The great thing is, with Tom Waits, there are so many YouTube clips that seem to materialise out of the ether. Just when I think I’ve seen every clip going, something new comes along. This one from 1979/1975 is such a grainy gem – where has it been hiding? I have to admit, maybe these are my favourite TW years, where the nicotine-stained, whiskey-drenched nighthawk / chronicler of illicit after-hours LA really comes on song. It’s like he’s actually become the persona that might have started out an act; or if it is an act, it’s a great one. These songs, they’re so unique and surprising, dark and funny, with quicksilver words and the imagery of ’40s film noir; gritty and tender, they’re still love songs underneath – which is what we love about Tom.
TW – daylight – the Westway – a Morris Minor!!!
Even more special is that some of these extracts were recorded in London (what do you reckon, Hammersmith Apollo?) I’m not quite so sure about the ‘staged’ numbers – but it’s an interesting idea! If you haven’t got 1:21:00 to spare, try ‘Red Shoes’ at c17:00 – I’ve never seen this one done live before, in all its sinister obsessiveness – or an up-tempo ‘Diamonds on my Windshield’ at c54:00. Or the crazy ‘Eggs & Sausage’ at 45:00 – take me to that diner!
Of course the other great thing about Tom – he’s still going strong!