The feature contains this photograph of Waits at his typewriter. It was taken at Waits' home in Petaluma, Sonoma County, Northern California.
Is it an Underwood 5 Waits is using? It looks like one to me. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
Waits does have a line in Just Another Dime Story on his album Tales From the Underworld Volume 4 (1999) which goes:
"Every night I'd put on a tie and hit the after-hours bars with my old beat-up Underwood typewriter". But surely an Underwood 5 isn't the type of Underwood typewriter you'd take to an after-hours bar. Perhaps an Underwood 3 portable?
This is the Underwood 5 in Richard Polt's Collection, the one I used to try to "match up" with Waits's typewriter. It's at http://site.xavier.edu/polt/typewriters/underwood5.jpg
This issue of Uncut magazine comes with a CD called Tom Waits' Jukebox. It includes a track from Jack Kerouac, McDougal Street Blues, recorded in 1958. It's a "spoken word song" in which Kerouac is accompanied on piano by Steve Allen.
My own favourite Waits track is on Foreign Affairs (1977), an album which, Uncut says, includes "two of his finest story-song epics, the Runyonesque tale of Potter's Field and ... Burma-Shave."
But it's another story-song epic on side one of that album that most appeals to me: Medley: Jack & Neal/California, Here I Come. It may not appeal to everyone's taste, but it does to mine. The "Jack" in the title is, of course, Kerouac.
By the way, other than Waits, Petaluma is home to poet Clark Coolidge and a man with whom I have had some very happy and memorable dealings, Norman Greenbaum, singer-songwriter of the greatest One Hit Wonder in history, Spirit in the Sky.
But back to Waits. Here are three of my favourite artists, side by side:
And especially for big Waits fan Rob Bowker, from the latest edition of another English rock journal, Mojo magazine: