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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. Former members:.
+ Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album. The band currently consists of the following members:. 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. As of July 2002, Weezer had sold more than 5,000,000 copies of their albums. 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. The DVD hit hard on the DVD compilation charts and was declared "Gold" on November 8, 2004.

[2] (http://www.keeslau.com/TomWaitsSupplement/Copyright/copyrightwaitslevis.htm). Titled "Video Capture Device", the DVD contains all of their current music videos, live concerts, and homemade movies. Waits sued, and Levis agreed to cease all use of the song, and offered a full page apology in Billboard Magazine. In March of 2004, Weezer released their first DVD. In 1993, Levi's used Screamin' Jay Hawkins' version of Waits' "Heartattack and Vine" in a commercial. "Keep Fishin'" combined Weezer with The Muppets and became an MTV staple. 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"). However, it was the follow up, "Keep Fishin'", that would place Weezer in an elite group of defining music video makers of the early 2000s.

Frito Lay had approached Waits to use one of his songs in an advertisement. Their video for "Photograph" was a staple for Much Music USA (now Fuse). Maladroit's "Dope Nose" was unspectacular at best, though it was put into a rather regular rotation. The first lawsuit was filed in 1988 against Frito Lay, and resulted in a US$2.6 million judgement in Waits' favor. They then recorded two videos for "Island in the Sun," the first focusing on a Mexican wedding, and the second involving Weezer with animals in a wildlife reserve. 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. It would take the sumo clip of "Hash Pipe" (or as the title card stated, "H*** Pipe") to bring Weezer back into the eyes of music video viewers. 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. However, Weezer's Pinkerton videos were not well played and quickly forgotten.

Waits has been reported as having bipolar disorder. The video is akin to other defining videos of the 90s such as Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and Smashing Pumpkins' "Tonight, Tonight," because all three of these videos helped the artists reach an audience not often reached by alternative rock bands. 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."). While "Undone (The Sweater Song)" was big on MTV, it was the Spike Jonze-directed "Buddy Holly" video, which used footage from various episodes of Happy Days, that made them pop icons. 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. Weezer is also very well known for their innovative music videos. 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. Later the name Goat Punishment was used while the members of Weezer recorded a show for the HBO concert series, Reverb.

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. Their first shows under the pseudonym featured the new Weezer lineup (now featuring Mikey Welsh) playing covers of songs by Nirvana and Oasis. After he left Asylum Records for Island Records in 1983, his music became less mainstream. Weezer has also played several shows under the pseudonym Goat Punishment. 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. The discovery set the tentative date for the release of the fifth album, Make Believe, as April or May of 2005. With his wife, he wrote and performed in Big Time, a slightly surreal concert movie. On Friday, January 7, 2005 several Weezer fans noticed that several radio stations had announced the next single from the band (entitled "Beverly Hills") would be released on March 21 or March 22 of the same year.

In August 1980, he married Kathleen Brennan, whom he had met on the set of One From The Heart. In the summer and early fall of 2004, the members of Weezer recorded a large amount of material intended for a new album to be released in the spring of 2005. 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. A fourth album, Maladroit, was released in 2002 (see 2002 in music), and served as a departure from the catchy pop-influenced music of The Green Album. 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. This album quickly became known as The Green Album. Shortly after the release of The Green Album, Weezer went on another American tour, attracting many new fans along the way. Foreign Affairs (1977) and Blue Valentine (1978) were in a similar vein, but showed further refinement of his artistic voice. Weezer (2001) was self-titled again to signify a sort of rebirth for Weezer.

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. Eventually, the band went back into the studio to produce a third album. 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. During the tour, Cuomo began writing songs again, and Weezer played some of them live. 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 tour was a huge hit, and sold out several of the large venues it traveled to. 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. In 2000, Weezer re-formed and went on tour without a new album.

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. However, thanks to word-of-mouth and a strong following on internet, Weezer's popularity continued to grow. Thomas Alan Waits, (born December 7, 1949) is an American composer, singer, musician and actor. During this time little public information was being released about the state of the band. Holly Cole, Canadian artist covering Waits' songs in jazz style. A five-year recording drought followed the release of Pinkerton, with Rivers spending more time at Harvard and playing solo shows in Boston. Kazik Staszewski, Polish artist extensively covering Waits. Rolling Stone Magazine, which in 1996 labeled Pinkerton the Worst Album of the Year, updated their view in 2004 and inducted Pinkerton into its Album Hall of Fame, giving a brand new five-star review rating.

