Monday, Aug. 22, 2011
Tom Waits on Tom Waits: Interviews and Encounters (Chicago Review Press), ed. by Paul Maher Jr.
Tom Waits has granted as few interviews as possible through a career that began in Los Angeles' underbelly in the early '70s; when he sits still for one, usually in a barrio bar or a decrepit diner, he evades questions with studied ease and leads reporters into a labyrinth of yarns and tall tales. Tom Waits on Tom Waits is a fascinating collection of interviews recorded from 1973 through 2008, showing the hipster persona, composed like a character from Kerouac, but little of the person. Waits' strategic lack of candor is refreshing in our celebrity-saturated age—much like his music, which refuses to be easily marketed.