65 Tom Waits Quotes On Success In Life

Thomas Alan Waits is an American singer, songwriter, musician, composer, and actor. His lyrics often focus on the underbelly of society and are delivered in his trademark deep, gravelly voice. He worked primarily in jazz during the 1970s, but his music since the 1980s has reflected greater influence from blues, rock, vaudeville, and experimental genres. These Tom Waits quotes will motivate you.

Best Tom Waits Quotes

  1. “I started out with nothing and I still got most of it left.” ~ Tom Waits
  2. “We are buried beneath the weight of information, which is being confused with knowledge; quantity is being confused with abundance and wealth with happiness. We are monkeys with money and guns.” ~ Tom Waits
  3. “You have to keep busy. After all, no dog’s ever pissed on a moving car.” ~ Tom Waits
  4. “A gentleman is someone who can play the accordion, but doesn’t.” ~ Tom Waits

  5. “Don’t plant your bad days. They grow into weeks. The weeks grow into months. Before you know it, you got yourself a bad year. Take it from me – choke those little bad days. Choke ’em down to nothing.” ~ Tom Waits
  6. “The folks who know the truth aren’t talking…. The ones who don’t have a clue, you can’t shut them up!” ~ Tom Waits
  7. “Once upon a time there was a crooked tree and a straight tree. And they grew next to each other. And every day the straight tree would look at the crooked tree and he would say, “You’re crooked. You’ve always been crooked and you’ll continue to be crooked. But look at me! Look at me!” said the straight tree. He said, “I’m tall and I’m straight.” And then one day the lumberjacks came into the forest and looked around, and the manager in charge said, “Cut all the straight trees.” And that crooked tree is still there to this day, growing strong and growing strange.” ~ Tom Waits
  8. “There’s always free cheddar in the mousetrap, baby.” ~ Tom Waits

  9. “I like beautiful melodies telling me terrible things.” ~ Tom Waits
  10. “I like my music with the rinds and the seeds and pulp left in.” ~ Tom Waits
  11. “The world is a hellish place, and bad writing is destroying the quality of our suffering.” ~ Tom Waits
  12. “Everything is explained now. We live in an age when you say casually to somebody ‘What’s the story on that?’ and they can run to the computer and tell you within five seconds. That’s fine, but sometimes I’d just as soon continue wondering. We have a deficit of wonder right now.” ~ Tom Waits
  13. “If you get far enough away you’ll be on your way back home.” ~ Tom Waits

  14. “Most people don’t care if you’re telling them the truth or if you’re telling them a lie, as long as they’re entertained by it.” ~ Tom Waits
  15. “You cannot really be too concerned with what people think of you. You’re on your own adventure of growth and discovery. So it’s not always good to be who people think you are, especially if you subscribe to it as well … which is easily done, because then you don’t have to figure out who you are, you just ask somebody else.” ~ Tom Waits
  16. “Sing me a rainbow. Steal me a dream.” ~ Tom Waits
  17. “I always thought songs are movies for the ears and films are like songs for the eyes.” ~ Tom Waits
  18. “Songs are really just very interesting things to be doing with the air.” ~ Tom Waits

  19. “The way you do anything is the way you do everything.” ~ Tom Waits
  20. “I’m always looking for sounds that are pleasing at the time. The sound of a helicopter is really annoying until you’re drowning, and it’s there to rescue you. Then it sounds like music.” ~ Tom Waits
  21. “Don’t you know there ain’t no devil, it’s just god when he’s drunk.” ~ Tom Waits
  22. “When I was younger, I wanted to be older. Now I am older, I am not quite so sure.” ~ Tom Waits
  23. “All that you’ve loved is all you own” ~ Tom Waits

  24. “If there’s one thing you can say about mankind, there’s nothing kind about man.” ~ Tom Waits
  25. “The trick is to have a career and have a family. It’s like having two dogs that hate each other and you have to take them for a walk every night.” ~ Tom Waits
  26. “I’d rather have a free bottle in front of me than a prefrontal lobotomy.” ~ Tom Waits
  27. “I don’t have a drinking problem ‘Cept when I can’t get a drink.” ~ Tom Waits
  28. “Champagne for my real friends and real pain for my sham friends.” ~ Tom Waits

