Top 100

Top 200 Tom Waits Quotes (2023 Update)
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Tom Waits Quote: “You just write and you don’t try to make sense of it. You just put it down the way you got it.”
Tom Waits Quote: “Are you still jumping out of windows in expensive clothes?”
Tom Waits Quote: “Writing songs is like capturing birds without killing them. Sometimes you end up with nothing but a mouthful of feathers.”
Tom Waits Quote: “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.”
Tom Waits Quote: “Don’t plant your days they turn into weeds.”
Tom Waits Quote: “I always liked the idea that America is a big facade. We are all insects crawling across on the shiny hood of a Cadillac. We’re all looking at the wrapping. But we won’t tear the wrapping to see what lies beneath.”
Tom Waits Quote: “When the weather’s rough and it’s whiskey in the rain it’s best to wrap your savior up in cellophane.”
Tom Waits Quote: “Planes and Trains and Boats and Busses Characteristically Evolve a common attitude of blue Unless you have a suitcase and a ticket and a passport And the cargo that they’re carrying is you.”
Tom Waits Quote: “Well, they’ll bark you down like carneys, sell you Christmas cards in June.”
Tom Waits Quote: “Folks who work here are professors. Don’t replace all the knowers with guessors keep’em open they’re the ears of the town.”
Tom Waits Quote: “As a kid, I did want to be an old-timer, since they were the ones with the big stories and the cool clothes. I wanted to go there. Now, I guess I want to bring that with me and go back in time.”
Tom Waits Quote: “It’s new, it’s improved, it’s old fashioned.”
Tom Waits Quote: “The trick is to have a career and have a family. It’s like having two dogs that hate each other and you have to take them for a walk every night.”
Tom Waits Quote: “She pulls a razor from her boot and a thousand victims fall around her feet.”
Tom Waits Quote: “Sometimes words are just music themselves. Like ‘Chicago’ is a very musical sounding name.”
Tom Waits Quote: “You know when you throw a party, you think people will show up and no one will like each other. It’s like that with music – parts of your musical psyche have never met other parts. You wonder if you should get them together.”
Tom Waits Quote: “New York forces you to be in endless surreal situations.”
Tom Waits Quote: “Sometimes the magnetism of a song is impossible to ignore, and it demands that it be sung in a certain way.”
Tom Waits Quote: “The average person spends two weeks over their lifetime waiting for the traffic light to change.”
Tom Waits Quote: “Oh, I got a beautiful 1959 Cadillac Coupe DeVille four-door. No one will ride in it with me.”
Tom Waits Quote: “I think all songs should have weather in them. Names of towns and streets, and they should have a couple of sailors. I think those are just song prerequisites.”
Tom Waits Quote: “I don’t really like listening to the radio so much.”
Tom Waits Quote: “Any place is good for eavesdropping, if you know how to eavesdrop.”
Tom Waits Quote: “There’s nothing that makes me laugh more than being in the situation where you’re not supposed to laugh. Funerals. People crying. Breaking down. Telling you their life. I’m the worst. I’m the worst at that.”
Tom Waits Quote: “Presley’s what I go by, why don’t you change the station.”
Tom Waits Quote: “I have an audio stigmatism whereby I hear things wrong – I have audio illusions.”
Tom Waits Quote: “I hate Disneyland. It primes our kids for Las Vegas.”
Tom Waits Quote: “If you’re a writer, you know that the stories don’t come to you – you have to go looking for them. The old men in the lobby: that’s where the stories were.”
Tom Waits Quote: “Disneyland is Vegas for children.”
Tom Waits Quote: “It’s the same with men as with horses and dogs, nothing wants to die.”
Tom Waits Quote: “What you want is for music to love you back. That’s why you pay your dues. You want to feel like you belong and are part of this symbiosis, metamorphosis, whatever you want to call it.”
Tom Waits Quote: “There’s only one reason why you write new songs: You get sick of the old songs. It’s not that I didn’t do anything during the time when I wrote no songs. I was creative, but in another way. I had ideas for songs and collected the ideas.”
Tom Waits Quote: “I don’t know if any genuine, meaningful change could ever result from a song. It’s kind of like throwing peanuts at a gorilla.”
Tom Waits Quote: “They called it the Terminal Bar but they had no idea that like twenty years later the place’d be filling up with terminal cases.”
Tom Waits Quote: “If I exorcise my devils, all my angels may go, too.”
Tom Waits Quote: “When it’s raining you can’t find enough things to catch it in. When it’s not you can stand out in the middle of the street in a dress and a funny hat and nothing’s gonna make it rain. I go through periods – or spells – when I’m more receptive.”
Tom Waits Quote: “Arithmetic arithmetock Turn the hands back on the clock How does the ocean rock the boat? How did the razor find my throat? The only strings that hold me here Are tangled up around the pier.”
Tom Waits Quote: “You choke my days, I’ll choke yours.”
Tom Waits Quote: “I was always laughing in church.”
Tom Waits Quote: “You know what I really love? The CD players in a car. How when you put the CD right up by the slot, it actually takes it out of your hand, like it’s hungry. It pulls it in, and you feel like it wants more silver discs.”
Tom Waits Quote: “Sometimes when you’re making songs you just make sounds, and the sounds slowly mutate and evolve into actual words that have meaning.”
Tom Waits Quote: “When you say you’re doing an opera, it’s like when you’re a seven-year-old and say, ‘I’m off to Washington, Dad.’ You kind of go, ‘Sure. Sure you are, son.’”
Tom Waits Quote: “I do like books on anatomy. I have to say I’m an amateur physician, I guess.”
Tom Waits Quote: “Photos are profound because they have such short lives. They are more like fingerprints, dead leaves, rain puddles, or the corpses of flies.”
Tom Waits Quote: “Misery is the River of the World.”
Tom Waits Quote: “People make songs so that somebody else will hear them and want to do them. I guess it’s an indication that the songs aren’t so ultra-personal that they can’t possibly be interpreted by anyone else.”
Tom Waits Quote: “There’s a place on my arm where I’ve written her name next to mine.”
Tom Waits Quote: “You’ve gotta have somebody to trust, that knows a lot.”
Tom Waits Quote: “I used to imagine that making it in music – really making it in music – is if you’re an old man going by a schoolyard and you hear children singing your songs, playing jump-rope, or on the swings. That’s the ultimate. You’re in the culture.”
Tom Waits Quote: “Most of us have the residue of thousands of songs in our ears, that if you end up songwriting, I think you’re mostly smoking the residue of all that material you absorbed over time.”
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