barney Hoskyns. May 25, 1985)

Tom Waits (1985): "Your musical diet determines a lot of what comes out of you, and I was listening to Ellington at the time of 'I Beg Your Pardon'. In fact there's a quote from 'Sophisticated Lady' in that song. I've always had a real fascination with Hoagy Carmichael and Johnny Mercer and those people." (Source: "The Marlowe Of The Ivories". New Musical Express magazine. Barney Hoskyns. May 25, 1985)

Tom Waits (1985): "I think for a while I had a certain romance with Tin Pan Alley and that type of thing, and a certain way the songs were constructed and... it was actually rather rigid for me, y'know, coz, I wrote primarily at the piano, and you write a certain kind of song at the piano. The piano brings you indoors immediately, so those types of songs were all different shade of the same colour... Now I'm trying to go outside more, maybe to write more from my imagination rather than being a chronicler." (Source: "The Marlowe Of The Ivories". New Musical Express magazine. Barney Hoskyns. May 25, 1985)

Tom Waits (1985): "I wanted to do a record called 'Wreck Collections', coz you know when you're moving and everything gets thrown into the same box, and that's always kind of interesting to me. I'm very interested in the work of people like Joseph Cornell." (Source: "The Marlowe Of The Ivories". New Musical Express magazine. Barney Hoskyns. May 25, 1985)

Q (1985): Has it [New York] produced any kind of new sounds for you in your head? Has it affected the sounds in your head? TW: "Yeah I think so yeah. It may be noisier yeah. Eh, it's like construction sounds you know? You hear them all the time. But I started taping a lot of stuff, so... But you know, how that will integrate itself into what I'm doing, I'm not certain but I started taping the sounds of machinery a lot and I play it back at night, cause you miss it you know? When it gets quiet and you're relaxed... you know? So I play it back at full volume... So I can re-experience the sounds of the day... There's like a pile driver outside on my window... " (Source: NME picture disc interview (Baktabak, UK) by Barney Hoskyns. May 25, 1985)

Tom Waits (1985): "I'm very interested in the work of people like Joseph Cornell or eh Schwitters, you know?... So eh.. and eh... Max Ernst. You know, that kinda stuff." (Source: NME picture disc interview (Baktabak, UK) by Barney Hoskyns. May 25, 1985)

Tom Waits (1985): "The earliest music I remember was mariachi, ranchera, romantica - Mexican music. My father used to tune that in on the car radio. He didn't listen to jitterbug or anything like that." (Source: "Raindogs tourbook", 1985)

EvP (1985): Contrary to popular belief, Waits watches MTV. TW: "I don't live in a vault but you can't really go there for ideas," he grumbles. (Source: "Lower east side story". The Face: Elissa van Poznak. Ca. October 1985)

EvP (1985): Why do you always write about life's suckers? TW: "I don't know... certain things you feel compelled to dream on." EvP: Do you have a social conscience? TW: "Nah, it's just where my eyes go." (Source: "Lower east side story". The Face: Elissa van Poznak. Ca. October 1985)

Q (1985): And raindogs, what are they? TW: It's a kind of word I made up for people who sleep in doorways..I mean, New York when it rains, all the peelings and cigarette butts, float to the surface like in Taxi Driver when he says, "someday a real rain's gonna come along and wash all the scum off the street". Looks better in the rain, like it's been lacquered." (Source: "Lower east side story". The Face: Elissa van Poznak. Ca. October 1985)

Q (1985): What's the first song you recall? TW: "Molly Malone". I was tiny (starts singing). "In Dublin's Fair city where the girls are so pretty." (Source: "Lower east side story". The Face: Elissa van Poznak. Ca. October 1985)

Tom Waits (1985): "lt's [songwriting] like being on medication, a balancing act, and a lot of time for me goes into getting ready to do this whole thing. It has its own drama, what it does to your life because all of a sudden things that are part of your scope and you never noticed will figure in.. . going to the shoeshine, the Port Authority, the steam coming out of the manhole, the guy on the horse, the news. You drag these things home from your day and put them somewhere and you have three weeks to make something out of it." (Source: "Lower east side story". The Face: Elissa van Poznak. Ca. October 1985)

Q (1985): Does Tom Waits have a favourite band? TW: "Yeah. The Salvation Army. They play across the street every Sunday. They just kill me." (Source: "Lower east side story". The Face: Elissa van Poznak. Ca. October 1985)

Tom Waits (1985): "Childhood is very important to me as a writer, I think the things that happen then, the way you perceive them and remember them in later life, have a very big effect on what you do later on." "That one [Kentucky Avenue] came over a little dramatic. a little puffed up, but when I was 10 my best friend was called Kipper, he had polio and was in a wheelchair - we used to race each other to the bus stop." (Source: "Hard rain". New Musical Express: Gavin Martin. October 19, 1985)

Tom Waits (1985): "I have a friend called Francis Thumm who played the Partch chromelodeon. He lives down by the beach in a place called Leisure World. He drinks the Ballantines, loves the Scotch, the 12-year-old single malt. He drinks plenty of it and it's gotten him into plenty of trouble. Anyway, he showed me Partch had an instrument called the blowboy, it sounded like a train whistle, it was a train whistle only it was his train whistle. It blew from out of bellows, reeds and organ pipes, he could play it with his foot like a pump organ and go 'hooway, hooway' - swear it was a sound that would break your heart. They said in a little documentary that the instruments he made were so beautiful, they looked like skeletons. I guess I'm just more curious, I was getting lazy. I'm just trying to find different ways of saying the same thing. I used to hear everything with a tenor saxophone, I had a very particular musical wardrobe. I've opened up a bit more." (Source: "Hard rain". New Musical Express: Gavin Martin. October 19, 1985)

GM (1985): Your writing seems to follow a similar path - you're neither a curator nor a documentor, the world you create jumbles memory, reality and imagination to make its own reality. How the listener applies that to their reality is up to them. TW: "I think a lot of that comes from being in New York, everything is heightened, you're looking through that into this, beyond this into that. You get picked up by a Chinese cab driver in the Jewish district, go to a Spanish restaurant where you listen to a Japanese tango band and eat Brazilian food. It's all blended. New York's been settled by people that are separate in a way. They retain their own culture, its rules, religions and customs. You know when you pass over the border from one into the other." GM: For you as a musician is it all up for grabs? TW: "Not so much to be used, I just try to enjoy. There's a place where Nigeria will lapse into Louisiana, there's things about music that happen spontaneously and you move into places that would otherwise have no connection. If you play a certain rhythm and move it a little, it becomes something else, move it back and it becomes a Carpathian waltz, move it further and you have a Gamelan trajectory coming in. It creates its own geography." (Source: "Hard rain". New Musical Express: Gavin Martin. October 19, 1985)

Tom Waits (1985): "Sometimes I close my eyes real hard and I see a picture of what I want, the song 'Singapore' started like that, Richard Burton with a bottle of festival brandy preparing to go on board ship. I tried to make my voice like his - "In the kingdom of the blind the one-eyed man is king" - I took that from Orwell I think." GM: Which book? TW: "Mary Poppins, one of the big ones." (Source: "Hard rain". New Musical Express: Gavin Martin. October 19, 1985)

Q (1985): Films and childhood seem important to your work. Where did you first see films when you were a kid? TW: "It was called the Globe Theatre and they had some unusual double bills. I saw 'The Pawnbroker' on the same bill as '101 Dalmations' when I was 11. I didn't understand it and now I think the programme director must have been mentally disturbed or had a sick sense of humour. I liked going to movies but I didn't get lost in them. Some people would rather spend time in the movies than anywhere else. On certain days, I would watch ten movies, spend all day from ten in the morning to midnight going from movie to movie. But then it's the world outside that becomes the film, the time in between takes on a very weird arrangement, that's what you watch, not the movies." (Source: "Hard rain". New Musical Express: Gavin Martin. October 19, 1985)

Q (1985): A lot of the songs on 'Rain Dogs' seem to be about death. TW: "Cemetery Polka" is a family album, a lot of my relatives are farmers, they're eccentric, aren't everyone's relatives? Maybe it was stupid to put them on the album because now I get irate calls saying, Tom how can you talk about your Aunt Maime and your Uncle Biltmore like that? But Mum, I say, they did make a million during World War Two and you'll never see any of it. It's time someone exposed them. (Source: "Hard rain". New Musical Express: Gavin Martin. October 19, 1985)

Q (1985): How did Frank's Wild Years turn into a musical? TW: "The song was like a fortune cookie, after I wrote it I thought what happened to this guy. Everybody knows guys like that, people you haven't seen in a long time, what happens to these people? What happened to John Chrisswicky? Oh Jesus, John's second wife left him and he went to work in a slaughterhouse for a while. Then he was in a rendering unit, of course his dad was always in the wine business - that didn't interest John, I hear he ended up as a mercenary soldier. People go through these pernutations in different stages of their life, perceived by someone else it can look strange. I imagined Frank along those lines. Y'see my folks split up when I was kid and ... hey, look, let me give you $100 and I'll lie down on the couch over there, you take notes and see if we can't get to the bottom of this." (Source: "Hard rain". New Musical Express: Gavin Martin. October 19, 1985)

Q (1985): Many of your prime influences were self-destructive. Do you feel a sense of duty not to get ensnared in that myth? TW: "I think it's better to burn hard than to rot, I think that's right. I don't really feel any sense of duty, I'm not in the army. Things that you write about have been written about before so I don't feel I'm breaking new ground or anything. All you can do is listen to the things that are of value to you and try to find a place for yourself. I don't want to sound too serious here, but it's like when you're together with people for a long time and talking about the things only you know. That must be the very sad thing about getting very old and all your friends die and you're talking to some guy and he's saying yeah, yeah, yeah and you're thinking, yeah, but he doesn't really know." (Source: "Hard rain". New Musical Express: Gavin Martin. October 19, 1985)

Tom Waits (1985): "New York is like a weapon, you live with all these contradictions and it's intense, sometimes unbearable. It's a place where you think you should be doing more about what you see around you, a place where the deadline to get the picture of the bum outside your apartment becomes more important than his deadline to get a crust or a place to sleep, which is a real deadline. You see things like the $400 shoe followed by the $500 ballgown stepping into the pool of blood from the bum that was killed the night before. That's what I was trying to get in that song 'Clap Hands' - "You can always find a millionaire to shovel all the coal" because millionaires like to go places that are downbeat, that aren't so chi chi." (Source: "Hard rain". New Musical Express: Gavin Martin. October 19, 1985)

Tom Waits (1985): "I had this thing I used to say. This sound, I didn't know how to identify it, and I used to say, "That Keith Richards-type style thing." So instead of learning how to explain what I meant, I heard he was coming to New York, and it worked out." (Source: "Tom Waits for no man". Spin Magazine: Glenn O'Brien. November 1985)

Q (1985): Do you ever listen to music? TW: "It's hard for me to sit down and just do that. I like it best when I hear it coming through the wall in a hotel room. I like it best on a bad speaker from a block away... ,you really have to watch your musical diet, especially when you're trying to write something. A couple of years ago on my wife's birthday we heard a song called "Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet" and it stayed in my head for so long." (Source: "Tom Waits for no man". Spin Magazine: Glenn O'Brien. November 1985)

Q (1985): Have you heard any interesting bands lately? TW: "Have you heard of the Pogues? They're like a drunk Clancy Brothers. They, like, drink during the sessions as opposed to after the session. They're like Dead End Kids on a leaky boat. That Treasure Island kind of decadence. There's something really nice about them. I heard another record called "Robespierre's Velvet Basement" by Nikki Sudden. That's something to listen to. There's Agnes Bernell. She's a German singer from the '40s who just made a record of a lot of her old songs. Elvis Costello was the executive producer. Her lyrics are great. "Father's lying dead on the ironing board, smelling of Lux and Drambuie." That's one of her first lines." (Source: "Tom Waits for no man". Spin Magazine: Glenn O'Brien. November 1985)

Q (1985): How do you write a song? TW: "New York is really stimulating. You can get a taxi and just have him drive and start writing down words you see, information that is in your normal view: dry cleaners, custom tailors, alterations, electrical installations, Dunlop safety center, lease, broker, sale...just start making a list of words that you see. And then you just kind of give yourself an assignment. You say, "Im going to write a song and I'm going to use all these words in that song." That's one way. Or you can get in character, like in acting, and let the character speak. The song "9th and Hennepin" came out like that." (Source: "Tom Waits for no man". Spin Magazine: Glenn O'Brien. November 1985)

Q (1985): Where's Hennepin? TW: "Minneapolis. But most of the imagery is from New York. It's just that I was on 9th and Hennepin years ago in the middle of a pimp war, and 9th and Hennepin always stuck in my mind. "There's trouble at 9th and Hennepin." To this day I'm sure there continues to be trouble at 9th and Hennepin. At this donut shop. They were playing "Our Day Will Come" by Dinah Washington when these three 12-year-old pimps came in in chincilla coats armed with knives and, uh, forks and spoons and ladles and they started throwing them out in the streets. Which was answered by live ammunition over their heads into our booth. And I knew "Our Day Was Here." I remember the names of all the donuts: cherry twist, lime rickey. But mostly I was thinking of the guy going back to Philadelphia from Manhattan on the Metroliner with the New York Times, looking out the window in New York as he pulls out of the station, imagining all the terrible things he doesn't have to be a part of." (Source: "Tom Waits for no man". Spin Magazine: Glenn O'Brien. November 1985)

Tom Waits (1985): "I listen to the radio... eh sometimes. You can learn from anything I guess. Eh, I like songs when they come through a wall and you hear them wrong. You just pick up a piece of it you know? When you distort the things that you are hearing and... New York's good for that, things coming up of the radio outside through the traffic and in the window and... That's good." (Source: "Nightlines" on CBC Stereo (Canada) conducted by Michael Tearson. Date: New York. Late 1985)

Tom Waits (1986): "You see, I think the place that you write stuff usually ends up in the song. I wrote most of RainDogs down on Washington St. It's a kind of rough area. Lower Manhattan between Canal and 14th St., just about a block from the river." (Source: "Waits Happening". Beat magazine. Pete Silverton. New York, 1986)

Tom Waits (1986): "In some way, acting and working in films has helped me in terms of being able to write and record and play different characters in songs without feeling like it compromises my own personality or whatever. That I can be different things in the studio that I can separate myself from the song. Before, I felt like this song is me, and I have to be in the song. I'm trying to get away from feeling that way, and to let the songs have their own anatomy; their own itinerary; their own outfits." (Source: "From the set of Ironweed, Tom Waits talks with Rip Rense". New York Post: Rip Rense. Early 1987)

Tom Waits (1987): "Little Jamaican shoeshine music, there [Hang On St. Christopher ]. Kind of a depraved Vaudeville train announcer... I think it moves along rather well. Kind of mutant James Brown." (Source: "From the set of Ironweed, Tom Waits talks with Rip Rense". New York Post: Rip Rense. Early 1987)

TW (1987): "Straight To The Top---Rhumba". "Kind of a floor show --- yeah, that was a little Louis Prima influence there. Louis Prima in Cuba. A little pagan. Not so Vegas --- more pagan. Like a guy who is obviously not going straight to the top, but the fact that he feels as though he is makes you almost believe that he might be; that somebody like that is going to burn a hole in something - but certainly not the business. Probably himself." (Source: "From the set of Ironweed, Tom Waits talks with Rip Rense". New York Post: Rip Rense. Early 1987)

Tom Waits (1987): "I'll Be Gone" "Kind of a Tarus Bulba number. Almost like a tarantella. A Russian dance. The guy is speaking further of his departure --- "in the morning, I'll be gone." The images... nitroglycerin, the pounding of hooves, women in the tent. Tomorrow we ride. It's an adventure number. Halloween music . . . from Torrance. Ritual music. Part of a pagan ritual we still observe in the Los Angeles area." "(Source: From the set of Ironweed, Tom Waits talks with Rip Rense". New York Post: Rip Rense. Early 1987.

