Tom Waits Biography
Thomas Alan Waits is an American singer, songwriter, musician, composer, and actor. Waits’ music is characterized by his distinctive deep, gravelly singing voice and lyrics focusing on the underside of U.S. society. During the 1970s, he worked primarily in jazz, but since the 1980s his music has reflected greater influence from blues, vaudeville, and experimental genres.
Tom Waits Age
Waits was born on 7 December 1949 in Pomona, and raised in a middle-class family in California.
Tom Waits Family | Siblings
He has one older sister and one younger sister. His father, Jesse Frank Waits, was a Texas native of Scots-Irish descent, while his mother, Alma Fern (née Johnson), hailed from Oregon and had Norwegian ancestry. Alma was a conventional housewife and regular church-goer. Jesse taught Spanish at a local school and was an alcoholic; Waits later related that his father was “a tough one, always an outsider”. The family lived at 318 North Pickering Avenue in Whittier, California.
Tom Waits Education
He attended Jordan Elementary School, where he was bullied. There, he learned to play the bugle and guitar, while his father taught him to play the ukulele.
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Tom Waits Quotes
I’d rather have a free bottle in front of me than a prefrontal lobotomy.
The big print giveth and the small print taketh away.
Don’t you know there ain’t no devil, it’s just god when he’s drunk.
Champagne for my real friends and real pain for my sham friends.
The piano has been drinking, not me.
I don’t have a drinking problem ‘Cept when I can’t get a drink.
My reality needs imagination like a bulb needs a socket. My imagination needs reality like a blind man needs a cane.
And the things you can’t remember tell the things you can’t forget that history puts a saint in every dream.
You got to tell me the brave captain Why are the wicked so strong? How do the angels get to sleep When the devil leaves the porch light on?
Tom Waits Rain Dogs
Rain Dogs is the eighth studio album by American singer-songwriter Tom Waits, released in September 1985 on Island Records.A loose concept album about “the urban dispossessed” of New York City, Rain Dogs is generally considered the middle album of a trilogy that includes Swordfish trombones and Franks Wild Years.
The album, which includes appearances by guitarists Keith Richards and Marc Ribot, is noted for its broad spectrum of musical styles and genres, described by Rolling Stone as merging “Kurt Weill, pre-rock integrity from old dirty blues, [and] the elegiac melancholy of New Orleans funeral brass, into a singularly idiosyncratic American style.”
The album peaked at #29 on the UK charts and #188 on the US Billboard Top 200. In 1989, it was ranked #21 on the Rolling Stone list of the “100 greatest albums of the 1980s.” In 2003, the album was ranked number 397 on the magazine’s list of “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time”.
Tom Waits Kids Career
Waits came to the attention of Herb Cohen, who signed him to a publishing contract; that Cohen did not give him a recording contract suggests that he was interested in Waits only as a songwriter rather than a performer. Quitting his job at Napoleone’s to concentrate on his songwriting career, in early 1972 Waits moved to an apartment in Silver Lake, Los Angeles, a poor neighbourhood known for its Hispanic and bohemian communities.
He continued performing at the Troubadour and there met David Geffen, who gave Waits a recording contract with his Asylum Records. Jerry Yester was chosen to produce his first album, with the recording sessions taking place in Hollywood’s Sunset Sound studios. The resulting album, Closing Time, was released in March 1973, although attracted little attention and did not sell well.
Biographer Barney Hoskyns noted that Closing Time was “broadly in step with the singer-songwriter school of the early 1970s”. Waits had wanted to create a piano-led jazz album although Yester had pushed its sound in a more folk-oriented direction. An Eagles cover of its opening track, “Ol’ 55”, on their album On the Border, brought Waits further money and recognition, although he regarded their version as “a little antiseptic”.
To promote his debut, Waits and a three-piece band embarked on a U.S. tour, largely on the East Coast, where he was the support act for more established artists. As part of this, he supported Tom Rush at Washington D.C.’s The Cellar Door, Danny O’Keefe at Massachusetts’s Club Passim, Charlie Rich at New York City’s Max’s Kansas City, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas in East Lansing, Michigan, and John P. Hammond in San Francisco.
Waits returned to Los Angeles in June, feeling demoralised about his career. That month, he was the cover star of free music magazine, Music World. He began composing songs for his second album, and attended the Venice Poetry Workshop to try out this new material in front of an audience Although Waits was eager to record this new material, Cohen instead convinced him to take over as a support act for Frank Zappa’s the Mothers of Invention after previous support act Kathy Dalton pulled out due to the hostility from Zappa’s fans.
Waits joined Zappa’s tour in Ontario, but like Dalton found the audiences hostile; while on stage he was jeered at and pelted with fruit. Although he liked the Mothers of Invention’s band members, he found Zappa himself intimidating.
Waits met and had an intermittent relationship with Bette Midler (pictured here in 1981) and collaborated with her on the song “I Never Talk to Strangers”
Waits moved from Silver Lake to Echo Park, spending much of his time in downtown Los Angeles. In early 1974, he continued to perform around the West Coast, getting as far as Denver. For Waits’ second album, Geffen wanted a more jazz-oriented producer, selecting Bones Howe for the job.
Recording sessions for The Heart of Saturday Night took place at Wally Heider Studio Number 3, Cahuenga Boulevard in April and May, with Waits conceptualising the album as a sequence of songs about U.S. nightlife.The album was far more widely reviewed than Closing Time had been, reflecting Waits’ growing notability on the American music scene. Waits himself was later dismissive of the album, describing it as “very ill-formed, but I was trying”
After recording The Heart of Saturday Night, Waits reluctantly agreed to tour with Zappa again, but once more faced strong audience hostility. The kudos of having supported Zappa’s tour nevertheless bolstered his image in the music industry and helped his career. In October 1974 he first performed as the headline act before touring the East Coast; in New York City he met and befriended the singer Bette Midler, with whom he had a sporadic affair.
Back in Los Angeles, Cohen suggested Waits produce a live album. To this end, he performed two live shows at the Record Plant Studio in front of an audience. Again produced by Howe, the recording was released as Nighthawks at the Diner in October 1975. He followed this with a week’s residency at the Reno Sweeney in New York City, and in December appeared on the PBS concert show Soundstage.
From March to May 1976 he toured the U.S., telling interviewers that the experience was tough and that he was drinking too much alcohol. In May, he embarked on his first tour of Europe, performing in London, Amsterdam, Brussels, and Copenhagen. On his return to Los Angeles, he joined his friend Chuck E.
Weiss by moving into the Tropicana motel in West Hollywood, a place that already had an established reputation in rock music circles. Visitors noted that his two-room apartment there was heavily cluttered. He was living in what biographer Hoskyns later called a “pastiche of poverty”; Waits told the LA Times that “You almost have to create situations in order to write about them, so I live in a constant state of self-imposed poverty”.
Tom Waits Songs
- Tom Traubert’s Blues
- I Hope That I Don’t Fall in Love With You
- Downtown Train
- Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis
- Jockey Full Of Bourbon
- Ol’ 55
- Jersey Girl
- Step Right Up
- Clap Hands
- Hell Broke Luce
- The Piano Has Been Drinking
- Way Down in the Hole
- Hold On
Tom Waits Net Worth
He has a net worth of $25 Millions Dollars.
Tom Waits Discography | Filmography
- Hell Broke Luce
- Rain Dogs
- The Heart of Saturday Night
- Mule Variations
- Small Change Blue Valentine
- Bad as me
- Heart Attack And Vine Real Gone Black Rider
- Blood Money
- Bone Machine
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