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Singer Tom Waits on Inspiration and Aliens PDF Print E-mail
Written by Grant Cameron   
Friday, 12 December 2014 22:16

tom-waits-used-songs-Tom Waits on Inspiration

American singer and songwriter who has composed for Bruce Springsteen, The Eagles, and Rod Stewart told author Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat Pray Love - which was on the NYT best seller list for over 200 weeks) of one instance of inspiration.

But then he got older, he got calmer, and one day he was driving down the freeway in Los Angeles he told me, and this is when it all changed for him. And he's speeding along, and all of a sudden he hears this little fragment of melody, that comes into his head as inspiration often comes, el...usive and tantalizing, and he wants it, you know, it's gorgeous, and he longs for it, but he has no way to get it. He doesn't have a piece of paper, he doesn't have a pencil, he doesn't have a tape recorder.
So he starts to feel all of that old anxiety start to rise in him like, "I'm going to lose this thing, and then I'm going to be haunted by this song forever. I'm not good enough, and I can't do it." And instead of panicking, he just stopped. He just stopped that whole mental process and he did something completely novel. He just looked up at the sky, and he said, "Excuse me, can you not see that I'm driving? Do I look like I can write down a song right now? If you really want to exist, come back at a more opportune moment when I can take care of you. Otherwise, go bother somebody else today. Go bother Leonard Cohen."

Tom Waits on Aliens

My dad was a radio expert in the army, and in addition to bicycle repair, he had me building my own radios and sending away for kits and creating my own little shortwave radios. And I picked up things when I was a child that I swore were extra-terrestrial, and maintain to this day that I made contact, or at least I was on the receiving end of a relationship with an extra-terrestrial but was unable to communicate with him because my radio couldn’t transmit...... It was a language that did not exist. It was not Russian, I was picking up Russia and Poland and Hungary and China— It was a language, but it was not from around here. And here I was unable to transmit. On earth, we never acknowledge that they exist because it doesn’t fit into our beliefs about the creation of the universe. God made the earth in seven days, then he rested. The idea that there would be creatures out there. The government is apparently keeping creatures they found, and in top secret bunkers in New Mexico, never to be viewed by the public. I believe that.

Tom Waits on Being Different from the Crowd

In reply to his children who asked him why he didn't have a normal job like other dads Waits stated,

In the forest, there was a crooked tree and a straight tree. Every day, the straight tree would say to the crooked tree, "Look at me...I'm tall, and I'm straight, and I'm handsome. Look at're all crooked and bent over. No one wants to look at you." And they grew up in that forest together. And then one day the loggers came, and they saw the crooked tree and the straight tree, and they said, "Just cut the straight trees and leave the rest." So the loggers turned all the straight trees into lumber and toothpicks and paper. And the crooked tree is still there, growing stronger and stranger every day.

Last Updated on Friday, 12 December 2014 22:36


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