Tom Waits (1987): "Yesterday is Here." "Kathleen changed the melody on that. It was almost like a Ray Charles number before. All of a sudden we ended up with Morricone. Wanted to get some of that spaghetti-western feel." (Source: "From the set of Ironweed, Tom Waits talks with Rip Rense". New York Post: Rip Rense. Early 1987)

Tom Waits (1987): "Frank's Theme." "Little Rudy Vallee there. RR: At what age? TW: From the grave. Rudy Vallee. From beyond the grave, we now bring you& the missing broadcast." (Source: "From the set of Ironweed, Tom Waits talks with Rip Rense". New York Post: Rip Rense. Early 1987)

Tom Waits (1987): "More Than Rain." "Oh, yeah, a little Edith Piaf attempt." (Source: "From the set of Ironweed, Tom Waits talks with Rip Rense". New York Post: Rip Rense. Early 1987)

Tom Waits (1987)"Cold, Cold Ground." "That's the only real Marty Robbins-influenced number on there. Just kind of a hardening back to his earlier times; a romantic song thinking about home, and all that." (Source: "From the set of Ironweed, Tom Waits talks with Rip Rense". New York Post: Rip Rense. Early 1987)

Tom Waits (1987): "It's good, though, to be able to grow and explore publicly, and have people be part of that process and let you move around and change hats; live in different countries. I'm just starting to use my own musical heritage--- all filtered through the lens of your own experience in time. That's what I'm trying to do with the music. Even with the mariachi. I was listening to a lot of Mexican music, and there's a little of that on there. (David Hidalgo of Los Lobos appears on the record, in fact.) I guess you kind of hope that it becomes your own when you bring it into play..." (Source: "From the set of Ironweed, Tom Waits talks with Rip Rense". New York Post: Rip Rense. Early 1987)

Tom Waits (1987): "I'm starting to find that songs find their own logic. And when we listen to them, we don't push them in a logical fashion. We let them go in some other place. They have their own kind of Joseph Cornell collection of images. So sometimes a lyric comes to me, I try to deliberately find things that don't particularly have a meaning at the moment. Then I write 'em down, then I think about 'em. Then I understand 'em." (Source: "From the set of Ironweed, Tom Waits talks with Rip Rense". New York Post: Rip Rense. Early 1987)

RR (1987): What have you been listening to lately? TW: "Well& I love the Pogues. Like out of a Hieronymous Bosch painting. Mythic. Mystical. In their very own drunken fashion... John McCormick, the Irish tenor. My father-in-law is a big fan of his. When I'm home with my in-laws, I always listen to him. Augustine Lara -- kind of a Spanish Scott Joplin or something. He classicalized what we think of as Latin American music. He wrote songs, more like Edith Piaf. Below the border with Edith Piaf. Not saloon songs, but nice romance songs. Beautiful melodies. And& Yma Sumac. Tried to make her voice sound like jungle animals. The Furys, an Irish group. The Argentinian tango composer, Astor Piazolla. Brave Combo, a Texan band. They do Polish-Bavarian wedding music. The new Lounge Lizards album is real good. Oh, Louis Prima. Monty Rock III. Ruth Draper. Dinah Washington& Dock Bogs, Rod Serling and Moms Mabley. RR: Wagner? TW: "Wagner." RR: Anything else? TW: "Agnes Burnell. You'll be wanting to get "Father is Lying Dead on the Ironing Board Smelling of Lox and Drambuie." Produced by Elvis Costello. Sure to be a Christmas favorite. And the Romiylana Monkey Chant." (Source: "From the set of Ironweed, Tom Waits talks with Rip Rense". New York Post: Rip Rense. Early 1987)

Tom Waits (1987): "You think you're a victim of your musical environment. To a degree you are... Your world is only as large as you make it. What you decide to include and to affect you is very much up to you. What you ultimately do with it is something else. It's like the blind men describing the elephant, you know? "It's a small apartment, it's a trailer, it's a large billfold." As far as influences, it takes a long time for something to find its way into what you do. You have to plant it, water it, let it grow." (Source: "Tom Waits Is Flying Upside Down (On Purpose)". Musician, Mark Rowland. October 1987)

MR (1987): But your music tries to convey that mystery, as voodoo did, or still does, I suppose, in certain places. TW: "Yeah. My dad wanted to have a chicken ranch when I was a kid. He's always been very close to chickens. Never happened, you know, but he has twenty-five chickens in the back yard. And my dad was saying there are still places, down around Tweedy Boulevard in south-central L.A., where you can buy live chickens, and most of the business there is not for dinner. It's for ritual. Hanging them upside down in the doorway for, uh...I don't know a lot about it, but at a certain level you get musicthe Stones know all about that. You know that tune on Exile On Main Street, "I Just Want To See His Face." [laughs] That will put you in a spell." (Source: "Tom Waits Is Flying Upside Down (On Purpose)". Musician, Mark Rowland. October 1987)

Tom Waits (1987): "I don't want the sheen. I don't know, I'm neurotic about it, and yet Prince is really state-of-the-art and he still kicks my ass. So it depends who's holding the rifle." (Source: "Tom Waits Is Flying Upside Down (On Purpose)". Musician, Mark Rowland. October 1987)

Tom Waits (1987): "I like the Replacements, I like their stance. They're question marks. I saw them at the Variety Arts Center downtown; I liked their show. I particularly liked the insect ritual going on at the foot of the stage. There was this guy trying to climb up, and they kept throwing him back, like a carp. No, you can't get in the boat! It was like something out of Mondo Cane. [laughter] And it was really great to watch. And I liked the fact that one of the kids - Tommy? - had dropped out of high school. Being on the road with this band, the idea of all his schoolmates stuck there with the fucking history of Minnesota, and he's on a bus somewhere sipping out of a brandy bottle, going down the road of life." (Source: "Tom Waits Is Flying Upside Down (On Purpose)". Musician, Mark Rowland. October 1987)

Tom Waits (1987): "In some ways, acting and working in films has helped me in terms of being able to write and record and play different characters in songs without feeling like it compromises my own personality. Before, I felt like `this song is me, and I have to be in the song.` I`m trying to get away from feeling that way. I`m trying to let the songs have their own anatomy, their own itinerary, their own outfits." (Source: "A Multifacted Singer Looks For New Directions". Chicago Tribune. Lynn Van Matre. October 18, 1987)

Tom Waits (1987): "I want to try and do something with a much harder edge, something with more abandon..I may possibly employ more technology. I still like bangin' on trash cans and all that, but I may try something else. I do like a lot of this rap stuff. Maybe even something with big amps, I don't know." (Source: "The Da Vinci of Downtown". GQ Magazine: Stephen Fried. November 1987)

SH (1987): Ever thought of doing an album of cover versions? Could be an interesting experiment. TW: "Yep. Maybe& found songs. Some day, I might just do that. I got some lined up. 'Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me' an old hymn. I like that, Jesus' songs. Always like that song offa 'Exile On Main St.' - 'I Just Wanne See His Face' ." (Source: "I Just Tell Stories For Money". New Musical Express magazine. Sean O'Hagan. Los Angeles. November 14, 1987)

SH (1987): A roll call of current interests takes in everything from "bush recordings to Nightmare On Elmstreet 3 -" TW: "You seen that? Man, it's a conundrum. They're temperin' with something there, something old as the devil." The Pogues, Henry Rolins, Alan Lomax, Fats Waller, Augustina Lara, Peter Tosh and Irish tenor John McCormack, all cop a mention from a crumpled sheet of notes extracted from an inside pocket. Nico's 'Camera Obscura' too - must be the harmonium. The common thread is& "& stuff that sounds unfinished. Then you can get in there. If it's too beautiful, too produced, I back off a little, start gettin' intimidated. You heard The Replacements? They seem broken, y'know? One leg is missin'. I like that. Songs that are scrawled on the wall with a nail - The Pogues, Henry Rollins - local kid. He's bush. Primitive& You done any of these rappers? Hell, Ice T - that looks like one bad dude. Jail poems. I listen to all that rap stuff. Can't escape it. This neighborhood you got stereos in the cars and they're more expensive than the car itself. Walls in the house going CHUNGA! CHUNGA! CHUNGA! From a stereo five miles away." (Source: "I Just Tell Stories For Money". New Musical Express magazine. Sean O'Hagan. Los Angeles. November 14, 1987)

Tom Waits (1987): "He [Harry Partch] was an innovator. He built all his own instruments and kind of took the American hobo experience and designed instruments from ideas he gathered travelling around the United States in the Thirties and Forties. He used a pump organ and industrial water bottles, created enormous marimbas. He died in the early Seventies, but the Harry Partch Ensemble still performs at festivals. It's a little arrogant to say I see a relationship between his stuff and mine. I'm very crude, but I use things we hear around us all the time, built and found instruments - things that aren't normally considered instruments: dragging a chair across the floor or hitting the side of a locker real hard with a two-by-four, a freedom bell, a brake drum with a major imperfection, a police bullhorn. it's more interesting. You know, I don't like straight lines. The problem is that most instruments are square and music is always round." (Source: "Tom Waits 20 questions". Playboy magazine: Steve Oney -- March 1988)

SO (1987): Considering your predispositions, which modern artists do you like to listen to? TW: "Prince. He's out there. He's uncompromising. He's a real fountainhead. Takes dangerous chances. He's androgynous, wicked, voodoo. The Replacements have a great stance. They like distortion. Their concerts are like insect rituals. I like a lot of rap stuff, because it's real, immediate. Generally, I like things as they begin, because the industry tears at you. Most artists come out the other side like a dead carp." (Source: "Tom Waits 20 questions". Playboy magazine: Steve Oney -- March 1988)

Tom Waits (1988): "My wife's been great. I've learned a lot from her. She's Irish Catholic. She's got the whole dark forest living inside of her. She pushes me into areas I would not go, and I 'd say that a lot of the things I'm trying to do now, she's encouraged. And the kids? Creatively, they're astonishing. The way they draw, you know? Right off the page and onto the wall. It's like you wish you could be that open." (Source: "Tom Waits 20 questions". Playboy magazine: Steve Oney -- Ca. March 1988)

Tom Waits (1988): "I like to take music out of the environment it was grown in. I guess I'm always aware of the atmosphere that I'm listening to something in as much as I am of what I'm listening to. It can influence the music. It's like listening to Mahalia Jackson as you drive across Texas. That's different from hearing her in church." (Source: "Tom Waits 20 questions". Playboy magazine: Steve Oney -- March 1988)

Tom Waits (1988): "Things are now a little more psychedelic for me, and they're more ethnic. I'm looking toward that part of music that comes from my memories, hearing Los Tres Aces at the Continental Club with my dad when I was a kid." (Source: "Tom Waits 20 questions". Playboy magazine: Steve Oney -- March 1988)

Tom Waits (1988): "I love The Pogues. They're it, they're really it. I love those guys. I'd love to do a project with 'em. I love the group, love Shane's voice. Still... he ought to get his teeth fixed." (Source: "A Flea In His Ear". City Limits magazine. Bill Holdship. Los Angeles. May 12-19 , 1988)

Tom Waits (1988): "I think Charles Bukowski is one of the greatest American poets." (Source: KCRW-FM: Morning Becomes Eclectic. Date: October 3, 1988)

Tom Waits (1988): "He [Harry Partch] was like a real American hobo. Most of his instruments were built out of things he saw along the road. He was against the traditional musical forms as we know them in Western Culture. He said he went outside with his music, outside of music. That's where he played " (Source: "Tom Waits". Graffiti Magazine: Tim Powis. December 1, 1988)

Tom Waits (1988): "I like Jessye Norman and the Replacements, there's a group called Seven Inches of Throbbing Pink Jesus. I'm not sure where they're from. I guess if you're sensitive and open, you try to incorporate everything you hear. The form itself is rather limiting. I work in four-by-five. You slam it together, there's just so much you can do with it. You try to push out the envelope, but you can't always. Sometimes you realize there's a certain amount of resignation in song composing, but then you hear different people do different things with it. And then you deal with the ballistics of radio, where you're constantly reminded that the bullet must fit the chamber. They're striving for an American Rifle Association that creates this whole blue-metal network of sameness. Like a parts store. I don't strive to fit into that, but it's always there. In order to continue to develop and grow and change and even to have an effect on someone else, people have to be aware of you. I mean the Stones had a great influence on popular music. They always stayed in the garage, but they still came out of the radio. It was amazing cause their albums are very primitive. Keith Richards says what he was trying to do was be the hair in the gate."(Source: "Tom Waits". Graffiti Magazine: Tim Powis. December 1, 1988)

Tom Waits (1988): "I have very strong rhythmic instincts; I'm no longer terrified of percussion. I think I may wanna try something very loud and simple and rhythmic, almost like a rap-type simplicity: Pablo Neruda and Ice-T. I like all that stuff - they're like jail poems or jump-rope songs. They're very immediate. It's like the underground railroad. I don't like all the posing, building an entire career out of talking about what studs they are. But I like the ones that talk about community. I like the form. It was a necessary thing, it had to be born. Most of what I like in American music is black music, because black music is really the *only* American music. It really was cut and bled here...". (Source: "Tom Waits". Graffiti Magazine: Tim Powis. December 1, 1988)

Tom Waits (1988): "It's interesting when you take certain rhythms: a mule skinner or a field holler. You lean just a little to the right and you're in Ethiopia, you push it back to the left and you're in Shanghai. If you voice a banjo just correctly, you can be in Paul Whiteman's orchestra or Mississippi or Hong Kong. I like all those places in music where things lose their identity and gain a new one. There are riddles and secrets inside rhythms." (Source: "Tom Waits". Graffiti Magazine: Tim Powis. December 1, 1988)

Tom Waits (1988): "I write about a variety of things, you know. I guess most of the songs on the last three records are jail poems, field hollars, spirituals, waltzes, some Caribbean influence in there. Um, some jump tunes." (Source: "Mixed Bag, WNEW New York ". Interview on WNEW FM. October 1988)

Tom Waits (1988): "Hey, I don't know where I was headed. When I got married, I had about $27 in the bank; I thought I was a millionaire [Laughs deeply ]. And so I think my wife is really the brains behind pa, as they say. And it's had great influence on my music and my life as well so. She opened my eyes to a lot of things, and my ears. You know, opera, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, John McCormick, gypsy music, makeup secrets, that type of thing. Kathleen's a writer, and we collaborate on some songs, stories, a lot of things, children, heh. So, we met, I been married eight years. And I got three kids, and I'm uh... Things are going okay." (Source: "Mixed Bag, WNEW New York ". Interview on WNEW FM. October 1988)

Q (1989): Did your music take on a new edge from living in the city? TW: "No question about it. It's just a whole pageant. It's very rich, there's a lot of noises that you either become compatible with or they drive you away. It's just very surreal living with so much impact and so much input." (Source: "Neither Vinyl Nor Film Can Contain Waits". Film Threat magazine 18, by Steve Dollar. Early, 1989)

Tom Waits (1989): "It's like when you make tapes just for your own pleasure, you put Pakistan music and Bobby Blue Bland next to each other, you do have some type of logic about it. (But) I can't listen to so much music at the same time. I think you really have to have a diet. You're just processing too much, there's no place to put it. If you go a long time without hearing music, then you hear music that nobody else hears." (Source: "Eavesdropping on Elvis Costello and Tom Waits". Option Magazine. July/ August 1989)

Tom Waits (1989): "I love that thing the Mellotron so much. I just used one yesterday. (Its owner) guards it with his life because it's such an exotic bird, it's a complete dinosaur, and every time you play it it diminishes. It gets old and eventually will die, which makes it actually more human, you're working with a musician that is very old, he's only got a couple more sessions left. It increases the excitement of it. And that great trombone sound... " (Source: "Eavesdropping on Elvis Costello and Tom Waits". Option Magazine. July/ August 1989)

Tom Waits (1989): "Those Mellotrons, the first time I actually played one, it really thrilled me. It's like you touched somebody on the shoulder, everytime I touch you on the shoulder I want you to play a note. It was that real." (Source: "Eavesdropping on Elvis Costello and Tom Waits". Option Magazine. July/ August 1989)

Tom Waits (1989): "I think it's like when you listen to opera in Texas, it's a very different world. In Rome, you almost ignore it. I've done the same thing, gone out and bought music from Pakistan, Balinese stuff, Nigerian folk songs and all this, and I find that if I bring it with me to unusual places, the place itself is as much a part of the music. Because the music itself was born and nurtured in a particular environment, and came from that environment. It's the same thing with fashion or anything else." (Source: "Eavesdropping on Elvis Costello and Tom Waits". Option Magazine. July/ August 1989)

Tom Waits (1989): "Well, your whole molecular structure and what's in your bones and genetically in you also contains musical information. Because the first time I really started listening to Irish music, I had a very strong connection. Strangely enough, there's a great many Japanese melodies and vocal styles that sound very much like Hungarian music. You start seeing all these cross-references and comparative, independent musical cultures..." (Source: "Eavesdropping on Elvis Costello and Tom Waits". Option Magazine. July/ August 1989)

EC (1989): The Dirty Dozen record, the new one, I want to hear that one, 'cause I think this is hopefully a new style for them, with a big label. I think a group like that really needs somebody who can put it on shops everywhere you can find it because inevitably a lot of that stuff is word of mouth. Sir Kirk (Joseph), the sousaphone player, is such an obvious star cause it's so unusual to have somebody so fluent on an instrument which almost by definition is not fluent, really. He's a one-in-a-million player. TW: "I love that sousaphone. It's really like dancing with a fat lady, you really have to know what you're doing." (Source: "Eavesdropping on Elvis Costello and Tom Waits". Option Magazine. July/ August 1989)

Tom Waits (1989): "The pre-play music for this [Demon Wine] is all Tony Bennett music. It's really nice. It serves as kind of a music for the main title of the play. Then out of nowhere I got a call from Tony Bennett, who's doing an album. He wants a song. His son called. I thought, that was great. I've always loved Tony Bennett. That record he did with Bill Evans with just piano and voice, and all those things." (Source: "Eavesdropping on Elvis Costello and Tom Waits". Option Magazine. July/ August 1989)

Tom Waits (1991): "All of Bob Dylan's songs are carved from the bones of ghosts and have myth and vision . . . 'Desolation Row,' 'From a Buick 6,' 'Ballad in Plain D,' 'Restless Farewell,' 'Visions of Johanna,' 'Boots of Spanish Leather ,' 'Dark Eyes.'" For me, 'Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands" is a grand song. It is like Beowulf and it 'takes me out to the meadow.' This song can make you leave home, work on the railroad or marry a Gypsy. I think of a drifter around a fire with a tin cup under a bridge remembering a woman's hair. The song is a dream, a riddle and a prayer." (Source: "The Impact Of Dylan's Music 'Widened the scope of possibilities', by Robert Hilburn. Los Angeles Times. May 19, 1991)

