Category Archives: Tom Waits

September 30: Tom Waits – Rain Dogs was released in 1985


“We are all just monkeys with money and guns.”
~Tom Waits

If you get far enough away you’ll be on your way back home.
~Tom Waiys – “Blind Love”

Tango till they’re sore @ Letterman 1986 + interview:

Continue reading September 30: Tom Waits – Rain Dogs was released in 1985

September 8: Bone Machine by Tom Waits was released in 1992

Bone Machine 1

September 8: Bone Machine by Tom Waits was released in 1992

“it ain’t no sin, to take off your skin and dance around in your bones”
~Tom Waits

From Wikipedia:

Released September 8, 1992
Recorded Prairie Sun Recording, Cotati, California
Genre Rock, experimental rock, blues rock
Length 53:30
Label Island
Producer Tom Waits

Bone Machine is a critically acclaimed and award-winning album by Tom Waits, released in 1992 on Island Records. It won a Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album, and features guest appearances by Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo, Primus’ Les Claypool, and The Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards.

Bone Machine marked a return to studio material for Waits, coming a full five years after his previous studio album, Franks Wild Years (1987). The album is often noted for its dark lyrical themes of death and murder, and for its rough, stripped-down, percussion-heavy blues rock style.

Tom Waits

Recording & production:

Bone Machine was recorded and produced entirely at the Prairie Sun Recording studios in Cotati, California in a room of Studio C known as “the Waits Room,” in the old cement hatchery rooms of the cellar of the buildings.

Mark “Mooka” Rennick, Prairie Sun studio chief said:

[Waits] gravitated toward these “echo” rooms and created the Bone Machine aural landscape. […] What we like about Tom is that he is a musicologist. And he has a tremendous ear. His talent is a national treasure.

Waits said of the bare-bones studio, “I found a great room to work in, it’s just a cement floor and a hot water heater. Okay, we’ll do it here. It’s got some good echo.” References to the recording environment and process were made in the field-recorded interview segments made for the promotional CD release, Bone Machine: The Operator’s Manual, which threaded together full studio tracks and conversation for a pre-recorded radio show format.


The cover photo, which consists of a blurred black-and-white, close-up image of Waits in a leather skullcap with horns and protective goggles, was taken by Jesse Dylan, the son of Bob Dylan. He wears this same outfit in the video for “Goin’ Out West” and “I Don’t Wanna Grow up”.

Continue reading September 8: Bone Machine by Tom Waits was released in 1992

Tom Waits top 10 music videos

music video or song video is a short film integrating a song and imagery, produced for promotional or artistic purposes.Modern music videos are primarily made and used as a marketing device intended to promote the sale of music recordings. Although the origins of music videos date back much further, they came into prominence in the 1980s, when MTV based their format around the medium. Prior to the 1980s, these works were described by various terms including “illustrated song”, “filmed insert”, “promotional (promo) film”, “promotional clip” or “film clip”.

Music videos use a wide range of styles of film making techniques, including animation, live action filming, documentaries, and non-narrative approaches such as abstract film. Some music videos blend different styles, such as animation and live action. Many music videos do not interpret images from the song’s lyrics, making it less literal than expected. Other music videos may be without a set concept, being merely a filmed version of the song’s live performance.

My favourite music video artist is without a doubt, Tom Waits! Since I saw the video for In the Neighbourhood in 1983, I’ve eagerly waited for his promotional videos for his albums. They are valid works of art in their own right, and combined with Tom Waits’ songs they’re taken to a higher level.

Here are my ten favourites:

1. In the Neighbourhood from Swordfishtrombones:

His first and in my opinion it is his best video.

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The Best Bootlegs: Tom Waits Tales From The Riverside (no audio, sorry)

Tom Waits - Tales From The Riverside - Front

The Best Bootlegs: Tom Waits  Tales From The Riverside

A compilation of various tracks from various sources and I don’t think it was ever released commercially. But, quite a few of the songs has been released on Orphans and that’s why I’m inclined to call it a playlist rather than a bootleg. Anyway, I think it is a good compilation and one of the most played Tom Waits playlists in my home.

The track listing is taken right from the original artwork scans from the people at (now sadly closed), with a few additions from myself.

Tom Waits - Tales From The Riverside - Back

As we all know, the Tales From The Underground bootleg series is a great thing, for it features a huge collection of rare Tom Waits-songs that can’t be found on his official albums. Nevertheless, the folks who produced those bootlegs made some mistakes and forgot some great recordings. And there were a lot of new songs released after Tales From The Underground Volume 5 came out.

This compilation is meant as an addition to that great set.  It’s entitled Tales From the Riverside.

Continue reading The Best Bootlegs: Tom Waits Tales From The Riverside (no audio, sorry)

Classic Concert: Tom Waits Rockpalast 1977


Classic Concert: Tom Waits Rockpalast 1977

Excellent quality recording of Tom Waits, live at WDR Studios, in Koln, Germany on April 18th, 1977. Running time is 79 minutes, the quality is 8 out of 10. The performance is great, classic, jazzy Tom Waits. I’ve collected the whole show into one playlist.

Rockpalast (Rock Palace) is a German music television show that broadcasts live on German television station Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR).Rockpalast started in 1974 and continues to this day. Hundreds of rock and jazz bands have performed on Rockpalast. Some acts were recorded for broadcast and for retail sale. All-night marathon shows called “Rock Night” (Rocknacht) were produced once or twice a year from 1977 through 1986 and simulcast throughout Europe via the Eurovision network of TV broadcasters. This was one of the most important influences on my musical education growing up. I longed and lived for those “Rock nights”. We all did, and we arranged all night parties when they aired. Ah, good times!

This is early jazz-quartet style Tom Waits as opposed to the more ragged and loose Waits he turned into after Swordfish Trombones and Rain Dogs. It is different but I love both eras. This is maybe the best tv-concert from that period.


Continue reading Classic Concert: Tom Waits Rockpalast 1977