Tom Waits: "A Day in Vienna", Austrian TV documentary


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At about 17:30, when he starts pacing, there’s kind of this thing, where at first I wondered if he was seriously that disturbed, or just mugging. Then I noticed, for all his activity, the camera operator was doing an admirable job of keeping up without seeming to try to keep up. Which was about the time Tom started deliberately fucking with the camera operator. Genius.


Not sure, but I think the gas station at the beginning is the same they used in the episode ‘Nachttankstelle’ of ‘Kottan ermittelt’. The year would fit (1978), and it’s just the sort of thing the guys at ORF would do at the time.

Anyway, I liked the little bit of ‘When the Saints…’ backstage.
I first got aware of Waits when he was in ‘Down By Law’ and it’s been an on-and-off, love-hate thing ever since. Sometimes I think he came through a time warp from the depression era. But the again, he is probably someone who’d never fit in, no matter where or when. Which is the thing I like best about him.

And since it’s safe to assume that only very few of the happy bbs mutants know about Kottan, here are two links to enlighten you:

I don’t understand the hate part.


His shtick got old a long time ago. I’m sure he could do well enough without playing that character all the time.

Sobriety has helped a bunch, I’m sure.

The video is from the 70’s, you realize?

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Which is funny, because he acts less grizzled today, when he’s reached an age that far better befits the engrizzlement visible in the documentary.

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Yeah, and I wish he left that act behind back then, he really drove it into the ground. Maybe I should just see him like a studio-gangster rapper or a satanic heavy metal band, I think that’s about the equivalent of his act.

Love TW’s interaction with the vintage Wurlitzer jukebox in one scene. It just makes that scene, you know?

It’s not as if he’s unavoidable. He’s not over-exposed in magazines or other media and twerking all over the place. If you don’t like him, you never have to see him. You can also avoid old videos. That’s the part I don’t understand about the hate.

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