2004 Real Gone Tour. Over the years, the album grew in popularity, and is often now pointed out by major rock critics as a alternative rock masterpiece. 1999 Get Behind The Mule Tour. From an industry perspective, the album was not originally seen as a critical or financial success . 1987 Big Time touring. Songs like "The Good Life" and "El Scorcho" were scribed during Cuomo's time at Harvard, and feature personal reflections on the change from rock star to anonymous student. 1985 Rain Dogs touring. The title of the album was inspired by a character in the opera Madame Butterfly written by one of Cuomo's favorite artists, Giacomo Puccini.

1980-1982 Heartattack and Vine touring. Weezer's sophmore effort, Pinkerton, was released on September 24, 1996 The album was given lackluster reviews by critics (see 1996 in music), and sales of the album were low compared to their debut. 1978-1979 Blue Valentine touring. Ultimately, the Songs from the Black Hole album concept was dropped, but many of the songs from the sessions were used on their second album. 1977 Foreign Affairs touring. The band began demoing and working on Rivers' concept through intermittent recording sessions in the spring and summer of 1995. 1975-1976 Small Change touring. The album would feature songs that flowed together seamlessly, and end with a special coda that briefly revisited the major musical elements of the piece.

1974-1975 The Heart Of Saturday Night touring. Rivers Cuomo traveled back east to his home state of Connecticut, and using an eight-track recorder, he began piecing together demo material for Weezer's next album. Coumo's original concept for Weezer's sophmore effort was to be a space-themed rock opera, Songs from the Black Hole. 1973 Closing Time touring. In late December, 1994, Weezer took a break from touring for the Christmas holiday. 2004 Composer (with Kathleen Brennan) on soundtrack of "Shrek 2". The Blue Album included the hit singles "Buddy Holly," "Undone (The Sweater Song)," and "Say it Ain't So." The video of "Buddy Holly" was included on the CD-ROM of Windows 95. 2003 Appeared in conversation with Iggy Pop in Coffee and Cigarettes: Somewhere In America. On May 10, 1994, Weezer released their self-titled album, which became known as The Blue Album (see 1994 in music).

1999 Mystery Men -- played an inventor who specialized in non-lethal weapons. The recording of the album finished in early October 1993, and the band headed back to L.A. Composer on soundtrack of The End of Violence. Cropper's guitar parts were rerecorded by Cuomo, and Bell replaced Cropper's vocals. 1996 Composer on soundtrack of Dead Man Walking.

    . After the recording of the album, guitarist Jason Cropper was fired from the band by Cuomo. Cropper was replaced by guitarist Brian Bell, a former member of the band Carnival Art. Played Earl Piggott in Short Cuts. Ric Ocasek, former singer/songwriter for The Cars, was chosen as producer.

    Renfield in Bram Stoker's Dracula. The band began recording their debut album in late August 1993 at Electric Lady Studios in New York City. Played R.M. The band was signed onto the DGC label (later became Interscope). 1992 Composer (With Kathleen Brennan) on American Heart.

      . Soon the band began to receive attention from various A&R reps, and was signed on June 25, 1993 by Todd Sullivan, an A&R rep from Geffen Records. Played Monte in Queens Logic. and recording home-demos.

      Wrote the score of Night on Earth (With Kathleen Brennan). Five weeks later they had their first gig, opening for Dogstar (featuring Keanu Reeves) at Raji's Bar and Ribshack on Hollywood Boulevard. Weezer began playing clubs to small audiences around L.A. Played a disabled Veteran beggar in The Fisher King. The band formed on February 14th, 1992 in Los Angeles, California with original members Rivers Cuomo (pronounced KWOH-mo), Patrick Wilson, Matt Sharp, and Jason Cropper. 1991 Played Wolf in At Play in the Fields of the Lord.

