A gentleman is someone who can play the accordion, but doesn't.— Tom Waits
The most staggering Tom Waits quotes that are new and everybody is talking about
Don't plant your bad days. They grow into weeks. The weeks grow into months. Before you know it, you got yourself a bad year. Take it from me - choke those little bad days. Choke 'em down to nothing.
I'd rather have a free bottle in front of me than a prefrontal lobotomy.
when your down on your luck and you've lost all your dreams theres nothing like a campfire and a can of beans
The folks who know the truth aren't talking.
... The ones who don't have a clue, you can't shut them up!
I like beautiful melodies telling me terrible things.
You have to keep busy. After all, no dog's ever pissed on a moving car.
The world is a hellish place, and bad writing is destroying the quality of our suffering.
I like my music with the rinds and the seeds and pulp left in.
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.
If you get far enough away you'll be on your way back home.
It's very hard to stop doing things you're used to doing.
You almost have to dismantle yourself and scatter it all around and then put a blindfold on and put it back together so that you avoid old habits.
Most songs have meager beginnings. You wake up in the morning, you throw on your suspenders, and you subvocalize and just think. They seem to form like calcium. I can't think of a story right off the bat that was that interesting. I write things on the back of my hand, usually, and sing into a tape recorder.
I don't have a drinking problem 'Cept when I can't get a drink.
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.
Children make up the best songs, anyway.
Better than grown-ups. Kids are always working on songs and throwing them away, like little origami things or paper airplanes. They don't care if they lose it; they'll just make another one.
Don't you know there ain't no devil, it's just god when he's drunk.
You're my North Star when I'm lost and feeling blue.
I'll be clickin' by your house about two forty-five, Sidewalk Sundae Strawberry Surprise.
I started out with nothing and I still got most of it left.
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.
It's hard to play with a bagpipe player.
It's like an exotic bird. I love the sound, it's like strangling a goose.
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.
I've never been a fan of personality-conflict burgers and identity-crisis omelets with patchouli oil. I function very well on a diet that consists of Chicken Catastrophe and Eggs Overwhelming and a tall, cool Janitor-in-a-Drum. I like to walk out of a restaurant with enough gas to open a Mobil station.
I admit that I ain't no angel, I admit that I ain't no saint - I'm selfish and I'm cruel and I'm blind. If I exorcise my devils, well my angels may leave too. When they leave they're so hard to find.
I saw a crow building a nest, I was watching him very carefully, I was kind of stalking him and he was aware of it. And you know what they do when they become aware of someone stalking them when they build a nest, which is a very vulnerable place to be? They build a decoy nest. It's just for you.
All the donuts have names that sound like prostitutes
slept all night in the cedar grove, i was born to ramble, born to rove, some men are searchin' for the holy grail, but there ain't nothin' sweeter than ridin' the rails
The average person spends two weeks over their lifetime waiting for the traffic light to change.
The blues is like a planet. It's an enormous topic. You can't ignore the impact that it has had and continues to have on the whole musical culture. It's a tree that everyone is swinging from. Without it, I don't know where I would be. It's indelible and indispensable.
I made a wish on a sliver of moonlight A sly grin and a bowl full of stars
You got to tell me the brave captain Why are the wicked so strong? How do the angels get to sleep When the devil leaves the porch light on?
I'm not fighting for justice. I am not fighting for freedom. I am fighting for my life and another day in the world here.
I'm always looking for sounds that are pleasing at the time.
The sound of a helicopter is really annoying until you're drowning, and it's there to rescue you. Then it sounds like music.
I'll take a rusty nail and scratch your initials on my arm.
I'm the type of guy who'd sell you a rat's asshole for a wedding ring.
I put food on the table and roof overhead.
But I'd trade it all tomorrow for the highway instead.
For a songwriter, you dont really go to songwriting school; you learn by listening to tunes.
It's rather mystifying when you think about writing songs - where they come from, and how they're born.
The sight of the first woman in the minimal two-piece was as explosive as the detonation of the atomic bomb by the U.S. at Bikini Island in the Marshall Isles, hence the naming of the bikini.
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.
Leona Helmsley's dog made $12 million last year.
.. and Dean McLaine, a farmer in Ohio, made $30,000. It's just a gigantic version of the madness that grows in every one of our brains.
I hate Disneyland. It primes our kids for Las Vegas.
For a songwriter, you don't really go to songwriting school;
you learn by listening to tunes. And you try to understand them and take them apart and see what they're made of, and wonder if you can make one, too.
The piano has been drinking, not me.
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.
On my gravestone, I want it to say, "I told you I was sick."
Writing songs is like capturing birds without killing them.
Sometimes you end up with nothing but a mouthful of feathers.
I guess I've always lived upside down when I want things I can't have.
Most vagabonds i knowed don't ever want to find the culprit that remains the object of their long relentless quest. The obsession's in the chasing and not the apprehending, the pursuit you see and never the arrest" - Tom Waits "Foreign Affairs