Tag Archives: Tom Waits

Emotional weather report


The sun is beginning to shine on me, But it’s not like the sun that used to be. – Bob Dylan, “Highlands” Overheard on South Street, outside the city’s worst supermarket: “Yeah, but most South Philly people, they’re really rude … Continue reading

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‘The Piano Has Been Drinking,’ not me


Tom Waits performs, then jokes with Martin Mull and Fred Willard on Fernwood Tonight. The mock-talk show ran for a few months in 1977, and was re-formatted and telecast as America 2-Night for a few months in 1978. I had … Continue reading

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‘Frank’s Wild Years’


Well Frank settled down in the Valley and hung his wild years on a nail that he drove through his wife’s forehead… … he sold used office furniture out there on San Fernando Road and assumed a $30,000 loan at … Continue reading

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Music to haunt you on Halloween


There are at least three varieties of scary songs — novelty numbers, done for laughs; songs that have dark lyrics but aren’t all that scary; and songs (“compositions” is a better word) that actually sound scary and give you the … Continue reading

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We’ll all be rain dogs soon


For those in the path of Irene: “Rain Dogs” from Tom Waits’ Rain Dogs (1985) According to reports, Philadelphia will get more rain this weekend than any other major city in the region. Bad news for those of us in … Continue reading

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Her fame was fleeting, but Jones’s songs endure


Mojo has been a better music magazine than Rolling Stone for a long time, and forget that there isn’t much good music to write about these days, that’s another story. The July Mojo profiled singer/songwriter Rickie Lee Jones, who debuted … Continue reading

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Debt bill destroys America. Who’s next for a swim?


I’m on the home stretch with my novel-in-progress Good Sal/Bad Sal, set in casino-era Atlantic City. One of the final chapters starts with Good Sal asking: Have you ever let the cold surf creep between your toes and thought what’s … Continue reading

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In the neighborhood, in spring


What’s he building in there?/What the hell is he building/In there?/He has subscriptions to those/Magazines… He never/Waves when he goes by/He’s hiding something from/The rest of us… He’s all/To himself… I think I know/Why… – Tom Waits Overheard while running … Continue reading

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Woe-is-uh-me-bop, Beefheart is dead


My musician son Barney sent me a text message on Dec. 17: “Beefheart died today.” This was sad but also a good sign that the music of Captain Beefheart, aka Don Van Vliet, will long outlast the man, although you … Continue reading

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