Category Archives: Quotes

Wes

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Tom Waits On … Kids, Religion And How To Play The Piano

Your kids are not your fans, they’re your kids. The trick is to have a career and have a family. It’s like having two dogs that hate each other and you have to take them for a walk every night. … Continue reading

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Tom Waits On … Wasting Your Time Writing Songs

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 … Continue reading

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Tom Waits On … Finishing Songs

Making a record, you don’t really finish, you just stop. You just keep painting it and doing things to it and eventually, you have to stop. Tom Waits on Tom Waits: Interviews and Encounters (p.224) You don’t always know when … Continue reading

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Tom Waits On … Protest Songs

I hate to sound cynical, but it seems to me that protest songs are like throwing peanuts at a gorilla. It’s hard to believe that a song like that is gonna make any difference in the course we’re on. I … Continue reading

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Tom Waits On … Ghosts

When I listen to old field recordings, maybe you’ll hear a dog barking way off in the background. You realize the house it was recorded in is torn down, the dog is dead, the tape recorder is broken, the guy … Continue reading

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Tom Waits On … The Music Business

I think you should fight for your independence and freedom at all costs. I mean, it’s a plantation system. All a record company is is a bank, and they loan you a little money to make a record and then … Continue reading

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Tom Waits On … Having Multiple Influences

Kathleen [Brennan - Tom's wife] was the first person who convinced me that you can take James White and the Blacks, and Elmer Bernstein and Leadbelly—folks that could never be on the bill together—and that they could be on the … Continue reading

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Tom Waits On … Finding Your Voice

For a songwriter, you don’t really go to songwriting school; you learn by listening to tunes. And you try to understand them and take them apart and see what they’re made of and wonder if you can make one too. … Continue reading

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Tom Waits On … Limitations

I like limitations. If I don’t have limitations I’ll impose them on myself naturally, just to narrow it down. Time is always an element. If we were going to write a song right here now, and we had only a … Continue reading

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