On this day in 1900, Tom Waits wins a $2.5 million lawsuit against Frito-Lay, which had used a Waits sound-alike in a commercial.
For those unfamiliar with the soft crooning sounds of Mr. Waits critic Daniel Durchholz described it as sounding "like it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car."
The singer testified during the trial that he was shocked, embarrassed, and "very angry," the first time he heard a corn chip radio jingle that imitated his voice. "Somebody had studied me a little too close," Waits said. "It was the equivalent of all the scars, dimples, the lines all being in the same place. . . . It was a little spooky."
I've attached a clip of one of my favorite songs of his. It features a smokey bar, a woman, and hard drinking. In other words typical Waits.
Steve Carter, who actually sang in the commercial, testified during the trial he deliberately tried to copy Waits' voice. As the saying goes, imitation is sometimes the sincerest form of flattery.
The Historical Inebriant: Bushmills Irish Whiskey
(Straight from the bottle)
Although Poetry Awareness Month was April, this stuff just never gets old!
I'd like to leave you with one more of Tom's songs..."Tell me brave Captain, why are the
Wicked so Strong...How do the angels get to sleep when the Devil leaves the porch light on!"