Tom Waits For No Man

Tom Waits For No Man

This is a Tribute Blog to Messr. Tom Waits.

Tom Waits for no man! He is the Real Deal!

I’ve been buying Tom Waits’ music throughout the last two decades. I was not ready for or understood Waits’ music when I was of a younger mind ie. pre-forties.

You cannot always listen to Tom Waits’ albums all the time, you need time to heal (spiritually and mentally) after you listen through an album.

His songs are covered by Rod Stewart, Bruce Springsteen, Tori Amos, the Ramones etc. He has written songs for Johnny Cash and Norah Jones etc.

Waits composed the soundtrack for Francis Ford Coppola’s “One From The Heart” and made cameos in several Coppola’s movies.

I love Rod Stewart’s version of Waits’ “Downtown Train”. Stewart liked covering Waits’ songs. Stewart was known to quip that ““Downtown Train” bought Tom Wats a swimming pool.” “And “Picture In A Frame” will pay for a new roof on his house. Really, I can’t say enough about Tom, he has such great imagery, which is an area in which I could do a bit better.”

If Rod’s version of “Downtown Train” is sugar, Tom’s original version is vinegar.

In 2011, Tom Waits was deservingly inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Introducing Waits, Neil Young said “This next man is indescribable, and I’m here to describe him …”. In accepting the award, Waits said “They say that I have no hits and that I’m difficult with. And they say that like it’s a bad thing”.

I’m still leisurely buying up Tom Wait’s albums. His “Heartattack And Vine” album is next on my list. Tom Waits albums must be savoured, chewed well, and spit out. Then I will go buy another of his album to devour.

My collection of Tom Waits’ albums (above image).

I play Waits’ CDs in a random fashion, depending on my adventurous mood. There’s blood in Tom’s songs.

You don’t just listen to Tom’s songs, he takes you on a weird, funky, sonic Journey. The sound production is detailed and impeccable. You cannot even hear a bucket of pins dropping.

My favourite Tom Waits’ songs are “Going Out West”, “Hang On St. Christopher”, “Downtown Train”, “Tom Traubert’s Blues”, “Singapore”, “Such A Scream”, “Black Wings”, “Jockey Full Of Bourbon”, “Crossroads”, “16 Shells From A Thirty Ought Six”, “All Stripped Down”, “Oily Night”, “Where Are You”, “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up” and “Small Change (Got Rained On With His .38)”.

From a photographer’s perspective, I know Waits is acutely particular and consistent on his weird, quirky visual image that is parlayed to his loyal fans and to the bewildered world. If you know, you know!

The albums of Tom Waits are best played very loud in order to appreciate his purposeful Sonic Scape.

When I do, my neighbors are always aware that I’m listening to the genius of Tom Waits’.