12 Things Only Tom Waits Fans Will Understand

Philosophy, integrity, THAT voice and the importance of shoes...

Tom Waits. Depending on who you are, that name will either conjure up a hundred different images or mean absolutely nothing. Waits is a major artist, somebody who has enjoyed a long and prosperous career, but his fan base is still very much of the 'cult' variety. There is a cult around Tom Waits, no doubt about it. He is so unashamedly odd and off-the-wall and his oddness has only intensified, not receded, with age. So to has his cult following. Cult fans love to attach themselves to something that is out of the ordinary, and there is nothing 'ordinary' about Tom Waits. With the release of every new album comes a horde of freshly-turned Waits converts. Very rarely will you hear a Waits track on conventional radio stations. Don't expect to see a music video of his on MTV or VH1, either. But if you look on YouTube, you will see Tom Waits song videos with millions of views. Tom Waits isn't going to play the Super Bowl halftime show but people will pay extraordinary amounts of money to see him and his peculiar growl perform in a 2,000 seat venue. Waits is a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and a Grammy Award nominee. It's not like he's been ignored completely by the mainstream, it's just that his music is so uncompromising and alternative that those forays have been brief. Waits survives thanks to the effort of his fans. Here are twelve things that only they will understand.
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Student of film. Former professional wrestler. Supporter of Newcastle United. Don't cry for me, I'm already dead...