  29. “I’m not fighting for justice. I am not fighting for freedom. I am fighting for my life and another day in the world here.” ~ Tom Waits
  30. “Time is just memory Mixed in with Desire.” ~ Tom Waits
  31. “If I exorcise my devils, all my angels may go, too.” ~ Tom Waits
  32. “They have removed the struggle to find anything. And therefore there is no genuine sense of discovery. Struggle is the first thing we know getting along the birth canal, out in the world. It’s pretty basic. Book store owners and record store owners used to be oracles, in that way; you’d go in this dusty old place and they might point you toward something that would change your life. All that’s gone.” ~ Tom Waits
  33. “Jimmy Stewart said he stopped making movies because he didn’t like the way he looked on screen anymore. I’m more the guy who says I look like hell but I’m going to see where it gets me.” ~ Tom Waits
  34. “Come down off the cross, we could use the wood.” ~ Tom Waits

  35. “Writing songs is like capturing birds without killing them. Sometimes you end up with nothing but a mouthful of feathers.” ~ Tom Waits
  36. “I’ve always believed that the way you affect your audience is more important than how many of them are there.” ~ Tom Waits
  37. “There’s no prayer like desire.” ~ Tom Waits, Tom Waits quotes on desire
  38. “It’s very hard to stop doing things you’re used to doing. You almost have to dismantle yourself and scatter it all around and then put a blindfold on and put it back together so that you avoid old habits.” ~ Tom Waits
  39. “All the donuts have names that sound like prostitutes” ~ Tom Waits

  40. “I’ve lost my equilibrium, my car keys, and my pride.” ~ Tom Waits
  41. “I made a wish on a sliver of moonlight
    A sly grin and a bowl full of stars” ~ Tom Waits
  42. “There’s nothing that makes me laugh more than being in the situation where you’re not supposed to laugh. Funerals. People crying. Breaking down. Telling you their life. I’m the worst. I’m the worst at that.” ~ Tom Waits
  43. “She’s got the whole dark forest living inside of her.” ~ Tom Waits
  44. “I never told the truth so I can never tell a lie.” ~ Tom Waits

  45. “The big print giveth and the small print taketh away.” ~ Tom Waits
  46. “This is about all the bad days in the world. I used to have some little bad days, and I kept them in a little box. And one day, I threw them out into the yard. “Oh, it’s just a couple little innocent bad days.” Well, we had a big rain. I don’t know what it was growing in but I think we used to put eggshells out there and coffee grounds, too. Don’t plant your bad days. They grow into weeks. The weeks grow into months. Before you know it you got yourself a bad year. Take it from me. Choke those little bad days. Choke ’em down to nothin’. They’re your days. Choke ’em!” ~ Tom Waits
  47. “We are all just monkeys with money and guns.” ~ Tom Waits
  48. “I’m so horny the crack of dawn better watch out.” ~ Tom Waits

  49. “You learn as much from your kids as they learn from you.” ~ Tom Waits
  50. “On my gravestone, I want it to say, “I told you I was sick.”” ~ Tom Waits
  51. “Most of the people I admire, they usually smell funny and don’t get out much. It’s true. Most of them are either dead or not feeling well.” ~ Tom Waits
  52. “She’s a shiksa goddess and a trapeze artist, all of that. She can fix the truck…she’s outta this world…she’s bold, inventive and fearless. That’s who you wanna go in the woods with, right? Somebody who finishes your sentences for you.” ~ Tom Waits
  53. “Oh, I’m not a percussionist, I just like to hit things.” ~ Tom Waits

  54. “We are buried beneath the weight of information, which is being confused with knowledge; quantity is being confused with abundance and wealth with happiness.” ~ Tom Waits
  55. “Don’t look back, because someone might be gaining on you.” ~ Tom Waits Quotes
  56. “There’s a beauty of show business. It’s the only business you can have a career in when you’re dead.” ~ Tom Waits
  57. “Children make up the best songs, anyway. Better than grown-ups. Kids are always working on songs and throwing them away, like little origami things or paper airplanes. They don’t care if they lose it; they’ll just make another one.” ~ Tom Waits
  58. “I’m the type of guy who’d sell you a rat’s asshole for a wedding ring.” ~ Tom Waits
  59. “I did my time in the jail of your arms” ~ Tom Waits

  60. “I like turning on two radios at once. I like hearing things wrong… I get a lot of ideas by mishearing things.” ~ Tom Waits
  61. “There’s nothing more embarrassing than a person who tries to guess what the great American public would like, makes a compromise for the first time, and falls flat on his face… I would rather be a failure on my own terms than a success on someone else’s. That’s a difficult statement to live up to, but then I’ve always believed that the way you affect your audience is more important than how many of them are there.” ~ Tom Waits
  62. “When your down on your luck and you’ve lost all your dreams there’s nothing like a campfire and a can of beans” ~ Tom Waits
  63. “I’m just trying to make a buck like everyone else.” ~ Tom Waits
  64. “The Universe is making music all the time.” ~ Tom Waits
  65. “You’re my North Star when I’m lost and feeling blue.” ~ Tom Waits

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