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Tom Waits: Tales from a Cracked Jukebox

Using rare archive, recordings and interviews, a trip through the surreal, moonlit world of Tom Waits - a portrait of one of modern music's most enigmatic and influential artists.

Tom Waits is one of the most original musicians of the last five decades. Renowned for his gravelly voice and dazzling mix of musical styles, he's also one of modern music's most enigmatic and influential artists.

His songs have been covered by Bruce Springsteen, Rod Stewart and Norah Jones, among many others. But Waits has always pursued his own creative vision, with little concern for musical fashion.

In a long career of restless reinvention, from the barfly poet of his early albums to the junkyard ringmaster of Swordfishtrombones, his songs chronicle lives from the margins of American society - drifters, dreamers, hobos and hoodlums - and his music draws on a rich mix of influences, including the blues, jazz, Weimar cabaret and film noir.

Using rare archive, audio recordings and interviews, this film is a bewitching after-hours trip through the surreal, moonlit world of Waits' music - a portrait of a pioneering musician and his unique, alternative American songbook.

58 minutes

Last on

Sun 17 May 2020 23:45

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:02

    Tom Waits

    I Don't Wanna Grow Up

  • 00:03

    Tom Waits

    Heartattack And Vine

  • 00:04

    Chet Baker Quartet

    Let's Get Lost

  • 00:05

    Howlin’ Wolf

    California Blues

  • 00:05

    Tom Waits

    The Heart Of Saturday Night

  • 00:07

    Tom Waits

    In Shades

  • 00:08

    Jack Kerouac

    Readings From "On The Road" and "Visions of Cody"

  • 00:12

    Tom Waits

    The One That Got Away

  • 00:14

    Tom Waits

    Blue Valentines

  • 00:15

    Frank Sinatra

    What Is This Thing Called Love?

  • 00:28

    Tom Waits

    Opening Montage (Album Version)

  • 00:31

    Tom Waits

    16 Shells From A 30.6

  • 00:32

    Tom Waits

    In The Neighbourhood

  • 00:34

    Tom Waits

    Shore Leave

  • 00:36

    Tom Waits

    Downtown Train

  • 00:38

    Tom Waits

    Jockey Full Of Bourbon

  • 00:42

    Tom Waits

    Blow Wind Blow

  • 00:45

    Tom Waits


  • 00:48

    Tom Waits

    Way Down In The Hole

  • 00:43

    Tom Waits

    Frank's Wild Years

  • 00:50

    Tom Waits

    Goin' Out West

  • 00:55

    Tom Waits

    Hell Broke Luce

  • 00:56

    Tom Waits

    I Don't Wanna Grow Up

  • 00:59

    Tom Waits

    Lie To Me


Role Contributor
Executive Producer Richard Bright
Director James Maycock
Production Manager Fiona Crawford
Production Coordinator Fiona Dorman
Editor Bradley Richards
Camera Operator Luke Finn
Interviewed Guest Terry Gilliam
Interviewed Guest Lucinda Williams
Interviewed Guest Ian Rankin
Interviewed Guest Ed Harcourt
Interviewed Guest Ralph Carney
Interviewed Guest Bones Howe
Interviewed Guest Ute Lemper
Interviewed Guest Nitin Sawhney
Interviewed Guest Guy Garvey
Interviewed Guest Jim Sclavunos


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