Tom Waits Fun Facts, Quotes and Tweets

11th August 2016

Fact: Pop star Lorde will join Tom Waits and Kaskade among the judges for the 2016 International Songwriting Competition (ISC). Other panelists include Chris Cornell, Ziggy Marley, Fat Joe, India Arie, Femi Kuti, and Bastille, who previously helped to pick the winners with Lorde and Waits last year (15). The annual competition gives aspiring and established songwriters the chance to take their music to the masses. The winner is awarded a $25,000 (£19,280) Grand Prize.

15th May 2015

Quote: "I've never been in this situation before, except in jail." Singer/songwriter Tom Waits sat through an awkward interview on The Late Show With David Letterman on Thursday (14May15) as George Clooney sat behind him, handcuffed to the host. Clooney slapped the restraints on the late-night TV presenter at the beginning of his chat on the show in a bid to persuade Letterman to change his mind about retiring next week (20May15).

23rd September 2013

Fact: Singer/songwriter Tom Waits is to perform a rare live show at Neil Young's annual Bridge School Benefit concert in Mountain View, California on 27 October (13). The line-up for the gig also includes Queens Of The Stone Age and The Killers.

23rd September 2011

Fact: Singer/songwriter Tom Waits has recorded a limited edition 78 rpm vinyl record with fabled New Orleans group the Preservation Hall Jazz Band to help the members raise cash for for their youth group. The In The Neighborhood singer performs Tootie Ma Was A Big Fine Thing and Corrine Died On The Battlefield on the release, which will be available in November (11). All profits from the sale of the record will benefit the Preservation Hall Junior Jazz & Heritage Brass Band.

25th March 2011

Quote: "I was given the key to the city of El Paso several months ago... They told me there's only one key to the city, but I found out later there's a whole lot of them, and they fit nothing." Tom Waits is disappointed with his Texas honour.

15th March 2011

Quote: "The only thing I can compare this to, is when I got the key to the city of El Paso a few months back... They told me there was only one (key), but I found out later there are a whole bunch of them! And they don't fit anything... I'm hoping there are more fringe benefits to this." 2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honouree Tom Waits jokes about his latest accolade.

6th January 2011

Quote: "I am still recovering from the news. I never really cared about the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame... but now I am surprised to discover how much I do care." Troubadour Tom Waits on his upcoming Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction.

24th November 2010

Fact: Singer/songwriter Tom Waits is set to publish a book of poetry next year (11). The star's writing will be accompanied by photographs of the homeless in Hard Ground, which will hit stores in March (11).

22nd May 2010

Fact: Eccentric singer/songwriter Tom Waits has signed up to guest edit the upcoming 200th issue of British music magazine Mojo.

6th May 2010

Tweet: "I don't get played on the radio ever. Marcel Marceau gets more airplay than I do." Tom Waits complains about his lack of airplay.

3rd February 2010

Fact: Tom Waits has teamed up with directors Martin Mcdonagh and ROBERT WILSON to stage a musical in Paris, France. Waits and Wilson created shows the Black Rider, Alice in Wonderland, and Woyzeck together. Their unnamed new project is set to hit the stage in Paris in 2011.

26th December 2009

Quote: "I was looking forward to working with him. Time is transient. You think you’ve got a lot of it. Who knows how much time we all have left? Tick, tick, tick." Singer/actor Tom Waits never got the chance to work with Heath Ledger on the set of THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS.

1st December 2009

Quote: "I'm not a percussionist, I just like to hit things." Tom Waits on his love for big bangs.

14th November 2009

Quote: "On my gravestone I want it to say 'I told you I was sick.'" Singer/songwriter Tom Waits contemplates his death.

10th November 2009

Quote: "A gentleman is someone who can play the accordion, but doesn't." Tom Waits offers daily musings on his new blog.

24th October 2009

Fact: Winona Ryder once babysat Tom Waits' kids.

9th July 2009

Fact: Rocker Beck has turned interviewer for a new section on his website - the first subject of his Irrelevant Topics chat is Tom Waits.

12th March 2009

Fact: Gravel-voiced singer Tom Waits plays the devil in what was Heath Ledger's final film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.

22nd April 2008

Quote: "Once we started recording, I became less fearful of encountering Tom Waits in a dark room with a mallet." Actress Scarlett Johansson is confident torch singer Waits will like her interpretations of his songs on her debut album WHEREVER I LAY MY HEAD.

18th April 2008

Quote: "He said the album should sound like you drank a bunch of cough medicine and then saw Tinkerbell flying around. That's when I knew he was the man for the job." Scarlett Johansson on picking TV ON THE RADIO star DAVE SITEK to produce her debut album - of Tom Waits songs - ANYWHERE I LAY MY HEAD.

18th April 2008

Quote: "My album is more suited to my lifestyle. I live a very low-key life." Scarlett Johansson on her upcoming album of Tom Waits covers.

13th February 2008

Fact: David Bowie provides backing vocals on Scarlett Johansson's upcoming Tom Waits covers album. Bowie sings on the tracks Falling Down and Fannin' Street.

22nd May 2007

Quote: "I'm no fool. It's a spiritual insurance policy. Hell, at my age, the next group I put together, everyone may be playing a harp. All kidding aside, I owed His Holiness a favour. He did all my papers in school." Tom Waits jokes about his appearance on new album Healing The Divide: A Concert For Peace + Conciliation, which will be released in July (07) to raise funds for Richard Gere's Tibetan Buddhist charity drive Healing the Divide.

9th April 2007

Quote: "I'd like to be able to sing like James Brown or George Jones or Maria Callas but I can't. So you just do your own version of them, which sounds a lot like you after a while." Gravel-voiced singer Tom Waits wishes he had a sweeter tone.

28th March 2007

Quote: "I've always considered Tom Waits to be kind of a composer of modern standards; he has a lot of beautiful ballads and really heartbreaking songs." Actress Scarlett Johansson on her decision to record an album of Tom Waits covers.

29th November 2006

Quote: "I live in a place called Spittleville; there's a lot of towns around the same area that have names of secretions." Tom Waits jokes about the name of his California hometown.

13th October 2005

Fact: <p>Star-studded Hurricane Katrina benefit concerts, staged at New York's Radio City Music Hall and Madison Square Garden on 20 September (05) raised over $9 million (GBP5 million) for the cause. The shows featured SIR Elton John, Tom Waits, Jimmy Buffett and The Dave Matthews Band. </p>

21st September 2005

Quote: <p>"There's so much music in New Orleans, you can hold a trumpet above your head and it will play itself." Tom Waits on his love for hurricane-ravaged New Orleans. </p>

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