Read Lowside Of The Road: A Life Of Tom Waits by Barney Hoskyns Free Online
Book Title: Lowside Of The Road: A Life Of Tom Waits|
The author of the book: Barney Hoskyns
Edition: Faber & Faber
Date of issue: September 1st 2009
ISBN 13: 9780571235520
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 8.13 MB
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Reader ratings: 5.6
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If listening to Waits was as boring as reading this book, we’d have never heard of him.
This wasn’t authorised, and Hoskyns has major difficulty in ‘building a bridge’ regarding his lack of access to Waits and his coterie. He still tries to find out about the ‘real’ Waits, based on secondary materials, ex-muso friends since ditched from use, and the public record. This is just plodding.
The fabulist Waits could have a great shaggy tale spun about him, a visioning of him from the outside, populated with his own vivid characters. I’m thinking something like Greil Marcus and his Elvis incantations, but Hoskyns isn’t the man for this.
He is a music journalist. Ideal for this cardboard.
Track by track analysis (and I don’t have his sweet tooth for the sentimental bums of the early years). Cod psychology about the influence of his parents and alcoholism. Skirting around his obvious dislike of Waits’ ‘Yoko’ his wife Kathleen Brennan. According to Hoskyns, you like the Bukowski Waits, the crooner and faux-lowlife of the Asylum years, OR the screaming, metal-clanging carney-barker of recent times. Not both. Or neither, wholesale.
I used to have a partner who was a mild Dylan obsessive. I say ‘mild’ in comparison to the FREAKS I was introduced to at the one fan convention I have ever attended, where Adrian Rawlins stole my cigarettes and I was introduced an accountant from New Zealand with a ‘tache only slighty broader than Hitler’s, who owned thirty-thousand Dylan recordings. You’ve never met a duller man.
Waits attracts the slavish love of dullards, like poor Bob. He’s a slippery fellow. His experimental music can be as expected and comforting as a Beatles wig-out, but you feel like an acolyte. I mean, no one actually wants to listen to Beefheart, dude.
Hoskyns is so obsessed with persona, with the projected voices in Waits’ songs, that if you’d never heard him you’d think it was all fakery, arch and art-school. But his music is far from it – embodying the profound truths to be found in fiction.
I don’t love everything Waits does – the slushy balladeering, the bullhorn frightfests, the Tod Browning schtick. But the first album I bought, having heard Step Right Up jive out of my radio circa 1985, was Swordfishtrombones. Schwa? By the same guy? Talking drums, sweet melodies, attic-junk language. The hook went in pretty deep.
And whomever edited this book at Faber and Faber should be bitch-slapped. It’s at least a hundred pages too long. The footnotes are so self-congratulatory they read like the amateur memoir of a minor diplomat.
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