Author(s): Paul Mahar
Tom Waits, even with his barnyard growl and urban hipster yawp, may just be what the Daily Telegraph calls him: 'the greatest entertainer on Planet Earth.' Over a span of almost four decades, he has transformed his music and persona not to suit the times but his whims. Along with Bob Dylan, he stands as one of American music's last elder statesmen, still capable of putting out records that matters. Journalists intent upon cracking the code are more likely to come out of a Waits interview with anecdotes about the weather, insects, or medieval medicine. He is, in essence, the teacher we wished we had, dispensing insights such as: 'Vocabulary is my main instrument'; 'We all like music, but what we really want is for music to like us'; 'Anything you absorb you will ultimately secrete'; and 'There is no such thing as non-fiction ...People who really know what happened aren't talking. And the people who don't have a clue, you can't shut them up.' Tom Waits on Tom Waits is a selection of over 50 interviews, the majority of which have never been collected in book form before, in which Waits shares something truly unique with his readers. Taken together they present a de facto autobiography of a notoriously guarded artist.
Paul Maher has also written a biography of Jack Kerouac