Tom Waits (born 7 December 1949):

Tom Waits (born 7 December 1949):

“The Piano’s Been Drinking…Not I”

I didn’t bring my teleprompter or my notes and I don’t have any real thoughts. I will say that this next man is indescribable and I’m here to describe him. I can’t tell you much about his life because I don’t think that really matters. In the scope of things this man is a great performer, singer, actor, magician, spirit guide, changeling kind of performer for you.

I’ve seen him standing in a bunch of dust…I thought I saw, y’know, sparkly things coming of him and then I looked at him while he was singing and I said ‘is my vision going?, i’m seeing three maybe four people up there now. And there’ll all seeming to be waiting for the other one to finish so that they can come in.’ And, uh, then this other one would just whistle at me, and one would speak in a kind of speaking in tongues kind of voice, and then The Eagles covered it. [laughter/applause] And I couldn’t, I could not understand…I can’t even remember the name of the song.

I just can’t really say what kind of a performer this guy is and, but I think that it’s great that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has recognized this immense talent. [applause]. It could have been the motion picture hall of fame, the blues hall of fame, could have been the performance artists hall of fame but it was the Rock and Roll Hall of fame that recognized the great Tom Waits.

~ Neil Young, 2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction of Tom Waits


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