So I guess I'm supposed to type out an intro that some middle-aged guy can read and compare to the relationship he has/had with . No offense, I have no knowledge of what you look like or who you are, but I can totally picture you as a comic opera devil gnashing his teeth while taking a drag of some cigarette. Not that that would offend you or anything. I guess I have it set in my mind that all TW fans are men like that, considering the only TW fan I know fits that exact description.
I'll be honest, and in being honest I'll admit that I was going to lie about this whole thing and say I'm some balding 50-year-old lady who got turned onto Tom Waits when she was a teen in the 70s and her boyfriend was like, "Hey, check out this bitchin' artist. Can you dig it?" (You can lie about that type of stuff, it's the internet. No one would know. It would have worked) but no. I turned 17 a week ago and thanks to Tom Waits, even my own father thinks I'm older than I really am.
How I got turned onto TW is a dreary story in itself, I, being a teenager, am susceptible to fits of sullen depresso attitudes; I wanted to download music that'd keep me from thinking about some current stupid issue I was having trouble with. I saw the name "Tom Waits" - it looked familiar but I couldn't for the life of me remember why. My first Tom Waits song was "Starving in the belly of a Whale." I told my friend I found pirate rock. My friend did some quick research and retorted with, "Nah, I think he's a jazz musician." A month later I kept reminding myself, "I need to download more of that pirate Thomas guy."
I don't know how or when it happened, but one day I woke up and BAM. I was totally infatuated with everything Tom Waits. I researched him and found out he had a family (I wasn't researching specifically to see if he had a family... I was researching his music, I'm not some weirdo, really), including Kellesimone Waits. His daughter, Kellesimone Waits, is an artist, did you know that? Her stuff is actually pretty cool, too. I added the real Kellesimone (there's only one in the world, apparently) on facebook (I don't know why she accepted) and when facebook notified me it was her birthday, I made her some spiffy birthday card which included a "happy birthday Kellesimone" on the inside and circus animals all over it. I guess I expected either some friendly criticism, a "wow, can you mail it to me?" or something, but she said thank-you and blocked me. See, I'm the most socially awkward person you'll ever read about or talk to, so this birthday exchange seemed normal to me; obviously it wasn't to her. Or she likes her privacy. I understand. I haven't told anyone she blocked me. Rejected by part of the Waits clan. Too embarrassing.
I'm still continuing my Waits adventures, with everything in between that I don't feel at liberty to mention. I'll leave on the note that two goals I'd like to accomplish right now are to 1.) see the man live; hopefully he won't play in some bar (I'm 17. I'm sure we both know how much that would suck) and 2.) find some other people who can openly discuss this guy with me. I'll keep my expectations low and I know I won't be disappointed.
Also, so this post isn't a complete waste of your time, you should really check out Southside Johnny With La Bamba's Big Band - the album Grapefruit Moon The Songs Of Tom Waits. I was not disappointed.