What Was Tom Waits Like as a Kid?

Oct 24, 2013 | LATEST

What was Tom Waits like as a child? I wonder. Sitting in my car, listing to ‘Nighthawks at the Diner’ on my way to the daily routine, pondering whether or not to cover ‘Eggs and Sausage’ at my next show- it’s a relevant point I think. Not only, what’s Tom Waits like (period), but as a child what would this youth of such vastly bordered interest have been like?  I guess he grew up nearing the Mexico border

Seems to me that his history proves he’s always been a bit of a rambler- I confess I don’t know him personally.  I would say he’s one of the most influencial songwriters of his time, and of my own current generation of writers.  He’s so much an ingrained influence that as people talk with each other after a show (at least with me), speaking of influences and comparing notes, Waits is a common thread in conversations.  I was introduced to his prowess later in life, early twenties, living in LA, smoking and drinking with my guitarist and there’s that moment- You’ve never heard ‘Alice’?!

Maybe he’s the one no one got on with.  Maybe he was the kid everyone loved.  I read a little bit of the Wiki-history on Tom, and it seems to me he started moving around at a young age.  Gained an interest not just in music (the 60s didn’t provide much for him to sink his teeth into he says), but peotry seemed to provide some capable brain food.  Kerouac anyone?  I think I would have loved little Tom!  For that matter I think I would totally enojy Tom Waits, then, now, whenever. He’s great.

I guess I may never know what Tom was like, but it’ll be interesting on the possible day that I do meet this influencer of modern artists.  He’s got it right, and he’s got the audience in the palm of his hand, always.  I think just about anybody could be friends with a guy like Tom Waits.  At least I think everyone wants to know what the hell is going on up in that brain!  But for many of those people that get that chance to meet and be friends, even if only for one Saturday night, maybe it’s like the Sweet and Shiny Eyes he sang about with Bonnie Raitt so long ago…  A great memory shared with those eyes that seem to sing about everything they experience and last in memories through the ages and generations that follow.

Good morning Tom Waits, I hope today’s as good for you, and many thanks.


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