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CAN'T FAULT ME FOR NOT TRYING!
on 23 January 2011
I started off with "Nighthawks At The Diner", and as my Amazon review shows, I was unable to find any traces of the 'stardust' that Tom Waits sprinkles over many people. However, and to use a favourite expression of a politician about to go back on a promise "I have reflected", and have made an effort to leave no stone unturned in my quest for that elusive (as far as I was concerned) pot of Tom Wait's magic 'stardust'.
Was it in the lyrics, considered by Wait aficionado's as 'neo-beat-generation' poetry, following in the footsteps of Ginsberg and Kerouac? The accompanying case insert contained all of the lyrics, (except 'Step Right Up'), which I read and found myself quite liking the appeal it has to one's quirky, wild, rebellious, non-conformist side. It certainly is unlike most other work, as is illustrated by the opening passage to 'The Piano Has Been Drinking' track:-
"The piano has been drinking
my neck tie is asleep
and the combo went back to New York
the juke box has to take a leak
and the carpet needs a haircut
and the spot light looks like a prison break
cause the telephone is out of cigarettes
and the balcony's on the make
and the piano has been drinking
the piano has been drinking"
Now some of you out there will be able to see some underlying deep meaning contained in these lyrics but to me they are a bit of rambling nonsense, enjoyable nonsense, but nonsensical all the same.
I then listened to the album one the basis of it being a recital of 'wild' poetry with an unconventional musical accompaniment in the background, just like a typical 'poetry nights' performance at The Cornelia Street Cafe, Greenwich Village, and actually started to like a little and appreciate a lot of the offering. Particularly interesting tracks were "I Wish I Were In New Orleans", "Invitation To The Blues", "The Piano Has Been Drinking", "Tom Traubert's Blues", "Bad Liver And A Broken Heart", and the 'Pre-Rap' number "Pasties And A G-string". Best of the bunch was "I Can't Wait To Get Off Work".
I've now a better understanding of Tom Wait's talent and can understand his appeal to those on the quest for the indefinable 'Land Of Deep Meaning' but I am afraid all of this is a bit beyond me. Verdict? A little closer but still along way from being a Tom Waits disciple.