January 13, 2014 – 6:41 am

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

Nighthawks On The Radio Live [no label, 1CD]

Live on WNEW-FM, New York, NY; December 14, 1976. Excellent Pre-FM.

Thanks to the person who who shared this at Dime in 2009/2010.


Rebroadcast Date: March 24, 1996 WNEW-FM. “This was a show I recorded with Tom in December of 1976 that was originally broadcast on WNEW during my first sojourn at the station. I played this rare one-hour tape tonight as my contribution to the station’s “From the Archives Weekend”. Tom and I (and drummer Ralph Ebler) taped this at a recording studio in town, Tom at the piano, Ralph on snare and high-hat; it was unrehearsed, unscripted, and totally cool. This is the first time the show has been aired in its entirety since the original broadcast almost 20 years ago.”
- Vin Scelsa, WNEW-FM host

From the original post:

I was very happy to get this post a while ago, thank you to the original poster. I have reassembled this CD somewhat and made it a bit better. Not by enhancement of any kind - there was a channel imbalance that I corrected, and I fixed the track indices so that they began in the right places, and did some fades where necessary. No changes were made to the sound, no noise reduction, nothing. Just tidying up so it sounds all nice. I also changed the artwork to reflect that it is the Remastered Editon. If you wish to trade this CD, please include the updated artwork with it. Thanks! If anyone downloads this post, I would be curious to know if you like it, especially if you have the original to compare it with. Regards, Dave

Source: PreFM

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (224 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Please Do Not Hammer The Links. Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. The tracks should still be around. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Track 01. Emotional Weather Report 7:46 (13.0MB)
Track 02. A Sight For Sore Eyes 3:21 (5.6MB)
Track 03. Step Right Up 6:45 (11.3MB)
Track 04. Eggs And Sausage/Invitation to the Blues 4:48 (8.1MB)
Track 05. Jitterbug Boy 6:36 (11.1MB)
Track 06. Diamonds On My Windshield 4:00 (6.7MB)
Track 07. Tom Traubert’s Blues 8:58 (15.1MB)
Track 08. New Coat Of Paint 6:01 (10.1MB)
Track 09. The Piano Has Been Drinking 5:12 (8.7MB)
Track 10. I Can’t Wait To Get Off Work 4:07 (6.9MB)
Track 11. San Diego Seranade 4:32 (7.6MB)
63 mins

Tom Waits - piano, vocals
Ralph Ebler - drums

Vin Scelsa - host

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  1. 43 Responses to “TOM WAITS - NEW YORK 1976”

  2. I can’t think of another popular music figure (except for maybe Zappa) that has progressed and strayed so far from his initial debut. I’ve been following Waits since the nighthawks period and have enjoyed almost all of the permutations. In fact, it’s almost embarrassing to hear the early stuff and his contrived beatnicky persona - clearly planned and fabricated with the assistance of Herb Cohen…

    … exCEPT for the extraordinary strength of his songwriting craft. Forget all the goofball comedy routines and smartassy interview one-liners. The songs are solid. Besides, that whole character schtick was such an obvious (and amusing) joke, it’s hard to believe anyone would take it seriously. But I was there in the 70’s Troubadour audience and it was definitely fun to watch! Basically, like watching a great character actor and better musician rolled into one.

    By lowendbill on Jan 13, 2014

  3. Thank you. This was a special show by a special performer on a great station. This is a “must have” for Tom Waits fans.

    By Jim in White Plains on Jan 13, 2014

  4. the waits song that moved me most has to be What`s He building..” that song scared the crap out of me so vividly dark.

    By dropkick sarge on Jan 13, 2014

  5. Dear Lowenbill, Excellent post! Thank you for the insight. Love hearing the stories from people who were there and remember. Your words are very much appreciated

    By THE Russian Assassin on Jan 13, 2014

  6. “it’s almost embarrassing to hear the early stuff”

    really? “Ol’ 55″, “I Hope That I Don’t Fall In Love With You”, “Martha”, “Old Shoes & Picture Postcards” and every single song on “The Heart Of Saturday Night” are embarrassing?? bill, i cant believe that youre serious with that assessment, i hope that you chose the wrong word in haste. there were several songs on toms first few albums that were worthy of being covered by sinatra or tony bennett.

