Lost & Found: We Love All Things Tom Waits
We love all things Tom Waits. And if you also love all things Tom Waits, then this is for you too. And if you're on the fence, check it out. There's a good chance you'll go away a fan. We did some digging and found three amazing video appearances of Waits on various late-night shows. He's always been a card, but he really sold it back in the '70s.
In the video up top here, he performs on 'The Mike Douglas Show.' Then he talks with the host about where he comes from musically. He also makes Douglas, composer Marvin Hamlish and actor Glenda Jackson look like the biggest squares who ever lived.
Waits also dropped in on 'Fernwood 2 Night,' a sorta fake talk show starring Martin Mull and Fred Willard. Waits performed a short version of 'The Piano Has Been Drinking' before chatting with the hosts. Although Mull's character mentions that Waits must make "500 big ones" a year, Waits ends up asking both of the hosts for a few bucks by the end.
'Fernwood 2 Night' also deserves an honorable mention here. The show, set in the fictional town of Fernwood, Ohio, lasted only a few months in 1977. But it wasn't canceled. The name of the show was changed to 'America 2 Night' and the location "moved" to another fictional town called Alta Coma, "the unfinished furniture capital of the world!"
To wrap things up, we have a video of Waits performing on 'Late Night With David Letterman' back in 1999. He plays a tune called 'Chocolate Jesus.' It's a surprisingly raw, minimal, unusually orchestrated performance for late-night television, but it's one of Waits' best. Even though he's not what you'd call a young man anymore, he still keeps making great music.