Tom Waits (1992): "Keith Richards. He's real like voodoo about it [song writing]. He circles it. He's like an animal, smelling it, kicking dirt on it. He's real ritual about it, real jungle. I had an experience writing with him for several weeks and it was really thrilling. He's written so many different kinds of songs. You identify him with that really dirty guitar and that gang-like stance, like a killer at a gas station-'Oh man, we better not stop for gas here'-and then you realize he's a real gypsy. We had some wild times. You can't drink with him-just forget about it, you'll be leaving early, he reduces you to something very embarrassing. You'll be the table- they'll put drinks on you. He toughens you up." (Source: "Composer, musician, performer, actor - Tom Waits is a Renaissance man whose musique noir captures the sound of the Dark Age". Pulse! Derk Richardson. September 1992)

Tom Waits (1992): "I love rap. It's raw and hollering and violent. Black music in America is the only music that's changing and evolving. Maybe that's not accurate. It just seems that black music is a living music as opposed to a dead music. It's growing and it gets angry and then it shuts up and it breaks windows and it disappears and it comes back." (Source: "The Lie In Waits". VOX (USA), by Peter Silverton. Paris, October, 1992. Article reprinted as "A Conversation With Tom Waits", The Observer, by Pete Silverton. November 23, 1992)

Tom Waits (1992): "This thing [LA riots benefit ]just came up last minute. It was at the Wiltern Theater, at Wilshire and Western. Right in the heart of--well, Western Avenue's had a lot of teeth knocked out, so it seemed like an appropriate place to have it. Fishbone were unbelievable--just so inspiring, man." (Source: "Tom Waits at work in the fields of song ". Reflex nr. 28: Peter Orr. October 6, 1992)

Tom Waits (1992): "What I find great about rap is that most of these rap artists are guys who flunked out of English and barely made it through school, if at all. And they're using words for a living. If I were an English teacher, I would feel like I was failing instead of these kids." (Source: "Tom Waits at work in the fields of song ". Reflex nr. 28: Peter Orr. October 6, 1992)

Tom Waits (1992): "He [Keith Richards] writes songs in some ways similar to the way I do--you kind of circle it, and you sneak up on it; it was a real joy to write with him. You can't drink with him, but you can write with him. I felt like I have known him for a long time, and he's made out of very strong stock, you know. He's like pirate stock. He loves those shadows." (Source: "Waits in wonderland". Image: Rip Rense. December 13, 1992)

Tom Waits (1992): "Writing with her [Kathleen ]has been great. It pushes me into new areas. She was raised Irish Catholic, grew up in Illinois on a farm, she's seen cats strung up by their necks swinging over the barn doors. She's got all kinds of things that she dredges up." (Source: "Waits in wonderland". Image: Rip Rense. December 13, 1992)

Q (1992): Your kids actually contributed some to the record as well... How does this come up, is this like breakfast table conversation? TW: "Oh, you know how. Everybody gets in [like Jimmy Durante] "Everybody wants a get inta the action." Eh, my little girl said- she has a word called, the word is "strangels." It's a cross between "strange" and "angels." Strange angels. Strangels. They're called "strangels." Or I said, or you could have "braingels." Those are the strange angels that live in your head would be "braingels." We just went around and around with it, and it wound up in "The Ocean Doesn't Want Me Today." [clears throat] That little suicide note on the album. Yeah, kids. Great for the... Hey, kids write thousands of songs before they learn how to talk. They write better songs than anybody. So, you hope you can write something a kid would like." (Source: "Morning becomes Eclectic ". KCRW radio Interview: Chris Douridas. Rebroadcast January 2 1998. Original broadcast 1992 (?))

Tom Waits (1992): "My dad was very musical, my mother also. They both sang. We had music in the house. We had Bing Crosby. We had Harry Belafonte. We had Marty Robbins... Uh, A lot of Mariachi music. My dad loved, and still loves. He's a Spanish teacher, so that's what we listened to more than anything else, really. I wasn't allowed to listen to any of that hot rod music. So, I don't know where your musical education usually comes from, a little bit you heard when you were a kid, and then you're off on your own expedition, and what you do with it is up to you, how you integrate it. I have always felt like I'd find things that have fallen off a truck. Like the sound of this, I'll find some way to integrate it. I go at it like the Eyeball Kid. I try to sorta annex this, change this, I don't know how it all comes together, but once you have musical confidence, and that usually comes from being naive enough to explore without feeling self-conscious, cause you really do want songs to like you as much as you want to like them, and there are things about music that... There are places in music that you can only go if you're an idiot. That's the only way you can get in." (Source: "Morning becomes Eclectic ". KCRW radio Interview: Chris Douridas. Rebroadcast January 2 1998. Original broadcast 1992 (?))

Tom Waits (1992): "Yeah, right--you can't help it if you're around him [Keith Richards ]," he laughs. "You start walking like him, and you know, it's just impossible. He's got arms like a fisherman. He's physically very strong, and he can outlast you. You think you can stay up late? You can't even come close. He can stay up for a week--on coffee and stories." (Source: "Tom Waits' wild year". Musician: Mark Rowland. January 1993)

Tom Waits (1993): "I have learned a great deal about music from other musicians, and from listening to the world around me. But when I was a kid growing up in Whittier, there was a red-headed boy named Billy Swed who lived with his mom in a trailer by the railroad tracks. Billy is the one who taught me how to play in a minor key. Billy didn't go to school. He was already smoking and drinking at the age of 12, and he lived with his mom at the edge of a hobo jungle on a mud rain lake with tires sticking up out of it. There was blue smoke, dead carp, and gourds as big as lamp shades. You could get lost trying to find their place--through overgrown dogwood and pyrancantha bushes, through a culvert under a freeway, and through canyons littered with mattresses and empy paint cans." (Source: "Tom Foolery - Swapping stories with inimitable Tom Waits". Buzz Magazine: May 1993)

Tom Waits (1993): "I've always loved songs of adventure, murder ballads, songs about shipwrecks and terrible acts of depravity and heroism. Erotic tales of seductions, songs of romance, wild courage, and mystery. Everyone has tried at one time or another to live inside a song. Songs where people die for love. Songs of people on the run. Songs of ghost ships or bank robberies. I've always wanted to live inside songs and never come back. Songs that are recipes for supersitution or unexplained disappearances." (Source: "Tom Foolery - Swapping stories with inimitable Tom Waits". Buzz Magazine: May 1993)

Tom Waits (1993): "They Call the Wind Mariah," "Teen Angel," "Bonnie Bonnie Bedlam," "Pretty Boy Floyd," "Springhill Mining Disaster," "Lonesome Death of Hattie Carol," "Winken, Blinken, and Nod," "The Sinking of the Titantc," "Three Ravens," "Zaz Turned Blue," "Pretty Polly," "Streets of Laredo," "Raglan Road," "John Henry," "Stagger Lee," "Ode to Billie Joe," "Frankie and Johnny," "Brother Can You Spare A Dime?" "Volga Boatman," "In the Hall of the Mountain King," "Goodnight Loving Trail," "Strange Fruit," "Jacob's Ladder," "Spanish Is the Loving Tongue," "Lost in the Stars," "Sympathy for the Devil," "Auld Lang Syne," and "Jesus's Blood Never Fails Me." These are a few of my favorites. (Source: "Tom Foolery - Swapping stories with inimitable Tom Waits". Buzz Magazine: May 1993)

Tom Waits (1993): "I saw Monti Rock III in 1969 on the Sunset Strip at a place called Filthy McNasty's with six people in the audience. He was crawling through a bitter and distracted version of "Tennesee Waltz" when he suddenly stopped the band (the members of which were all wearing matching pink jumpsuits). The room screamed with feedback as he threw his drink against the wall and stabbed an amplifier with a mike stand, telling the six business suits in the audience they were all bloodsuckers. He laughed nervously as he sweated in the spotlight and delivered a purely psychotic confession that resembled a cross between an execution and a striptease. In a style somewhere between a pimp and a preacher, he told stories of being a hairdresser in Puerto Rico and wanting to make it in Hollywood someday. He then lit up and sang "I Who Have Nothing" a cappella. I was there, and I knew that I wanted to get into show business as soon as possible." (Source: "Tom Foolery - Swapping stories with inimitable Tom Waits". Buzz Magazine: May 1993)

Tom Waits (1993): "There are so many sounds I want to record. Carnival stuff. All the sounds on the (midway), you know...I still haven't got a really good metal sound -- when you see like swords in a real sword fight, or a real anvil with a real hammer. I'm still looking for the ultimate sound of a real stress metal clang. I wanna hear, really hear, really the clang of all clangs. Real clang. JJ: I used to work in a sheet metal factory, and there were some great sounds, tossing the stuff around, moving it, the metal scraps and stuff. TW: Yeah, right. I gotta collect those sounds. Tchad Blake, my engineer (on 'Bone Machine'), oh man, he's got a -- (He'd) got into India, a street, and stand in a fish market with his mike on, and record the bicycles, the bells on the handlebars. Ching-a-ching! Ching-a-ching! And the chings are coming in and ching-ing out, and it's a wonderful movie for the ears. You can just reach out and like, you can see the fish. Whoa! And trains, I've got a lot of trains on tape. Real chugs that are like a rhythmic chug, you just can't believe it. Like you pee your paints. And the TING ting ting as the bell's coming up." (Source: "Straight No Chaser" Jim Jarmusch. October 1993)

Tom Waits (1993): "Hey, that pygmy stuff that you sent me really flipped me! It really got me listening, because we struggled for a couple days with getting the sound of a stick orchestra inside the studio for "Earth Died Screaming". We tried every configuration and position of the microphone, and finally I said, "Well, why don't we go outside, isn't that where all these recordings are made?" And five minutes later we had a mike up, we were hitting it, it was there. It was that simple." (Source: "Straight No Chaser" Jim Jarmusch. October 1993)

JJ (1993): Ken Nordine. Did you do some stuff with Ken Nordine? TW: "Yeah. He's most known for his records, 'Word Jazz', 'Sound of Word Jazz', 'Colors'. He worked with a small jazz group and made records in the '50s, and they're really stories, those strange little stories, little Twilight Zones from the dark recesses of his brain. Little worlds you go into. He has little conversations with himself, as if he's got the little guy with the pitchfork on his shoulder that's telling him, "Yeah, kiss her." "Well, I don't know." "Go ahead, kiss her." JJ: ...and the voices overlap. TW: "Yeah, Ken Nordine." JJ: Yeah, Ken Nordine. Where does he live, in LA? TW: "Chicago." JJ: He's a strange little addition to American culture. TW: "Yeah, he's really remarkable." (Source: "Straight No Chaser" Jim Jarmusch. October 1993)

Tom Waits (1993): "I love reference books that help me with words, dictionaries of slang or the 'Dictionary of Superstition', or the 'Phrase and Fable, Book of Knowledge', things that help me find words that have a musicality to them. Sometimes that's all you're looking for. Or to make sounds that aren't words, necessarily. They're just sounds and they have a nice shape to them. They're big at the end and then they come down to a little point that curls. Words, y'know, for me are really, I love 'em, I'm always lookin' for 'em, I'm always writin' 'em down, always writin' down stuff. Language is always evolving. I love slang, prison slang and street idioms and --" (Source: "Straight No Chaser" Jim Jarmusch. October 1993)

JJ (1993): You like rap music because of that, right? TW: "Oh yeah, I love it. It's so, it's a real underground railroad." JJ: It keeps American English living. Rap, hip-hop culture and street slang is to me what keeps it alive, and keeps it from being a dead thing. TW: "Yeah, it happens real fast, too. It's....and it moves on, in like three weeks maybe something that was very current is now very passe. As soon as they adopt it, they have to move on." JJ: It's an outsider's code, in a way. TW: "Well, it's all that dope talk that came because you had to have conversations, that whole underground railroad thing where you had to be able to talk to somebody in the presence of law enforcement, and have law enforcement totally unable to understand anything of what you were saying. I don't know if people really acknowledge as much as they should how the whole Afro-American experience, how it has given music and lyricism, poetry to daily life. It's so engrained that most people don't even give it credit." (Source: "Straight No Chaser" Jim Jarmusch. October 1993)

TW: "A lot of those Alan Lomax records that he did, song collecting in the '30s, captures that. He also captured just sounds, sounds that we will no longer be hearing, eventually, like he captured just the sound of a cash register that you really don't hear anymore." (Source: "Straight No Chaser" Jim Jarmusch. October 1993)

JJ (1993): What writers do you like? TW: "'Course Bukowski, the new collection is great, the 'Last Night of the Earth' poems. The one called "You Know and I Know and Thee Know"...there's some beautiful things in there, very mature, and (with an) end of the world sadness. And Cormac McCarthy I like. He has a new novel called 'All the Pretty Horses'." (Source: "Straight No Chaser" Jim Jarmusch. October 1993)

Tom Waits (1993): "I learned a lot from working with Robert Wilson. He's an actor; every physical gesture, every movement onstage, he did it first. And he puts his actors through the wringer. When we were getting 'The Black Rider' together, I went onstage for an hour to stand in for somebody who was sick, and it was like, 'He's using these people like clay.' And this particular group of German actors were thrilled, they'd melt themselves down, pour themselves into any mold. "By the end we were all transformed. I know the experience changed me. Things you planned turn out to be meaningless, and that which you accumulated without knowing it becomes your real treasure, your innocence, your confidence. I love that." (Source: "Tom Waits, All-Purpose Troubadour". The New York Times (USA) by Robert Palmer. Also published as "Meet The Real Tom Waits, All Of Them", International Herald Tribune. November 16, 1993 Date: San Francisco, November 14, 1993)

Tom Waits (1994): "Yeah, I love Burroughs. He's like a metal desk. He's like a still, and everything that comes out of him is already whiskey." (Source: "Straight No Chaser" Jim Jarmusch. October 1993)

MR (1994): We listen to three versions of a song before Waits decides which one he wants to add a small amount of percussion to. There's his "cruise ship version", his "Latin version", and his "experimental version." TW: "That's my Jimmy Durante, that's my Bar Harbor, that's my Ethel Merman!" says Waits. "I sound so... continental!" (Source: "The music of chance". Spin Magazine: Mark Richard. June 1994)

On the ride home Waits is still thinking about his afternoon with his children and horses. TW: "I heard a Mexican guy working with the horses today and the way he spoke to the horses was so musical, so beautiful, the way he would shape his body to get the right sounds. "I've always thought that in Mexican culture songs lived in the air, music is less precious and more woven into life," Waits says. "There is a way of incorporating music into our lives that has meaning: songs for celebration, songs for teaching children things, songs of worship, songs to make the garden grow, songs to keep the devil away, songs to make a girl fall in love with you. My kids sing songs they have made up that I listen to and know by heart, and these songs have become part of our family life. You have to keep music alive in your life or else music becomes an isolated thing, just a pill you take." (Source: "The music of chance". Spin Magazine: Mark Richard. June 1994)

MR (1994): We drive home in virtual silence. TW: "Children don't know the first thing about music and yet they make up songs and sing them all day long," says Waits. "Who's to say my melodies are any better than theirs?" (Source: "The music of chance". Spin Magazine: June 1994. Mark Richard)

MR (1994): We are listening to "Lucky Day Overture", the opening of The Black Rider. Waits is adding maniacal laughter from a Japanese movie dubbed in German he sampled from late-night Hamburg television. Waits says he has always been fascinated with human oddities, collecting books like Ripley's Believe It or Not, books of strange and incredible facts. TW: "Some people might consider it sick or demeaning, but these people had careers and were very well-respected in show business," says Waits. "Everybody I know in show business has something about them mentally, spiritually, or physically that makes them an oddity." (Source: "The music of chance". Spin Magazine: Mark Richard. June 1994)

MR (1994): These days Waits' favorite books include Anais Nin's Delta of Venus, the stories of Breece D.J Pancake, and books of toasts and proverbs. He recently read Napoleon's will, to find out who the little emperor gave his socks and underwear to. TW: "I used to like the darkest books in the store," says Waits. "Sadomasochistic lesbian carpenters with backgrounds in medicine whose parents were dwarves, things like that." (Source: "The music of chance". Spin Magazine: Mark Richard. June 1994)

Tom Waits (1994): "Well, Bone Machine started out as a, just a title. Let's make something that sounds like it could be part of a group of songs that were entitled Bone Machine. Let's come up with songs that... ya know. Now, I guess the first thing that you'd think of is, maybe, this is like Halloween music or this is...umm...like...What is this?...kind of skeleton music, this is like horror, like music from a horror movie... Is that what it is? Well... Maybe see a little bit. There's a little bit of that in there. Umm. That gets ya thinking about bones, ya start thinking about, Oh God. We have to die and all that. I hate to break it to you... um... that's a little joke there. Umm. So I guess Bone Machine deals sometimes with, also with, not only does it have a particular sound because of Bone Machine, it kind of conjures up an image of, ya know, wood then...Well, I don't know. Different for everybody, but for me kinda like wet leaves in your hair and ya know autumn. I don't know. Anyway, Bone Machine. So it's...some of the songs deal with dying and, ya know, with the fact that were all hurling through space here and eventually the earth will probably open up and swallow us all...some day real soon." (Source: "Bone Machine Operator's Manual". November 30, 1994)

