Creative Heights

Tom Waits often sought to spur musicians to new creative heights in the studio. "Play it like your hair's on fire!" he once instructed. "Play it like a midget's Bar Mitzvah!"

["Some songs," Waits once mused, "don't want to be recorded." Others come easy, like "digging potatoes out of the ground." Some are sticky and weird, like "gum found under an old table." And certain uncooperative songs are best "cut up as bait" and used to catch other songs.]

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