|Tom Waits (1949 - )|
Metropolitan area with interchange and connections Fly-by-nights from Riverside And out of state plates running a little late But the sailors jockey for the fast lane So 101 don't miss it There's rolling hills and concrete fields And the broken line's on your mind The eights go east and the fives go north And the merging nexus back and forth You see your sign, cross the line, signalling with a blink And the radio's gone off the air Gives you time to think And you hear the rumble As you fumble for a cigarette And blazing through this midnight jungle Remember someone that you met And one more block; the engine talks Whispers 'home at last' It whispers 'home at last' Whispers 'home at last' It whispers 'home at last' Whispers 'home at last' And there are diamonds on my windshield And these tears from heaven Well I'm pulling into town on the Interstate I got me a steel train in the rain And the wind bites my cheek through the wing Late nights and freeway flying Always makes me sing It always makes me sing from D I A M O N D S O N M Y W I N D S H I E L D
Thomas Alan Waits was born on the eighth anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He was born on December 7, 1949 in Pomona, California. He and his two sisters grew up moving around from city to city in California. His parents who are both school teachers divorced when he was 10. They then moved to National City. Tom's grandfather was christened Jesse Frank Waits and his father Frank Waits. Tom is Scottish and Irish from his father's side of the family and Norwegian from his mother's side. Tom became interested in music early and began tacking up sheets of Bob Dylan's lyrics in his room and even framed some in the rest of his house. He would keep a pad of paper and pencil by his bed so that he could remember the lyrics that he would think up in the middle of the night. He taught himself how to play the piano at a neighbor's house and then learned the guitar on a Gibson. As well as creating music at an early age, the persona that Tom is famous for soon appeared. He enjoyed entertaining his classmates and his teachers as soon as his secondary schooling. An art class teacher would let him play his harmonica for the class and sometimes he would be asked to get up on the tables and do his version of a "soft shoe". He also tried as soon as possible to grow a mustache and a goatee. Sal, Tom's employer at "Napoleone's Pizza House", used to joke that he had more hair growing wild on his ass than Tom could cultivate on his face. During his adolescence, Tom spent quite some time keeping his cars running. He first had problems with his '54 Ford station wagon that he called a "bato wagon". He then worked on his '55 Buick which was to be inspiration for the song "Ole '55" which the Eagles covered. He then progressed to the '61 white volkswagen where he finally learned how to drive a stick shift. Waits has told at least two different ways of how he got the big break into the music business:
16 Shells and 30 Ought Links
Well Frank settled down in the Valley and hung his wild years on a nail that he drove through his wife's forehead he sold used office furniture out there on San Fernando Road and assumed a $30,000 loan at 15 1/4 % and put down payment on a little two bedroom place his wife was a spent piece of used jet trash made good bloody marys kept her mouth shut most of the time had a little Chihuahua named Carlos that had some kind of skin disease and was totally blind. They had a thoroughly modern kitchen self-cleaning oven (the whole bit) Frank drove a little sedan they were so happy One night Frank was on his way home from work, stopped at the liquor store, picked up a couple Mickey's Big Mouths drank 'em in the car on his way to the Shell station, he got a gallon of gas in a can, drove home, doused everything in the house, torched it, parked across the street, laughing, watching it burn, all Halloween orange and chimney red then Frank put on a top forty station got on the Hollywood Freeway headed north Never could stand that dog F R A N K ' S W I L D Y E A R S
Notes from the Ink:
The Ink apologizes to add yet another Tom Wait's page to the 3000 some references already in existance to the man; though the Tom Waits Digest does an excellent job at keeping tidy all the information they have on the man, much more exists and it is the purpose of the Ink to focus more on his talent as a writer and performer rather than his guitar lyrics. Feel free to mail the Ink on any other links that may fit this page.