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Tom Waits - "Downtown Train" - 1985 - "ODYSSEY ON A DOWNTOWN TRAIN - TOM WAITS FOR NO ONE" - FROM RICH BUCKLAND'S EPIPHANY NOTEBOOK

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“ODYSSEY ON A DOWNTOWN TRAINTOM WAITS FOR NO ONE” – FROM RICH BUCKLAND’S EPIPHANY NOTEBOOK

When I think of Tom Waits, I think of radiant and radical nonconformity infused with a cosmic understanding of what defines melodic and poetic eccentricity. I’ve discovered that no one can actually critique the work of Tom Waits. He defies most convention with a caring confidence, leaving him immune to the artistic diseases and depictions a commentator can brand a man with. The 1985 music video for his amorous and tender “Downtown Train” evokes a display of his commitment to integrity and faithfulness.

In the opening sequence, the appearance of the “Raging Bull” himself Jake LaMotta sets a nostalgic tone as we are introduced to Waits character, a wandering gypsy romantic, in love with a woman and the night. His presence invokes shades of a Charlie Chaplin kindness as well as a troubled warmth once only found in the fog fueled hallucinations of 1930’s and 40’s haunted movie images. This is strong stuff for anyone ever touched by the wounds inflicted in songs such as “Love Hurts” or the desperate pleas of Marlon Brando in heat.

This precise piece of short cinema reminds me of two Tom Waits quotes: “The Moon ain’t romantic. It’s intimidating as Hell” and “I’ve got my own double cross to bear.”

Welcome to an excursion on a Downtown Train conducted by the originality of very special engineer.


By Rich Buckland 10/21/2019 04:48 PM

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