Tom and tide

Though I don’t particularly give a damn who gets inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the news that Tom Waits has been invited into the club does offer a handy excuse for posting clips of this ridiculously talented musician and poet, who has traveled farther stylistically than just about any performer I can think of. From the ballads and Beatnik poetry of the first phase, to the deep-voiced blues of the late Seventies and early Eighties, to the Harry-Partch-meets-Kurt-Weill style that started with Swordfishtrombones, the guy has had more creative lives than a cat He’s also frequently hilarious.

Most importantly, he’s the underground Irving Berlin. Everyone from the Eagles to Bruce Springsteen to Rod Stewart has covered a Waits tune, and while some cover versions are better than others, they remain the property of Tom Waits.

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