Saturday, February 21, 2009

Tom Waits

Sitting outside this evening on the back deck, 73* I might add, we were listening to our favorite radio station, KPIG, streaming from Freedom, CA. The song came on, Heart of Saturday Night. I mentioned that I remembered hearing, and loving, this song done by Shawn Colvin, and commenting that I didn't believe it was available on CD by her. Hubby said, "This is Tom Waits. He must have written it because he rarely does songs by other writers." Of course, you know that sent me in to the computer!

Back in the day, when Hubby was a record promoter for Electra Records, he had to pick up an artist at the SF airport in his 1979 Toyota Celica and drive him from radio station to radio station in San Francisco & Berkeley, CA to promote his album, Heartattack and Vine. Back then, Tom Waits was an up & coming. Hubby had no idea of the talent that sat next to him in the car that day. He can't remember conversations because it was just picking some guy up at the airport and shuffeling him around. What he does remember is the pile of cigarette ashes on the passenger-side floorboard carpet of his new car!

Tom Waits. The gravelly voiced songwriter and singer. He does not have a voice of angels, or of a mainstream sense of what a singing voice should sound like. It's more like raspy, or gritty. His lyrics are amazing and his voice just seems to add to the content of his songs.
Back then, Hubby "had to" go to the Tom Waits concert that night at a venue in Berkeley. Waits was leaning up against a Texaco gas pump on stage, singing numbers off the album. Hubby only stayed 20 minutes, having no idea that he was listening to genious. (He has a lot of stories like that from back in those days. I'm trying to talk him into starting his own blog, full of snippets from encounters with people who became big time stars. That's another story.)

So, being the obsessed people we are, we came in and watched a movie called "Down by Law", that starred Tom Waits, and Roberto Benigni.

Director Jim Jarmusch gets the Criterion treatment! When fate lands three hapless men -- an unemployed disc jockey (Tom Waits), a small-time pimp (John Lurie) and a strong-willed Italian tourist (Roberto Benigni) -- in a New Orleans prison, their adventure toward escape and freedom begins. Jarmusch delivers a twisted comedy filled with fine performances and sharp black-and-white frames from cinematographer Robby Müller.

Needless to say, we really liked it, and were laughing by the end of the movie when they were playing cards.


A Woman Of No Importance said...

That is so interesting, Fishie, I love Jim Jarmusch films and Tom Waits - Thank you for pulling that together, and I am so pleased that the hubby's hip op (sounds like hip hop - so fitting with him being so involved with the music industry) has been a success - Enjoy the weekend!

Anonymous said...

I once dated an atheist Mennonite Canadian chemist (that sounds rather like the beginning of a dirty joke, doesn't it?) who was a HUGE fan of Tom Waits. Being the rock 'n' roll animal I am, I remained kind of "meh" about him.

Thanks for the wonderful comment on my blog - my husband understands what you wrote about your husband all too well!

Jan from the Sushi Bar

cagrowngirl said...

Tom Waits...the flood gates of the 80's are coming back to me. :)

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Flora & Fauna

Books I have known & loved

  • Life of Pi
  • A Hundred Years of Solitude
  • Kite Runner
  • The Way the Crow Flies
  • Fall on Your Knees
  • Poisonwood Bible
  • East of Eden
  • Shantaram
  • I Know This Much is True

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