Do you feel writing songs, making music, is an honourable calling?
Tom Waits: Gee, I don’t know. There are times when it seems very . . . trifling and trivial. Making these little songs up, I feel like I’m gluing macaroni onto a piece of cardboard and painting it gold. And then other times . . . when Johnny Cash wants to sing one of your songs, you think, “Oh man. . . .” Because there’s a hierarchy in music, and there’s certain indications that you’re doing better, you’re getting closer to the source.
Tom Waits on Tom Waits: Interviews and Encounters (p.436, 384)
(you can find a lot of the interviews online at www.tomwaitsfan.com).