Customer Review

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Waits exposed - the curtain pulled back, 7 April 2009
This review is from: Lowside of the Road: A Life of Tom Waits (Hardcover)
well written and researched and strong on detail for the early tropicana motel days. tends to drag on a little when we get to the 1990s as the author has no real first hand information and we are left to rely on previously printed reviews/ interviews. in that respect it is not much better than the p humphries book. but, the early stuff is interesting and at least hoskyns doesn't try and ape waits' schtick like poor patrick humphries did. read in conjunction with the collected interviews book i think we are as close as we're going to get to waits without him spilling it himself... the most interesting thing for me was that after reading the book i actually saw what charles bukowski meant when he said of waits that "he hasn't got an original idea in his body" (or words to that effect)... probably without meaning to hoskyns pulls the curtain from in front of waits like the wizard of oz exposed... "tom waits", the character, is a sham, but an entertaining and talented one.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 7 Apr 2009 22:22:56 BDT
Last edited by the author on 7 Apr 2009 22:30:26 BDT
K. Palukivi says:
Exposed in what way? I don't buy that. Aynway, a decent book, if nothing new really.

"the most interesting thing for me was that after reading the book i actually saw what charles bukowski meant when he said of waits that "he hasn't got an original idea in his body" (or words to that effect)..."

I didn't get that from this book either, can you elaborate?

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Apr 2009 22:51:02 BDT
bukowski implied that waits was the sum of numerous parts - like an actor he picked up on the beats, bits of jazz, lord buckley etc etc and then turned theminto an act - hoskyns virtually says as much going further to imply that the reason waits/brennan are so reluctant to talk about stuff or let others talk for them is that "tom waits" is really a fictitious creation and not a pure artist like say, neil young or bob dylan... not to say this is a bad thing just the more you might delve into waits the less there actually is... so "exposed" in that way i guess

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Apr 2009 20:43:10 BDT
el dangeroso says:
I couldn't disagree with you or Bukowski more, especially if Dylan is used as an example of a pure and unfluenced artist. There is ten times more Woodie Guthrie in any Dylan song then there is Lord Buckley or Ginsberg in, say 'Chocolate Jesus' or 'Innocent When You Dream' for example. Certainly every artist has been influenced by previous generations, unless they've been raised by Irish Wolfhounds, but to say Waits is a fictitious creation is patently absurd. And well, Bukowski's poison was dramatic classical in the vein of Mahler after all, so I wouldn't expect him to be a very erudite critic when it comes to pop/rock music.
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