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Tom Waits

Thomas Alan Waits, (born December 7, 1949) is an American composer, singer, musician and actor.

Early Career

Born in Pomona, California, Waits' recording career began in 1971, after he relocated to Los Angeles and signed with Herb Cohen, manager of Frank Zappa, among others. After numerous abortive recording sessions, his first record, the melancholic, country-tinged Closing Time (1973) received warm reviews, but he first gained national attention when his "Ol' 55" was recorded by The Eagles in 1974. The Heart of Saturday Night showed his roots as a nightclub singer, half speaking and half crooning ballads, often with a soft jazz background. The 1975 album Nighthawks at the Diner, recorded in a studio but with a small audience to capture the ambience of a live show, captures this phase of his career, including the lengthy spoken interludes between songs that punctuated his live act.

Small Change (1976) featuring famed drummer Shelly Manne, was jazzier still, and songs such as "The Piano Has Been Drinking" and "Bad Liver and a Broken Heart" cemented his hard living reputation, with a lyrical style pitched somewhere between Raymond Chandler and Charles Bukowski. Foreign Affairs (1977) and Blue Valentine (1978) were in a similar vein, but showed further refinement of his artistic voice. 1980 saw the commencement of a long working relationship with Francis Ford Coppola, who asked him to provide music for his film One From The Heart. Waits would also act in Coppola's Rumblefish, The Outsiders, The Cotton Club and Dracula (as the insane Renfield), and work with such directors as Jim Jarmusch and Robert Altman. In August 1980, he married Kathleen Brennan, whom he had met on the set of One From The Heart. With his wife, he wrote and performed in Big Time, a slightly surreal concert movie. His wife is regularly credited as co-author of many songs on his later released albums, and is often cited by Waits as a major influence on his work.

1980s and later

After he left Asylum Records for Island Records in 1983, his music became less mainstream. His trio of albums from the mid-1980s, Swordfishtrombones, Rain Dogs and Frank's Wild Years, all featured some degree of eclectic instrumentation -- Waits' self described "Junkyard Orchestra"--often marrying soul music horn sections to avant-garde percussion reminiscent of Harry Partch's, or the distorted guitar of Marc Ribot. He also gradually altered his singing style, sounding less like the late-night crooner of the 70s, instead adopting a gravelly voice reminiscent of Howling Wolf and Captain Beefheart. The last of these albums -- an off-Broadway musical co-written with his wife -- and the later collaboration with William S. Burroughs on The Black Rider both demonstrated the increasing interest in theatre, which has resulted in a somewhat successful acting career as well as soundtrack work.

In the popular perception, however, he and his work remain mostly characterised by his rocky voice, his strong personality and theatrical presence on stage and the "late night smoky bars" humour of his texts ("I'd rather have a free bottle in front of me than a pre-frontal lobotomy."). Waits has been reported as having bipolar disorder. In essence, however, and despite his songs having been covered by famous stars such as Bruce Springsteen and Rod Stewart, Waits remains a cult performer, steadfastly outside the mainstream.

Lawsuits

Waits has steadfastly refused to allow the use of his songs in commercials and has filed several lawsuits against advertisers who used his material without permission. The first lawsuit was filed in 1988 against Frito Lay, and resulted in a US$2.6 million judgement in Waits' favor. Frito Lay had approached Waits to use one of his songs in an advertisement. Waits declined the offer, and Frito Lay hired a Waits soundalike to sing a jingle similar to "Step Right Up," which is, ironically, a song Waits has called "an indictment of advertising." [1] (http://www.joe.trussell.com/waits/frito_lay.html) ("Step Right Up" concludes with the lyric "What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away").

In 1993, Levi's used Screamin' Jay Hawkins' version of Waits' "Heartattack and Vine" in a commercial. Waits sued, and Levis agreed to cease all use of the song, and offered a full page apology in Billboard Magazine. [2] (http://www.keeslau.com/TomWaitsSupplement/Copyright/copyrightwaitslevis.htm)

In 2000, an Audi commercial broadcast in Spain featured music very similar to Waits' "Innocent When You Dream", after Waits first had declined when they approached him about using the original. A Spanish court recognized there had been a violation of Waits’s moral rights, in addition to the infringement of copyright [3] (http://www.anti.com/news.php?newsid=86715). The production company, Tandem Campany Guasch, was ordered to pay compensation to Waits through his Spanish publisher.

