Please excuse the even more than usual level of Tom Waits devotion in these parts at present. I'm giddy at the prospect of my trip to Paris to see the great man perform at the Grand Rex on Friday night. That said, it's the perfect opportunity to share this oddity from Richie Cole's 1979 Hollywood Madness album. Eddie Jefferson sings a tribute to Tom before being joined by the tardy guest vocalist towards the end of the track. It must be heard to be believed.
Richie Cole & Eddie Jefferson - Waitin' For Waits
Tom himself has done a superb job of building my anticipation for Friday's show. He played an impressive 63 different songs on his 13-date American tour from every part of his career. I hope we get a reprise of Diamond In Your Mind and Invitation To The Blues at the weekend.
Tom Waits - Invitation To The Blues
I can guarantee that we'll hear Lucinda and Ain't Goin' Down To The Well from his last album Orphans; he's started every show with this pair.
Tom Waits - Lucinda
Tom Waits - Ain't Goin' Down To The Well
The Waits publicity machine, which started with Tom's infamous press conference announcing the Glitter & Doom tour has continued in a typically oddball manner, whetting the appetite of fans who've waited years to see their hero.
In late May, a few weeks before the tour kicked off in Phoenix, his label Anti- published an hilarious press release in which Tom interviews himself, answering such questions as "What are some unusual things that have been left behind in a cloakroom?" and "What remarkable things have you found in unexpected places?"
The best stunt he's pulled was in Texas. During his El Paso concert a uniformed police officer interrupted the set. "I paid all those tickets" quipped Tom, "She was dead when I got there." City councilwoman Susie Boyd then came onto the stage and handed Waits a plaque, which held a key to the city.
Tom Waits has done no traditional press for this tour, but he did contribute a short piece to Tulsa World prior to his show in Oklahoma's second city, reminiscing about the good times he had there filming Rumble Fish and sharing tips on great lunch stops.
"Bob Dylan told me that the best steak sandwich in the country is in Tulsa. I don't remember if the Branding Iron was the name of the restaurant or the sandwich, either way, Bob knows his cafes and my first stop will be the Branding Iron."
Brilliant stuff. My excitement was further fueled today when my friend Dave Mynard, with whom I'm making the trip, emailed me this mouth-watering link: Top 10 Paris Bistros On A Budget. Je suis très excited!
Carnival Saloon: Tom Waits - all of my obsessive ramblings
Glitter & Doom Press Conference - unusual to say the least
Tom Waits' True Confessions - Tom talks to himself
Tulsa World - Tom Waits' Tulsa
The Eyeball Kid: Glitter & Doom - everything you want to know about the tour