        . The video for their new single, "Beverly Hills", was filmed February 28, 2005 in Los Angeles, and directed by Marcos Siega, who directed many of the band's other videos. 1990 Played a plainclothes policeman in The Two Jakes. Their fifth album, entitled Make Believe, is presently being recorded and is expected to be released in the spring of 2005.

        Composer on Sea of Love. The specific genre of their music is debated, although it can be said that their style is related to alternative rock.Formed on February 14, 1992, they have released four full length albums, an EP, a DVD, and most recently a two-disc set, deluxe remastered edition of their debut album with the addition of b-sides and imports. Voice of the radio DJ in Mystery Train. Weezer is an American rock and roll band. Starred as Kenny the Hitman in Cold Feet. Ozma (opened for Weezer on several occasions, including the Outloud andMaladroit tours). 1989 Played the 'Punch & Judy Man' in Bearskin: An Urban Fairytale.

          . Space Twins (side project of guitarist Brian Bell).

          Played Al Silk in Candy Mountain. The Special Goodness (side project of drummer Patrick Wilson). 1987 Played Rudy The Kraut in Ironweed.

            . The Rentals (band of former bassist Matt Sharp). 1986 Starred as Zack in Down by Law. Homie (side project of guitarist Rivers Cuomo). 1984 Played Irving Stark in The Cotton Club. An extensive library of rare Weezer recordings can be found at WeezerNation.com (http://weezernation.com) in the Media section.

            Played Bennie the pool hall owner in Rumble Fish. Suzanne is a song by Weezer of the Mallrats movie soundtrack. 1983 Played Buck Merrill in The Outsiders.

              . Jamie appears on the compilation album DGC Rarities, Vol. 1. Played petrified man in carnival in The Stone Boy. Beverly Hills (2005) (announced, yet to be released). Nominated for an Academy Award for best original score.
                . Keep Fishin' (2002).

                1982 Soundtrack of One From The Heart. Dope Nose (2002). 1980 Worked with Francis Ford Coppola on the soundtrack to One From The Heart. Island in the Sun (2001). 1978 Movie debut as 'Mumbles' in Paradise Alley. Hash Pipe (2001). 2004 Step Right Up: The Songs of Tom Waits, various artists. The Good Life (1997).

                2001 Wicked Grin, John Hammond. El Scorcho (1996). 2000 New Coat of Paint, various artists. Say It Ain't So (1995). 1995 Step Right Up, various artists. Buddy Holly (1994). 1995 Temptation, Holly Cole. Undone (The Sweater Song) (1994).

                2004 The Late Great Daniel Johnston by various artists: Waits covers Johnston's "King Kong". Make Believe (May 2005) [1] (http://www.nme.com/news/111620.htm). 2004 The Ride by Los Lobos: Waits does vocals on the track "Kitate". The Lion and the Witch — a live EP, recorded during the Maladroit tour in Japan (September 24, 2002). 2002 For the Kids by various artists: Waits performs the lullaby "Bring Down the Branches". Maladroit (May 14, 2002). 2001 It's A Wonderful Life, by Sparklehorse: Waits does vocals on "Dog Door". "The Green Album" (May 15, 2001).

                2000 Helium, by Tin Hat Trio: Waits appears as guest singer on Helium Reprise. Weezer, a.k.a. 1999 Antipop, by Primus: Waits does vocals on Coattails of a Deadman. Pinkerton (September 24, 1996). 1993 Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet, by Gavin Bryars: Waits appears as guest singer. "The Blue Album" (May 10, 1994). 1992 Beautiful Mess, by Thelonious Monster: Waits appears as a guest singer on Adios Lounge. Weezer, a.k.a.

                1991 Sailing the Seas of Cheese, by Primus: Waits does character vocals on Tommy The Cat. Mikey Welsh — bass (on The Green Album). 1998 Beautiful Maladies: The Island Years. Matt Sharp — bass (on The Blue Album and Pinkerton). 1993 The Early Years, Volume Two. Jason Cropper — guitar (up to September, 1993). 1991 The Early Years, Volume One. Patrick Wilson — drums.

                1983 Anthology of Tom Waits (Elektra). Scott Shriner — backing vocals, bass (since Maladroit). Brian Bell — backing vocals, guitar. Rivers Cuomo — vocals, guitar.

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