Discography

Major releases


+ Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album


^ Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album

Collections

  • 1983 Anthology of Tom Waits (Elektra)
  • 1991 The Early Years, Volume One
  • 1993 The Early Years, Volume Two
  • 1998 Beautiful Maladies: The Island Years

Contributions

  • 1991 Sailing the Seas of Cheese, by Primus: Waits does character vocals on Tommy The Cat
  • 1992 Beautiful Mess, by Thelonious Monster: Waits appears as a guest singer on Adios Lounge
  • 1993 Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet, by Gavin Bryars: Waits appears as guest singer
  • 1999 Antipop, by Primus: Waits does vocals on Coattails of a Deadman
  • 2000 Helium, by Tin Hat Trio: Waits appears as guest singer on Helium Reprise
  • 2001 It's A Wonderful Life, by Sparklehorse: Waits does vocals on "Dog Door"
  • 2002 For the Kids by various artists: Waits performs the lullaby "Bring Down the Branches"
  • 2004 The Ride by Los Lobos: Waits does vocals on the track "Kitate"
  • 2004 The Late Great Daniel Johnston by various artists: Waits covers Johnston's "King Kong"

Tribute albums

  • 1995 Temptation, Holly Cole
  • 1995 Step Right Up, various artists
  • 2000 New Coat of Paint, various artists
  • 2001 Wicked Grin, John Hammond
  • 2004 Step Right Up: The Songs of Tom Waits, various artists

Filmography

  • 1978 Movie debut as 'Mumbles' in Paradise Alley.
  • 1980 Worked with Francis Ford Coppola on the soundtrack to One From The Heart.
  • 1982 Soundtrack of One From The Heart. Nominated for an Academy Award for best original score.
    • Played petrified man in carnival in The Stone Boy.
  • 1983 Played Buck Merrill in The Outsiders.
    • Played Bennie the pool hall owner in Rumble Fish.
  • 1984 Played Irving Stark in The Cotton Club.
  • 1986 Starred as Zack in Down by Law.
  • 1987 Played Rudy The Kraut in Ironweed.
    • Played Al Silk in Candy Mountain.
  • 1989 Played the 'Punch & Judy Man' in Bearskin: An Urban Fairytale.
    • Starred as Kenny the Hitman in Cold Feet.
    • Voice of the radio DJ in Mystery Train. Composer on Sea of Love
  • 1990 Played a plainclothes policeman in The Two Jakes.
  • 1991 Played Wolf in At Play in the Fields of the Lord.
    • Played a disabled Veteran beggar in The Fisher King.
    • Wrote the score of Night on Earth (With Kathleen Brennan).
    • Played Monte in Queens Logic.
  • 1992 Composer (With Kathleen Brennan) on American Heart.
    • Played R.M. Renfield in Bram Stoker's Dracula.
    • Played Earl Piggott in Short Cuts.
  • 1996 Composer on soundtrack of Dead Man Walking.
    • Composer on soundtrack of The End of Violence.
  • 1999 Mystery Men -- played an inventor who specialized in non-lethal weapons.
  • 2003 Appeared in conversation with Iggy Pop in Coffee and Cigarettes: Somewhere In America.
  • 2004 Composer (with Kathleen Brennan) on soundtrack of "Shrek 2"

Tours

  • 1973 Closing Time touring
  • 1974-1975 The Heart Of Saturday Night touring
  • 1975-1976 Small Change touring
  • 1977 Foreign Affairs touring
  • 1978-1979 Blue Valentine touring
  • 1980-1982 Heartattack and Vine touring
  • 1985 Rain Dogs touring
  • 1987 Big Time touring
  • 1999 Get Behind The Mule Tour
  • 2004 Real Gone Tour

See also:

  • Kazik Staszewski, Polish artist extensively covering Waits
  • Holly Cole, Canadian artist covering Waits' songs in jazz style

