Tom Waits interviews himself

As you might expect, it's not your typical interview:

Q: What is a gentleman?
A: A man who can play the accordion, but doesn't.

(Not an original quote, but very Waitsian.)

…Oh, and while I'm on the subject of Tom Waits:

Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.


  1. I always thought that a gentleman was someone who takes the weight on his elbows!

    As much as I admire Tom Waits, I think that Screaming Jay Hawkins does the ultimate version.

  2. Nite Owl is dead wrong on this one. To quote myself from back in 2006:

    It simply isn't possible to cover a Tom Waits song without messing it up. Hasn't Ms [Scarlet] Johansson heard the travesty that was Rod Stewart's version of Tom Traubert's Blues, or Screaming Jay Hawkins's rendition of Heartattack and Vine (which was doing OK until Screaming Jay inexplicably decided to substitute himself for the Supreme Creator in the immortal line, Don't you know there ain't no devil, there's just God when he's drunk)? I mean, even the Boss struggled which his version of Jersey Girl, which is all well and good, but how do you improve on perfection?

  3. I would even go out on a limb & say that by far the best version of 'Pasties & aG string' is by Bill Sheffield & the Ringtail Rounders on his album Live at the Blue Raccoon. While you're at it, check out Eugene Chadbourne & Jimmy Carl Black playing the Cap'n. You will find stuff on Youtube....wonderful!

  4. I think it would be wrong to say that cover versions don't ever match up to the originals.

    I can instantly think ofa fewexamples:-

    Dylan's Like a rolling stone, covered by Hendrix.

    Screamin' Jay's I put a spell on you, covered by the crazy world of Arthur Brown

    & J.J. Cale's Same old blues, covered by The Cap'n

    any offers on any more where the cover version pisses all over the original?

  5. Not sure if I don't prefer Dylan to Hendrix on Like a Rolling Stone, but both are certainly better than The Rolling Stones' version!

    Other great covers: Tom Jones's version of Ashton, Gardner and Dyke's Resurrection Shuffle (Live at Caesar's Palace - his finest moment); Steve Earle's version of The Beatles' I'm Looking Through You; Ivor Cutler's version of Richard Thompson's Wheely Down; Janis Joplin's version of Erma Franklin's Piece of My Heart; Mike Flowers Pops' version of Oasis's Wonderwall; Amy Winehouse's version of The Zutons' Valerie; Tom Waits' version of The Seven Dwarfs' Heigh-ho!; and many more besides.

  6. If Tom Waits recorded The Beatles song 'For No One', it would almost read as a well known album title!

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