Tom Waits, (shown here on the red carpet of the Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus premiere posing with Verne “Mini-Me” Troyer), has a new live album coming, a co-starring role in Heath Ledger’s final film, and an interesting perspective on former President George W. Bush. In a recent Q&A with director Terry Gilliam, Waits spoke both candidly yet cryptically about all three with Times Online’s Stephen Dalton.
Waits didn’t work directly with Ledger on the film, but the deceased actor did make an impression on Waits’ wife and songwriting partner, Kathleen Brennan. Ledger reminded Brennan of their son, Waits said, “who’s 24 and impetuous and scary and skating towards the edge, completely spontaneous and highly imaginative. [My wife] had wonderful things to say about him. Just full of life and contradictions. That’s what makes people interesting to look at onscreen.”
Also, I’m not entirely sure how politics came up, but here’s Waits on W. (emphasis mine):
I think the real problem was what Bush really wanted in life was to be the Commissioner of Baseball, and the job was not available. We all have a thousand parallel lives that could have been our lives, had we made different decisions along the way. We’re at the crossroads every day.
The last time Waits spoke on his upcoming Glitter and Doom live LP the only “detail” he would provide was that there’s “a lot of applause, followed by a song. And after the song, there’s more applause and then there’s a song. And it goes like that all the way through.” As it turns out, the the album also has “an extra disc in there,” Waits revealed, “that is just my quixotic ruminations between songs, at the piano. It’s added value, as they say. [laughter].”