Drop whatever you’re doing, there’s a new PBS Blank on Blank animation, and this time it features an interview with Tom Waits. The interview was conducted by Chris Roberts in 1988, and is appropriately titled “Tom Waits on Everything and Nothing.”
The bit about the moles at Stonehenge is pure Waits. Although it also sounds like he could be channeling Karl Pilkington.
He also touches on the surreal nature of New York City, and how that is beneficial to artists, if they can “take it without becoming a part of it.”
He also gives a bit of writing advice:
I think you just write. You don’t try to make sense of it. You just put it down the way you got it. You don’t try to organize it, or put meaning to it. I think the best thing to do is just, like, take pictures of it. Like, you go in there with a safari rifle and a telephoto lens and just wait in the bushes.
It’s similar to the songwriting advice Neil Young once gave:
I don’t try to think of them. I wait till they come. A metaphor may be that if you’re trying to catch a rabbit, you don’t wait right by the hole…And then the rabbit comes out of the hole, he looks around. You start talking to the rabbit, but you’re not looking at it. Ultimately the rabbit is friendly and the song is born. The idea is, he’s free to come, free to go.
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