Friday, July 11, 2008

Our Founding Fathers, Sixth in a Series

Tom Waits - Live at the Agora Ballroom, Cleveland, OH (12/7/76) Part 1
Tom Waits - Live at the Agora Ballroom, Cleveland, OH (12/7/76) Part 2

I cannot claim to be a lifelong fan of Mr. Tom Waits. I didn't start paying serious attention to him until I heard him on that Disney tribute album - remember that, the one with The Replacements doing the Cruella De Ville song and Sun Ra blowing away "Pink Elephants"? I thought that was a great album, though not as fine on the ear as the Kurt Weill tribute that came out a few years earlier.

What Waits did with the Seven Dwarves' marching tune was wonderfully creepy and made me borrow my brother's CDs. I also went out and bought two or three for myself. And over the years Waits has been a growing musical presence for me and my wife. Bone Machine really struck us both when it came out and though we had no money at the time and sure as hell shouldn't have been spending what we had on music, we found a used copy at the little head/magazine/used book/music shop that passed for freedom in the little Missouri town we lived in back then. Never regretted that.

This is a great show of early Waits. Perfect for a Friday night - so grab it, pump it up, crack open a cold one and pour a shot of something brown and burning to go down with it.

Enjoy! (And buy shit!)


raindogzilla said...

IMNSHO, Tom Waits is the greatest living American songwriter. Willie Nelson's right up there and is maybe more prolific and Dylan's far more popular but needlessly obscure, lyrically, and grating, vocally.

Tom's the guy holding down one end of the bar in your local boozer, seemingly in his cups though you never see him touch the half-full highball glass sweating a ring before him. He's talking to himself and, if you tilt your head to listen, there are far too many unpolished diamonds in that rambling slag for it to be mere coincidence.

He's also the author of what may very well be the most concise and heartwrenching love song I've ever heard;

"She's my only true love
She's all that I think of
Look here, in my wallet,
that's her.
She grew up on a farm there
There's a place on my arm where
I've written her name
next to mine.
See, I just can't live
without her
And I'm only a boy.
She grew up outside McHenry,
in Johnsburg, Illinois."

Excellent find, man, I've never heard him live before, say, mid-'80s. Thanks.

gomonkeygo said...

That's beautiful - thanks for the share. Glad you like it; this show really made me listen to his 70s work more closely.

Dermot said...

Thanks for this. I'm going to send it to my nephew who's going to see him in Dublin at the end of the month. Lucky him ! No London dates announced yet.

gomonkeygo said...

Waits played in St. Louis just recently and I understand it sold out the first day and well before the show tickets were reselling for $700 a seat!