Refreshed and Updated: Tom Waits on TV

May 15th, 2015 in Music

Following last night’s Waits-ian finale on Letterman, it makes sense to refresh and update our old TW on TV compendium.  As mentioned earlier today, one of our favorite songwriters, performers, and interviewees is Tom Waits. With respect to the latter, his television interviews/performances are legendary, dating from the mid-70s on The Mike Douglas Show and the underrated Fernwood Tonight. This is one very talented, bright and hilarious lad. And it’s the stellar string of Letterman Show performances over the last 30+ years that best capture the humor and live performances. He’s a national treasure, plain and simple.  This was further supported last night with Waits’ final appearance on the Letterman Show.

Check out the 1976 piano performance and interview with Mike Douglas to start and then his Fernwood Tonight (The Piano Has Been Drinking) spot, and then a series of Letterman segments, and at the very bottom a Conan spot and then a stunning delivery of Tom Traubert’s Blues, and a few others to boot. There’s lots more where these came from so we’ll just keep updating.

Here’s part 2 to that 1983 Letterman segment. Check out his performance of On The Nickel. If you aren’t moved by this song, starting at 1:59, you simply have no soul.

Tom Waits on Late Night With Conan O’Brien 05.04.2007 from Anti Records on Vimeo.

And then it gets really heart-felt, and you have to Waltz with Matilda and Tom right here:

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