Monday, December 7, 2009
TOM WAITS b DECEMBER 7 1949
i was listening to waits & playing his songs before i went off to new college. for many people, he was an acquired taste. i can remember clearing my dorm room full of people just by putting one of his albums on the stereo. i actually saw him live in sarasota just as he started doing the more elaborate stage act. even way back then, it was pretty special & some doubters were welcomed into the fold that night.
he's re-invented himself by whittling away the superfluous & foregrounding the lyrics & melody. like dylan before him & his contemporary, elvis costello, he's maintained or surpassed his best work as he's gotten older. if you think that's easy to do, just watch the commercial for neil diamond's "cherry cherry c'mas."
i don't know what radar waits has been flying under according to mike b. other than that one mike carries around inside his head. waits is bigger now than he's ever been & tickets for his concerts last year were a huge commodity. my buddy in new orleans mark p. saw him & was blown away. in fact, everything i read about the tour was superlative. even tho i've already seen him live, i agree w/ken that he's one of the few remaining acts i'd love to see perform live just one more time.
speaking of time, i saw waits do this on letterman many many years ago. the album it was on, rain dogs, hadn't come out yet & he played the song as the closing credits for the show ran & didn't finish. i started looking for the song everywhere immediately.
And they all pretend they're orphans and their memory's like a train
You can see it getting smaller as it pulls away
And the things you can't remember tell the things you can't forget
That history puts a saint in every dream
And it's time time time that you love
And it's time time time
i suspect he's as surprized & grateful as anyone that he's made it to 60. we may get one more tour out of him(since that's the only way for these guys to make money) but i'm not holding my breath.