Friday, December 16, 2011

Tom Waits

I like Tom Waits. 

Does this have anything to do with dog agility?  Hmm.  Maybe...

Listen to a few of his songs.  Try "A Little Trip to Heaven."   You can google it.  My middle-son Brett chose this song for his wedding dance, back in September.  It's a nice number.  You can think about your agility dog while you listen to it!  :-)  
It's not the song that first made me like Tom Waits, though.  That was a video / movie / live recording of a tour called "Big Time"...made in the late 1980's.  I rented it from a downtown video joint (many years before Netflix) and watched it three times. 

Please understand that I'm far from a Waits expert (try Wikipedia for that) but I know what was good about "Big Time."  It was was the heart-and-soul of the man, laid right out there in the lyrics for all to see, the catchy melodies, and the marvelous driven percussion in his band.  (Wow!)  It was the way he had about him.  Waits seems to understand a lot about life - specifically the "underbelly" of life, but he also understands the flights a soul can take.  His singing is not average, in any way.  He gets into his music, and just "goes there," without reservation.  Some folks think he's too weird.  His early recordings are amazing - try the CDs "Small Change," or "Closing Time."  He's a terrific songwriter.  He's been in movies - a genuine character.  At ACT I once saw an opera/musical he wrote.  He still hits notes that resonate with me.  He's a cool mixture of open-eyed-recognition-of-how-things-are, and the-wonders-of-dreaming.

I've seen him a few times, around town.  He lives near by.  I watched him look through a magazine at Sawyer's News.  I once stood behind him at the Valley Ford general store.  I was waiting to buy a box of Junior Mints while he was shooting the breeze with the couple behind the counter.   I wanted to say something, or - really - I just wanted to hug him.  I wanted to thank him for his music, but I didn't.  When he glanced back at me, his eyes seemed to signal "not now"...and so I just shut up and bought my candy. 

"Groupie" does not generally describe me...but maybe it does, when it comes to Tom Waits.  Maybe, if I see him again, I'll speak to him.   I'll say "Love your music, and Thank You!" which he's probably heard a million times.  But what the is short....and there's always room for a little more enthusiasm.

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