THIS JUST IN: Tom Waits Goes Gold, Goes Hollywood



TOM WAITS latest 3 CD set—Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards—has been certified gold by the RIAA® and will be released on vinyl by Anti- Records in the not-too-distant future. He has also collaborated with Kool Keith on N.A.S.A.’s recently released The Spirit of Apollo, which also features such diverse artists as David Byrne, Karen O and Ol’ Dirty Bastard. As for new material, Waits and his long time collaborator and wife, Kathleen Brennan, have begun writing new songs, which they plan to record this summer for an upcoming CD. (No release date at this time.)

Currently, Tom Waits is in the midst of filming The Book of Eli, directed by Albert and Allen Hughes (From Hell, Dead Presidents, Menace II Society, among others). Eli is a post-apocalyptic Western, in which a lone man fights his way across America in order to protect a sacred book that holds the secrets to saving mankind. The film stars Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman with Tom Waits in a small role as “Engineer.” This will mark Waits’ second teaming with Oldman as Waits’ played Renfeld to Oldman’s Count Dracula in the Francis Ford Coppola version of the classic vampire film.

In other film news, Waits stars as Mr. Nick (the devil) opposite Christopher Plummer in Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, which is also Heath Ledger’s last film. Due to Heath’s premature death, his unfinished roll was taken on by Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell. The fantastical morality tale set in the present day also features Lily Cole and Verne Troyner. The film looks to premiere at Cannes and open worldwide later this year.

waits1.jpgRELATED: Tom Waits pantsed me. Sort of. I remember making the effort to dress sharp in honor of Mr. Waits, the quintessential hipster clotheshorse: Cranberry leather coat, pork pie hat, turquoise wraparounds, smartly tailored thrift store trousers. By the late ’90s, Tom had ditched the Cuban heeled boots and sharkskin suits of his New York days in favor of an all-denim and workboots look better suited to his country squire life in the wilds of Northern California. After conducting an interview/breakfast at Tom’s favorite greasy spoon, we headed out the countryside to take some cover shots. We wound up in a spooky orchard of gnarled trees straight out of the Wizard of Oz. Tom posed gamely for a while, shooting glances my way in between shots. “That’s a good look, that’s a good Philly look,” he croaked in approval, “lemme see those shades,” I hand them over and poses for a few shots. “Lemme see that hat,” and again I hand it over and he poses for a few shots. “Lemme see that coat.” Next thing I know, Tom Waits is wearing my clothes for the cover story I am writing about him. Few in the world can make a similar claim. Possibly none. MORE

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