Tom Waits (a.k.a. pretty much the coolest guy of all time) leaves a wake of brilliant observations behind him everywhere he goes, and this quote from his 1999 episode of “VHI Storytellers” is particularly helpful as it speaks to the necessity of an artist to always be ready and equipped — with a hammer and saw — to build the bits and pieces of their lives into pieces of art.
He said, in the intro to his tune “Tango ‘Til They’re Sore”:
"Some songs come out of the ground just like a potato. Others you have to make them out things you found: like your mother's pool cue, and your dad's Army buddy, your sister's wristwatch, and that type of thing. You'd be surprised what you can find if you're resourceful."
Sometimes inspiration strikes and we’re handed a fully-formed, ready-made project; one that essentially “writes” itself. But some of those projects don’t come so easily and need to be smashed, glued, and nailed together from memories, experiences, people, pets, and even pool cues. And if you’ve ever spent time with Mr. Waits tunes, you’ll notice that the man definitely practices what he preaches.
Enjoy “Tango ‘Til They’re Sore” right here:
And then en joy every other thing ever written by Tom, because I’m not kidding when I say it, he’s pretty much the coolest guy of all time.
[Header image: My Piano Has Been Drinking” by Midori Furze]