Tom Waits (1994): "Umm... Revelations. It's all in Revelations. It's a heavy chapter. The "Earth Died Screaming" is a warning I guess, It's one of those songs... I haven't written a song like that really before. Like that, what I mean is kind of a, it has a certain, it is a warning... ha... like the end is near. The guys that I used to always love on downtown LA - Fifth and Main - with the briefcase with the speaker in it and the crummy little amplifier in it, going back and forth on a little wire screaming about the end of the world. I used to just stop and listen to those guys. Oh! To keep a crowd on a corner, now that, that is where you cut your teeth as a public speaker, is on a busy corner at like 5:00 on a Friday afternoon, downtown Los Angeles...and you're talking about Jesus. Now... Those were thrilling moments for me." (Source: "Bone Machine Operator's Manual". November 30, 1994)

Tom Waits (1994): "Dirt in the Ground". ... um, ya know. I tried to sing in my high, my Prince voice... ha. I can only do that once or twice and then it's gone. If I try to sing like that on the road every night, forget about it." (Source: "Bone Machine Operator's Manual". November 30, 1994)

EB (1996): Waits has been itching to record with [Ramblin' Jack ]Elliott ever since he first heard his music getting good play, in the days when he was working as a doorman at the Heritage Club in San Diego's Mission Beach. TW: "I was about 19, and his record was one of the most-played at this little coffee house. Jack's record was on the turntable all the time the one where he's on the cover with his horse and he's roping something. "It had '912 Greens' on there, spoken out, the song that so moved me. It had his version of "Tennessee Stud' and some Woody Guthrie songs," says Waits. He paused, then added that Elliott "was a real hero of mine - the idea of meeting him one day and recording with him is pretty fantastic." (Source: "On the road". San Francisco Examiner. Edvins Beitiks. August 4, 1996)

Tom Waits (1999): "My wife Kathleen and I collaborated on just about all of them [Mule Variations ]. Of the sixteen songs that are now on the record, we wrote ten or eleven together. We've been working together since Swordfish... I'm the prospector, she's the cook. She says, "you bring it home, I'll cook it up." I think we sharpen each other like knives. She has a fearless imagination. She writes lyrics that are like dreams. And she puts the heart into all things. She's my true love. There's no one I trust more with music, or life. And she's got great rhythm, and finds melodies that are so intriguing and strange. Most of the significant changes I went through musically and as a person began when we met. She's the person by which I measure all others. She's who you want with you in a foxhole. She doesn't like the limelight, but she is an incandescent presence on everything we work on together." (Source: "A Q&A about Mule Variations". MSO: Rip Rense. January (?) 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "I don't know, I guess it's where I keep coming back to [blues ]. As an art form, it has endless possibilities, as an ingredient or a whole meal. Definitely part of the original idea was to do something somewhere between surreal and rural. We call it surrural. That's what these songs are---surrural. There's an element of something old about them, and yet it's kind of disorienting, because it's not an old record by an old guy." (Source: "A Q&A about Mule Variations". MSO: Rip Rense. January (?) 1999)

RR (1999): The album is chock full of little stories and scenes, its remarkable how, with a suggestion or two, a line or two, you evoke a story. For example, in "Cold Water" and "Get Behind the Mule," there is one little story after another. Do you carry around a notebook and compile these little scenes? TW: "If I forget it, I figure it wasn't worth remembering, and if I can't get it out of my mind, then I decide it must be worth hanging on to. I marvel at Leadbelly, who just seems to be a fountain of music. When he started working with Mose Ash, he told Huddie he wanted to record anything - nursery rhymes you remember, whatever. He said, get up and tapdance, and we'll put a microphone on the floor, and we'll put that on the record. And play a squeezebox, or tell a story about your grandmother. They were like concept albums. They're kind of like photo albums, with pictures of you when you're a kid. I love the way the songs unfolded, the way he would go from telling a story about the song right into the song, and there wasn't even a bump in the road when he started singing. He could have just talked for another three minutes, and that would have been fine, too. A lot of the litany in his songs were---well, he'd have a lot of repeats. 'Woke up this morning with cold water, woke up this morning with cold water&' It's a form. They're like jump-rope songs, or field hollers. The stuff he did with John Lomax is out on Rounder right now. It's like a history of the country at that time."(Source: "A Q&A about Mule Variations". MSO: Rip Rense. January (?) 1999)

Q (1999): Is there actually a Beulah's porch (`Fell asleep on Beulah's porch'. . .from "Take it With Me") and an Evelyn's kitchen (`I wish I was home in Evelyn's kitchen/ with old Gyp curled around my feet' from "Pony"), or are these things that just sounded or felt like the different songs? TW: "My Aunt Evelyn died while we were making the record. She was my favorite aunt. She and my Uncle Chalmer had ten kids, and raised prunes and peaches. They lived in Gridley, and there have been a lot of times when I've been far away from home, and I've thought about Evelyn's kitchen. And I know there are a lot of people that loved them, that thought about that same kitchen. So that's why we put that in there. They had an old dog named Gyp. If you make up songs, sometimes you just get up in the morning and start singing something on the way to work. You don't know why, and maybe it's worth remembering, or maybe it's not." (Source: "A Q&A about Mule Variations". MSO: Rip Rense. January (?) 1999)

Q (1999): Ida Jane& Old Blind Darby& some of these names in Mule Variations... are there stories behind them? TW: "Well, they're all real people. They all come from history, or my history. Or letters received, or things read, or half-remembered... or made up." (Source: "A Q&A about Mule Variations". MSO: Rip Rense. January (?) 1999)

Q (1999): Care to comment on what inspired "What's He Building in There?" Neighbors muttering about you? TW: "We're all, to a degree, curious about our neighbors, and we all have four or five things that we know about them. And with those things, we usually create some kind of portrait of their life. He drives that Valiant... Did you notice? That dog has no hair in the back... His wife must be sixteen... Look at that garage. Looks like it caught fire and he never even repainted it... And then you add to it, as other things unfold: I saw him last night. You ever see him wearing those lime green pants? Where's he from, St. Louis? That's the only place I've ever seen lime green pants. But he said he's from Tampa... And you never, ever introduce yourself. But he continues to develop like a film for you. Then you report to your wife new things every day that you've observed. His dog gets loose and comes into your yard, and has no license. We all do that, don't we? I was thinking that he's the guy. He's talking about himself. He's delusional. We've all become overly curious about our neighbors, and we all do believe, in the end, that we have a right to know what all of us are doing." (Source: "A Q&A about Mule Variations". MSO: Rip Rense. January (?) 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): That (Filipino Box Spring Hog) would fall in the category of surrural. Beefheart-ian. When we lived on Union Avenue in L.A., we had parties. We sawed the floorboards out of the living room, and we took the bed, the box spring, and first dug out the hole and filled it with wood, poured gasoline on it, and lit a fire. And the box spring over the top, that was the grill. We brought in a pig and cooked it right there." (Source: "A Q&A about Mule Variations". MSO: Rip Rense. January (?) 1999)

RR (1999): I don't think anything on the album is more affecting than "Georgia Lee." Can you tell me about it? TW: "The girl's name was Georgia Lee Moses. It's been over a year. They had a funeral for her. A lot of people came and spoke. I guess everybody was wondering, where were the police, where was the deacon, where were the social workers, and where was I and where were you. Now that she's gone, one thing that's come out of it is that her neighbor has opened her home as a place where teenaged girls can come, where latchkey kids can come and hang out after school till their parents get home. A lot of kids are raising their parents. You usually run away because you want someone to come and get you, but the water is full of sharks." (Source: "A Q&A about Mule Variations". MSO: Rip Rense. January (?) 1999)

RR (1999): "Take it With Me"... the old cliche, you can't take it with you, isn't true. Listening to this, I realized that you take a lot of stuff with you. TW: "We wanted to take the old expression `you can't take it with you' and turn it on its ear. We figure there's lots of things to take with you when you go. We checked into a hotel room and moved a piano in there and wrote it. We both like Elmer Bernstein a lot. My favorite line is Kathleen's. She said `all that you've loved is all that you own.' It's like an old Tin-Pan Alley song." (Source: "A Q&A about Mule Variations". MSO: Rip Rense. January (?) 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "That's (Get Behind the Mule) what Robert Johnson's father said about Robert, because he ran away. He said, 'Trouble with Robert is he wouldn't get behind the mule in the morning and plow,' because that was the life that was there for him. To be a sharecropper. But he ran off to Maxwell Street, and all over Texas. He wasn't going to stick around. Get behind the mule... can be whatever you want it to mean. We all have to get up in the morning and go to work. Kathleen says, "I didn't marry a man. I married a mule." And I've been going through a lot of changes. That's where Mule Variations came from. What did she mean by that? TW: I'm stubborn." (Source: "A Q&A about Mule Variations". MSO: Rip Rense. January (?) 1999)

Q (1999): Tell me about "Lowside of the Road." TW: "Leadbelly was involved in a skirmish after a dance one night on a dirt road, late. Someone pulled out a knife, someone got stabbed, and he went to jail for it. He was rolling over to the low side of the road. I seem to identify with that. I think we all know where the low side of the road is." (Source: "A Q&A about Mule Variations". MSO: Rip Rense. January (?) 1999)

Q (1999): What were your musical inspirations, influences, before you first left home. TW: "When I was first trying to decide what I wanted to do, I listened to Bob Dylan and James Brown. Those were my heroes. I listened to Wolfman Jack every night. The mighty ten-ninety. Fifty thousand watts of soul power. My dad was a radio technician during the war, and when he left the family when I was about eleven, I had this whole radio fascination. And he used to keep catalogues, and I used to build my own crystal set, and put the aerial up on the roof." (Source: "A Q&A about Mule Variations". MSO: Rip Rense. January (?) 1999)

Q (1999): Tell me about "Picture in a Frame." It's one of the more direct pieces you've done. TW: "Simple song. Sometimes I listen to Blind Lemon Jefferson or Leadbelly, and you'll just hear a line or a passing phrase. The way they phrase something sounds like the beginning of another whole thing, and they just use it as a passing thought, kind of a transitory moment in the song. But it sounds to me like it could have opened up into another whole thing. I heard that title, "Picture in a Frame," in another song. I don't even remember what the song was now. And I thought, that's a good title for a song. So I made it about Kathleen and me." (Source: "A Q&A about Mule Variations". MSO: Rip Rense. January (?) 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "There was a time when I was a kid and I had my little crystal set and my aerial on the roof, listening to Wolfman Jack, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Johnny Horton, Floyd Cramer. The radio was a pretty great thing.'' (Source: "Waits plays out `Variations' on a twisted persona". San Francisco Chronicle: James Sullivan. April 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "I thought I was gonna be a cook... That's about as far as I could see. But what also happened was that I was mystified by the jukebox, and the physics of how you get into the wire, and come out of a jukebox. That's where that came from. I'd listen to Ray Charles singing Time and I can't stop loving you, and I'd think, goddamn, that's something." (Source: "Tom Waits, Hobo Sapiens ". Telegraph Magazine: Mick Brown. April 11, 1999)

MB (1999): By then, he had developed a romantic fascination with the boho mythologie enshrined in the work of such writers as Bukowski, the poet Delmore Schwartz, who died in a run-down hotel for transients in 1966, and above all, Jack Kerouac. Waits discovered On the Road when he was 18 years of age. TW: "It spoke to me" he says simply. "I couldn't believe that somebody 'd be making words that felt like music, that didn't have any music in it, but had music all over it." (Source: "Tom Waits, Hobo Sapiens ". Telegraph Magazine: Mick Brown. April 11, 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "I was a bouncer in this nightclub - place must have been really hurting if they had me as a bouncer, everybody got in - and I'd bring my books and my coffee and my cigarettes and put my feet up, and I'd read my Kerouac, and watch the cars go by, and I just felt like I was on fire and I had a reason to live. Because he put some meaning in the most ordinary things. Sitting there, my own ordinary life was just lifted out of that and was all dusted with something sparkling."(Source: "Tom Waits, Hobo Sapiens ". Telegraph Magazine: Mick Brown. April 11, 1999)

TW (1999): "She [Kathleen ]was the one that started playing bizarre music. She said, "You can take this and this and put all this together. There's a place where all these things overlap. Field recordings and Caruso and tribal music and Lithuanian language records and Leadbelly. You can put that in a pot. No one's going to tell you you can't. You like James Brown and you also like Mabel Mercer. There's nothing wrong with that." We're all that way. We all have disparate influences. And we all know people that don't know each other! Right? I mean, some people are afraid to have parties and invite them all." (Source: "Holding On: A Conversation with Tom Waits". Newsweek: Karin Schoemer. March 23, 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "Kathleen was the first person who convinced me that you can take James White and the Blacks, and Elmer Bernstein and Leadbelly-folks that could never be on the bill together-and that they could be on the bill together in you. You take your dad's army uniform and your mom's Easter hat and your brother's motorcycle and your sister's purse and stitch them all together and try to make something meaningful out of it." (Source: "Tom Waits for no man". Time Out New York nr. 187: Brett Martin. April 22-29, 1999)

Q (1999): Where do you pick this stuff up? TW: "Just livin' . . . The Ringling Brothers at one point were exhibiting Einstein's eyes, Napoleon's penis and Galileo's finger bones, all on the same bill. Different tents. 'Course I missed that. You ever hear of Johnny Eck? He was a Ringling act. The Man Born Without a Body. Johnny Eck had his own orchestra and was an excellent pianist and he'd stand on his hands and wear a tuxedo." (Source: "Gone North, Tom Waits, upcountry". L.A. Weekly: Robert Lloyd. April 23-29, 1999)

RL (1999):Driving me back to my hotel in the big black Silverado he calls (today, at least) Old Reliable, Waits detours to a flower-bedecked makeshift roadside shrine dedicated to the memory of 12-year-old Georgia Lee Moses, the subject of "Georgia Lee," a lilting Irishy lullaby on Mule Variations. "It's a good spot," he says as we pull over to a grassy plot of trees and brush by a freeway onramp. "She'd run away from home, been missing for like a week. I guess this is where they found the body." He takes a plastic point-and-click camera from his pocket and shoots a picture. TW: "Not to make it a racial matter, but it was one of those things where, you know, she's a black kid, and when it comes to missing children and unsolved crimes, a lot of it has to do with timing, or publicity... and there was this whole Polly Klaas Foundation up here, while Georgia Lee did not get any real attention. And I wanted to write a song about it. At one point I wasn't going to put it on the record, there were too many songs. But my daughter said, 'Gee, that would really be sad -- she gets killed and not remembered and somebody writes a song about it and doesn't put it on the record.' I didn't want to be a part of that." (Source: "Gone North, Tom Waits, upcountry". L.A. Weekly: Robert Lloyd. April 23-29, 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "I can't finish a book, you know, but I snack on information. The origin of pumpernickel bread, for example. Napoleon's horse ate the best bread. All the soldiers were livid. What they really wanted was to eat as well as Napoleon's horse ate. And he ate pumpernickel. His horse's name was Nikolai. Nikolai... pumpernickel." (Source: "Gone North, Tom Waits, upcountry". L.A. Weekly: Robert Lloyd. April 23-29, 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "I write mostly from the world, the news, and what I really see from the counter, or hear. She's [Kathleen ]more impressionistic. She dreams like Hieronymus Bosch... So together it's You wash, I'll dry. It works... She's exposing me to all kinds of things I'd never listen to. It's kind of like trying on hats. "Is that me?" You have to kind of let it all down and not worry about what's hip and what's cool. I guess I'd been trying to find some music that's my own music -- it's like home cooking, you know? Of course if I'm making something just for me, I'm not very picky, I might just pour some sugar in my ear, suck on a piece of dirt in my mouth, light my hair on fire. I'm fine with that." (Source: "Gone North, Tom Waits, upcountry". L.A. Weekly: Robert Lloyd. April 23-29, 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "What I did for a long time was put my head on other people's bodies. You look for your own niche. How have all these things synthesized in you? You take your Elmer Bernstein and you take your 7 inches of throbbing pink Jesus and you put it together and you try to make some sense out of it. Melt it, crush it, saw it, solder it. I've always had diverse influences, and I never know how to reconcile them. There was a point where I wasn't sure whether I was a lounge act or..." (Source: "Gone North, Tom Waits, upcountry". L.A. Weekly: Robert Lloyd. April 23-29, 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "... it's nice to think that when you're making your music and you bring it out, someone's going to pick it up. And who knows when or where? I listen to stuff that's 50 years old or older than that and bring it into myself." (Source: "Gone North, Tom Waits, upcountry". L.A. Weekly: Robert Lloyd. April 23-29, 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "She [Kathleen ]has dreams like Hieronymous Bosch. So she writes more from her dreams. I write more from the world or from the newspaper or something like that. And somehow it all works together. She's great, so it works." (Source: "Mule Conversations". Austin Chronicle: Jody Denberg. April 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "Sometimes you just reach for something when you're working on a song. That's why I like to have maps up on the wall when we're recording, because it always feels like we're off on an adventure. And I like to refer to the maps."(Source: "Mule Conversations". Austin Chronicle: Jody Denberg. April 1999)

