The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Artists in Action #172

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Tom Waits contorts himself in performance


Jeff Duncanson said...

"You know there ain't no Devil - That's just God when he's drunk."

Thanks, Mr Gibson.

Vanwall said...

I saw Waits a number of times live, notably when he was opening for Zappa - just himself and a piano, and that wonderful rasp of his. Fucking awesome.

Richard Gibson said...

Cheers Jeff.

Rob, pretty jealous to hear that you've seen him. British fans, in their 30's have had very little opportunity.

I completely missed the 'Big Time' concerts and really only heard him after the film came out. Then the next time he came here it sold out in 6 minutes the ticket-touts (scalpers) were selling the tickets for mucho cash.

It is my hope he comes back here soon.

Jeff Duncanson said...

If you get the chance, Richard, don't miss it. The guy doesn't have to play a note to be completely entertaining. I saw him in Toronto when he toured for "Mule Variations". Great show - I laughed my ass off.

Vanwall said...

I second the motion, Jeff - he wasn't just an opening act, it was like seeing two headliner shows for the price of one.

Ray said...

Whisperin' Bob Harris intimated that he'd be coming back to the UK soon enough, but that never seemed to transpire. It's gotten to the point where I'm determined to travel abroad to see him next time.

Great photo, btw. I just saw it in a Mojo interview, which was also extremely good - but then they all are.

Richard Gibson said...

Jeff & Rob ~ oh trust me I want to be there, the last time I completely missed finding out about it and then the concert sold out in record time. We are a small country and many Tom Waits fans, he needs to do a couple of nights...

Ray ~ Thanks, yes I saw on an American site he joked that he was playing somewhere in the South 'cause some guy owed him a relatively small amount of money...I was in Amsterdam once and I think again, I didn't know about the tour (Mule Variations)and had missed it by a week or so. If you hear anything (my finger is not exactly on the pulse) then do email me.