Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Gave the Finger to the Moon

Tom Waits : Medley: Jack And Neal/California, Here I Come

In September of 1977, Tom Waits released Foreign Affairs. I've always thought that was Rickie Lee Jones on the cover, but it's Marsheila Cockrell, who worked at the box office of The Troubadour in Los Angeles. (Didn't Rickie tell me that was her in an interview?)

The first three tracks of the album might have you wondering if Waits, singing in the style of  Louis Armstrong,  is trying to make the sequel to Frank Sinatra's moody classic, In The Wee Small Hours. There is even a gin-soaked barfly duet with Bette Midler on "I Never Talk to Strangers".

Then comes track four: "Medley: Jack And Neal/California, Here I Come"  where Waits reestablishes his link to his true spiritual brothers, The Beats, with lyrics most Sinatra fans wouldn't sit still for:

Just then Florence Nightingale dropped her drawers
And stuck her fat ass half way out of the window
With a Wilson Pickett tune and shouted 
Get a load of this and gave the finger to the moon

There are better Waits albums but die-hard fans will find much to enjoy here.

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