Q (1999): Was there a point for you when you realized that the sonic atmosphere of your song was almost as important as the lyrics? I'm thinking about "Pony" from the new album. It's a sad, desolate song and it has a sad, desolate sound. TW: "I guess that particular one we wanted to have it bare and by itself, like those Lomax recordings, those Library of Congress recordings that I love so much." (Source: "Mule Conversations". Austin Chronicle: Jody Denberg. April 1999)

Q (1999): The song "Pony" has a lot of characters. These names, "Burn-Face Jake," "Blind Darby." I think you're in "Evelyn's Kitchen." Are these real people that live in these songs? TW: "Evelyn's Kitchen," that's my Aunt Evelyn, who passed away during the making of the record. Her and my uncle had 10 kids and lived in a place called Gridley. I guess I've been far away from home, and have thought about her kitchen a lot and that a lot of people feel the same way when they've been far away from home. I dreamed about getting back home to her kitchen. That's why we put her in there -- a tribute to Evelyn. The other people are just different people I've come across over the years -- known, heard about, read about." (Source: "Mule Conversations". Austin Chronicle: Jody Denberg. April 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "... it's [What's He Building?] kind of tipping my hat to Ken Nordine, who was a big influence on me. And I've listened to him since I started recording. Ken lives in Chicago. He has a peculiar imagination and tells remarkable stories." (Source: "Mule Conversations". Austin Chronicle: Jody Denberg. April 1999)

Q (1999): Mule Variations is a bluesier album than some of your more recent efforts. Is there a reason for that? TW: "Well, I don't know where it all came from. Maybe I'm kind of re-examining my whole folk roots. My roots, as far as music, are perhaps diverse sometimes. Sometimes you try and find a way to reconcile the diversity of your influences. So you listen to Elmer Bernstein and you listen to Skip James and you like 'em both. And though you'll never see them on a bill together, they can be on the bill together in you, right? In some way, in some form or another or on your record, you can have elements of those styles. It's really my wife that started helping me see that you can find the place where Leadbelly and Schoenberg overlap. Or Cryin' Sam Collins and Beefheart, you know, intersect with Monk or Miles or.." (Source: "Mule Conversations". Austin Chronicle: Jody Denberg. April 1999)

Q (1999): What did you make of the last Dylan record? TW: "Oh, I love that record. Yeah, that was a great record. Great sound, too. You know, very intimate and -- I love all his records, really." (Source: "Mule Conversations". Austin Chronicle: Jody Denberg. April 1999)

Q (1999): Are there any current musicians that you like to listen to? TW: "Oh yeah. Well, I like Guy Clark a lot. I've known him for a long time. And I like Lucinda Williams. I like her a lot. Met her at some point back a couple of months ago. She came through and she was playing on a bill with Dylan and Van Morrison. I got to chat with her a little bit. That was very pleasant. Loved her record. Sparklehorse. You know those guys? I like all that stuff. And who else? Tricky. I like Tricky a lot. Portishead. You know this band called The Mean Old Man Next Door? They got that record out called Tijuana Moon. You know that one? That's a good one." (Source: "Mule Conversations". Austin Chronicle: Jody Denberg. April 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "The origin of songs is usually very different than anything you would probably imagine. They come from all kinds of places, not necessarily my songs. They're just songs. That one's [Who are you ? ]all about the Battle of Hastings and Jacqueline Onassis and the whole thing that happened on the yacht and the fight in Tampa and the Cuban connection and ...[laughs] The whole thing that went down between the princess of Monaco and she blackmailed the... Do you know what I'm talking about? It's been all over the news. [laughs]." (Source: "Tom Waits '99, Coverstory ATN". Addicted to Noise: Gil Kaufman en Michael Goldberg. April 1999)

Q (1999): What about a song like "Georgia Lee"? You've done a lot of stuff in Hollywood, you've had quite a few movie roles. That song has a real cinematic feel to it. Do you perceive songs like that? Did you see that song before you wrote it, before you sang it? TW: "Hmm. No, not really. There was a big article in a paper up here about a gal who had been kidnapped and was found murdered in the trees off the freeway. It was a sad story. So we wrote it about her and about what happened. It was a really sad story." (Source: "Tom Waits '99, Coverstory ATN". Addicted to Noise: Gil Kaufman en Michael Goldberg. April 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "Yeah, she's [Kathleen ]the one that gave me a good swift kick in the pants, I'd say. I'd say up to that point, I was looking to see my head on somebody else's body. She said let's check this out. She has a lot of diverse influences. You try to reconcile the fact that you like Collapsing New Buildings and Skip James and Elmer Bernstein and Nick Cave and Beefheart and Eric Satie and all this stuff that you don't know what to do with. I guess it was her that gave me the notion that you can find some reconciliation between these things that you like. That was the beginning, and we've been working together since then." (Source: "Tom Waits '99, Coverstory ATN". Addicted to Noise: Gil Kaufman en Michael Goldberg. April 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "I did want it to have somewhat of a field recording mood to it [Mule Variations ] 'cause I love those Library of Congress tapes. I always loved the fact that they were grainy documents of raw music. When they record kids' jump-rope songs and the kids are like, 'Oh, why do you want to record this for?' Like the stuff you hang on your refrigerator and somebody wanting to publish it." (Source: "Tom Waits '99, Coverstory ATN". Addicted to Noise: Gil Kaufman en Michael Goldberg. April 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "Everything is a potential instrument, it depends on how you use it. I remember I was doing Swordfishtrombones and somebody took a stool -- a metal stool -- and started dragging it across the studio floor to move it out of the way. And I said, "That's really thrilling. Do that again and abundantly and carefully and repeatedly, please." It sounded like bus brakes on a big city bus. So I like things that fall outside of the spectrum of what we consider traditional instruments and acceptable sound. I love all that." (Source: "Tom Waits '99, Coverstory ATN". Addicted to Noise: Gil Kaufman en Michael Goldberg. April 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "Most blues people like the texture on a record. And the grit that's there through time and the limitations of that particular time become part of the charm of the record. I'm no different. I like 78s for that reason. I like something that sounds like it's trying to reach me from far away. I feel more connected to them. I feel more involved, like I'm trying to dial it in on a shortwave. I'm trying to help it get clearer. It's just what I like, it's not for everybody. [laughs]." (Source: "Tom Waits '99, Coverstory ATN". Addicted to Noise: Gil Kaufman en Michael Goldberg. April 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "Yeah. I love Howlin' Wolf. I love Muddy Waters. Seminal artists." (Source: "Tom Waits '99, Coverstory ATN". Addicted to Noise: Gil Kaufman en Michael Goldberg. April 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "When I first started listening, I made a crystal radio set when I was about 13. I remember listening to Johnny Horton, Floyd Cramer, Ray Charles. Then I found Wolfman Jack, forget about it, man. Love Wolfman. ATN: You mentioned Skip James. TW: Sure. Yeah, yeah. Him and then ... Of course. Leadbelly. I listened to a lot of Leadbelly. See, Mike, if you listen to enough of it, you listen to everything. Some of these guys have an all- encompassing history -- you hear the history and a development of the music itself and through their own development, you hear the development of all of blues. That's what I listen for, to try and learn." (Source: "Tom Waits '99, Coverstory ATN". Addicted to Noise: Gil Kaufman en Michael Goldberg. April 1999)

Q (1999): And "Get Behind the Mule" you have these characters like Molly Be Damned, Jimmy the Harp, the Pock Mark Kid. You hear the name and immediately that image comes to mind, like this woman I can't get out of my head with no nails and 6'9". Is your life populated by those --?... Who are they? Are they real people? TW: "Yeah, they're all real people. Trade secret -- they're just folks, just plain folks. Read the paper, listen to the radio, look out the window, go to a cafe and eavesdrop. Correspond with people. It's just people I've come across in ... just names of people. Some I know, some I've heard of, some are famous blues guys from the '30s, some are people I used to go to school with all mixed together." (Source: "Tom Waits '99, Coverstory ATN". Addicted to Noise: Gil Kaufman en Michael Goldberg. April 1999)

Q (1999): You talk about how a lot of the songs are things you read in the paper or things that happen, like "House Where Nobody Lives." That's one of the ones that you actually wrote on your own on this album. You didn't collaborate with Kathleen. It seems so specific. It almost seems like it had to have been true. What changes a house where nobody lives with broken windows into a house that's more broken dreams, like it is in this song? What makes it worthy of a song other than just being a house that's broken down? TW: "I don't know. Just you go by it everyday and wonder about it. I went by it everyday on the way to school." ATN: When you were a kid? TW: "Yeah. Over time, the weeds got higher and higher. First you think, 'They've got to mow that lawn, must be on vacation.' Weeds got higher and higher. Then I remember at Christmas time, all the neighbors were concerned about the house because it was like the bad tooth in the smile. And they strung some Christmas lights on it just to give it a little pep during the season. It was a soul tune, really." (Source: "Tom Waits '99, Coverstory ATN". Addicted to Noise: Gil Kaufman en Michael Goldberg. April 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "At some point in your life you're going to listen to Skip James, Leadbelly, Mississipi Sam Chapman, Tom Shaw. You're going to come across these folks and they're going to change how you hear things, because they're seminal. They are the river that runs through it. It's our true indigenous music that evolved here." (Source: "Tom Waits, In Dreams". Exclaim: Michael Barclay. April/ May 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "Well, the weird thing about Kurt Weill is that after I made a few records in the '80s, people started to tell me that I was sounding like this guy, or that I must be listening to this guy. So I figured I should probably go out and listen to him, because I'd never heard of him before. I did listen, and then I thought, "Oh, I hear that." I have a lot of diverse influences. Most of us do. I like everything from Elmer Bernstein to seven-inch singles of Throbbing Pink Jesus." (Source: "Tom Waits, In Dreams". Exclaim: Michael Barclay. April/ May 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "You can listen to stuff that's 100 years old. Then you play something from two days ago, feel the same thing. Have a battle with the past. The past can have a dialogue with you. It's pretty amazing. Mule Variations is kind of our take on the Goldberg Variations." ATN: Oh, like Glenn Gould. TW: "Yeah! Just like Glenn Gould. We're shaking hands with Glenn Gould here." (Source: "Tom Waits, In Dreams". Exclaim: Michael Barclay. April/ May 1999)

Q (1999): You narrated a documentary on surrealist Winnipeg filmmaker Guy Maddin recently. What initially attracted you to his work, and how did you first see it? It's hard to find even in Canada. TW: "Someone sent me Tales From Gimli Hospital , which they thought I would enjoy, and I did. Then I saw Careful , and I also loved that. There's something ambiguous about the time they're being shot. It's kind of half carnival, half fairy tale, like Grimms, and then there's a 1920s thing going on - is it an old movie? New movie? I can relate to the fact that he's trying to find a place that is of no time. He's scavenging from time, Frankensteining these different things. I can relate to that. He wanted me to be in [Twilight of the Ice Nymphs ], but it didn't work out." (Source: "Tom Waits, In Dreams". Exclaim: Michael Barclay. April/ May 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "I guess most entertainers are, on a certain level, part of the freak show. And most of them have some kind of wounding early on, either a death in the family, or a break-up of the family unit, and it sends them off on some journey where they find themselves kneeling by a jukebox, praying to Ray Charles. Or you're out looking for your dad, who left the family when you were nine, and you know he drives a station wagon and that's all you've got to go on, and in some way you're gonna become a big sensation and be on the cover of Life magazine and it'll somehow be this cathartic vindication or restitution." (Source: "Mojo interview with Tom Waits ". Mojo: Barney Hoskyns. April 1999)

Q (1999): Do your early memories of Mexico still filter through your songs? TW: "As much as anyone's memories do. I'll start out with pictures of things that have happened, then slowly they start to get more like paintings, and then maybe they just turn into shapes. Then slowly they fade to black, I guess. My dad taught Spanish all his life, so we went down to Mexico. Used to go down there to get my haircut a lot. And that's when I started to develop this opinion that there was something Christ-like about beggars. See a guy with no legs on a skateboard, mud streets, dogs, church bells going... I'd say, yeah, these experiences are still with me at some level." (Source: "Mojo interview with Tom Waits ". Mojo: Barney Hoskyns. April 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "... I just heard Kicks by Paul Revere and the Raiders on my way here, and that's a cool song! Wild Thing. Louie Louie. I heard Son of a Preacher Man the other day, and it just killed me. There's a point in the song where she just kind of whispers, "The only one who could ever love me", really smoky and low that's a sexy song! Hey, it's all out there." (Source: "Mojo interview with Tom Waits ". Mojo: Barney Hoskyns. April 1999)

Q (1999): When you finally discovered jazz and Jack Kerouac, around 1968, did you bond with other people through that, or was it a fairly solitary passion? TW: "Oh yeah, it's just like when you buy a record and you hold it under your arm and make sure everyone can see the title of it. It's about identity, I guess. I felt I had discovered something that was so rich, and I would have worn it on the top of my head if I could've. I mean, I incorporated it into what I was." (Source: "Mojo interview with Tom Waits ". Mojo: Barney Hoskyns. April 1999)

Q (1999): What were the first songs you sang publicly? TW: "Oh god. I'm not gonna tell you the truth about this. I did an all-Schoenberg programme for the first year... no, I played Hit the Road Jack, Are You Lonesome Tonight. It was pretty lame, really, but I knew at a certain point that I had to get into show business as soon as possible. I probably should have changed my name, but by then it was too late." (Source: "Mojo interview with Tom Waits ". Mojo: Barney Hoskyns. April 1999)

Q (1999): Was Randy Newman an influence? TW: "Yeah, because he was always like a Brill Building guy. He was part of that whole tradition: you go siddown in a room and you write songs all day. Then you get these runners and you get the songs out to Ray Charles or Dusty Springfield. I mean, that's what Joni Mitchell was doing too, she was sitting in a room writing songs, it was just the perception of yourself as a songwriter was changing. And I caught that wave, the songwriters garnering understanding and sympathy and encouragement." (Source: "Mojo interview with Tom Waits ". Mojo: Barney Hoskyns. April 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "You take a little bit from here and a little bit from there. Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. My dad's hat, my mom's underwear, my brother's motorcycle, my sister's pool cue... and there you go."(Source: "Mojo interview with Tom Waits ". Mojo: Barney Hoskyns. April 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "I saw Bruce in Philadelphia when I was about 25, and he killed me - just killed me. I don't know, nobody sits down to write a hit record. I got to a point where I became more eccentric - my songs and my world view. And I started using experimental instruments and ethnic instruments and trying to create some new forms for myself. Using found sounds and so forth. Everybody's on their own road, and I don't know where it's going." (Source: "Mojo interview with Tom Waits ". Mojo: Barney Hoskyns. April 1999)

Q (1999): How much impact did New York have on the sound of Swordfishtrombones and Raindogs? Some of the imagery in the songs on those albums was obviously affected by that environment. TW: "Any place you move is going to have some effect. I was exposed to a kind of melange of sounds out there, because I went to clubs more. It's rather oppresssive, I think. I'd write and go down to the Westbeth building [Greenwich Village,] where I shared a room with John Lurie and his brother Evan." (Source: "Mojo interview with Tom Waits ". Mojo: Barney Hoskyns. April 1999)

Q (1999): Could you have written songs like Bone Machine's Murder in the Red Barn if you hadn't moved to the country? TW: "I buy the local papers every day, and they are full of car wrecks and... I guess it all depends on what it is in the paper that attracts you. I'm always drawn to these terrible stories. I don't know why. Black Irish? You know, my wife is the same way, she comes from an Irish family and she's drawn to the shadows and the darkness. Murder in the Red Barn is just one of those stories, like an old Flannery O'Connor story. My favorite line is, "There's always some killin' you gotta do around the farm... " and it's true." (Source: "Mojo interview with Tom Waits ". Mojo: Barney Hoskyns. April 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "...See, when I hear Weill I hear a lot of anger in those songs. I remember the first time that I heard that Peggy Lee tune, Is That All There Is?, I identified with that. (Sings.) "Is that all there is? If that's all there is, then let's keep dancing... " So you just find different things that you feel your voice is suited to. I didn't really know that much about Kurt Weill until people started saying, "Hey, he must be listening to a lot of Kurt Weill." I thought, I better go find out who this guy is. I started listening to The Happy End, and the Threepenny Opera and Mahagonny and all that really expressionistic music." (Source: "Mojo interview with Tom Waits ". Mojo: Barney Hoskyns. April 1999)

Q (1999): Had he [William Burroughs] been an influence on you the way that Kerouac was? TW: "Oh, course, yeah. He was Bull Lee in On the Road. He was the one that I guess was more like Mark Twain with an edge. He was more suited to the whole notion of the country having some type of alter ego. He seemed to be ideally suited to the position of poet laureate. He seemed to have an overview, and one of maturity and cynicism. I've heard a lot of the stuff he did with Hal Willner. The Thanksgiving Prayer and all that stuff. It just really killed me. He had a strongly developed sense of irony, and I guess that's really at the heart of the American experience. If you read the papers over the years, you have to see that there's something very ironic about everything." (Source: "Mojo interview with Tom Waits ". Mojo: Barney Hoskyns. April 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "I like Beck very much. Saw him in concert a couple of times, and it really moved me. He's got real strong roots It's funny, I heard him talking about Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, and I used to open shows for them in the old days. It was nice to hear a kid as young as he is talking about them, because I loved those guys. There's a really rich cultural heritage there, and it's nice to see that it's living on in someone as well-rounded and as good a spokesman as Beck seems to be." (Source: "Mojo interview with Tom Waits ". Mojo: Barney Hoskyns. April 1999)

