Tom Waits Channels Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Tom Waits’ love of the Beat Generation is well documented. His 1977 song “Jack and Neil” gets right to the heart of the matter, and his spoken-word-and-jazz album Nighthawks At The Diner is as poetic and as “beat” as anything Allen Ginsberg or Gregory Corso ever dreamed up.

The Beat goes on in this video, where Waits makes a rare live appearance to toast Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the celebrated poet and owner of City Lights Books in San Francisco. Waits sets Ferlinghetti’s “Fortune” from A Coney Island of the Mind, to music, and the results are more than worth a few finger snaps and “Yes, Yes, Man! Go! Go! Yes”‘s. Check it out below.

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  1. Wish I could have been there. I love City Lights Bookshop. I love Lawrence Ferlinghetti and the other beat poets. I love Tom Waits. You all make my life on earth easier to live.

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