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^ Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album. The second part was released in September 2004.
+ Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album. released the first part of "The Neon God", a concept album about an abused and orphaned boy who finds that he has the ability to read and manipulate people. A Spanish court recognized there had been a violation of Waits’s moral rights, in addition to the infringement of copyright [3] (http://www.anti.com/news.php?newsid=86715). The production company, Tandem Campany Guasch, was ordered to pay compensation to Waits through his Spanish publisher. In April 2004, W.A.S.P. In 2000, an Audi commercial broadcast in Spain featured music very similar to Waits' "Innocent When You Dream", after Waits first had declined when they approached him about using the original. in 1996 and left again in 2002.

[2] (http://www.keeslau.com/TomWaitsSupplement/Copyright/copyrightwaitslevis.htm). Chris Holmes returned to W.A.S.P. Waits sued, and Levis agreed to cease all use of the song, and offered a full page apology in Billboard Magazine. output so far. In 1993, Levi's used Screamin' Jay Hawkins' version of Waits' "Heartattack and Vine" in a commercial. Ironically, many critics feel that this album ("The Crimson Idol") has been the best W.A.S.P. Waits declined the offer, and Frito Lay hired a Waits soundalike to sing a jingle similar to "Step Right Up," which is, ironically, a song Waits has called "an indictment of advertising." [1] (http://www.joe.trussell.com/waits/frito_lay.html) ("Step Right Up" concludes with the lyric "What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away"). album.

Frito Lay had approached Waits to use one of his songs in an advertisement. that he finally released it as a W.A.S.P. The first lawsuit was filed in 1988 against Frito Lay, and resulted in a US$2.6 million judgement in Waits' favor. The later 1980s saw the band's fortunes dwindle swiftly and the band effectively disbanded in 1989 (1989 in music). Mainman Blackie Lawless started to work on a solo project, but felt that the result sounded so much like W.A.S.P. Waits has steadfastly refused to allow the use of his songs in commercials and has filed several lawsuits against advertisers who used his material without permission. The album, which saw Lawless switch to guitar (replacing the departed Piper), received poor reviews and the band's popularity began to decline. In essence, however, and despite his songs having been covered by famous stars such as Bruce Springsteen and Rod Stewart, Waits remains a cult performer, steadfastly outside the mainstream. Inside the Electric Circus was released in 1986.

Waits has been reported as having bipolar disorder. The publicity helped sales greatly, whereas PMRC's efforts were unsuccessful. In the popular perception, however, he and his work remain mostly characterised by his rocky voice, his strong personality and theatrical presence on stage and the "late night smoky bars" humour of his texts ("I'd rather have a free bottle in front of me than a pre-frontal lobotomy."). became a target of the Parents Music Resource Center, an organization led by Tipper Gore and dedicated to opposing violent and sexual lyrics. The last of these albums -- an off-Broadway musical co-written with his wife -- and the later collaboration with William S. Burroughs on The Black Rider both demonstrated the increasing interest in theatre, which has resulted in a somewhat successful acting career as well as soundtrack work. W.A.S.P. He also gradually altered his singing style, sounding less like the late-night crooner of the 70s, instead adopting a gravelly voice reminiscent of Howling Wolf and Captain Beefheart. Machine" and "I Wanna Be Somebody" helped the album sell well, and set the band up for "Blind in Texas" (off The Last Command from 1985), the band's biggest hit.

His trio of albums from the mid-1980s, Swordfishtrombones, Rain Dogs and Frank's Wild Years, all featured some degree of eclectic instrumentation -- Waits' self described "Junkyard Orchestra"--often marrying soul music horn sections to avant-garde percussion reminiscent of Harry Partch's, or the distorted guitar of Marc Ribot. "L.O.V.E. After he left Asylum Records for Island Records in 1983, his music became less mainstream. The band's first single "ANIMAL" was omitted from the album in the United States to prevent the album from being banned from major chain stores. Capitol planned to release it as a single only in Europe, in a black plastic bag with a sticker warning of offensive lyrics. Eventually, however, Capitol was convinced to release the album with its original packaging in April 1984. His wife is regularly credited as co-author of many songs on his later released albums, and is often cited by Waits as a major influence on his work. signed to Capitol Records for their debut LP, W.A.S.P., in 1984 (1984 in music). With his wife, he wrote and performed in Big Time, a slightly surreal concert movie. W.A.S.P.

