Sunday, May 19, 2013

Waits in Vienna 1979


“This reminds me of a place I used to work in National City, California, called Spotco Self Service,” Waits says as he leans against a pump. “I worked for a gentleman named Charles Spotco. I was always late for work. I used to stay out at night. I’d come dragging to work, used to get there about ten-thirty in the morning. He’d chew me out and scream at me for being late. He always said I’d never amount to nothing. I never thought I’d be standing in a gas station in Vienna Austria. If I’d of told him that one day, Spotco, I’ll be leaning on a gas pump at a gas station in Vienna Austria, he would have said you gotta be out of your mind.” - Tom Waits Sings and Tells Stories in Tom Waits: a Day in Vienna, a 1979 Austrian Film

 ... was at that concert in Vienna ... his band was onstage for a good twenty minutes when finally he stumbled on looking disinterested & bedevilled ... nothing but a ruse ... the audience was restless ... it was the Vienna Konzerthaus not a bar in the mid-west ... a cigarette dangled from his mouth & a hat tipped down concealing his face as he sat at the piano plunking random notes it seemed before gravelling out a song ...

 ... my first thought was this is a performance art piece ... what a great character ... i was involved in "experimental theatre" after all,  everything was performace art ... then he sang with jerky movements, a slither-slide side step and a death defying concentration ... almost thirty-five years later the images burn into my imagination ... the concert footage of the TV film catches a bit of the scene but not the ethos ... the backstage shot as we the audience that night demanded an encore is incredible ...

... waiting backstage so to speak with Henry Woolf & Susan Williamson before a reading at the Temple Henry turned to me and said "there is nothing like waiting backstage ... few people know what it is like." ... Henry is always young in spirit but my goodness Waits look young & devious in Vienna ...

:: Note :: ... over now ...