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Wild Years: The Music and Myth of Tom Waits

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  395 Ratings  ·  28 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, 276 pages
Published March 25th 2002 by ECW Press
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Sep 05, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  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
Antonius Block
Nov 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Vrlo lepo odrađen hronološki prikaz lika i dela Toma Vejtsa, koji je, kako znamo, poslat na ovu Zemlju (koja se nekim čudom i dalje okreće) da bi nam doneo poeziju jutara provedenih u memljivim hotelskim sobama, raštimovanih klavira, slomljenih srca smekšanih alkoholom, suza, neuhvatljivih žena koje plešu bosonoge u senci topola tokom toplih letnjih večeri, propalica, prosjaka, prostitutki, cirkuzanata, lutalica i noćnih vozova.
Ako ima Boga - to je onda Tom Vejts. Glavom pokrivenom iscepanim še
East Bay J
Jun 30, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: music-bios
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
Jul 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hardcore Waits fans will love it! Started pulling out all my old CDs.
Jason Clarke
I enjoyed the chronological stepping through the albums. I would have appreciated more information about the actual recording process, especially as the author apparently had extensive access to Bones Howe, the producer on many of Waits' early albums. It appears as if Jacobs did not have the opportunity to speak with Waits himself for the book, turning into a survey of existing literature and interviews with ancillary characters. More of a glimpse in than a report out. The discography at the end ...more
Aldo Minari
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biografie
Appassionata cavalcata attraverso la bio-discografia di Tom Waits, dagli esordi al 2004. Si tratta di un volume molto godibile, con molte citazioni, notizie, fonti, interviste non solo a Waits, che raccontano i retroscena dei suoi pezzi più famosi e di tutti i suoi album, fino alle soglie di "Real Gone" (2004). L'unica pecca è proprio questa: oggi risulta un po' datato (nel senso di non aggiornato), proprio perché, interrompendo la narrazione degli eventi al 2004, non affronta i lavori di Waits ...more
Sep 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Čitam neke komentare da je ova knjiga poput proširene Wikipedie o Tom Waitsu - valjda su očekivali više detalja iz njegove spavaće sobe. Za mene, velikog fana Waitsa, sasvim zadovoljavajući spoj faktografije, citata, njegove uvrnute mitologije i klasičnog muzičkog novinarstva. Sve novo što sam saznao o Waitsu je samo učvrstilo moje mišljenje o potpuno unikatnoj ličnosti, umetniku kakvih je sve manje.
Dead John Williams
May 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I once heard a music journalist say that Tom Waits came from nowhere. He went on to explain that if you look at any artist you can usually see who they took their lead from. He then said that with Tom Waits there is only him, it is like he perfected his act in the desert then came to town. I didn't exactly agree with him but I thought that he voiced something that all Tom Waits fans instinctively feel. Whilst I would say that there were people before him there is no-one like him now.

I was nervou
Aug 27, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Andrew Coltrin
Sep 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Found this at the Goodwill Bins and thought it would be a good opportunity to learn more about Tom Waits. It was published in 2000, so, of course it's not the most up to date. Not a problem. I was looking for history.

I learned a lot I didn't know, which is good, because Waits is the kind of artist for whom every additional layer of background knowledge leads to greater appreciation of the work.

This book, however, while informative, reads as a compilation of paraphrasings and quotes from transcri
Dave Walker
Tom Waits is such a uniquely interesting and elusive figure, and given this, any book about him has appeal. That being said, this could have been done better. I felt that the author spent too much time idolizing the artist, and the album descriptions read like overly-specific journal reviews. This would have worked well for me if I had been listening to the music while reading, but I wasn't. On the plus side, I learned more about one of my favorite artists and personalities and am motivated to l ...more
Greg Overall
Dec 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As someone who has been aware of Tom Waits mostly on the periphery, I really liked this book. The truth is I wanted to learn more about him and his music. I really hoped this book would make me a bigger fan of Waits, and it certainly did. The glimpses into his personal life were fairly limited, but that was fine with me. The book moved through his growth and progression as an artist in a chronological and logical fashion. I ended up buying 7 of his albums as I read this book. My favorite era is ...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 10, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  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.
Иван Собаков
Ova knjiga je verovatno manje užasna na engleskom, ali u jadnom prevodu je skoro nečitljiva od brojnih netranskribovanih imena i loše prevedenih stihova.
Sama knjiga se čini kao prošireno izdanje sabranih tekstova sa Vikipedije
Josh Gering
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An interesting and respectful look at a notoriously private person. And a very honest appraisal of an artistic genius of stage, studio and screen. great read.
Apr 20, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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...
Mike McSorley
No interview with Tom waites. goes thru each cd and explains events. Interesting, but author idolizes too much.
Dec 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fffabc
I love Tom Waits
Nov 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: waites
Enjoyable book for those that know the music!
Jul 16, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's a pretty nice pic I've never seen before of Brennan. The rest is press clipping hamfisted hogtied hogwash
Charles Martine
Nov 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The man. Check out his new record.
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.
Sep 30, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a poet this man is. The stories that he tells in his songs are gut-wrenching. And that voice. Love it.
Nov 06, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A particularly difficult artist to chronicle, but Jacobs does an okay job.
Jenny Shedor
Jun 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I am a big fan of Senior Waits. This was an entertaining read, only made me love him more. I heart Tom Waits!
Marcus Collins
rated it liked it
Apr 04, 2016
Patrick Twitchell
rated it really liked it
Feb 23, 2015
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