Tom Waits on Bad Writing tom waits musician composer writer actor bad writing whining quality of our suffering

• Tom Waits:

"I like beautiful melodies telling me terrible things.” 

"They say I have no hits and that I'm difficult to work with ... like it's a bad thing.

Singer-songwriter, composer, actor Tom Waits (b. Dec. 7, 1949) “has a distinctive voice, described … as sounding 'like it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car.'" (by critic Daniel Durchholz; wikipedia)

• Watch Tom Waits' very amusing interview above on "Fernwood Tonight" after singing "The Piano Has Been Drinking." (1977)

• Join nearly 4 million people who've watched Tom Waits' soulful, gravely performance of "Waltzing Matilda" above. (1977)

• "'Waltzing Matilda' is Australia's most widely known bush ballad — the unofficial national anthem of Australia." (Waltzing Matilda) is "slang for traveling by foot (waltzing) with one's goods in a 'Matilda' (bag). The song is about "an itinerant worker, or 'swagman' capturing a sheep to eat." Police "arrest the worker ... (who) commits suicide" and his ghost haunts the area. Experts say the song was inspired by the great sheep shearers' strike of 1891 and the death of the hungry swagman. (wikipedia)

Graphic from's (print) interview with Waits. 

Graphic from's (print) interview with Waits.