Q (1999): You've said that you tend to "bury" directly autobiographical stuff. What about Who Are You? Should we know who that's about? TW: "Gee, I dunno. I think it's better if you don't. The stories behind most songs are less interesting than the songs themselves. So you say, "Hey, this is about Jackie Kennedy." And it's, "Oh, wow." Then you say, "No, I was just kidding, it's about Nancy Reagan." It's a different song now. In fact, all my songs are about Nancy Reagan." (Source: "Mojo interview with Tom Waits ". Mojo: Barney Hoskyns. April 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "My father-in-law has been trying to get me involved in this other business. He's got these little lozenges that come in different flavours and they have a cross on one side and a Bible passage on the other. He calls them 'testamints.' The idea is that if you can't make the church service, you meditate on the testamint passage, then pop it in your mouth. We took the idea one step further with Chocolate Jesus." (Source: "Wily Tom Waits' breakthrough". Now On: Tim Perlich. April 22-28, 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "I usually try to put some weather on there, some names of places and people, and maybe a recipe or two, so my record becomes like a survival kit that people can take on camping trips." (Source: "Wily Tom Waits' breakthrough". Now On: Tim Perlich. April 22-28, 1999)

Q (1999): You got DJ Mark Reitman credited with "turntable" on your album on a couple of songs. Is this the first time you've used a turntable or scratching on an album and how did that come about? Are you a fan of hip-hop scratching? TW: "Yeah, I am. I never used it before! And I've managed to get this far without it, but I like it. He is amazing. He can take a Lithuanian language record and make it sound like the Tiko drummers from Japan! Now that's what I call transformation! I'm in favor of anything that moves a culture forward." (Source: "Sonicnet full chat transcript". Sonicnet: host: Goldberg. April 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "The blues is like a planet. It's an enormous topic. There are so many people, it's like a phone book. If I tell ya who's at the top, I'll keep thinking of others... Son House, Leadbelly, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Skip James...Jellyroll Morton, Memphis Minny, One-string Sam, I dunno. It's an enormous topic, I don't know where to begin. But you can't ignore the impact that it has had and continues to have on the whole musical culture. It's a tree that everyone is swinging from. Without it, I don't know where I would be. It's indelible and indispensable... Charlie Patton, Cryin' Sam Collins, yeah. Anybody who's first name is "Little." Little Jimmy Scott, Little Stevie Wonder." (Source: "Sonicnet full chat transcript". Sonicnet: host: Goldberg. April 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): (Raspy laugh) "I like weird things, ludicrous things. I have a notebook full of eerie facts. Don't get me started on them. I could go on for ages and would confuse you - or probably even scare you." (Source: "Interview with Tom Waits". NY Rock: Gabriella. May 1999)

Q (1999): Where do you get your information from? TW: "I read papers. I read magazines, and if I find something that's worth collecting, I'll write it down in my little notebook. Just call it a hobby or a weird spleen." (Source: "Interview with Tom Waits". NY Rock: Gabriella. May 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "I got it all in me. I love melody. I also like dissonance and factory noise. It's just a matter of trying to find a way to fit these things together." (Source: "More Dylan than Dylan". Newsweek: Karen Schoemer. May 10, 1999)

Q (1999): How much are you still influenced by the blues pioneers in your record collection? TW: "An old record is pretty amazing when you think about it. Something was captured, and the essence is still as fresh as the day it happened. Leadbelly made a 12-string guitar sound like a piano. I love those old guys." (Source: "Wider public greets Waits' 'Variations' ". USA Today: Edna Gundersen. June 1999)

Q (1999): Are you hoping your music outlasts you? TW: "Hey, we're all going to wind up at the Salvation Army. Popular music is all about burying you so they can dig you up later. The first thing a musician does is sift through old records at the Salvation Army. There's some amazing stuff there if you're open to the experience. It's a history lesson." (Source: "Wider public greets Waits' 'Variations' ". USA Today: Edna Gundersen. June 1999)

RH (1999): It wasn't until he saw blues singer Lightnin' Hopkins and Bob Dylan that he started to see a place for himself. "Here's a guy Dylan on stage with a stool and a glass of water, and he comes out and tells these great stories in his songs," Waits recalls. "It helped unlock the mystery of performance." (Source: "Pop music: Tracking an Elusive Character ". Los Angeles Times Home Edition, Calender page 6: Robert Hilburn. June 6, 1999)

Q (1999): Getting back to the names of places, St. Louis seems to pop up a lot, in "Hold on" from the new record and "Time" from Rain Dogs and you've mentioned it a lot in interviews. Ever live there? TW: "No, never lived there. It's a good name to stick in a song. Every song needs to be anatomically correct: You need weather, you need the name of the town, something to eat - every song needs certain ingredients to be balanced. You're writing a song and you need a town, and you look out the window and you see "St. Louis Cardinals" on some kid's T-shirt. And you say, "Oh, we'll use that"." (Source: "The Man Who Howled Wolf ". Magnet: Jonathan Valania. June/ July 1999)

Q (1999); Where is "The House Where Nobody Lives"? TW: "That was the house I used to go by when I would drive my kids to school, abandoned and the weeds were literally as tall as the trees. At Christmas time, all the neighbors in the area kicked in and bought some lights for it. It was kind of touching. It was like the bad tooth in that smile of a neighborhood." (Source: "The Man Who Howled Wolf ". Magnet: Jonathan Valania. June/ July 1999)

Q (1999): Who is Big Jack Earl? TW: "Tallest man in the world. Was with Barnum & Bailey. If you see old archival ptotographs, they used to put him next to some guy that was like a foot tall. Big hat, tall boots. That's why "Big Jack Earl was eight-foot-one and stood in the road and he cried." Imagine a guy eight-foot-one standing in the middle of the road crying. It breaks your heart." (Source: "The Man Who Howled Wolf ". Magnet: Jonathan Valania. June/ July 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "I read in the newspaper about this gal [Birdie Joe Hoaks ], 12 years old, who had swindled Greyhound. She ran away from home and told Greyhound this whole story about her parents and meeting them in San Francisco. She had this whole Holden Caufield thing, and she got an unlimited ticket and criss-crossed the U.S. And she got nabbed." (Source: "The Man Who Howled Wolf ". Magnet: Jonathan Valania. June/ July 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "Mr. Sticcha was my neighbor when I was a kid. He didn't like kids and he didn't like noise. All the kids would go past his house yellin' and making noise, and you would see his fist out the window and he'd threaten to call the cops. His wife used to say, "You're gonna give him a heart attack if you keep this up." And he finally had a heart attack and he died, and his wife told us that it was our fault, that we had killed him as a group. We all had to distribute that guilt and live with it, and it was upsetting: "Sticcha died and we killed him." We might just as well have plotted his murder." (Source: "The Man Who Howled Wolf ". Magnet: Jonathan Valania. June/ July 1999)

Q (1999): In "Black Market Baby," you call the baby in question a "Bonsai Aphrodite." Great line. TW: "Kathleen came up with that. We know this little gal who's just a gorgeous chick, but she's about four-foot-10, looks like she's been bound, like the Chinese do with feet. Kathleen said, "She's a Bonsai Aphrodite." It was Patricia Arquette. We told her about that, she said, "I love that, I'm gonna open up a Flower shop and call it Bonsai Aphrodite," which she did. But, apparently, it didn't last, went under." (Source: "The Man Who Howled Wolf ". Magnet: Jonathan Valania. June/ July 1999)

Q (1999): I notice that the Eyeball Kid has the same birth date as you. TW: "Just a coincidence. The Eyeball Kid is a comic-book character. Actually, it was Nic Cage that reintroduced me to comic books. I hadn't thought about comic books since I was a little kid, but he seemed to carry that mythology with him. It was inspiring to see him keep alive some of those principles that we associate with childhood, to the point where he named himself after Cage, the comic-book hero. But I was trying to imagine what it would be like for a person with an enormous eyeball for a head to be in show business. If Barnum & Bailey were still around, I imagine he would have thrown in with them." (Source: "The Man Who Howled Wolf ". Magnet: Jonathan Valania. June/ July 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "When I was younger, I didn't see it that way. I saw it as adventure. I think 'unsafe' is something you start perceiving as you get older or become a parent. I was in my 20s, I was on the road all the time, I was living out my dream. I stayed in hotels where I thought stories grew. I'd get a chance to inhale all those things that happened in rooms before I was born. My idea of going on the road was not the Holiday Inn or Hyatt House. It was some kind of older dream, like a vaudeville dream." (Source: "Beatnik bard Waits uses Twin Cities as source for songs, stories". Star Tribune: Jon Bream. August 27 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "I love these Czech-Bavarian bands that landed in Texas of all places. The seminal river for mariachi came from that migration to that part of the United States, bringing the accordion over, just like the drum and fife music of post-slavery, they picked up the revolutionary war instruments and played blues on them. There's a piece called the "Circling Pigeons Waltz,"it's the most beautiful thing [Various artists - The Texas Czech Bohemian and Moravian bands ]-- kind of sour, like a wheel about to go off the road all the time. It's the most lilting little waltz." (Source: "Tom Waits artist choice, A poet's heart on Saturday night". HearMusic.com. October 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "I heard "Nessun Dorma" in the kitchen at Coppolas with Raul Julia one night, and it changed my life, that particular Aria. I had never heard it. He asked me if I had ever heard it, and I said no, and he was like, as if I said I've never had spaghetti and meatballs -`Oh My God, O My God!' and he grabbed me and he brought me to the jukebox (there was a jukebox in the kitchen) and he put that on and he just kind of left me there. It was like giving a cigar to a 5 year old. I turned blue, and I cried." (Source: "Tom Waits artist choice, A poet's heart on Saturday night". HearMusic.com. October 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "I knelt at the altar of Ray Charles for years. I worked at a restaurant, and that's all there was on the jukebox, practically, that and some Patsy Cline. "Crying Time", "Can't Stop Loving You", "Let's Go Get Stoned", "You Are My Sunshine", "What'd I Say", "Hit The Road, Jack." I worked on Saturday nights and I would take my break and I'd sit by the jukebox and I'd play my Ray Charles. His piano playing. He would kind of skate across country and sound like Floyd Kramer some times on the piano and he brought that in there with the Jelly Roll Morton and he could play like Nat King Cole. It was just amazing what he absorbed and that voice, for years it was just "the Genius of Ray Charles ." I also love a record called "Listen." He did "Yesterday"on electric piano and it just killed me, to hear that voice, it was like he crossed over a bridge, because he remained in R&B territory, yet there was something so timeless about his voice, and hearing him do a Beatles song was just indescribable." (Source: "Tom Waits artist choice, A poet's heart on Saturday night". HearMusic.com. October 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): [on the album "Rant in E minor" by Bill Hicks ]"Bill Hicks, blowtorch, excavator, truthsayer and brain specialist, like a reverend waving a gun around. Pay attention to Rant in E Minor, it is a major work, as important as Lenny Bruce's. He will correct your vision. His life was cut short by cancer, though he did leave his tools here. Others will drive on the road he built. Long may his records rant even though he can't." (Source: "Tom Waits artist choice, A poet's heart on Saturday night". HearMusic.com. October 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "With Bob Dylan, so much has been said about him, it's difficult to say anything about him that hasn't already been said, and say it better. Suffice it to say Dylan is a planet to be explored. For a songwriter, Dylan is as essential as a hammer and nails and a saw are to a carpenter. I like my music and the rinds and the seeds and pulp left in, so the bootlegs I obtained in the '60s and '70s are where the noise and grit of the tapes became inseparable from the music, are essential to me. His journey as a songwriter is the stuff of myth, because he lives within the ether of the songs. Hail, hail The Basement Tapes. I heard most of these songs on bootlegs first. There is a joy and an abandon to this record, it's also a history lesson."(Source: "Tom Waits artist choice, A poet's heart on Saturday night". HearMusic.com. October 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "The roughest diamond in the mine [Captain Beefheart], his musical inventions are made of bone and mud. Enter the strange matrix of his mind and loose yours. This [ the album "Trout mask replica "by Captain Beefhaeart & his magic band ]is indispensable for the serious listener. An expedition into the center of the earth, this is the high jump record that'll never be beat, it's a merlot reduction sauce. He takes da bait. Dante doing the buck and wing at a Skip James suku jump, an underground serist. Drink once and thirst no more." (Source: "Tom Waits artist choice, A poet's heart on Saturday night". HearMusic.com. October 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): [on the album "I'm your man "by Leonard Cohen ]"Euro, Klezmer, Chansons, Apocalyptic, Revelations, with that mellifluous voice. A shipwrecked Aznavour, washed up on shore. Important songs, meditative, authoritative, and Leonard is a poet, an Extra Large one." (Source: "Tom Waits artist choice, A poet's heart on Saturday night". HearMusic.com. October 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "Sometimes when things are real flat, you want to hear something flat, other times you just want to project onto it, something more like .. you might want to hear the Pogues. Because they love the west. They love all those old movies. The thing about Ireland, the idea that you can get into a car and point it towards California and drive it for the next five days is like Euphoria, because in Ireland you just keep going around in circles, those tiny little roads. You never get that feeling ta ta ta tum, da ta ta da ta TUM! "Dirty Old Town", "The Old Main Drag." [from the album "Rum, Sodomy & the lash ]. Shane has the gift. I believe him. He knows how to tell a story. They are a roaring, stumbling band. These are the Dead End kids for real. Shane's voice conveys so much. They play like soldiers on leave. The songs are epic. It's whimsical and blasphemous, seasick and sacriligeous, wear it out and then get another one." (Source: "Tom Waits artist choice, A poet's heart on Saturday night". HearMusic.com. October 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "Houndog, the David Hidalgo record he did with Mike, now that's a good record to listen to when you drive through Texas. That's a great record. I can't get enough of that. Anything by Latin Playboys, anything by Los Lobos. They are like a fountain. Colossal Head killed me. Those guys are so wild, and they've gotten so cubist. They've become like Picasso. They've gone from being purely ethnic and classical, to this strange, indescribable item that they are now. They're worthwhile to listen to under any circumstances. But the sound he got on Houndog [the album ], on the electric violin.The whole record is a dusty road, Hidalgo plays through stabbed amps and Mike and he find the Brown sound. Dark and burnished and mostly unfurnished. Superb texture and reverb. Lo-fi at its highest level. Songs of depth and atmosphere." (Source: "Tom Waits artist choice, A poet's heart on Saturday night". HearMusic.com. October 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "They used to accuse John Lurie of doing fake jazz, - a lot of posture, a lot of volume. When I first heard it, it was so loud, I wanted to go outside and listen through the door, and it was jazz. And that was an unusual thing in New York, to go to a club and hear jazz that loud, at the same volume people were listening to punk rock. Get the first record, The Lounge Lizards. You know, John's one of those people, if you walk into a field with him, he'll pick up an old pipe and start to play it, and get a really good sound out of it. He's very musical, works with the best musicians, but never go fishing with him. He's a great arranger and composer with an odd sense of humor." (Source: "Tom Waits artist choice, A poet's heart on Saturday night". HearMusic.com. October 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): [on the album "Exile on main street 'by the Rolling Stones] "I Just Want To See His Face." That song had a big impact on me, particularly learning how to sing in that high falsetto, the way Jagger does. When he sings like a girl, I go crazy. I said, `I've got to learn how to do that.' I couldn't really do it until I stopped smoking. That's when it started getting easier to do. "Shore Leave" has that, "All Stripped Down", "Temptation." Nobody does it like Mick Jagger; nobody does it like Prince. But this is just a tree of life. This record is the watering hole. Keith Richards plays his ass off. This has the Checkerboard Lounge all over it." (Source: "Tom Waits artist choice, A poet's heart on Saturday night". HearMusic.com. October 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): [on the album "Martini's & Bikini's "by Sam Phillips]"Peculiar, innovative, soulful, and reasonably undiscovered, with a deeply expressive voice and challenging, unusual topics for songs. Kurt Weill with a revolver. Her cracked vocals and surreal lyrics make for an odd and familiar ride. She, her face yellow and her hair red. T-Bone gives her a third eye and together they make tough records. She's Dusty Springfield via Marianne Faithfull with a dash of Jackie DeShannon, but very much her own woman." (Source: "Tom Waits artist choice, A poet's heart on Saturday night". HearMusic.com. October 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "Bless Keith for this record [ Wingless Angels]. The first thing you hear is crickets. You're outside, in Jamaica, it's July, he left all the patter in. That was a magic album. The mics were so far away, you got texture and air around everything, felt like it was recorded outside in the dirt at night. You always hear bands playing in tin shacks ten miles away, and it sounds close because they are so freaking loud. You couldn't go in the shack and listen, you have to be ten miles away. Keith went out to the meadow of this. It is pulsing music of the earth, full of joy." (Source: "Tom Waits artist choice, A poet's heart on Saturday night". HearMusic.com. October 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "The new CDs have been reissued and the sound is excellent ["The Harry Partch collection", Harry Partch]. These are an excellent introduction to his whole oevre. Start with 'Volume One' and you're infected. He'd worked as a migrant worker and had been on the road for half his life, and he was one of those rogue academics who worked outside the matrix. So they feared him and pretended to admire him. Like most innovators, he became gravel on the road that most people drive on. So he was the first one through the door and he gets trampled by the crowd. But nobody has done anything like that since. The idea of designing your own instruments, playing them and then designing your own scale, your own system of music. That's dramatic and particularly for the time that he was doing it. It was rather subversive. It's always fascinating to hear something being played that doesn't sound polished or evolved as an instrument. It still sounds a little bit like you're hitting tractor parts or dumpster door. Or you're still in the kitchen, to an extent. The music has that extra texture to it. And then of course he's very sophisticated and well versed in mythology so it's got that other side to it." (Source: "Tom Waits artist choice, A poet's heart on Saturday night". HearMusic.com. October 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): [Thelonious] Monk said "There is no wrong note, it has to do with how you resolve it." He almost sounded like a kid taking piano lessons.. I could relate to that when I first started playing the piano, because he was decomposing the music while he was playing it. It was like demystifying the sound, because there is a certain veneer to jazz and to any music, after a while it gets traffic rules, and the music takes a backseat to the rules. It's like aerial photography, telling you that this is how we do it. That happens in folk music too. Try playing with a bluegrass group and introducing new ideas. Forget about it. They look at like you're a communist. On "Solo Monk " [the album], he appears to be composing as he plays, extending intervals, voicing chords with impossible clusters of notes. "I Should Care" kills me, communion wine with a twist. Stride, church, jump rope, Bartok, melodies scratched into the plaster with a knife. A bold iconoclast. "Solo Monk "lets you not only see these melodies without clothes, but without skin. This is astronaut music from Bedlam." (Source: "Tom Waits artist choice, A poet's heart on Saturday night". HearMusic.com. October 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): [on the album "Leadbelly's last sessions", Leadbelly] "Leadbelly was a river, was a tree. His 12-string guitar rang like a piano in a church basement. The Rosetta stone for much of what was to follow, he died in '49. Excellent to listen to when driving across Texas. Contains all that is necessary to sustain life, a true force of nature. He died the day before I was born - I like to think I passed him in the hall and he banged into me and knocked me over." (Source: "Tom Waits artist choice, A poet's heart on Saturday night". HearMusic.com. October 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): [on the album" The sinking of the Titanic" by Gavin Bryars]"This is difficult to find, have you heard this? It's a musical impression of the sinking of the Titanic. You hear a small chamber orchestra playing in the background, and then slowly it starts to go under water, while they play. It also has "Jesus Blood" on it. I did a version of that with him. I heard this on my wife's birthday, at about 2:00 in the morning in the kitchen, and I taped it. For a long time I just had a little crummy cassette of this song, didn't know where it came from, it was on one of those Pacifica radio stations where you can play anything you want. This is really an interesting evening's music." (Source: "Tom Waits artist choice, A poet's heart on Saturday night". HearMusic.com. October 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): [on the album "Prison Songs Vol2: Don't you hear poor mother calling? ", Various artists] "Without spirituals and the baptist church and the whole African-American experience in this country, I don't know what we would consider music, I don't know what we'd all be drinking from. It's in the water. The impact the whole black experience continues to have on all musicians is immeasurable. Lomax recorded everything. From the sounds of the junkyard, or he would go into a market and just record the cash register - disappearing machinery that we would no longer be hearing. You know, one thing that doesn't change is the sound of kids getting out of school. Record that in 1921, record that in 1999, it's the same sound. The good thing about these is that they're so raw, they're recorded so raw, that it's just like listening to a landscape. It's like listening to a big open field. You hear other things in the background. You hear people talking while they are singing. It's the hair in the gate." (Source: "Tom Waits artist choice, A poet's heart on Saturday night". HearMusic.com. October 1999)

