He gave it all up after he married Kathleen
Brennan in 1980. Now it's herbal tea, carrot juice and maybe a little
sherry before bed. Since the early 1980's Waits has continuously stated he's
clean and sober. He really doesn't want to be associated with his
"professional drunk" image anymore. Don't go asking for "The
Piano Has Been Drinking". A guy who writes murder mysteries,
doesn't have to be a murderer.
Early 1973 Waits got himself a tattoo on his right
bicep of a red heart with a banner around it (Music World, June 1973). The banner had no text and
one can imagine what his pick up line was in those days. Somewhere in 1975
"Nighthawk" was added underneath the heart. In 1976 an
eagle/ hawk was added underneath the word "Nighthawk". In
1979 the eagle was incorporated in a larger abstract blending of all. Late
1979 Waits got himself a tattoo of a woman's head on his
left bicep. Underneath the head are two red hearts. On more recent
pictures (late 1980's) it seems the empty banner on the right arm is
filled in with text (apparently it says: true love). One can have a good look at the tattoos in
the movies: Down By Law and Short Cuts. There are also a lot
showing one or both tattoos.
Waits and his wife Kathleen Brennan have worked together since Swordfishtrombones
and Kathleen is credited as co-writer
and co-producer ever since. She is actively involved in writing both
lyrics and music. Tom Waits: "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."
Tom Waits lives in California/ USA north of San
Francisco. The exact location is not meant to go public. Waits is not in
the book and all addresses on the Internet have proven to be false. Please
keep in mind that Waits attaches great value to his family's privacy. They
really don't want you to show up on their doorstep, and they're probably
not waiting for scary packages from anonymous senders.
There seems to be no outwardly or publicly recognizable
logic to Waits's tours. Upcoming shows will certainly be
announced on Anti's site
as well as the official Tom Waits site. However, you can be sure
shows will be sold out within minutes. So it's wise to keep abreast of the
news, and that seems to be most current via the Internet. A
good way to stay informed about anything Tom Waits related is to join a Tom
That's because the song is called "Tom
Traubert's Blues". It's on the album Small Change
(Elektra/ Asylum Records, 1976). Later released on Bounced Checks
(WEA/ Asylum Records, 1981) and Asylum Years (WEA International
Actually, it's the other way around. Bruce Springsteen
covered Tom Waits's "Jersey
Girl". It was released on Heartattack And Vine
(Elektra Entertainment/ WEA Entertainment Inc., 1980) and Anthology Of
Tom Waits (WEA/ Elektra, 1984). Tom Waits didn't write this song for
Springsteen or with Springsteen in mind. Same goes for Rod Stewart's
The song "Franks
Wild Years" is not on the album Franks Wild Years, but
on the album Swordfishtrombones (Island, 1983). The song had
inspired Waits to write a theatre
play about Frank. And the songs for that theatre play were later
released on the album Franks Wild Years (Island, 1987). You did an
excellent purchase, by the way.
Polls amongst Tom
Waits fans, show that Rain
Dogs (1985) is still their all time favourite. So you might want to
give that one a try. Waits's work is often divided into 3 periods: The
Asylum Years (1973-1982), the Island Years (1983-1989) and the Anti Years
(1999->). To explore both the Asylum Years and the Island Years, you
might want to go for Heartattack And Vine (1980), which is probably
Waits's most accessible album. To taste more of the smoky Beat-Jazz
influenced Asylum Years try: Small Change (1976) and Nighthawks
At The Diner (1975). To further explore the more experimental and
"demented" Island Years, go for: Swordfishtrombones (1983) and Bone
No he didn't. The
Black Rider is a production by Robert Wilson. Robert Wilson
directed and produced the play. William Burroughs delivered the libretto
(texts) and Tom Waits delivered the musical arrangements (and lyrics).
Waits's songs had to fit Wilson's ideas, directions and designs, and
Buroughs' libretto. Three years after the play had premiered, Waits went
into the studio and recorded a selection of the songs he had written for
the play, to be released on The Black Rider (Island, 1993).
No it isn't. The song is called "This Holiday
Season" by a group called Porn Orchard, impersonating Tom Waits
and Peter Murphy. It was originally released on "The Mother of All
Flagpole Christmas Albums" (Various artists. Label: Flagpole, 1992.
Produced by Scott Stuckey. An Ort-Tone recording. Distributed by DB
Records). It's a compilation of songs from three years of the annual
Christmas album organized by Flagpole magazine of Athens, Ga. to benefit
that city's charities. You might still find the album being offered on http://athensmusic.net/.
They never did. This is a mix of Ginsberg reading his
poem America as released on "Howls Raps & Roars"
(Fantasy Records, 1993) and Waits's instrumental Closing Time as
released on the studio album "Closing Time" (Asylum/ Elektra,
1973). The take was put together in 1996 by Ralph Beard from Australia.
Ralph Beard (October, 2006): "I was really into spoken word back
then, and a big fan of Burrough's Dead City Radio so the mix seemed a
natural one. It wasn't easy, mind you, Mp3 didn't really spring into
action until a couple of years later, so I had to work with the raw Wav
rips, on a 100mhz computer with 1.6 gig of hard drive space and a
shockingly small amount of ram. The Ginsberg bit had to be cleaned up a
bit, so I used cooledit's remarkably efficient noise reduction tool to
remove the excess noise (giving that slightly metallic ring to the voice.)
and removing the breath sounds. I also had to fix a small error Ginsberg
makes early in the piece saying "home-ver" instead of
"home". The backing track was difficult as it was roughly 40
seconds shorter than the vocal, so I made a loop of a part of the back
section of the song to cover the extra time. The final product was quite a
surpise to me, as I hadn't expected it to match so well, even though the
final section does go a little off kilter as Ginberg's rant heats
up." Some 3 years later Beard sent the MP3 file to a friend who
in turn put it on a P2P site, and since then it exists online. America
has proven to be a very popular mix, but it is not an official release and
it was not authorized by Waits.
This recording was released under
different titles (Cold Beer On A Hot Night, Kiss The Stone 1993; Romeo Is Bleeding, Venus Music 1994; On Broadway, Lunatic CDR, 1999; Tom Waits Blue, CDR, 1999, etc.). Sometimes the origins of the recordings and the tracks are mislabeled, so be careful to not trade/ buy this same show under different
titles. It is considered to be one of the best Tom Waits bootlegs. Not
only for its great recording quality but also for the great performance
by Waits and his band. It starts with the famous trumpet solo by Herbert Hardesty,
belting out the melody of Gershwin's Summertime. Hardesty is still performing and going strong. The origins of this recording have remained a mystery for years but Colin Hubert from Australia discovered that this is not an ordinary audience tape. It was recorded by a local radio station which was then called Double Jay (with Australian DJ Richard Kingsmill) at the State Theatre Sydney/ Australia, March 1979 (broadcast in Australia late 1979). The recording is easily identified by listening to the intro for Tom Traubert's Blues going: "I kinda borrowed your unofficial national anthem on this whole thing. I'll give it back when I'm done. I met this girl named Matilda, you know. And I had a little too much to drink that night. So this is about throwing up in a foreign country..."
It's no longer there. It was torn down in 1987, but
Waits did indeed live there from ca. 1976 to late 1979. the
Tropicana Motel was on Santa Monica Boulevard 8585 (West Hollywood).
It had been a rock-and-roll landmark since the late 1960's. Waits had his
piano in the kitchen and the stove was just a big cigarette lighter. There
were automobile tools on the kitchen counter and in the fridge. Tom Waits:
"I don't think I got any new towels for the whole like nine years
I was there. But I never asked, I didn't wanna upset anybody."
No it isn't. You've been watching a parody commercial
from the comedy show "SCTV Network 90" (aka. SCTV Comedy
Network, or SCTV Network). It aired January 23 and March 13, 1981. It is
known as "Commercial: Ella Fitzgerald for Mamorex Video Tape -
Even Ella can't tell the difference." Actors are: Robin Duke as
Rickie Lee Jones, Rick Moranis as Tom Waits and Tony Rosato as Ella
Fitzgerald. Notice they've spelled Memorex with an "A". SCTV
originally started as "Second City TV" in Toronto/ Canada. The
show became "SCTV Network 90" when it was brought to NBC in the
spring of 1981.
No it isn't. While the title was taken from Waits's song
of Blue Valentine (1978), Waits himself wasn't involved in this
production. Jack's attorney is played by American actor Ron
Perlman, who has starred in numerous movies. Some seem to mistake
Perlman for Waits. To check whether it was Waits you saw in a movie,
please refer to the Filmography.
