What is it with Tom Waits and Minneapolis?

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What is it with Tom Waits and Minneapolis?

Post  pinhedz on Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:46 am

1st--to set the scene, here's a picture of the old Fairmont Hotel at 9th and Hennepin. This is where the Hennepin County Sheriffs drop off the prisoners from the Hennepin County workhouse after they've served their sentences. Many of them only spent one night in the workhouse and one day at the farm for "detox."



Here's a picture look up towards 9th and Hennepin from down around 6th and Hennepin. There's the two bookstores that the Christian Brothers said to avoid, and of course Augies and Moby Dick's. You can also see urban renewal looming behind the old buildings--which are all gone now:


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Re: What is it with Tom Waits and Minneapolis?

Post  pinhedz on Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:47 am




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Re: What is it with Tom Waits and Minneapolis?

Post  pinhedz on Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:04 am

1867



1904



1912



Date unknown--bargain room rates at the Rand Hotel and everything you could ask for at Moby Dick's:


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Re: What is it with Tom Waits and Minneapolis?

Post  eddie on Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:09 am

All aboard the Tom Waits bus tour!

From downtown dives to the Hollywood hills, a trawl around the singer's former stomping ground is a glimpse of a vanishing LA


In the neighbourhood … The Tom Waits tour visits the singer's former LA haunts. Photograph: Jesse Dylan

You can't get more than 10ft down the main drag of Hollywood Boulevard without being offered a Los Angeles bus tour. But the Tom Waits tour, Crawling Down Cahuengua (named after a line from the 1980 song Heartattack and Vine), doesn't pimp for custom on the side of the road. Run by Esotouric, it's been an annual event for the last five years. This year's tour was held the weekend before the elusive Waits had planned to perform songs from last year's Bad As Me album live on US TV for the first time. However, with his Letterman and Jimmy Fallon appearances now postponed, a trawl around his 70s and 80s stomping grounds is probably as close as any fan will get to Waits this week.

"He's really entwined with the city in a way that few musicians are," explains tour guide and San Francisco-based writer David Smay. "Obviously a lot of musicians came to LA and started their careers here. Not that many wrote about Los Angeles the way he wrote about it and the not the parts of Los Angeles he's writing about." It's true that sightseeing trips taking in the careers of Frank Zappa, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell would be set primarily among the bucolic, middle-class lushness of the Topanga and Laurel Canyons. A Tom Waits tour, however, is a grittier affair, covering the sleazy side streets and grimier parts of town, which, says Smay with a heavy heart, are "getting cleaned up and disappearing now".

The tour starts at the King Eddie Saloon, the last of the Skid Row dive bars, which just a few days ago changed its long-standing 6am opening time to 11am, much to the concern of our Esotouric hosts. From downtown LA, the bus carries passengers up into Hollywood. Here still stands the Ivar theatre, a former "burlesk" house near a long-gone drag bar called the Sewers of Paris, both of which were establishments favoured and namedropped by Waits when recording around the corner at Sunset Sound. When we step off the bus, a passenger who performed at the theatre in its improv days breaks into a Waits'-worthy piece of beatnik poetry before Smay and fellow guide Kim Cooper fill us in on the history of the Ivar and its legendary slogan: "Gentlemen, pitch your tents!" allegedly said to the clientele of the no-frills girlie show at the start of the night.


Near Tom Waits' former home in Echo Park. Photograph: Leonie Cooper for the Guardian

Other Waits haunts include the site of the newsstand owned by Angelo Rossitto (the dwarf actor on the cover of Swordfishtrombones), the single occupancy hotel rooms that litter the lyrics of his bar-hopping bachelor days, the site of the Tropicana Motel in West Hollywood, where Waits lived in the late 70s, and the Troubadour, where he was spotted at the beginning of the decade by Zappa and Captain Beefheart's manager Herb Cohen as well as David Geffen.

Meanwhile, Smay and Cooper regale passengers with fannish anecdotes such as punk rocker Alice Bag's story of Waits hitting on her at Canter's – the Fairfax district deli where we stop for coffee and knishes – and her boyfriend taking offence, leading to an almighty, chair-chucking fight at the Troubadour. We also hear about Waits' courtship with his wife Kathleen Brennan, his relationships with singers Rickie Lee Jones and Bette Midler, and how a 12-year-old Cooper arranged a private Waits concert for her schoolmates when the singer was working on the soundtrack to Francis Ford Coppola's One from the Heart.


