The discussion will mark one of the first new interviews the iconic American singer-songwriter has taken part in during recent years, and will see him co-host a special show with punk veteran Iggy Pop.
Taking place on Sunday, December 3, the show will air on BBC Radio 6 Music between 4pm and 6pm. It will also see the two converse about their time in the music industry, share anecdotes from their personal lives and spin some of the famous tracks that have influenced them over the years.
These songs include ‘Bangkok’ by Alex Chiltern, ‘Bye Bye Butterfly’ by Pauline Oliveros, ‘Moon River’ by Frank Ocean and ‘Colorado Kool-Aid’ by Johnny Paycheck, as well as the first spoken word song that Waits heard on the radio, and a couple of noteworthy TV theme tunes from the ‘60s.
In between records, Waits will share stories with Iggy Pop, including how he hitched a ride towards Los Angeles with Eden Ahbez – the songwriter who composed ‘Nature Boy’, which became a hit for Nat King Cole.
Iggy Pop is also set to share some anecdotes of his own too, such as the time he came across Captain Beefheart eating breakfast in L.A., but was wise enough not to disturb him.
Tom Waits and Iggy Pop for BBC 6 Music, 2023. CREDIT: Press
Waits has rarely stepped into the public eye to discuss his music career since he released his last studio album, ‘Bad As Me’ back in 2011.
Since the release over a decade ago, Waits also celebrated the 50th anniversary of his 1973 debut LP ‘Closing Time’ buy sharing a new vinyl reissue.
He played one of his last live shows back in 2008, taking place in a tent venue in Dublin named the Rat Cellar. However, in the time since then, he turned his focus towards an acting career.
This time in Hollywood included appearances in films such as the Coen Brothers’ western The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs (2018), star-studded action film The Book Of Eli (2010) and the 2021 film Licorice Pizza, which also starred Haim-guitarist Alana Haim.
He has also participated in some voice acting roles since his final live show, including an appearance in The Simpsons and the AMC+ puppet series Ultra City Smiths.
Tom Waits performs onstage at the 26th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. CREDIT: Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage/Getty Images
His 1973 debut also featured in NME‘s round-up of classic albums that are turning 50 years old in 2023. “Although the world was slow to pick up on Tom Waits’ debut album ‘Closing Time’, once it did, the record quickly gained a cult following,” it read.
“The star recorded the album after being discovered at LA venue The Troubadour by David Geffen and its songs introduced him as a poetic songwriter rooted in jazz – something he would move away from as he entered the ’80s.”
Earlier this year, Waits’ longtime music agent Paul Charles discussed his time working with the songwriter during his new memoir, Adventures In Wonderland, and claimed that the artist has made his return to writing.
As for Iggy Pop, the punk icon released his latest studio album ‘Every Loser’ at the start of the year. The LP marked his 19th full-length studio release and featured a star-studded line-up of rock legends, including Chad Smith of Red Hot Chili Peppers, bassist Duff McKagan of Guns N’ Roses, Blink 182’s Travis Barker, guitarist Stone Gossard, former Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, Jane’s Addiction’s Dave Navarro and Eric Avery, and late Foo Fighter’s drummer Taylor Hawkins.
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