Saturday, April 04, 2009

No life on Mars for Tom Waits

Looks like Tom Waits refused to let one of his songs (Tom Traubert's Blues) to be used in the American version of the television series Life on Mars

'Tom Waits approves all of his licensing, and he sent an email saying he thought the show was [bad]', prefixmag.com quotes the show's producer Josh Appelbaum.


13 comments:

Fredrik vs World said...

Anyone know how to get in touch with Mr. Waits for authorization on a song?

Tried mailing anti twice, and no answer, even tried via island records

Paul Merklein said...

Good for Tom. Most TV sucks, and very few people are willing to say it.

Dr Pod said...

Yeh, good for Tom. The original UK version of Life on Mars was dire, and it's refreshing when Tom reminds us that songs aren't just decoration for the latest middle-brow offering from TV land.

Offpressed said...

Compared to most of the junk on TV, Life on Mars is pretty decent.

Tony Renner said...

i wonder if tom waits is aware of the british series "black books", which has a theme song that songs EXACTLY like a tom waits song but is credited to jonathan whitehead.

listen here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJg_WMw56Hw

-- Tony

Harvey said...

Re the UK version of LoM - it did have an excerpt from "Hope I don't fall in Love with You", from Closing Time. (OK, if the title's wrong, it's because I'm not going upstairs to check the cd). So, wonder why that was allowed and not this, but then, there have been dire adaptations of show from either side of the pond to the other.

Michele said...

Harvey, maybe because this is not just any Tom Waits song. This is one of the most important songs of his career and he still performs it with such a passion. I saw him last summer in Milan playing Waltzing Matilda and you could tell how much this song still means to him. I understand he doesn't want just some TV show using it as they please. I wouldn't expect anything else of him.

Nora Mei said...

I agree with Michele. I think it depends on the song and as well as the requesting party. I love that Tom Waits has such creative control and such artistic morality when it comes to his work.

Gino said...

plus, if the show is set in 1973, Tom Traubert's Blues wasn't even recorded yet. so there's that whole continuity issue...

musicandlies99 said...

This is one of our favorite songs - MusicAndLies.com

tommi said...

Maybe it has something to with using a song for a copy? I figure Tom might respect original thinking more than remakes.

I never got the deal with reshooting an american version of a british series anyway. The whole (western) world grows up on american culture (apart from france, maybe), I'd say it'd do them good being exposed to some foreign atoms of entertainment every once in a while.

TheOrangeClockwork said...

@ Michele
Yeah I saw Mr. Waits i Milan as well, and that very song (Tom Trauberts Blues), brought tears to my eyes! What I saw then and there was so much more than an artist performing a song.. You could tell how much the song ment to him (and me, obviously).

@ tommi
I agree, but try telling that to those stubborn yankees.

jimmyk said...

Good for Tom for keeping his artistic integrity. I never would have heard of him but for a playing of cold cold ground on Homicide:Life on the streets back in the 90s. Much better show at the time.