Wild Years: The Music and Myth of Tom Waits
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Wild Years: The Music and Myth of Tom Waits

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  228 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Legend. Bum. Genius. Con Man. Devoted husband and father. Myth. Storyteller. Inspiration. Drunk. Visionary. Tom Waits is all of these things.Wild Tears: The Music and Myth of Tom Waits retraces the long road that Waits has travelled and explores the music that made him a legend. Jay S. Jacobs looks at the towering myth that Waits has created for himself, a larger-than-life...more
Paperback, 250 pages
Published October 10th 2000 by ECW Press (first published 2000)
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Oct 02, 2012 Mariel rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: I don't ever wanna be that way
Recommended to Mariel by: I don't wanna grow up
"I'll tell you all my secrets, but I lie about my past." from "Tango Till You're Sore"

I don't know what the Tom Waits biography of my dreams would be. If I could sing back to the little birds who tell people things they need to know... How do you change the wires that hook your ears up to your eyes and loop up to the noodly parts that trick you into thinking (no, into believing) that the filth isn't there to dirty up the clean? Alphabet soup spells rhymes out of this world of Dr. Seuss and Ses...more
I was very excited to read this and was very disappointed when I got started. Even more disappointed by the end. It seems to me, in 2008, after fifty plus years of "rock journalism," that these sorts of puff piece, simpleton music bio writers would have been weeded out. Sent packing. Given their walking papers. The only thing that made this book enjoyable was Waits; his character, his stories, his points of view. If this had been a book about someone crap, like Oasis, I would have burned it. No,...more
Hardcore Waits fans will love it! Started pulling out all my old CDs.
A rollicking good read if you're a Waits fan. Unlike the more recent biography 'The Many Lives Of Tom Wait' by Patrick Humphries, Jacobs' tome tends as much towards the mythology that Waits has created around his professional life, ie. the seedy barfly piano-man turned psychedelic farmer, as it does towards his real life. (He is, in reality, neither a complete dipsomaniac nor teetotaller, but rather somewhere in that sane place in-between.)

More importantly, while sensation-seeking former NME hac...more
Tom Waits must be a difficult, if not impossible, character to write about, and as an enormous die-hard fan I was apprehensive about attempting to read anything written on him. As any Waits appreciator should know he's an intensely private man; so despite my fascination bordering on obsession, I've been hesitant to dig any further. In some ways, Wild Years was a good book to bridge that gap... but in a lot of ways it disappointed.

Jacobs, in keeping with Waits' desires, makes no attempt to dig u...more
Levi Makula
It is easy to write about a man such as Tom Waits and I don't feel like Jay S. Jacobs went about it in a way that grabs the attention of the readers. Some parts drag on and he spends an unnecessarily long time on describing the people involved in his life and not the man himself. However, upon saying this he also gives the reader an excellent timeline of Waits' life and extracts some very in-depth details from his childhood and early days which are very intriguing. Overall the book had the poten...more
Felisa Rosa
Feb 11, 2008 Felisa Rosa rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: anyone who is seriously into Tom Wait's music
A well-written book with lots of interesting information about Tom Waits' music. Definitely written for serious fans. Jacobs is very respectful of Tom Waits' privacy, which I can appreciate because I revere Tom so much myself. However, to tell you the honest truth, I wouldn't have minded some salacious details.
Julie Rautio smith
Very disappointing. I listened to Ton Waits in the late 70's. I'm interested in him, so picked up this book. Kept waiting for it to get better. It didn't.
I learned some stuff about the guy, but not nearly enough. Would much rather read an autobiography, but I guess this'll do til Tom Waits writes one...
Picked this up on the flight from Long Beach to Philadelphia, I guess in the move I forgot about it. So far, its pretty good.
Mike McSorley
No interview with Tom waites. goes thru each cd and explains events. Interesting, but author idolizes too much.
There's a pretty nice pic I've never seen before of Brennan. The rest is press clipping hamfisted hogtied hogwash
What a poet this man is. The stories that he tells in his songs are gut-wrenching. And that voice. Love it.
Jenny Shedor
I am a big fan of Senior Waits. This was an entertaining read, only made me love him more. I heart Tom Waits!
A particularly difficult artist to chronicle, but Jacobs does an okay job.
Charles Martine
The man. Check out his new record.
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