In August 1980, he married Kathleen Brennan, whom he had met on the set of One From The Heart. The band's debut single, entitled "Fuck Like A Beast", was equally controversial. Waits would also act in Coppola's Rumblefish, The Outsiders, The Cotton Club and Dracula (as the insane Renfield), and work with such directors as Jim Jarmusch and Robert Altman. The band initially became famous for its raunchy and at times shocking live shows; Lawless was known to tie semi-naked models to a torture rack and hurl raw meat into the audience. 1980 saw the commencement of a long working relationship with Francis Ford Coppola, who asked him to provide music for his film One From The Heart. The band, formed in Los Angeles, California, initially consisted of Blackie Lawless, Chris Holmes, Randy Piper and Tony Richards. Foreign Affairs (1977) and Blue Valentine (1978) were in a similar vein, but showed further refinement of his artistic voice. W.A.S.P. is an American heavy metal band formed in 1982 which gained notoriety for its "shock rock" image, music and live performances.

Small Change (1976) featuring famed drummer Shelly Manne, was jazzier still, and songs such as "The Piano Has Been Drinking" and "Bad Liver and a Broken Heart" cemented his hard living reputation, with a lyrical style pitched somewhere between Raymond Chandler and Charles Bukowski. For other meanings of wasp, see Wasp (disambiguation). The 1975 album Nighthawks at the Diner, recorded in a studio but with a small audience to capture the ambience of a live show, captures this phase of his career, including the lengthy spoken interludes between songs that punctuated his live act. This article is about the band. The Heart of Saturday Night showed his roots as a nightclub singer, half speaking and half crooning ballads, often with a soft jazz background. 2004 - The Neon God - The Demise (Part II). After numerous abortive recording sessions, his first record, the melancholic, country-tinged Closing Time (1973) received warm reviews, but he first gained national attention when his "Ol' 55" was recorded by The Eagles in 1974. 2004 - The Neon God - The Rise (Part I).

Born in Pomona, California, Waits' recording career began in 1971, after he relocated to Los Angeles and signed with Herb Cohen, manager of Frank Zappa, among others. 2002 - Dying For The World. Thomas Alan Waits, (born December 7, 1949) is an American composer, singer, musician and actor. 2001 - Unholy Terror. Holly Cole, Canadian artist covering Waits' songs in jazz style. 1999 - Helldorado. Kazik Staszewski, Polish artist extensively covering Waits. 1998 - Double Live Assassins.

2004 Real Gone Tour. 1997 - Kill Fuck Die. 1999 Get Behind The Mule Tour. 1995 - Still Not Black Enough. 1987 Big Time touring. 1993 - First Blood...Last Cuts. 1985 Rain Dogs touring. 1992 - Crimson Idol.

1980-1982 Heartattack and Vine touring. 1989 - Headless Children. 1978-1979 Blue Valentine touring. In The Raw. 1977 Foreign Affairs touring. 1987 - Live .. 1975-1976 Small Change touring. 1986 - Inside The Electric Circus.

1974-1975 The Heart Of Saturday Night touring. 1985 - The Last Command. 1973 Closing Time touring. 1984 - W.A.S.P. 2004 Composer (with Kathleen Brennan) on soundtrack of "Shrek 2". Ken Hensley, former member of Uriah Heep, played keyboards on the "The Headless Children" album. 2003 Appeared in conversation with Iggy Pop in Coffee and Cigarettes: Somewhere In America. Opened in 1972, it catered to some of the world's biggest Rock & Roll celebs. Blackie met Rod Smallwood in this bar.

1999 Mystery Men -- played an inventor who specialized in non-lethal weapons. In the song "Sunset and Babylon" (with lead guitar Lita Ford), the "Rainbow Bar and Grill" of Los Angeles is mentioned. Composer on soundtrack of The End of Violence. According to Blackie, with the exception of only one guy, every time somebody left the band was because of drugs. 1996 Composer on soundtrack of Dead Man Walking.

