Tom Waits, even with his barnyard growl and urban hipster yawp, may just be what the Daily Telegraph calls him: "the greatest entertainer on Planet Earth." Over a span of almost four decades, he has transformed his music and persona, not to suit the times, but his whims. Along with Bob Dylan, he stands as an elder statesman still capable of putting out music that matters.
Journalists intent upon cracking the code are more likely to come out of a Waits interview with anecdotes about the weather, insects, or medieval medicine. Waits comes across as well-read, informed, and lucidly aware of current pop culture. He is, in essence, the teacher we wished we had.
Tom Waits on Tom Waits is a selection of over 50 interviews from the more than 500 available. Its pages do not attempt to cover every facet of his career, but instead illustrate Waits through the years, and feature interviews in which Waits shared something truly unique with his readers. Prolific interviewer that he is, Waits delivers prose as crafted, poetic, potent, brilliant, and haunting as the lyrics of his best songs. In addition, these interviews, taken together, provide a kind of autobiography of a notoriously guarded artist.