Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Heart of Saturday Night

The Heart Of Saturday Night Press Release, 1974

15 COLUMBUS CIRCLE NEW YORK. N.Y. 10023. 212-582-7711

The blur drizzle down the plate glass and a neon swizzle stick stirs up the night air, as a cue ball maverick of a moon rolls across an obsidian sky and the buses groaning and wheezing at the corner of restless blvd. and midnight road, across the trucks from easy street and window shoppers beat the cement stroll and I sit scowling over this week's special Norm's pancakes and eggs 69¢ trying to stretchout in the bowels of this metropolitan area. I've tasted Saturday nights in Detroit, St. Louis, Tuscaloosa, New Orleans, Atlanta, N.Y.C., Boston, Memphis. I've done more traveling in the past year than I ever did in my life so far, in terms of my level of popularity, on the night spot circuit, I remain in relative obscurity and now upon the release of a second album, which I believe a comprehensive study of a number of aspects of this search for the center of Saturday night, which Jack Kerouac relentlessly chased from one end of this country to the other, and I've attempted to scoop up a few diamonds of this magic that I see. Musically pulling influence from Mose Allison, Thelonious Monk, Randy Newman, George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Ray Charles, Stephen Foster, Frank Sinatra...

My favorite writers, Jack Kerouac, Charles Bukowski, Michael C. Ford. Robert Webb, Gregory Corso, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Larry McMurtry, Harper Lee, Sam Jones, Eugene O'Neill, John Reechy and more. I drive a 1965 Thunderbird that needs a valve job and at least 4 quarts of Penzoil a week and gets 4 miles to the gallon on a long distance, the trunk is busted. And I have 3 warrants on traffic violations in the Los Angeles Metropolitan area alone. I am a pedestrian piano player with poor technique but a good sense of melody. I write in coffee shops, bars, and parking lots. My favorite album is Kerouac-Allen on Hanover Records.

Born December 7, 1949 in Pomona, California, I drink heavily on occasion and shoot a decent game of pool and my idea of a good time is a Tuesday evening at the Manhattan Club in Tijuana. I reside now in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles and am a dedicated Angelino and have absolutely no intention of moving to a cabin in Colorado. I like smog, traffic, kinky people, car trouble, noisy neighbors, crowded bars, and spend most of my time in my car going to the movies.

Now, with two diploma albums, Closing Time and The Heart of Saturday Night, I trust I will secure enough club dates to keep me moving. I've been an opening act for many artists including Frank Zappa and the Mothers, Buffalo Bob and the Howdy Doody Review, Charlie Rich, John Stewart, Billy Preston, John Hammond, Jerry Jeff Walker, Bob La Beau, Danny O'Keefe and others and I've met Ed Barbara of Manhattan Furniture.

Your friend and mine,
Tom Waits

(AM7) The Eagles may have covered "Ol' 55," but Waits was cut from a different cloth than L.A.'s singer-songwriters. Waits was a scruffy beat poet who'd walked out On the Road. Knowing that his beatnik shtick could get old quick, Waits developed into a more musically adventurous songwriter in later years, but his second album contains his best early work, including the sweet romantic blues of "New Coat of Paint" ("You wear a dress baby, I'll wear a tie"), and the recitation, "Diamonds on My Windshield." Three songs are enduring classics: the doleful, dirge-like "San Diego Serenade" ("Never saw the morning till I stayed up all night"), the touchingly sweet "(Looking for) The Heart of Saturday Night" ("Stoppin' on the red, goin' on the green, `cause tonight'll be like nothin' that you've ever seen"), and the meticulousy bluesy jazz of "Please Call Me, Baby."  It's almost as if the press release was Waits trying to be Kerouac (doesn't work), but the music instead, the lyrics, are Kerouac if Kerouac could sing (or not). A truly accessible Waits album and my second favorite to Swordfishtrombones.

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