    . According to Rik Fox he invented the name WASP when he stepped on one in Blackie's courtyard. Played Earl Piggott in Short Cuts. When asked, Blackie normally doesn't give a straight answer; in one interview, he answered "We Ain't Sure Pal".

    Renfield in Bram Stoker's Dracula. Another possible abbreviation is "White Anglo Saxon Protestants" (see WASP). Played R.M. "We Are Sexual Perverts" is inscribed on their first album into the vinyl next to the label. 1992 Composer (With Kathleen Brennan) on American Heart.

      . stand for "We Are Sexual Perverts" or "We Are Satan's People". Played Monte in Queens Logic. Some people believe the initials of W.A.S.P.

      Wrote the score of Night on Earth (With Kathleen Brennan). contributed "Scream Until You Like It" for the horror film Ghoulies II. Played a disabled Veteran beggar in The Fisher King. W.A.S.P. 1991 Played Wolf in At Play in the Fields of the Lord.

        . I cannot confirm if this is on the DVD version since I have not seen this movie on DVD. 1990 Played a plainclothes policeman in The Two Jakes. Blackie can be seen in the movie Spinal Tap he is in a mock commercial having wine and food with a female this can be seen in the VHS version that came out shortly after this movie came to video.

        Composer on Sea of Love. The band can be seen briefly in the movie "The Dungeonmaster" (1985) about an evil wizard. Voice of the radio DJ in Mystery Train. Rik Fox - Bassist. Starred as Kenny the Hitman in Cold Feet. Doug Blair - Guitarist. 1989 Played the 'Punch & Judy Man' in Bearskin: An Urban Fairytale.

          . Bob Kulick - Lead Guitarist.

          Played Al Silk in Candy Mountain. Steve Riley - Drums & Vocals. 1987 Played Rudy The Kraut in Ironweed.

            . Randy Piper - Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Vocals. 1986 Starred as Zack in Down by Law. Chris Holmes - Lead and Rhythm Guitarist. 1984 Played Irving Stark in The Cotton Club. Frankie Banali - Drums & Percussion.

            Played Bennie the pool hall owner in Rumble Fish. Johnny Rod - Bass Guitar and Vocals. 1983 Played Buck Merrill in The Outsiders.

              . Tony Richards - Drums & Vocals. Played petrified man in carnival in The Stone Boy. Stet Howland - Drums, Vocals & Percussion. Nominated for an Academy Award for best original score.
                . Darrell Roberts - Guitarist.

                1982 Soundtrack of One From The Heart. Mike Duda - Bassist. 1980 Worked with Francis Ford Coppola on the soundtrack to One From The Heart. Blackie Lawless - Singer. 1978 Movie debut as 'Mumbles' in Paradise Alley. 2004 Step Right Up: The Songs of Tom Waits, various artists.

                2001 Wicked Grin, John Hammond. 2000 New Coat of Paint, various artists. 1995 Step Right Up, various artists. 1995 Temptation, Holly Cole.

                2004 The Late Great Daniel Johnston by various artists: Waits covers Johnston's "King Kong". 2004 The Ride by Los Lobos: Waits does vocals on the track "Kitate". 2002 For the Kids by various artists: Waits performs the lullaby "Bring Down the Branches". 2001 It's A Wonderful Life, by Sparklehorse: Waits does vocals on "Dog Door".

                2000 Helium, by Tin Hat Trio: Waits appears as guest singer on Helium Reprise. 1999 Antipop, by Primus: Waits does vocals on Coattails of a Deadman. 1993 Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet, by Gavin Bryars: Waits appears as guest singer. 1992 Beautiful Mess, by Thelonious Monster: Waits appears as a guest singer on Adios Lounge.

                1991 Sailing the Seas of Cheese, by Primus: Waits does character vocals on Tommy The Cat. 1998 Beautiful Maladies: The Island Years. 1993 The Early Years, Volume Two. 1991 The Early Years, Volume One.

                1983 Anthology of Tom Waits (Elektra).

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