Q (1999): Many of the records that you've made since 1981's "Swordfishtrombones" have this avant-bluesy, Captain Beefheart feel to them. How much of an influence has he been on your work? TW: "Once you've heard Beefheart, it's hard to wash him out of your clothes. It stains, like coffee or blood. (The music) encouraged a lot of people to go into some kind of a cocoon and come out as something (different) than when they went in. "(But) it's not just Beefheart (for me)... I like Tricky, the Staple Singers, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Charley Patton... You start out being the sum of those parts, and at some point you' ve got to decide when you're soup yet." (Source: "Tom Waits: the restless iconoclast ". The Oregonian: Michael Evans. October 5, 1999)

Tom Waits (1999): "Once you've heard Beefheart, it's hard to wash him out of your clothes. It stains, like coffee or blood. (The music) encouraged a lot of people to go into some kind of a cocoon and come out as something (different) than when they went in. "(But) it's not just Beefheart (for me) . . . I like Tricky, the Staple Singers, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Charley Patton. . . . You start out being the sum of those parts, and at some point you've got to decide when you're soup yet." (Source: "Tom Waits: The Restless Iconoclast": The Oregonian (USA), by Michael Evans. Date: October 15, 1999)

Tom Waits (2000): "There's only two kinds of music: There's good music and there's bad music, I guess, without running the risk of being too cliche`. Blind Mamie Forehand, 'Honey in the Rock'. That's the song. It's on the Victor label. There's a couple of mistakes on it, and it trails off. I like imperfections. I like things that have a little crack in them. That's how I get into a song. I remember hearing an old demo Roy Orbison did years ago, a song called 'Claudette.' He was just doing a demo at home and he got to a certain point in the song and he hit the wrong chord and said, "Oh shit." So he started over again. And I said, "Whoa, I can get in there." That's the thing with a lot of music. I think when it's expensive and heavily produced it puts off people when they hear it. They think, "Well, gee, my music is small and has bumps on it and has cracks in it... I've got all of those Lomax reissues, 'Southern Journeys', all that Library of Congress stuff that was recently released on CD, the Georgia Sea Island Singers and prison songs and field hollars and a lot of Leadbelly. I was born the day after Leadbelly died. I'd like to think we passed in the hall. When I hear his voice, I feel I know him. Maybe I was a rock on a road he walked on or a dish in his cupboard, because when I heard him first I recognized him." (Source: "Tradition With a Twist". Blues Revue magazine No. 59 (USA). July/ August, 2000 by Bret Kofford)

Tom Waits (2000): "I have a good friend, Francis Thumm, who used to play the chromelodeum with The Harry Partch Ensemble and he has been a music teacher for a lot of years, he has been a profound influence on me. He is a river to his people. And, Greg Cohen, my bass player for many years, is a complete renaissance man. He introduced me to everything from The Seeds to Arnold Schoenberg and everything in between. Mostly, I've depended on the kindness of strangers and people I know. Other musical teachers are Chuck E Weiss, who knows everything, and Kathleen Brennan [Waits' wife], who knows everything else." (Source: "Tradition With a Twist". Blues Revue magazine No. 59 (USA). July/ August, 2000 by Bret Kofford)

Tom Waits (2002): "It's important to travel your own path. Conformity is a fool's paradise. I think I'm influenced by people just like everyone else is, but I try to fight the urge to conform. I keep wanting to use turntables and stuff, but my wife says no, she says that's going to be like a ducktail eventually, or a flat-top or Mohawk. And I struggle with that... I mean most musicians don't go to school, they listen to records. They sit down at one point next to a record player and put their ear up there and try to write the words down and wonder, "What the hell's he doing on that thing?" and try to learn off it. And I assume somebody at some point will do that with my records. I hope they do that with my records, 'cause that's what they're for. It's a natural cycle to the whole experience of evolving as a musician yourself, you hope others evolve. I love slave songs and work songs and jump rope songs, all those early beginnings, and where it's going and where it is now and where it'll be in ten years" (Source:"Conformity is a fool's paradise". Time Out London (UK), April 24, 2002 by Ross Fortune)

Tom Waits (2002): "Well, l really like Wu Tang Clan, those guys kill me. And there's this guy named Bob Log, you ever heard of him? He's this little kid, nobody even knows how old he is, wears a motorcycle helmet and he has a microphone inside of it and he puts the glass over the front so you can't see his face, and plays slide guitar and it's just the loudest, strangest stuff you've ever heard. You don't understand one word he's saying.' He laughs 'I like people who glue macaroni on to a piece of cardboard and paint it gold That's what I aspire to, basically."(Source: "Conformity is a fool's paradise". Time Out London (UK), April 24, 2002 by Ross Fortune)

Tom Waits (2002): "I loved the music of the sixties - the Beatles and the Stones. Lots of people. But when you're trying to find an original voice, you look [in] a lot of different places to discover who you are and find something that's uniquely you. And to do that you take a little bit of something from whatever you can find." (Source: "Dirt music". The Sydney Morning Herald. (Australia), by Nigel Williamson. April 27, 2002)

Tom Waits (2002): "By the 1960s the Beats seemed rather forgotten. I felt forgotten so I thought maybe I should hang with all these other forgotten guys. But who knows why you gravitate to one thing or another? Why do you like pork and beans? Some of it's psychological. Some of it's family. Some of it might be rebellion against the things all your friends are listening to. I listened to Frank Sinatra for a long time. That really made them mad." (Source: "Dirt music". The Sydney Morning Herald. (Australia), by Nigel Williamson. April 27, 2002)

Tom Waits (2002): (on rap and hip hop): "I listen on the radio and I love the rhymes. They kill me. These are guys who probably flunked out of English class but they're real gifted wordsmiths. It's an incredible thing." (Source: "Dirt music". The Sydney Morning Herald. (Australia), by Nigel Williamson. April 27, 2002)

Tom Waits (2002): "I first heard him (Charlie Patton) when I was 18, playing coffee house and folk festivals. I was very curious about the evolution of American music and the migration of seeds and all that business. I guess there was something in that fat deep rich voice that taught me more than I could ever quantify." (Source: "Everything Goes To Hell". Uncut 5th Anniversary Special. Take 61, June 2002 by Gavin Martin)

Tom Waits (2002): "Aw, she (Lucinda Williams) is a great gal! I saw her last gig in California and she was just amazing. Had 'em in the palm of her hand. It was thrilling. She's confessional with style. It's as much about what you leave out as the things you put in." (Source: "This Business Called Show". Austin Chronicle (USA) May 10, 2002 by Margaret Moser)

Tom Waits (2002): "Maybe I was 12 years old and I heard the song Abilene - 'Abilene/Prettiest town I've ever seen/Women there don't treat you mean/In Abilene'. And I saw Lightning Hopkins when I was about 15 and he was doing, I don't know, Black Snake Moan or something, and I just thought, 'Wow, this is something I could do'. I don't mean I could play guitar like him, I just mean that this could be a possible career opportunity for me. Perhaps I could train at home and keep my present job." (Source: "Lying in Waits". The Age (Australia) by Patrick Donovan. May 10, 2002)

Tom Waits (2002): "You know like this Kathleen Ferreira, you know the opera singer? She was a telephone operator in London. She was on the phone one night with this guy and he heard her voice and he just flipped. And he said: "You have the most amazing speaking voice I have ever heard in my life." He said: "Do you sing?' and she says: "No". He says: "Well, I have to meet you." He met her and this guy was you know with a big opera company. And eh... so he encouraged her to take... She had a natural voice apparently, the most natural musical voice you ever heard and she became eh one of the biggest opera stars of all time. And eh... from a telephone operator you know?... She had a 10-year career and died of cancer. But yeah, you hear her. She has a voice that make you say: "Lord God."" (Source: "Interview with Tom Waits." Triple J's 2002 (Australia) radio show hosted by Richard Kingsmill. Aired May 12, 2002)

TG (2002): So when you were 13 being more interested in the music of your friends' parents then your friends' music, what was the music of your generation that didn't interest you? TW: "You know like the Strawberry Alarm Clock, or eh... But later I liked that stuff, you know like the Animals and eh Blue Cheer, Led Zeppelin and all that stuff, the Yard birds, you know of course the Rolling Stones, the Beatles and eh Bob Dylan and eh James Brown I was really hot on James Brown... But the early songs I remember was Abeline. When I heard Abeline on the radio it really moved me. And then I heard you know: "Abeline, Abeline, prettiest town I have ever seen. Women there don't treat you mean. And Abeline..." I just thought that was the greatest lyric you know "Women there don't treat you mean". And then eh you know "Detroit City" eh... "Last night I went to sleep in Detroit City". (sings) "And I dream about the cotton fields back home". I liked songs with the names of towns in them and I liked songs with weather in them and something to eat (laughs). So I feel like there's a certain anatomical aspect to a song that I respond to. I think: "Oh yeah, I can go into that world. There's something to eat, there's the name of a street, there's a saloon, okay." So probably that's why I put things like that in my songs." (Source: Fresh Air interview with Tom Waits: "Fresh Air with Terry Gross", produced in Philadelphia by WHYY" Date: show aired May 21, 2002)

TG (2002): Was Louis Armstrong an influence on you?. TW: "Oh yeah sure. You can't ignore the influence of someone like Louis Armstrong. He is eh... you know he's like a river, he's like a country to be explored. Yeah he was like eh, he came out of the ground just like a potato. He's completely natural. And eh, yeah sure I love those tunes. But this one this "A Good Man Is Hard To Find" you know was an attempt to kinda tip my hat somewhat to that." (Source: Fresh Air interview with Tom Waits: "Fresh Air with Terry Gross", produced in Philadelphia by WHYY" Date: show aired May 21, 2002)

Tom Waits (2004): "You heard the Skip James comin' from the garage where your dad's makin' a footstool," Waits says, describing the clamor. "And at the same time some Missy Elliott came in from upstairs down into the kitchen and someone was makin' with the pots and pans. Sometimes things just do naturally come together. You just have to know how to draw a frame around it." "The thing about influences, most of it goes in and it melts. I mean, can you really hear Jimmie Rodgers in Howlin' Wolf? When he does that yodel, that was his failed attempt at a Jimmie Rodgers yodel. Most of the people that are really influencing you, no one would necessarily see. They've really become just stains on your undershirt." "I can't sing like Harry Belafonte, but I love him. If I told you all I'm doin' is trying to sound like Harry Belafonte, you wouldn't get it. And I want to play piano just like Liberace. And dance like, I don't know, Fred Astaire and James Brown. Most of us are contraptions that we made." (Source: "A Cluttered Harmony", Los Angeles Times (USA), by Richard Cromelin. September 26, 2004)

Tom Waits (2004): "'Mouth rhythm is what I call it. It's old. Pygmies do it. You ever hear any of that stuff? Sounds like birds and hogs. Amazing. They also do this thing where two people go into the water and they play the water. Kla-boom-splash, just the sound of your hand slapping the water and going in but all very rhythmic and controlled. Then of course the Romiyiana Monkey Chant, oh man, those guys. Chacka-chacka-chack-chack-cha... But it's like a thousand men sitting in concentric circles in Bali, telling a story about when all these monkeys came out of the trees and saved the tribe and they offer up this chant as a way of thanking the monkeys. It's a wild, wild piece of music. It'll scare the kids.'" (Source: "Bard Of The Bizarre", Telegraph Magazine (UK). By Richard Grant. October 2, 2004)

Q (2004): Do you recall your first pivotal moment with music? TW: "Well, I definitely remember listening to (legendary disc jockey) Wolfman Jack on the radio, a crystal set with an Ariel (antenna) on a broomstick, at two in the morning, all by myself. I thought I had a radio station nobody had ever heard before; I thought he was in some bar in Mexico and it was all illegal, which only added to the (allure of the) music when I heard people like Little Willie John and all that." Q: How old were you? TW: "Maybe 14, 15." Q: Was there any immediate cause and affect, or were you already musically active? TW: "Not really. I had heard "Abiline" on the radio and "El Paso," things that captivated me because of the stories. I also heard Roy Orbison. When I met Roy (years later), I said: "Where'd you get that voice, man?" Nobody was singing like that when he came up. He said he used to hear a band playing miles away, across the plains, and by the time it reached him it sounded all watery like that. He said: "So I wanted to sound all watery when I sang." (Source: "Tom Waits Interview" San Diego Union Tribune (USA). By George Varga. October 3, 2004)

Tom Waits (2004): "It (hip-hop) is the most logical extension. It's the growing edge of the blues and following in the same tradition and carrying the same rebellious nature. And it's just as crude and bothersome, or annoying and scary (as rock was) for some people Blues was really scary, especially when it went up the river to Chicago (from the Mississippi Delta) and became electrified and sounded like: "Hey, we're angry!" Of course, they were getting louder and more (amplified) power. The same thing is happening in hip-hop; it's another level to the whole art form. The recording techniques are all different. The guys my kids listen to are people like Sage Francis, ELP, and people like that. I like Missy Elliott; she's right in your face. It's amazing how clear she is. Hip-hop is filled with the noise, and the rebellion and the anger and energy, of today. Most people, because it's young people's music - unless you have kids, you don't stay in touch with what's going on right now. There's no reason to; you just listen to your old records, just like your mom and dad did. With kids you say: "Shut that thing off!` Then you think: "Maybe I better listen to it." (Source: "Tom Waits Interview" San Diego Union Tribune (USA). By George Varga. October 3, 2004)

