If Tom Waits wouldn't have made his mark in music and words what would he have ended up doing?
Carnival barker? Grease monkey? Bartender? Low stakes gambler? The surly old eccentric that the town can't figure out whether he's a genius or just the neighborhood weirdo.
Born on this day in 1949, he's portrayed and encompassed all of the above characters. It was hard to decide for me to pick just one song out of his over 40 year career to observe his birthday. I decided to go with the first song I ever heard by him.
The year was 1980. I recall being in the car with my dad. He let me scan the radio dial for something as I was getting really restless from hearing news talk radio. I stopped on this thing that sounded like a blues song transmitted from outer space. I had just started high school and had just got turned on to the beat poets. The gruff voice was belting out the same kind of words. It was perplexed. I was also intrigued.
The next time I was in the record store I bought the album.
What are you listening to tonight?