Videos by American Songwriter
With an upcoming book, Tom Waits fans will be able to get insights on the music legend all in one place.
Tom Waits on Tom Waits: Interviews and Encounters, due this August from Chicago Review Press, compiles 50 interviews, including commentary from the journalists who have talked to him. The new book offers plenty of revelations on Waits’ musical development in a series of articles that spans 35 years.
“Cover versions are good,” said the newly minted Rock and Roll Hall of Famer in 2002. “I used to bark about it, and then I said, ‘Oh, it’s good.’ If you write songs, you really do kind of want someone to hear it and say, ‘Hey, man, I could do that.’ So if they’re not doing your songs, you wonder, ‘Why aren’t they doing my songs?’ If it’s too individual, too personal, then it can’t be reimagined.”
A noted eccentric, he is also known for compiling seemingly random information to impart during interviews, such as this one from 1999.
“Did you realize that an ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain? How about this one: The youngest pope was only eleven years old. And intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair…Hey, when do I play Chicago?”
Waits contributed poetry to the new photo book Hard Ground, which focuses on the American homeless populaton. Buy it here. Tom Waits In The Studio, an in-depth look into the artist’s recording process, is due in October.