Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Tom Waits, bad influence

So last night, as per usual this close to finals, the crew was up late and studying at Doctor Octagon's. Through some byway of conversation, I found out that Lil Mike had no idea who Tom Waits was -- kids these days! I took it upon myself to introduce the boy. So I pulled up some favorite songs, in video form, starting with Chocolate Jesus, and then hitting him with a one-two punch of Shore Leave and 9th and Hennepin.

The effect was marked -- and made me remember back to when I first heard Tom Waits, a couple centuries ago. His eyes got big, his attention galvanized. "Oh god I love gravelly voices like that." Then silence for a while, video switched to 9th and Hennepin -- "holy crap I so need to get this, I can't believe I've never heard this, this rocks! He's great, I love this!" I almost felt like I was sullying the poor boy. I mean, Tom Waits can lead to good things, like buying all the Tom Waits one can get their hands on, or maybe reading Bukowski or Miller. Or it could lead to bad things, like picking up a vicious drinking habit, smoking way too many cigarettes, mixing with low women in terminal bars, and taking up poker. You just never know, it could go either way.

I had some weird rush of recognition, or nostalgia watching Lil Mike's eyes glow as he was lit by the presence that is The Tom. You could just feel it, he was hooked -- this was going to be a thing for him. It was a singular moment, to actually be right there when it happened -- to see it happen. Time will tell how this encounter affects Lil Mike in the long term -- I pray well. If he ends up in the gutter, drinking at 10:00 a.m. on a weekday, grinding out stories about girls that did him wrong, wearing ties and hats... it's my fault. It will be on me, because I was the one that first tipped him off.

6 comments:

CtheG said...

ok, whoa. hold on there. that just brought me back to my days in Minneapolis. used to live near hennipin ave. Friends with a guy named pat who read those books and listened to "the tom". He looks a lot like him now that I see him again in that video. whoa, I'm TOTALLY trippin

Bentley said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0Puxfk5Huk

One of my fav tom waits songs.. new(ish)

Bpaul said...

I like it. His new stuff seems to be getting scratchier and scratchier -- almost a caricature of itself. Works for me tho, I dig it.

Great video too.

goodrev said...

I can't get past your second sentence without saying "Jesus Christ! Doesn't know who... (sputter sputter)" "Kids these days..." aMEN!

Bpaul said...

*whispers* we're old geezers, you know that...

Shocho said...

The piano has been drinking.