Tom Waits Throws the Right Kind of New Year’s Parties

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 14: Inductee Tom Waits performs onstage at the 26th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at The Waldorf=Astoria on March 14, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images) Photo: Michael Loccisano/2011 Getty Images

Waits has been out and about on the interview circuit in advance of next week's Bad As Me, and he continues to be great. (Vulture maintains our earlier position that Tom Waits should write every awards show acceptance speech.) Here's his explanation for the song "New Year's Eve" (which uses "Auld Lang Syne" at the end): "The song needed a chorus and they didn't have one. So Kathleen and I said, 'Come on, we're talking about New Year's, let's just do it!' And if you've ever been at one of those gatherings where things went badly, where we all sing even though the fireworks scared the dog and he's been gone for two hours, and someone lit the sofa on fire, and Marge got food poisoning, and Bill O'Neal called the cops." And this is how he instructs his band members: "I want you to play like you’re miles from home, and your legs are dangling from a boxcar ... play like you have no pants on." Finally, here's a list of the items that were rolling around Waits's car when the New York Times visited: an old newspaper from the JFK inauguration, a bottle of hot sauce, a sequined jacket, and a bowler hat. Added Waits, "I have the pants to match." Perfect. [Pitchfork, NYT]