Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Early Influences of Tom Waits


The good folks at Aquarium Drunkard posted a 1974 radio interview and performance by After Hours deity Tom Waits. The interview, by the late Howard Larman on the classic Folkscene show on Los Angeles' KPFK, finds Waits coming off tour opening for Frank Zappa and before the release of his second album, "The Heart of Saturday Night."

A mere 24-year-old, Waits didn't have his iconic gravelly-voice nor any of the experimental orchestrations of his later work. The interview and performance is a glimpse into Waits' early career, as he was searching to find type of music he wanted to make.

At the time, Waits was developing his bohemian hipster persona. He also was exploring the Spoken Word wing of Bohemia. Jack Kerouac and Charles Bukowski are cited as heroes and influences of his work. The two writers impact on Waits is immediate. Listen to the spoken rap of Waits' "Diamonds on My Windshield" below along with recordings from Kerouac and and Bukowski. You would swear you were at the best poetry night ever at the best Village jazz club.

Snap. Snap. Snap. Daddy-O.

Download the whole interview and performance here.

Diamonds on My Windshield (live)” by Tom Waits (mp3)

San Francisco Scene (The Beat Generation)” by Jack Kerouac (mp3)(iTunes)(Amazon)

From The Dept. Of English” by Charles Bukowski (mp3)


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