Top 100

Top 200 Tom Waits Quotes (2023 Update)
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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.”
Tom Waits Quote: “I’m trying to get music ideas that come and keep them alive. It’s like carrying water in your hands. I want to keep it all, and sometimes by the time you get to the studio you have nothing.”
Tom Waits Quote: “I may be drunk but at least I’m not insane.”
Tom Waits Quote: “Any image I have, it’s just what I do, but it comes off as being very pretentious. When you’re a bit in the public astigmatism, anything you do seems like you did it so somebody would see you do it, like showing up at the right parties.”
Tom Waits Quote: “I like vocal word stuff. But I don’t always write with an instrument, I usually write a capella. It’s more like drawing in the air with your fingers. It’s closest to the choreography of a bee. You’re freer.”
Tom Waits Quote: “But then I’m one of those guys that is still a bit afraid of the telephone, its implications for conversation. I still wonder if the jukebox might be the death of live music.”
Tom Waits Quote: “The Music was like Electric Sugar.”
Tom Waits Quote: “Well you say that it’s gospel, But I know that it’s only church.”
Tom Waits Quote: “I knelt at the altar of Ray Charles for years. I worked at a restaurant, and that’s all there was on the jukebox.”
Tom Waits Quote: “Jesus Christ, this godamn rain, will someone put me on a train.”
Tom Waits Quote: “I’m usually more concerned with how things sound than how they look on the page.”
Tom Waits Quote: “My first big gig was an opening show for Frank Zappa, and I think that was difficult.”
Tom Waits Quote: “Oh, I’m not a percussionist, I just like to hit things.”
Tom Waits Quote: “You almost have to create situations in order to write about them, so I live in a constant state of self-imposed poverty. I don’t want to live any other way.”
Tom Waits Quote: “I guess I’ve always lived upside down when I want things I can’t have.”
Tom Waits Quote: “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.”
Tom Waits Quote: “I like Thelonious Monk, he’s so gnarled, he’s like a piece of machinery that’s pulled up the bolts on the floor and gone off on its own.”
Tom Waits Quote: “People get frightened that success is going to take them out of life. They’re no longer going to be on the corner of Bedlam and Squalor; life will only be something you can get through the mail.”
Tom Waits Quote: “With families and music, you’re usually looking for something that can make you unique.”
Tom Waits Quote: “Got 27 children I never see.”
Tom Waits Quote: “I don’t know what the ‘big time’ is.”
Tom Waits Quote: “I do some acting. And there’s a difference between “I do some acting” and “I’m an actor.””
Tom Waits Quote: “Music has generally involved a lot of awkward contraptions, a certain amount of heavy lifting.”
Tom Waits Quote: “If you are recording, you are recording. I don’t believe there is such a thing as a demo or a temporary vocal.”
Tom Waits Quote: “Jimmy Stewart said he stopped making movies because he didn’t like the way he looked on screen anymore. I’m more the guy who says I look like hell but I’m going to see where it gets me.”
Tom Waits Quote: “I really like your playing.”
Tom Waits Quote: “George Bush is a fan of mine, he came to see me in the Seventies. His coke dealer brought him.”
Tom Waits Quote: “You know, we just buy music now. We don’t make it any more. And that goes for just about everything. I think it’s so important that people develop and subscribe to and have confidence in their own ability to make music, however rough it is.”
Tom Waits Quote: “I took a hundred dollars from a blindman’s hand.”
Tom Waits Quote: “It’s terrible for the culture of music. Like anything that is purely economic, it ignores the most important component.”
Tom Waits Quote: “You hope people are going to be listening to you after you’re gone. And they like you better after you’re gone.”
Tom Waits Quote: “I’m not one of those people the tabloids chase around.”
Tom Waits Quote: “Don’t look back, because someone might be gaining on you.”
Tom Waits Quote: “Most of the things you absorb you will ultimately secrete.”
Tom Waits Quote: “I like writing melody without an instrument. It’s just so – it’s more like the choreography of a bee; you just go.”
Tom Waits Quote: “I didn’t really want to be part of a clique or a niche. But I also was looking for my own voice, as a writer, y’know? And a world I could call my own.”
Tom Waits Quote: “I think this whole division between the genres has more to do with marketing than anything else. It’s terrible for the culture of music.”
Tom Waits Quote: “It’s rather mystifying when you think about writing songs – where they come from, and how they’re born.”
Tom Waits Quote: “You want soldiers who, when they get to a river after a long march, don’t start rooting for their canteen in their pack, but just dive right in.”
Tom Waits Quote: “I think some bands thrive on the idea of changing instruments. When they’re off their real instrument, the ability to go very far from the original idea is reduced.”
Tom Waits Quote: “We are buried beneath the weight of information...”
Tom Waits Quote: “George Burns was a Vaudeville performer I particularly loved.”
Tom Waits Quote: “I finally discovered that my life is more important than show business.”
Tom Waits Quote: “New York, of course, is to be in endless surreal situations where a fifty-thousand dollar, gun-metal Mercedez pulls up into a puddle of blood, and out steps a twenty-five karat blonde transvestite with a two dollar wristwatch.”
Tom Waits Quote: “I’m so goddamn horny, the crack of dawn better be careful around me!”
Tom Waits Quote: “And the things you can’t remember tell the things you can’t forget that history puts a saint in every dream.”
Tom Waits Quote: “You don’t meet nice girls in coffee shops.”
Tom Waits Quote: “All my friends are dead, or else they’re not feeling too good.”
Tom Waits Quote: “Never trust a scarecrow wearin’ shades after dark.”
Tom Waits Quote: “Everything you can think of is true.”
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