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The Friday Morning Listen: Tom Waits

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First posted on Mark Is Cranky:

As I related a couple of years ago, I came upon the music of Tom Waits more or less by accident. I heard “Pasties and a G-String (At The Two O’Clock Club)” on a local college radio station. The song, and the subsequent discovery of the rest of the Waits catalog, really opened up my head for the possibilities of what music had to offer.

Though I didn’t know it at the time, that day’s the little epiphany turned out to be one of the keys to my future writing life. Wow, all from one little song about strippers. Who’d a thunk it?

Well, I discovered Blogcritics in a similar way. I heard a few stories about these things called “blogs” and ventured out there onto the Internet in search of them. One of my favorite blogs was something called “Up Yours And Other Helpful Hints”. It was full of what makes a blog great: high energy bitchin’ about life via some perfect-rendered potty mouth. Well sure, there was a little sex talk too, but that wasn’t the main attraction…at least I don’t think so. OK, you all can wipe off the grin formin’ on your face!


So the author of that blog was none other than Dawn Olsen. Pretty much the holder of the MasterPottyMouth trophy until The Duke. More important, Dawn’s husband, a Mr. Eric Olsen, turned out to be a writer who was starting a new type of group blog thing. Oh yea, sign me up, I think.

And the rest is history. Only a few years of history mind you, but chock full of changes for all manner of folks, myself included.

So the point of this thing, if there is one, is that this Friday Morning Listen happens to be my 500th post to Blogcritics. I tell you, I had absolute no idea how my life would change just from reading that one snarky little blog. Now I’ve got piles of new music laying around, stacks of old first drafts, busted #2 pencils, reviews and such posted on the Internet, collaborative writing pals, proposals in the works and head-scratching writing sessions ’til 2AM.

I’m still a little amazed by it all.

P.S. Tom Waits is a California type but, if he lived in my area, it wouldn’t surprise me if he ran his snowblower decked out in funky outerwear. In that spirit, I present you with a picture of your humble author in his favorite Husqvarna-wrangin’ hat:

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About Mark Saleski

  • J. P. Spencer

    Congratulations on your milestone , Mark. May Small Change keep rainin’ on you with his own .38!!

  • Mark Saleski


    i tell ya, Small Change is entertaining for the song titles alone.

  • John Owen

    My Stacys are soaking wet.

    Seriously. It’s snowing like the dickens today here and I was dumb enough to wear my half-gator cream and sky blue Stacy Adams in (because nothing else goes quite so well with this tie) and now they’re practically ruined to go waltzing Matilda.

    (…um, what John?)

  • Mary K. Williams

    Exactly, umm..what John? Yeah, that comment just begs for an explaination. The tie must be nice though, send a pic?

    Mark is going to upload a pic of his mongolian/newengland snowblowing hat in honor of his 500th post.

    Snowing like crazy here too.

  • Mark Saleski

    in john’s defense, he made sense in a Waitsian sorta way.

    hey, did i actually say i wuz gonna upload that pic?

    i suppose in honor of Waits i should.

  • Mary K. Williams

    in john’s defense, he made sense in a Waitsian sorta way

    Sadly – I’m as ignorant of Waits – as I am of Depeche Mode.

    Heard of both, and probably heard both, but wouldn’t recognize either.

    sucks to be me.

  • Phillip Winn

    What a long strange trip it’s been. And what a long strange trip it will continue to be!

    Congratulations, Mark! Looking forward to #1000!

  • GoHah

    Happy 500th! SMALL CHANGE is the best of Wait’s early skid-row beatnick style: “Step Right Up” is hilarious, and “I Wish I Was in New Orleans” is gorgeous. The later RAINDOGS is one of my writing inspirations, but I’ll never be able to write that expressively colorful. (Why did he change musical styles? Because Tom Waits for no man).

    Anyway, a highlight for me was when I met Tom Waits in the lobby of the Wiltern Theater in LA and saved him from the clutches of some over-eager fans. He thanked me profusely and, of course, really gravelly.

  • Mat Brewster

    Happy 500 Mark. Holy crap that’s a lot of writing. And its all fabulous, right?

    At least what I’ve read has been. Guess I have some catching up to do though.

  • DJRadiohead

    500 posts and they haven’t booted your ass out of here yet?

    That’s reassuring for cranks like me.

    Well done, Newm- err- Saleski.

  • Mark Saleski

    don’t make me go all Mayer on yer ass.

    (i have no freaking idea what that actually means)


    i think.