Tom Waits' Swordfishtrombones by Smay David

Tom Waits' Swordfishtrombones by Smay David

Author:Smay, David
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Continuum International Publishing
Published: 2011-04-14T16:00:00+00:00

Photo copyright Michael Russ, 1983

DS: Much of the video looks like it was shot reflected off a metal surface. What was that?

MR: Optical printer, wide angle transfer, sepia tone.

DS: Where was it shot?

MR: In LA. Silver Lake. An alley behind Tom’s House.

DS: That looks like Victor Feldman on glockenspiel at the end of the parade group—is that him? Were any of the other musicians in the video?

MR: No, his name was Tom Cat, he was an actor living behind the old Cat and Fidel in Laurel Canon, at the time. I found him.

The tall black dude was a friend of Tom’s. He was a musician, but I don’t know his name anymore.

DS: Obviously Lee and Angelo from the cover are in the video too. Was it a fun video to shoot?

MR: Everything is fun. Even stress is fun. This was a stressy-fun video. It was a hot day. You had to have “the right attitude” as Tom called it.

DS: Do you have anything else to relate about shooting the video or the album cover?

MR: “Don’t worry about the money. The money will be alright!”—Tom

DS: Tom Waits seems to thrive on collaboration. How would you describe your collaborative process with him?

MR: He’s very supportive and likes to keep a handle on everything. We got along great. That might also be due to the fact that Tom is interested in people and carries his notebook and pen and jots down things that he hears and wants to remember. So when you see him jot down something that one might have mentioned and he draws a picture of say, a martini glass then you know that this martini glass means something to him. So it takes on a meaning to me also that’s called collaboration and exchange. He’s a master of minimalism in my mind.


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