Small Change: Tom Waits

WaitsLots to love about this book, not least that it was written in 1989 a year in which the inimitable Mr Waits had a chunk of his career left to play with.  Better than that, however, is the jovial, idiosyncratic tone in which the book is written. As you would expect, there is a discography at the back but there is also a list of  ‘Ten Real Books That Tom Waits Would Enjoy Reading’ (inexplicable, really). The format is broadly chronological but written without any mealy-mouthed, source-based biographical detail. The blurb implies that this is due to Waits’ tendency to be evasive (or downright misleading) with interviewers but it comes across as slightly rebellious. The best bits concern the music itself as here: “‘Frank’s Wild Years’ is Waits’ best album of the decade, a masterly melange, veering wildly from vindaloo bite to milksop innocence.”

The inscription in this copy reads: “I thought I’d try and do a witty inscription but I’m a bit hungover so I’ll just put happy birthday – sorry, happy twenty first (21st) birthday.”


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