Never Did Like That Dog

Been some comments recently about Tom Waits. Understand…for my money, Tom is the finest song writer to come down the pike since forever. I rank him with George and Ira Gershwin, Nat King Cole, Paul Simon, JJ Cale…you name it, I’ll take Tom. No, he doesn’t hit notes like Mariah Carey, but I find more soul in his cracked rasp than Mariah will ever manage. There’s truth in Tom Waits that infects his words and music, and renders it eternal.
My first exposure to Waits came off a cassette tape of his first record, Closing Time. Someone didn’t have enough money to pay for their drugs, so they offered a handful of cassette tapes in the bargain. What do you say to desperation like that? Later, I popped it into the deck and that was it. I went out and bought ‘The Heart of Saturday Night’ that same day, and I’ve never looked back.
Mule Variations, Swordfish Trombone, Frank’s Wild Years…album after album, Tom Waits has consistently turned out interesting, amazing, beautiful, aggressive poetry backed with perhaps the broadest range of musical arrangements ever contemplated by a single composer – from gorgeous piano and bass to jarring industrial sonic assault. But it’s always Tom, it’s always an adventure, and it always offers more to enjoy and appreciate with each subsequent listening.
And maybe that’s the greatest thing about Waits. Some songs you’ll love from the moment you first hear them. Others might take some time to work your head around, but if you give him the time, he’ll deliver.
Here’s a short clip – the title track – from Frank’s Wild Years. Never could stand that dog.


6 Responses

  1. I gotta say, Tom Waits often reminds me of that special night when you introduced me to…well…you know. Let’s just say that whether it’s Tom Waits, Oscar Peterson, or Art Tatum, the experience is always wonderful but is even more wonderful when it’s…enhanced in certain ways.

    • I understand your hesitance to come right out and say it, but this veiled hinting is gonna make people think we’re gay.
      Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but as between being understood to dabble in mild-altering substances from time to time, and being wrongly thought to dabble in gay, I gotta say I prefer accuracy.

  2. I hate to piss on your drag-queen party (actually I love it), but the clip above is from Swordfishtrombones (a dead giveaway is the huge title on the cover). It was a song called “Franks wild years”, and should not be confused with the later LP, called “Franks wild years”. Forget about the typos, just concentrate on the research.

    • Fuck. Given my inability to invent facts (mostly I find the real ones sufficient), I’m gonna have to concede this motion with an order for costs.

  3. LMAO. Brilliant.

    • I can see it’s time for the Chewbacca Defense Terre’Blanche Defense.

      Here…a nice comfy bed. Why don’t you have a little nap.

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