Clifton's boarded up cafeteria. Photograph: Leonie Cooper for the Guardian

The tour attendees span in age from their teens to their 60s and as we walk to Canter's, Smay says he isn't surprised by Waits' growing legions of young fans. "People discover him in a different way than they do other musicians – he's not in the cycle of marketing," he says. "He's handed down – you have an ex-girlfriend that loved him, and that's how you get it. That friend, that cool older brother had it."

The bus then heads over to the east side, to Waits' spruced up former residences in Silverlake and Echo Park and what was the Travellers Cafe, a rundown spot used by Waits for interviews in the 80s, now a vegan restaurant.

Smay tells the group that the tour used to finish at Clifton's Cafeteria, a 30s woodland-themed restaurant on Broadway, which is currently boarded up owing to lengthy renovation work. It's further proof that Waits' LA is vanishing, but with their stories and enthusiasm Esotouric is doing its best to keep it alive.

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Re: What is it with Tom Waits and Minneapolis?

Post  eddie on Sun May 06, 2012 11:55 pm

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=youtube+tom+waits&view=detail&mid=3CC3DB101C03449D88AA3CC3DB101C03449D88AA&first=0&qpvt=youtube+tom+waits
Tom Traubert's Blues (aka Waltzing Matilda) Live

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Re: What is it with Tom Waits and Minneapolis?

Post  eddie on Sun May 06, 2012 11:57 pm

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=youtube+tom+waits&view=detail&mid=606B5D670D7835128A4E606B5D670D7835128A4E&first=0&qpvt=youtube+tom+waits
The Heart of Saturday Night (Live, with long surreal intro about Tom having a date with himself)


Last edited by eddie on Mon May 07, 2012 12:07 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: What is it with Tom Waits and Minneapolis?

Post  eddie on Mon May 07, 2012 12:02 am

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=YouTube+Tom+Waits+Ol'+55&docid=4712490218291370&mid=2E96710D0A1BF6176A282E96710D0A1BF6176A28&view=detail&FORM=VIRE7
Ol' 55

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Re: What is it with Tom Waits and Minneapolis?

Post  eddie on Mon May 07, 2012 12:10 am

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=youtube+tom+waits&view=detail&mid=AC206EB72D2F6BB6F591AC206EB72D2F6BB6F591&first=21
The Piano Has Been Drinking (Live)

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Re: What is it with Tom Waits and Minneapolis?

Post  eddie on Mon May 07, 2012 12:14 am

Love this. Waits pens a kind of mini Gershwin opera with a cast of criminal lowlifes. Nice accompanying vintage waterfront footage:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=564l2-5z6rQ
Potter's Field.

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Re: What is it with Tom Waits and Minneapolis?

Post  eddie on Mon May 07, 2012 12:17 am

Great tear-jerker about a railwayman's doomed love affair:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YofczBHnHrI&feature=related
Ruby's Arms

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Re: What is it with Tom Waits and Minneapolis?

Post  pinhedz on Fri Jul 04, 2014 7:49 am

pinhedz wrote:1st--to set the scene, here's a picture of the old Fairmont Hotel at 9th and Hennepin.  This is where the Hennepin County Sheriffs drop off the prisoners from the Hennepin County workhouse after they've served their sentences.  Many of them only spent one night in the workhouse and one day at the farm for "detox."


One day for "detox" is 4 less than 5 days for "Obstructing Legal Process." drunken

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Re: What is it with Tom Waits and Minneapolis?

Post  pinhedz on Fri Jul 04, 2014 7:58 am

That other link broke, but this one has the same song.

FYI Euclid Ave is just one block west of Hennepin on 9th street (if I remember right):


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Re: What is it with Tom Waits and Minneapolis?

Post  pinhedz on Fri Jul 04, 2014 8:06 am

I guess Tom's own explanation is still the best:

"I was in Minneapolis - it was 200 degrees below zero - I know - you think I'm bullshitting, no, I swear to God, I was wearing just a bra and a slip and a kind of dead squirrel around my neck - he was colder than I was. The police cars would go by and they'd wave... Merry Xmas, Merry Xmas, Merry Xmas - anyway - I got caught in the middle of a pimp war between 2 kids in Chinchilla coats, they couldn't have been more than 13 years old- they're throwing knives and forks and spoons out into the street - it was deep - so I grabbed a ladle - and Dinah Washington was singing "Our Day Will Come" and I knew that was it."

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Re: What is it with Tom Waits and Minneapolis?

Post  yoder on Sat Jul 05, 2014 1:40 am

for me the question is more like "what is it with Tom Waits"

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Re: What is it with Tom Waits and Minneapolis?

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