Tom Waits Quotes
1. I like beautiful melodies telling me terrible things.
2. There ain’t no devil, only God when he’s drunk.
3. The world is a hellish place, and bad writing is destroying the quality of our suffering.
4. Well, it’s either kiss me or kill me, that’s how I see it.
5. I don’t have a drinking problem ‘Cept when I can’t get a drink.
6. This is about all the bad days in the world. I used to have some little bad days, and I kept them in a little box. And one day, I threw them out into the yard. “Oh, it’s just a couple little innocent bad days.” Well, we had a big rain. I don’t know what it was growing in but I think we used to put eggshells out there and coffee grounds, too. Don’t plant your bad days. They grow into weeks. The weeks grow into months. Before you know it you got yourself a bad year. Take it from me. Choke those little bad days. Choke ’em down to nothin’. They’re your days. Choke ’em!
7. T’ain’t no sin to take off your skin, and dance around in your bones.
8. Champagne for my real friends and real pain for my sham friends.
9. You can learn a lot about a woman by getting smashed with her.
10. A gentleman is someone who can play the accordion, but doesn’t.
11. and the earth died screaming, while I lay dreaming…
12. Most of the people I admire, they usually smell funny and don’t get out much. It’s true. Most of them are either dead or not feeling well.
13. Oh, I’m not a percussionist, I just like to hit things.
14. I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.
15. the earth is not my home, I’m just passing by
16. I’ve always been a word guy, I like weird words and I like American slang and all that and words that are no longer being used… I like to drag them out of the box and wave them around… this is an interesting one, it’s amazing how in addition to punctuation just a little pause in the wrong place can just completely transform the meaning of something.
17. I hate Disneyland. It primes our kids for Las Vegas.
18. I don’t go to church on Sunday, don’t get on my knees to pray, or memorize the books of the Bible, I got my own special way
19. The piano has been drinking, not me.
20. All that you’ve loved is all you own
21. The big print giveth and the small print taketh away.
22. And the things you can’t remember tell the things you can’t forget that history puts a saint in every dream.
23. I’ve lost my equilibrium, my car keys, and my pride.
24. I’ve been riding on the crest of a slump lately.
25. Oh I don’t mind going to weddings, just as long as it’s not my own…
26. I ain’t got no spare/I ain’t got no jack/I don’t give a shit/I’m not going back
27. It’s very hard to stop doing things you’re used to doing. You almost have to dismantle yourself and scatter it all around and then put a blindfold on and put it back together so that you avoid old habits.
28. They say that I have no hits and that I’m difficult to work with. And they say that like it’s a bad thing.
29. but it’s so hard to dance that way when it’s cold and there’s no music.
30. We are all just monkeys with money and guns.
31. Never have your wallet with you onstage. It’s bad luck. You shouldn’t play the piano with money in your pocket. Play like you need the money.
Tom Waits (to me, about 1986 or so)
32. The large print giveth and the small print taketh away.
33. The Universe is making music all the time.
34. When the weather’s rough and it’s whiskey in the rain it’s best to wrap your savior up in cellophane.
35. Most vagabonds i knowed don’t ever want to find the culprit that remains the object of their long relentless quest. The obsession’s in the chasing and not the apprehending, the pursuit you see and never the arrest” – Tom Waits “Foreign Affairs
36. I’ve never been a fan of personality-conflict burgers and identity-crisis omelets with patchouli oil. I function very well on a diet that consists of Chicken Catastrophe and Eggs Overwhelming and a tall, cool Janitor-in-a-Drum. I like to walk out of a restaurant with enough gas to open a Mobil station.
37. I’ve seen it all through the yellow windows of the evening train…
38. The beginning of it starts at the end
39. Children make up the best songs, anyway. Better than grown-ups. Kids are always working on songs and throwing them away, like little origami things or paper airplanes. They don’t care if they lose it; they’ll just make another one.
40. I admit that I ain’t no angel, I admit that I ain’t no saint– I’m selfish and I’m cruel and I’m blind. If I exorcise my devils, well my angels may leave too. When they leave they’re so hard to find…
41. Your old home town’s so far away, but inside your head there’s a record that’s playing, a song called ‘Hold On
42. My reality needs imagination like a bulb needs a socket. My imagination needs reality like a blind man needs a cane.
43. I walked 500 miles just to see a halo, when I opened my eyes I was blind as can be.
44. I worry about a lot of things, but I don’t worry about achievements. I worry primarily about whether there are nightclubs in Heaven.
45. There’s no prayer like desire.
46. The Music was like Electric Sugar
47. It’s the same with men as with horses and dogs, nothing wants to die.
48. Got a head full of lightning, a hat full of rain.
49. and when they pulled her from the wreck, you know, she still had on her shades
50. when your down on your luck and you’ve lost all your dreams theres nothing like a campfire and a can of beans
51. I just don’t like the word ‘fun’–it’s like Volkswagen, or bell-bottoms, or patchouli-oil or bean-sprouts…it rubs me up the wrong way.
52. It’s cold out there, colder than a ticket taker’s smile at the Ivar Theatre on a Saturday night.
53. bringing up children was]like living with a bunch of drunks…you really have to be on your toes all the time.
54. There’s nothing more embarrassing than a person who tries to guess what the great American public would like, makes a compromise for the first time, and falls flat on his face… I would rather be a failure on my own terms than a success on someone else’s. That’s a difficult statement to live up to, but then I’ve always believed that the way you affect your audience is more important than how many of them are there.
55. Don’t plant your bad days. They grow into weeks. The weeks grow into months. Before you know it, you got yourself a bad year. Take it from me – choke those little bad days. Choke ‘em down to nothing.
56. Not the kind of wheel you fall asleep at.
57. She’s got the whole dark forest living inside of her.
58. I’ve made a profound transformation. I’ve fashioned some cyber-underwear. I’m not scared of anything! Actually, I am scared of a few things. Cyber world is a world of adventure, a new galaxy. I’m big on adventure. But I don’t assume that just because the word cyber is being used as a prefix, doesn’t give it anymore value or credence. Cyber relationships have the illusion of intimacy, sometimes with the absence of intimacy. Is it better to have a conversation in a café or on the telephone?
59. i never told the truth so i can never tell a lie…
60. He likes a day in the studio to end, he says, “when my knees are all skinned up and my pants are wet and my hair’s off to one side and I feel like I’ve been in the foxhole all day. I don’t think comfort is good for music. It’s good to come out with skinned knuckles after wrestling with something you can’t see. I like it when you come home at the end of the day from recording and someone says, “What happened to your hand?” And you don’t even know. When you’re in that place, you can dance on a broken ankle.