What Tom Waits said about The Eagles’ cover of Ol’ 55, the first single off his debut album, Closing Time.
In an interview on WAMU Radio in Washington DC (1975):
“I frankly was not that particularly crazy about their rendition of it. The song is about 5 years old, it’s one of the first songs I wrote so I felt like it was kind of flattering that somebody wanted to do your song but at the same time I thought their version was a little antiseptic.”
To the NME, as quoted in an article called ‘Tom Waits: Would You Say This Man Was Attempting To Convey An Impression Of Sordid Bohemianism’ (1976):
“Naw – I don’t like the Eagles. They’re about as exciting as watching paint dry. Their albums are good for keeping the dust off your turntable and that’s about all.”
This man plays the piano like he doesn’t care who’s heart he’s breaking.
So what becomes of all the little boys
Who run away from home?
The world keeps gettin’ bigger
once you’re on your own
It’s heads you win, tails they lose
You’re on the nickel and you’re over there
Honestly, the way these two look at each other – it almost makes up for the whole Susan Sarandon/Tim Robbins travesty.
When he performed it in Johannesburg a few weeks ago, they couldn’t get through a line of the song without giggling at each other.
As long as they, and the Lamontagnes, and Tom Waits/Kathleen Brennan are fine, I think we’ll be alright.
Are folk singers just really clever about love?
By the super cool Jim Lockey. Buy his things.
“I found some things they say about music that seemed to apply to Keith. You know, in the old days they said that the sound of the guitar could cure gout and epilepsy, sciatica and migraines. I think that nowadays there seems to be a deficit of wonder. And Keith seems to still wonder about this stuff. He will stop and hold his guitar up and just stare at it for a while. Just be rather mystified by it. Like all the great things in the world, women and religion and the sky… you wonder about it, and you don’t stop wondering about it.”
– Tom Waits, in Life by Keith Richards