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From the Music Video Archives IV: Tom Waits on the David Letterman show.

This week’s selection is Time by Tom Waits, as performed on the Letterman show in 1986. I heard this live way back when and went out and bought the album the very next day. I’ve been a fan ever since, and this is still one of my favorite songs. The interview that precedes the song is no less remarkable. “My father was an exhaust manifold and…. my mother was a tree.” And about his musical Frank’s Wild Years: “It’s a play, well… it’s a musical… it’s, it’s kind of a cross between the Love Machine and the New Testament. It’s a musical play.” A very rare bird, indeed.

Here also is the music video for Downtown Train, also from the album Rain Dogs, which looks like Down By Law, the movie directed by Jim Jarmusch and mentioned by Waits here. If memory serves, it was named for those dogs that run all around the streets of a city after a rain storm, trying to pick up the scent of wherever they left off, the rain having washed all their marks away.

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