Wednesday, December 07, 2005

happy birthday, tom waits

Thomas Alan Waits was born on this day in 1949 in Pomona, California.
tom waits
Does it get any cooler than Tom Waits? Of course not. He may be known for a throat that sounds like it gargled hot asphalt one too many times, but his songs would make for greater literature through any voice.
If you don't own anything by Waits, stop reading this and go purchase something immediately. Quit your job if you have to. I don't care that you have a family to feed and a mortgage to worry about. This is important, and you will thank me, no matter how desolate things become when you are cold and alone and living in a cardboard box with nothing but a stack of Tom Waits CDs that you carry from one hobo encampment to another tied in a handkerchief at the end of a stick over your shoulder. The other hobos will think you are the cat's meow, and they will be correct.
Right now, without owning anything by Tom Waits, you are whatever the opposite of the cat's meow is. I don't mean to call you out like this in front of everyone, but it is a necessarily drastic measure that I undertake because I care about you and only want the best for you.
And so does Tom.
piano tom


Blogger Kat Coble said...

I listened to Frank's Wild Years through yesterday, and played "Hang On St. Christopher" and "Cold Cold Ground" about 20 times each.

Does that count?

9:07 AM  
Anonymous sethro said...

I have an uncle who got into Tom Waits because he bought one of his records under the mistaken impression that he was purchasing a recording by John Waites.
it was the best mistake he ever made.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Rex L. Camino said...

It does indeed, Katherine. "Cold Cold Ground" is one of my favorite Waits' tunes, and I think I even attempted it at an open mike many years ago in college.

People didn't throw rotting fruit and vegetables at me, but I'm sure they should have.

I wonder how many much money John Waites made from errant Tom Waits fans. It reminds me of a friend I had in Alabama who asked for a couple of Firehose CDs for Christmas and was presented with Firehouse. Big difference.

9:38 AM  
Blogger John H said...

Rain Dogs. No other words are necessary except for these words explaining that no other words are necessary.

10:21 AM  
Blogger Chez Bez said...

lol Sethro. It kills me whenever I reference how I love Tom Waits and some well-meaning fool says how she loves his "Missing You" song.

My second favorite WRVU show will be playing some Tom Waits for me next Tuesday between 6-8. We can pretend she's playing it for all of us.

In my car right now? Real Gone and Small Change.

11:29 AM  
Blogger Chez Bez said...

That would be 6-8 A.M.

It's called Alphabet and it is awesome.

Carry on.

11:31 AM  
Blogger Ryan said...

You could not be more dead-on!

"And you're east of East St. Louis and the wind is making speeches. And the rain sounds like a round of applause..."

It simply doesn't get any better.


12:31 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

Question: For the first time listener, what CD would be a good one to buy.

12:33 PM  
Blogger Stella said...

I just finished clearing him to be on the Grammy Nominees CD if he actually gets nominated.

Press conference tomorrow in NYC announcing the nominees. We'll see.

12:35 PM  
Blogger Rex L. Camino said...

I always tell folks to start with Rain Dogs, Lee, but you can't go wrong with any of them. I started off with Frank's Wild Years after catching his concert film Big Time on my dad's satellite dish while growing up. I also recommend that soundtrack, as it gives you a little bit of Waits talking to the audience between songs.

I don't suppose you would have any way of meeting him, Jill. If so, I will volunteer to be your personal assistant for a day.

3:44 PM  
Blogger Chez Bez said...

And for that, I would be Rex's personal assistant.

1:40 AM  
Blogger red molly said...

I'm ashamed of myself...out of 600 CD's and about 300 LP's I don't own anything by Tom Waits. I've heard him and do enjoy his music so I'm putting Frank's Wild Years and Rain Dogs on my Christmas list.

5:40 AM  
Blogger Wally Bangs said...

I'm partial to Small Change myself. "Step Right Up" hell yeah!

8:40 AM  
Blogger Kat Coble said...

Rex, please tell me you were not one of the Grievous Angels, whose hideous cover of CCG is cringy....

9:55 AM  
Blogger Rex L. Camino said...

That certainly wasn't me, Katherine. I just played it at a bar one night because: A) It was during a brief time in my life in which I fancied myself a troubadour of sorts, and B) Those who participated in the open mike night received free beer.

2:20 PM  
Blogger Mortgage Center said...

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7:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel a bit intimidated, leaving a comment after that wonderful "mortgage center" dude.

Kind of fits with the "Step Right Up" reference earlier.

I was going to leave a similar birthday post but my family is already a bit worried about my obsession with Tom. Anyway, fans take note: Tom will be on NPR's World Cafe this December 15.


7:08 PM  
Blogger Benders said...

How do I find Tom's Tour Schedual? Missed him by 1 week last year and could have killed my friend that forgot to tell me! Help me avoid murder!

1:42 PM  
Blogger Jim Beshwate said...

Ignorance is bliss every goddamn time.
You got that one right Tom.
HeartAttack And Vine one of Tom's finest.

1:50 AM  

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