The next inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame were announced today, and I was happy to see Tom Waits was among the artists who will be honored this spring.
Waits is a bit of a different sort of singer-songwriter. His voice is about as rough as sandpaper, if you dipped it in glue and then covered it with broken glass. But his songs are among the most brilliant and creative in the world. They are fairly abstract and hard to understand, but I love the emotions they stir.
Some of my favorite Waits songs are filled with this sense of wandering and potentially lost, but not worried about it. They are great songs to listen to when you’re out walking an night, moving about in the shadows and unable to see everything.
For example, here’s an old video from the 1970s of Waits performing “Tom Traubert’s Blues,” which is based on a night he got really drunk while exploring Copenhagen, Denmark, with someone named Mathilde.
Another really great one is “Long Way Home,” but I can’t find a suitable way to post that here. You’ll just have to find it yourself.Â Also, check out “I hope that I don’t fall in love with you” and “Cold, cold ground.”