They are two regulars of Café Lehmitz (a café near the
Hamburg red-light boulevard Reeperbahn). They're called Lily
and Rose. The café no longer exists. The picture is by Swedish
photographer Anders Petersen. Petersen found the Cafe Lehmitz in the late
1960's, and spent most of his days and nights there for over three years,
photographing its clients: sailors and stokers from around the world,
along with dockers, cabdrivers, prostitutes, striptease dancers and pimps
and many others who revelled in the underside of German society.
Time video (Island, 1988) is out of print. It was distributed by
PolyGram Video (Island Visual Arts) and Fries Home Video (Fries
Entertainment Inc.). There have been several rumours about the video being
re-released on DVD, but it seems it's not going to happen (probably due to
copyright complexities). Every now and then you'll find a copy being
offered on one of the internet auctions. However they're being
offered for ridiculous prices and in some cases it's merely a home made
copy. You might want to try and get your hands on a copy through an FTP-
or Torrent-site or a trading community.
It is illegal to trade or sell bootlegged materials.
Please keep in mind Tom Waits is very serious about the protection
of his works. He has never stated to approve the trading of bootlegs.
Waits is a member of the The
Recording Artists' Coalition and a founding member of the MusicFIRST Coalition. Please have a look at their sites and the
legislative issues they want to have addressed... ... One can download digital
copies from a so-called FTP- or Torrent-site. A step further could be,
trading bootlegs with other Tom Waits fans. A good way to get in touch
with other traders is to join a Tom Waits discussionlist. There are also a
couple of trading sites listing available bootleg recordings. Explore
these sites to get acquainted with online trading and downloads: DutchDogs, Yaddfa,
Dimeadozen (subscription), Greg Grant.
Is it Foreign Affair or Foreign Affairs? The album is called Foreign Affairs, the song is called Foreign Affair. Is it Blue Valentine or Blue Valentines? The album is called Blue Valentine, the song is called Blue Valentines. Is it Swordfishtrombone or Swordfishtrombones? The album is called Swordfishtrombones, the song is called Swordfishtrombone. Is it Rain Dogs or Raindogs? Both the album and song are called Rain Dogs. Online Tom Waits fans sometimes refer to themselves as Raindogs. Is it Franks Wild Years or Frank's Wild Years? Both the 1986 play and the 1983 song of Swordfishtrombones were called Frank's Wild Years, the 1987 album however was titled Franks Wild Years (probably for esthetic/ design reasons). Is it Buzz Fledderjon or Buzz Fledderjohn? On the 1999 CD single Hold On it is spelled as Fledderjon, on the 2006 album Orphans it's Fledderjohn. It seems only reasonable to adapt the latest spelling. Is it Kommienezuspadt, Kommienezuspädt, Kommeniezuspädt, Kommeniezuspät? The Alice linernotes have this as Kommienezuspadt, so that's the official title. In the 1992 play this was still an instrumental. What Waits is singing is: "Komme nie zu spät" (never be late). Is it Waits' or Waits's (possessive of proper name)? It seems the experts still disagree. Different style manuals handle this in different ways (The Associated Press Stylebook/ The Chicago Manual of Style). So basically you can have it any way you want.
No I can't. Only a few pictures on this site are "copyright:
Tom Waits Library". The majority is property of other copyright holders. I
have put a lot of effort in tracing back the origins and credits of these
pictures, and I have listed all the proper credits where possible. All
pictures on the Tom Waits Library are low resolution and therefore
unsuitable for high quality printing. When looking for original prints or
high resolution files, please refer to the links to photographer's
portfolios and contact the artists through their sites.You might also want to try the official Tom Waits site (photos, press).
For privacy reasons several files have been marked
"no-index", meaning they won't show up in searchengine results.
To see the content of such files, you'll have to read through them like in
the old days.
Over the years several
songbooks have been released with guitar chords and arrangements for
piano and voice. These books (still widely available) cover over 1/3 of
the entire body of work. Amateur tabs of the remaining songs have proven
to be of varying quality. I personally lack the knowledge to determine
whether or not tabs are transcribed correctly, so I've decided to leave
them out altogether. For now you might want to try these sites: Ramon's
tab site, WaitsWatcher's