TW: (2004): "A kid taking down my lyrics from one of my records - I love that! Because that's what I used to do with (the Rolling Stones') "19th Nervous Breakdown" or (Bob Dylan's) "Desolation Row" or (Marty Robbins') "El Paso"." (Source: "Tom Waits Interview" San Diego Union Tribune (USA). By George Varga. October 3, 2004)

JS (2004): "Waits' 18-year-old son, Casey Waits, plays some percussion and scratches some turntables on "Real Gone." The college student has introduced the world of skateboard rap to Waits' already panoramic musical world view. Waits rattles off names from the graffiti underground such as Sage Francis, Aesop Rock, Vast Aire, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Weakerthans, Atmosphere, KRS-One. "He delves," Waits says. "All that stuff gets played around the house because that's what happens when you have kids. You stop dominating the turntable. I haven't had that kind of sway around here for years. 'Put on that Leadbelly record one more time, Dad, and I'm going to throw a bottle at your head.'" (Source: "Barroom Bard's Next Round" San Francisco Chronicle (USA). By Joel Selvin. October 3, 2004)

Tom Waits (2004): "I'm not original, I'm doing bad impersonations of other people. I like to sound like Ray Charles. Who wouldn't? So you're hearing my poor, failed attempt at a Ray Charles impersonation." (Source: "Barroom Bard's Next Round" San Francisco Chronicle (USA). By Joel Selvin. October 3, 2004)

Tom Waits (2004): "Yeah, it all goes in, most of it melts, so it's really rather invisible, I still listen to Mabel Mercer, James White, Captain Beefheart, Big Mama Thornton, Willie Dixon, Johnny Cash, Big Joe Turner." (Source: "Barroom Bard's Next Round" San Francisco Chronicle (USA). By Joel Selvin. October 3, 2004)

Tom Waits (2004): "Let The Buyer Beware by Lenny Bruce: Awesome in its scope and depth. Hal Wilner compiled this from thousands of feet of tape. It is the road that all comics of today are driving on. In The Wee Small Hours by Frank Sinatra: Actually, the very first "concept" album. The idea being you put this record on after dinner and by the last song you are exactly where you want to be. Sinatra said that he's certain most Baby Boomers were conceived with this as the soundtrack. The Abyssinian Baptist Gospel Church Choir by the Abyssinian Church: Tony Bennett said this is the greatest rock and roll record ever recorded. You can feel why in these wild powerful performances - produced by John Hammond in the early 60's. (John was, among other things, an avid fan of gospel) This choir is barely containable. It puts you in the choir with them. Astonishing, awesome. You will be saved. Y Los Cubanos Postizos by Marc Ribot: This Atlantic recording shows off one of many of Ribot's incarnations as a prosthetic Cuban. They are hot and Marc dazzles us with his bottomless soul. Shaking and burning like a native. Purple Onion by The Les Claypool Frog Brigade: Les Claypool's sharp and imaginative, contemporary ironic humor and lightning musicianship makes me think of Frank Zappa. "Dee's Diner" is like a great song your kid makes up in the car on the way to the drive-in. Songs for big kids. The Delivery Man by Elvis Costello: Scalding hot bedlam, monkey to man needle time with his sharp. I'd hate to be balled out by him. I'd quit first. Grooves wide enough to put you foot in and the bass player is a gorilla of groove. Pete Thomas, still one of the best rock drummers alive. Diatribes and rants with steam and funk. It has locomotion and heat. Steam heat, that is. Ompa Til du D�r by Kaizers Orchestra: Norwegian storm trooping tarantellas with savage rhythms and innovative textures. Thinking man's circus music. Way out. Flying Saucer Tour by Bill Hicks: Bill was trying to get free of the nagging hunger for mainstream acceptance. These gems were recorded in towns barely on the map and he sometimes had to make a mad dash for the car, outrunning an angry mob. Hicks was our Lenny Bruce. R.I.P. Masked Man by Charlie Patton: Beautiful retrospective on one of the pillars of the Delta Blues. Clearly not only a blues man but a songster as well and a teacher to all who would follow. The Specialty Sessions by Little Richard: The steam and chug of Lucile alone pointed a finger that showed the way. The equipment wasn't meant to be treated this way. The needle is still in the red." (Source: "Guest Edit: Tom Waits" Amazon.co.uk (UK). October 4, 2004)

Tom Waits (2004): "Takes me out when I listen to those old recordings. I put on my stuff in the house, which is always those old Alan Lomax recordings. My son Casey started doing his turntable stuff; he's upstairs listening to Aesop Rock, El-P. Sage Francis and all those kind of guys. So I get exposed to a lot at home, and then, you know, I weave it all together." (Source: "Magnet Interview With Tom Waits" Magnet Magazine (UK), by Jonathan Valania. October, 2004)

Tom Waits (2004): "Muddy Waters, Jimmy Durante, Mildred Bailey, Mabel Mercer, Dock Boggs, Jimmie Rodgers. They're some people I like. The Pogues." (Source: "Tom Waits Georgia Straight" (Canada), by Jim Christy. October 7, 2004)

VF (2004): Who are your favourite writers? TW: "Rod Serling, Breece DJ Pancake, Charles Bukowski, Woody Guthrie, Bill Hicks, Fellini, Frank Stanford, Willie Dixon, Bob Dylan, O. Henry." (Source: "Tom Waits: Proust Questionnaire". Vanity Fair magazine (UK). November, 2004)

RG (2004): Which writers do you admire? Tom Waits: "Nick Tosches, I like him. If you write about music, you've got to be musical in the way you write. Bukowski is very musical. Maybe that's what I'm looking for when I pick up a book and if it's not there I put it down again." (Source: "Coffee With Tom Waits", Zembla magazine - Issue 7, by Richard Grant. December, 2004)

RG (2004): Who do you admire in other fields? Tom Waits: "Roberto Benigni the Italian comedian. I just love Benigni. And of course Ricky Jay the prestidigitator, the guy that could kill you with a card. He could throw a playing card into a watermelon and make it disappear. If you can do that, you can throw a card at somebody and kill him. Everyone was real polite around him, I think. He's got a deck of cards and he's rifling them and he's looking at you and it's always Mr Jay, you know, Mr Jay." (Source: "Coffee With Tom Waits", Zembla magazine - Issue 7, by Richard Grant. December, 2004)

NS (2005): I know it's a kind of a standard question but I just kind of wondered if models around you that you took to, either your family or beyond on the radio or records that maybe influenced you. TW: Well you know, Marty Robbins, Harry Belafonte. People like that. Eh Wolfeman Jack I listened to a lot when I was a kid, but you know, most people's eh... the influences that people have aren't necessarily something you would be able to spot you know? You know, if you found out that Frank Sinatra really loved The Rolling Stones, would that surprise you?" (Source: "Cool Ivories", American Routes radio show, by Nick Spitzer. February 16-22, 2002)

Q (2006): "Why, I ask, were the Beats so crucial to him? TW: "'They were father figures,' he says softly, his long fingers tracing small circles in the coffee spill on the table. 'They were the ones I looked to for guidance. See, my dad left when I was 10, so I was always looking for a dad. It was like, "Are you my dad? Are you my dad? What about you? Are you my dad?" I found a lot of these old salty guys along the way.'" (Source: "Off Beat", The Observer Magazine (UK), October 29, 2006. By Sean O'Hagan)

Q (2006): 'Well, he [Leadbelly] died the day after I was born - 8 December 1949,' says Waits. 'I always felt like I connected with him somehow. He was going out and I was coming in. And, maybe we passed in the hall. I would love to have seen Leadbelly play, but that's the great thing about records, you put them on and those guys are right there in the room. They're back.'" (Source: "Off Beat", The Observer Magazine (UK), October 29, 2006. By Sean O'Hagan)

Tom Waits (2006): "I feel like I'm glueing macaroni onto a piece of cardboard and painting it gold. And then other times...when Johnny Cash wants to sing one of your songs, you think, "Oh man..." Because there's a hierarchy in music, and there's certain indications that you're doing better, you're getting closer to the source. WORD: Who's at the top of that hierarchy for you? TW: Gee.., well, there's a lot of people. That's a big room. I'd say, the Gershwins and Bob Dylan and Louis Armstrong and Ray Charles. Howlin' Wolf, people like that. Giants among men. Judy Garland and Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday..." (Source: "My Wild Years And The Woman That Saved My Life", Word magazine (UK), November 9, 2006. By Mick Brown)

Tom Waits (2007): "Well, the amazing thing about songwriting is that you don't really go to school to learn how to do it. You just learn by listening to other people's songs. You listen to Big Mama Thornton and Big Joe Turner and Big Irma Perkins. And Little Milton and Little Jimmy Dickens, Little Willie John, Little Stevie Wonder. All the littles -- and all the bigs. And then everything you somehow absorb you will secrete in some way." (Source: "A Conversation With Tom Waits", by Bob Mehr. Memphis Commercial Appeal. January 21, 2007)

Tom Waits (2007): "Streets I Have Walked (RCA 1963) is a beautiful record. It's collected songs - lullabies from Japan, Woody Guthrie, Waltzing Matilda, cowboy songs, Jewish songs, all kinds of things. Belafonte was a great collector of songs - he had that Lomax bone, I think. And he introduced a lot of songs from different cultures that had never , in that sense, been heard. The first time I heard Hava Nagila it was Harry Belafonte who sang it... I think I was maybe 13 when I first heard , and I still have it. It definitely had an impact. You see, he loved melody, and I was at a time in my life when I was really nourished by that, by melody itself. I know that with kids, at a certain point, music becomes a costume - you wear the music, and there's certain music that you wouldn't be caught dead wearing - but to me music was always a completely interior experience, not a fashion." (Source: “100 records that changed the world”, Mojo Magazine 163. June, 2007/ May 2, 2007)

Tom Waits (2008): “Songs just like being around some folks more than others. They won’t just live anywhere. Birds like some trees better than others. We don’t know why… making up songs is just like coming up with something crazy to do with the air besides just breathing it. Seems like a waste to just breathe it in and then push it back out quietly. It must have excited the air to go through Lead Belly as ordinary oxygen and come out the other side as the Midnight Special or Silvie or Ella Louise or Rock Island Line. There’s a bird in South America whose song is so powerful and lovely, and who sings so rarely that when he does sing all the animals in the forest are quiet until his song is finished. They say to hear it brings luck, to see it insures you a place in heaven. Lead Belly was loud. I was born the day after he died, on December 7, 1949, and I passed him in the hall. He was as strong as Jack Johnson, he was louder than Caruso. Songs climb up some folks like a vine climbs a trellis. There is something in Lead Belly’s voice so urgent, “Come here right now and listen. Drop what ever you’re doing…” he’s hollering to you from the next hill over. It carried bold and impatient. He broke microphones, they weren’t prepared for his impolite delivery. When I first heard his voice, I knew it already. In mole communities they reward the brave ones. The ones known for tunneling beneath great rivers who faced the dangers involved in pulling off such an incredible feat of engineering, the ones responsible for taking other moles safely to the other side. Lead Belly is as much a part of the natural world as crows are, as dogs are, children playing in the yard are, trains are, jails are, second floor apartments are, and his songs are safe on the other side. And they’re all a part of you now.” (Source: foreword for "Lead Belly - A Life In Pictures" (Steidl/ Germany, 2008) by Tiny Robinson and John Reynolds)

Tom Waits (2008): "Q: List some artists who have shaped your creative life. A: "Okay, here are a few that just come to me for now: Kerouac, Dylan, Bukowski, Rod Serling, Don Van Vliet, Cantinflas, James Brown, Harry Belafonte, Ma Rainey, Big Mama Thorton, Howlin Wolf, Lead Belly, Lord Buckley, Mabel Mercer, Lee Marvin, Thelonious Monk, John Ford, Fellini, Weegee, Jagger, Richards, Willie Dixion, John McCormick, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, Robert Johnson, Hoagy Carmichael, Enrico Caruso." (Source: "Tom Waits - True Confessions", ANTI label blog, May 20, 2008. Glitter and Doom promo, Tom Waits interviews himself)

Tom Waits (2009): "Q: List some songs that were beacons for you. A: "Again, for now… but if you ask me tomorrow the list would change, of course. Gershwin’s second prelude, “Pathetique Sonata”, “El Paso”, “You’ve Really Got Me” (Kinks), “Soldier Boy” (Shirelles), “Lean Back” (Fat Joe), “Night train”, “Come In My Kitchen” (R.J.) “Sad Eyed Lady”, “Rite of Spring Ode to Billy Joe”, “Louie Louie”, “Just a Fool” (Ike and Tina), “Prisoner of Love” (J.B.) “Pitch a Wang Dang Doodle (all night long)” H. Wolf, “Ringo” (Lorne Green), “Ball and Chain”, “Deportee”, “Strange Fruit”, “Sophisticated Lady”, “Georgia On My Mind”, “Can’t Stop Loving You”, “Just Like A Woman”, “So Lonesome I Could Cry”, “Who’ll Stop The Rain?”, “Moon River”, “Autumn Leaves”, “Danny Boy”, “Dirty Ol’ Town”, “Waltzing Mathilda”, “Train Keeps a Rollin”, “Boris the Spider”, “You’ve Really Got a Hold On Me”, “Red Right Hand”, “All Shook Up”, “Cause Of It All”, “Shenandoah”, “China Pig”, “Summertime”, “Without a Song”, “Auld Lang Syne”, “This is a Man’s World”, “Crawlinking Snake”, “Nessun Dorma”, “Bring it on Home to Me”, “Hound Dog”, “Hello Walls”, “You Win Again”, “Sunday Morn’ Coming Down”, “Almost Blue”, “Pump It Up”, “Greensleeves”, “Just Wanna See His Face” (Stones), “Restless Farewell”, “Fairytale of NY”, “Bring Me A Little Water Sylvie”, “Raglan Road”, “96 Tears”, “In Dreams” (R. Orbison), “Substitute”, “Good Time Charlie’s Got The Blues”, Theme from Rawhide, “Same Thing”, “Walk Away Rene”, “For What it’s Worth”, theme from “Once Upon A Time In America”, “Nowadays Clancy Can’t Even Sing”, “Oh Holy Night”, “Mass in E Minor”, “Harlem Shuffle”, “Trouble Man”, “Wade in The Water”, “Empty Bed Blues”, “Havanagila” (Source: "Tom Waits - True Confessions", ANTI label blog, May 20, 2008. Glitter and Doom promo, Tom Waits interviews himself)

Tom Waits (2008): "Q: Favorite scenes in movies? A: "R. De Niro in the ring in Raging Bull. Julie Christie’s face in Heaven Can Wait when she said, “Would you like to get a cup of coffee?” James Dean in East of Eden telling the nurse to get out when his dad has had a stroke and he’s sitting by his bed. Marlene Dietrich in Touch of Evil saying “He was some kind of man.” Scout saying “Hey Mr. Cunningham” in the scene in To Kill A Mockingbird. Nic Cage falling apart in the drug store in Matchstick Men…and eating a cockroach in Vampire’s Kiss. The last scene in Chinatown." (Source: "Tom Waits - True Confessions", ANTI label blog, May 20, 2008. Glitter and Doom promo, Tom Waits interviews himself)

Tom Waits (2008): "Q: Can you describe a few other scenes from movies that have always stayed with you? A: "Rod Steiger in Pawn Broker explaining to the Puerto Rican all about gold. Brando in The Godfather dying in the tomatoes with scary orange teeth. Lee Marvin in Emperor Of The North riding under the box car, Borgnine bouncing steel off his ass. Dennis Weaver at the motel saying “I am just the night man,” holding onto a small tree in, Touch of Evil. The hanging in Oxbow Incident. The speech by Rutger Hauer in Blade Runner as he’s dying. Anthony Quinn dancing on the beach in Zorba. Nicholson in Witches of Eastwick covered in feathers in the church as the ladies stick needles in the voodoo doll. When Mel Gibson’s Blue Healer gets shot with an arrow in Road Warrior. When Rachel in The Exorcist says “could you help an old alter boy father?” The blind guy in the tavern in Treasure Island. Frankenstein after he strangles the young girl by the river." (Source: "Tom Waits - True Confessions", ANTI label blog, May 20, 2008. Glitter and Doom promo, Tom Waits interviews himself)

Tom Waits (2008): "Q: Most interesting recording you own? A: "It’s a mysteriously beautiful recording from, I am told, Robbie Robertson’s label. It’s of crickets. That’s right, crickets, the first time I heard it… I swore I was listening to the Vienna Boys Choir, or the Mormon Tabernacle choir. It has a four-part harmony it is a swaying choral panorama. Then a voice comes in on the tape and says, “What you are listening to is the sound of crickets. The only thing that has been manipulated is that they slowed down the tape.” No effects have been added of any kind except that they changed the speed of the tape. The sound is so haunting. I played it for Charlie Musselwhite and he looked at me as if I pulled a Leprechaun out of my pocket." (Source: "Tom Waits - True Confessions", ANTI label blog, May 20, 2008. Glitter and Doom promo, Tom Waits interviews himself)

Further readingInterviews (complete transcripts)