“THE PIANO HAS BEEN DRINKING…” | TOM WAITS, YOUR INNER DRUNKARD

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“If I exorcise my devils, well my angels may leave too.”

–Tom Waits

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In my struggle to walk the straight ‘n narrow everyday, it doesn’t help things any that the salty, taunting voice of Tom Waits is in my head saying, “Hey kid…. over here.”

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Circa 1980, Hollywood, Los Angeles– Tom Waits Relaxing by Piano –Image by © Henry Diltz/CORBIS

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Tom Waits

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Circa 1976, Dallas, TX– Tom Waits in a cafe in Dallas, Texas. –Image by © Philip Gould/CORBIS

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Circa 1976, Dallas, Tx– Tom Waits smokin’ it up. –Image by © Philip Gould/CORBIS

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Circa 1993, San Francisco, CA– Tom Waits at the Limbo Lounge Diner in San Francisco.  –Image by © Ed Kashi/Corbis

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Tom Waits and Bette Midler, circa 1975.

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Circa 1975, Hollywood, CA– John Stewart and Tom Waits talk after meeting by chance in Hollywood. — Image by © Henry Diltz/CORBIS

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Tom Waits (Cassandra Peterson, stripper in background – aka Elvira, Mistress of the Dark), Small Change cover photo shoot. –Image by © Joel Brodsky/Corbis

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Circa 1983– Tom Waits Leaning Against Wall — Image by © Lynn Goldsmith/Corbis

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Jim Jarmusch and Tom Waits

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38 thoughts on ““THE PIANO HAS BEEN DRINKING…” | TOM WAITS, YOUR INNER DRUNKARD

  1. Hey JP – Nice collection of images! I don’t know where the info came from, but the shot of him in the dressing room with the stripper is from the Small Change cover photo session from ’75 or ’76. He wasn’t anywhere near the Lower East Side in 1970.

    • Yep, noted that’s from the shoot for he cover. The description was part of the original caption for the image via Corbis.

      Best,

      JP

    • I’ve heard the stripper on the Small Change cover was Cassandra Peterson, aka Elvira, Mistress Of The Dark.

      Have to say I am in love with the website! Always some interesting mind candy to snack on here!

  2. Yeah, some really nice pics.
    For anyone who’s never heard it, check out The Heart Of Saturday Night by Tom Waits and then scroll through again…

  3. Pretty easily one of my all time favorites. I feel like he’s most known for his eccentricity (personality and musically), but man can this guy write a ballad. He’s seriously written some of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard.

  4. Thank you for this collection of images. I have a good friend who’s a singer and songwriter. He even covers Waits, from time to time. He’ll enjoy these as much as I did.

  5. Post reminds me of something that I loved.
    The “Fishing with John” episode with
    John and Tom fishing in Jamaica.

  6. I slept on the sidewalk all night in the cold in order to see him in concert in Austin in 1999. The next night, as I was being lead to my seats, the usher brought me to the front row, dead center, right in front of his microphone. I cried like a girl at a Beatles concert. He was brilliant. Some heckler in the audience started complaining about how her friends, who were his biggest fans, couldn’t get in to see the show because it was sold out. I read it was because of that incident that he said he wouldn’t play in Austin again. Maybe next time he plays they’ll sleep on the sidewalk to get the tickets. Of course I was 20 years and you do that kind of thing. Great pictures! My favorite blog.

  7. Hey, great post as usual.
    I think that the photo shoot for the cover of Small Change was staged, though.
    The stripper in the photos is the actress Cassandra Petersen (who went on to become famous as Elvira). It’s not entirely confirmed as fact, but she’s quoted as saying that although she doesn’t remember the shoot, she’s pretty sure it’s her.

  8. Very interesting portfolio of shots of Tom, not a false note among them…just like his songs.

  9. Once more I wonder why something hasn’t been featured here yet and here it is. Tom Waits is one of the best song writers and performers alive today and better than most of the dead ones too. His live cd that just came out hasn’t left my player yet, every time I hear it there’s something new, a line or a phrase I’ve missed before. Listening to him is like reading your favorite book over and over, always a reason to go back to find a new little piece.

  10. Really awesome collection of photos, and even a couple I’ve never seen before! Tom Waits, definitely my all-time favorite singer/songwriter. I’m so jealous that my parents got to see him open for Leon Redbone. Also, I guy that I used to work with in North Hollywood got to see Tom when he was just starting out in coffee shops and the like. So very very jealous.

    Here’s a little Leon Redbone if you don’t know who I’m talking about. Definitely worth a look-see…

  11. I kind of think he is a bit played.
    His style exaggerated.
    But still I kind of like some of his songs, Chocolate Jesus has some smart lyrics.
    The best to him.
    (and Your blog is really great, superb pictures and descriptions!)

  12. anyone who ever tuned a rockabilly ear, lived a hard lovin’ whiskey drinking summer, burned out a retinae, post midnight at a jarmusch film festival, knows the
    deft idiosyncratic core that places this man in the epicenter of all that is worth knowing. And the best part is that he flys so stealthily low, below the radar that most know not. But you, JP strike true with every blow and I applaud thee.

    ~Keep em coming, we’re all keeping score now!!

    Cheers,
    ——a.bator

  13. Pingback: Top Posts — WordPress.com

  14. No-one will ever be as cool as Tom, I try but it’ll never happen. I wish I were a dude so I could be more Tom Waitsy, some people are so amazing it hurts! Like I can’t believe there will never be another Paul Newman, Woe.

  15. tom waits is the man of my dreams. what a bloody poet and beautitiful hair..kathleen’s a lucky goil…

  16. I heard a sweet story about Waits a few years ago. He hardly ever plays in Europe now and when he does it sells out in moments. In Edinburgh last year tickets were $200 plus and they still sold in under 5 mins.

    When he played in Germany a few years back, he hadn’t been there for ten years. Some wag in the crowd shouted out “Hey Tom! Where you been?”
    “Where have I been?” replies Tom, “You still workin’ out at the airport?”

  17. Somehow his look reminds me of the late James Hetfield.

    Awesome blog btw, I have known more of this country just reading your blog than in the previous 10 years I`ve spent here!

  18. this is an awesome collection of photos. Anyone know what tattoo he has on his arm in one of those photos?

  19. “I’d rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy” The man is a genius ;) He played one night in London (UK) last year I think, sold out in under 30 minutes. So gutted I found out about it too late. Love Tom Waits, love the blog

  20. the greatest RESOURCE n the WORLD reads MY dreams & feeds ME in the AWAKE hours, McQueen never tried 2b cool , neither DOES this . HE /SHE? it just IS always..

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