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Tom Waits – Bone Machine (1992)

February 14, 2017


Sensational Logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming


[Album 515/1001]

Have you seen the 2013 Jennifer Aniston/Jason Sudeikis comedy, We’re the Millers?

For me, as it so often is, my favourite part of the movie was the scene in which a musician I admire was name-checked.

In this case, Tom Waits, when Sudeikis’s character was describing the story of meeting Jennifer Aniston’s character:

“she was wearing these little Navy Blue Chuck Taylors and these Jean shorts.
No pockets on the back, however that happened.
And this, uh, Tom Waits T-shirt.
I was like, “Oh, that’s cool. “
Because I love Tom Waits.
And she just looked beautiful.
If you’re into that kind of mean, pretty thing.”



Now my wonderful wife wasn’t sporting a Tom Waits shirt (nor pocket-less jean shorts) when we first met.

However, shortly after meeting my wonderful wife’s cousin’s husband (how’s that for extended family?), I learned he was quite the Tom Waits enthusiast.

So enthusiastic, he would make extended road trips to see Waits perform.

Though I was aware of Tom Waits at the time of our meeting, at this stage (15-ish years ago), I wouldn’t say I loved Tom Waits.

But making the trek to Chicago to see a show? Much like Sudeikis’s character, I was like, “Oh, that’s cool.”



Last week, when Tom Waits came up in a conversation, my friend Jeff started raving about I Don’t Wanna Grow Up (from the album Bone Machine).

Although Jeff’s stock is already sky-high at our house (his maple syrup is legendary), learning he was a Waits fan somehow sent him soaring even further.

And I didn’t realize (or I had forgotten) that the Ramones version of the tune was a cover, which only boosted The Ramones in my books.

It would appear that simply being a fan of Tom Waits is an efficient way to earn my approval.



mmmmmmmmmmmmmmaple syrup


Which is strange, as even now, unlike Sudeikis’s character, I still wouldn’t say “I love Tom Waits.”

I like Bone Machine, I dig the emphasis on percussion throughout, and my friend Jeff is right, I Don’t Wanna Grow Up is a great track..

I think this album will eventually be one of those ‘once-in-a-while’ records for me.220px-tomwaits-bonemachine

Then again, not everything’s meant to be enjoyed all-day, every-day.

I probably would enjoy my friend Jeff’s maple syrup all-day, every-day, but I probably shouldn’t.

The same could possibly said for We’re The Millers-esque comedies.

Not everyone will be a fan of We’re The Millers.

Nor will everyone be a fan of Tom Waits.

But chances are if you’re a fan of all of the above, we’ll get along.


Verbalize the Positive

Thanks Jeff for the post idea & on behalf of all the Stephens, thanks for the ongoing supply of delicious maple syrup!

From → 1990s

  1. I have so much Waits that I’m actually not even sure if I own Bone Machine! But I DO own I Don’t Wanna Grow Up. That’s the main thing!

  2. Never seen We’re The Millers, but we’re pretty big Waits fans around here! This record rules.

    Yup, the Ramones was a cover, and a mighty fine one, at that.

    Tom Waits FTW!

  3. You know those artists you sort of RESPECT but can’t find a way to actually like? Well, Mr Waits is in that category for me. I do enjoy his early boho stuff now and then, but was never really tempted to maintain the relationship.
    One thing I do enjoy, however, is maple syrup. And another is your increasingly quirky take on the albums/artists featured at 1001. Spill the wine, take that pearl.

    • Curious question: Do you like him movies?

      I like maple syrup too. I’m partial to dark syrup.

      • I don’t know if I’ve seen any of his films – but I quite enjoy hearing him in interviews!

      • SEE MYSTERY MEN! You will love it.

      • Confession time: Have only seen a couple of movie appearances from TW.

        What’s dark syrup? Not something Sith Sap related I hope?

      • Hah! No. But maple syrup comes in varying degrees of flavour, much like coffee. Stronger maple syrup is often dark — and I love it!

    • I’m glad you brought up the term relationship – as what I’m finding with Waits, we seem to have a stronger sporadic relationship than a full-immersion relationship.
      Cheers to quirkiness Bruce!

  4. Tom Waits for no one! Awesome u have a Maple Syrup connection Geoff! U cannot go wrong with that!
    Lego My Eggo!

  5. To be honest, this is an album I’m not looking forward to reviewing. His early albums are pretty interesting, but I can’t get past his grunting tuneles vocal on later records.

  6. Funny (?) story about ‘I Don’t Wanna Grow Up’: I first heard it in Grade 7 when my teacher – who was into lots of cool music – was teaching us about poetry and played us both versions of the song as an example, which I guess was one of the first times I’d heard anything “alternative”! I didn’t listen to much else other than The Beatles at the time – the only thing I knew about the Ramones was that they were named for Paul McCartney’s stage name, let alone anything about Waits! – but by a few years time, I’d widened my horizons and remembered what my teacher had played for us that day and they became among my favourite artists…

    • That sounds like a fantastic teacher!
      So if not a ‘funny’ story – it’s fun for me to learn about where others were first introduced to an artist!

  7. I have a lot of friends who have on off relationships with Mr. Waits. Personally I love him and can often be found listening to back to back Waits albums. I used to gift this particular album to friends as is was one of the most impactful albums I had ever heard at that point (must have been 1996 when I first heard it). Utterly wonderful album.

    … similarly , I can be found with a plateful of pancakes smothered in maple syrup. I pour that stuff on whatever I think seems reasonable (pretty much everything at this stage).

    • I’m equally liberal when it comes to maple syrup usage J!
      I think instead of ‘on/off,’ I’m in more of an “on/see you in a bit” relationship with Waits – but I think it would still make for a fine gift!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Tom Waits – Swordfishtrombones (1983) | 1001albumsin10years
  2. 1992 | 1001albumsin10years

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