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Tom Waits' Stories

Downtown Train

House Where Nobody Lives

It says a lot about a performer when their stage banter can be just as entertaining as the songs they perform. Since anyone who may be interested in listening to Tom Waits' stage banter is undoubtedly already familiar with the man's entire catalogue, I thought I would just upload the stories he tells in between songs from his VH1 Storyteller's session. I have a DVD of selected portions of this performance as well, but had trouble getting the videos from DVD to computer, so you just get the above two.

The stories are at many times nonsensical, all are likely to be lies, and at time it seems like you could swap the stories between songs and still have them make just as much sense. Still, they are all vaugely hypnotic to listen to, and definitely confirm my suspicion that Waits would be the best guy to sidle up next to in an empty bar and have him tell you his life story, or, since that never happens, the world's best bad uncle, who your mom always worries about what he's talking to you about when he's down at your end of the table on Thanksgiving.

I supose if enough people want to listen to these, I could put up the songs too, but for now check out the stories. Highlights include "Hold On" where Waits provides legal counsel for an 8 year old boy, "Ol' 55" detailing his friend Larry Beezer's exploits driving backwards on the Pasadena freeway (I think everybody needs a friend named Larry Beezer. From now on all my stories about Greg Harrell-Edge will be about Larry Beezer), and "I Can't Wait To Get Off Work And See My Baby" which is about Napoleone's Pizza House in National City, and a legendary kitchen worker who I'd like to think actually existed.

1. Tango Til They're Sore Story
2. Hang Down Your Head Story
3. Ol' 55 Story
4. Strange Weather Story
5. Hold On Story
6. Picture In A Frame Story
7. I Can't Wait To Get Off Work Story
8. House Where Nobody Lives Story
9. Get Behind The Mule Story
10. Chocolate Jesus Story
11. What's He Building In There Story
12. A Little Rain Story
13. Downtown Train Story
14. Jesus Gonna Be Here Story
15. Jersey Girl Story


This post makes me happy. You are a good boy.

What a treat - thanks for collecting these in one place.

The stories are great. Songs as well, please!

Waits is a true poet. great stuff.

Waits is a true poet. great stuff.

Thanks! Any chance of songs too? Pwease? Pwetty Pwease?

the book that's out on him is great. it's all his interviews compiled. highly recommendly.

It would be awesome if you posted the songs. I used to have this performance and have no idea what happened to it. It was never an official release, right? I'd love to hear it again, because it's so great. Thanks, and great blog.

Tom Waits worked in napoleons from around the age of fourteen, he still has the full pizza menu tatooed on his stomach

I am trying to contact Sharon Harrell-Edge, mother of the "laziest man in America" Greg Harrell-Edge. We were childhood friends and I've lost track of her and when I saw Greg on the Kimmel Show, thought it would be nice to reconnect and catch up.
Diane Bracy, Franklin, Va.

thanks a lot! would truly appreciate the songs as well!

Hallo, aus Berlin - Deutschland,

ich bin seit einigen Monaten Fan von Tom Waits. Ich würde mich freuen, wenn ich hier mehr über diesen fulminanten Künstler erfahren würde. Sehr gern würde ich mit einem Tom-Waits-Fan in Kontakt treten wollen - wenn möglich in deutscher Schrift.


Hallo, from Berlin / Germany. I'm a Tom-Waits-Fan - born in 1942. I hope to find contact with an(y) Tom Waits-Fan(s). May be in german language.

With best regards

Manfred alias mjn

You don't know how i thank you for this.
Greetings from Chile!

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