12 Things Only Tom Waits Fans Will Understand

12. The Influence

Tom Waits has clearly been influence by many other people in his life and career. You can see elements of Ken Nordine, Jack Kerouac, Howlin' Wolf, Captain Beefheart and an assortment of other poets/jazz musicians/folk and blues singers in his work. Tom recognises these influences, but few probably realise the scope of the influence that Waits has had on others. Nick Cave, The Pogues, Radiohead, Mark Lanegan and a plethora of others clearly draw inspiration from Waits. These are all artists with their own distinct sound, style and image, of course, but Waits' influence is still there. Waits' greatest influence is probably as a songwriter, as evidenced by the amount of people who have chosen to cover his songs. Or perhaps his greatest influence is his own personality and not his music. Heath Ledger's performance of The Joker was widely praised and celebrated, winning the actor a posthumous Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. It was an iconic performance, no doubt, but how many people are aware that Ledger mimicked Waits' speech and nervous mannerisms for the part? Ledger never gave a formal interview where he admitted as such but you can check out the video below and judge for yourself. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1m5z3vxTd7U
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Student of film. Former professional wrestler. Supporter of Newcastle United. Don't cry for me, I'm already dead...