    “his contrived beatnicky persona - clearly planned and fabricated with the assistance of Herb Cohen”

    contrived?? fabricated?? so he changed into double-knits after the shows and went home to his suburban rancher? “stylized” would be more accurate. its obvious after all these years his “beatnicky persona” is no act, its the real deal. tom waits is an artist in every sense of the word, one of the most creative interesting and funny people in popular music since he came on the scene.

    By barth on Jan 13, 2014

  7. based on y’alls comments, i’m gonna get this one. and, thanks, big O!


    By I-) on Jan 13, 2014

  8. it’s almost embarrassing to hear the early stuff and his contrived beatnicky persona - clearly planned and fabricated with the assistance of Herb Cohen…


    By dropkick sarge on Jan 13, 2014

  9. This is great. The early stuff is probably his best.

    By dwight on Jan 13, 2014

  10. Great performance of a great album. Many thanks.

    By Steve MC on Jan 14, 2014

  11. Great stuff! The more Tom Waits the better if you ask me. Vin Scelsa is really great too.

    By JB on Jan 14, 2014

  12. THANK YOU! These are great songs, and the faux beatnik pose is okay with me. I like Robert Zimmerman’s faux Woody Guthrie act, too.

    A friend of mine saw him open for The Eagles (who wore matching green T-shirts with “THE EAGLES” pasted on them) in the early 70s. He thought they were a slick version of The Byrds and Gram parsons.

    By Eric on Jan 14, 2014

  13. there are 200 waits items on sugarmeg. some have no date listed on the title listing. u probably would have to delve into the info which i didnt do but on the ones with the dates that are most obvious the earliest one is from aug 73. aside from the 2nd nite bridge school benefit (sunday audience recorded) this past year..the most recent item is from oct 2010. there are a lot of studio recordings there as well. and what u dont find here if u have to have more.. u will find on check em out.

    By darth on Jan 14, 2014

  14. “EXCEPT FOR THE STRENGTH OF HIS SONGWRITING CRAFT”, may I remind them that don’t read full posts.

    I too, love Martha, Lonely, even Ol ‘55 (which was strong enough to survive the Eagles attempted assault), Virginia Avenue and so many others of his songs that are so rich with wordplays and have a great off-the-cuff spontaneity (that takes work, guys). Blue Valentines and Heartattack and Vine - how many hundreds of times have I played those records!

    But sorry guys, that early character is not real and long documented and acknowledged by TW as a deliberately constructed character-act. He himself has stated his own embarrassment at the early stuff. That may be harsh to some ears, but the sign of someone whose ambitions exceed playing a drunken yahoo pianist for the rest of his life.

    And I’m totally with Eric on that point.. a thoroughly enjoyable character (like the Bob-Woody model) to watch as long as you regard it like watching an actor playing a part… and playing it well.

    But ultimately, big fucking deal. Who cares - IF THE SONGS ARE SOLID. Which they are. But that old stuff compared to the power of the Bone Machine, Black Rider, Swordfish Trombones, Real Gone, etcetcetc… albums… well, it’s beyond astounding they all came from the same guy… “Orphans” really makes the case. Fantastic album. Then of course there’s the dogs like “one Through the Heart”, a good half of Foreign Affairs… owell…

    Gotta admit, it’s fun stirring up the Big-O hornet’s nest!

    By lowendbill on Jan 14, 2014

  15. shhh bill dont give away the secret. damnit.

    By darth on Jan 14, 2014

  16. shhh bill dont give away the secret. damnit.


    By dropkick sarge on Jan 14, 2014

  17. bill, how about stirring up some credible info to show that waits early persona was “a deliberately constructed character-act” and “clearly planned and fabricated with the assistance of Herb Cohen”. nothing ive read, including barney hoskyns bio, indicates that. any “embarrassment” waits talked about was because he was nearly out of control with the booze, drugs, and living in low life motels.

    By barth on Jan 14, 2014

  18. Barth-dude, I’ve got so much better things to do with my time. I - and you - should really care less. Love it or hate it, the only thing thing that matters is the music, not the album covers. It’s like being upset that David Bowie isn’t really Ziggy Stardust. It’s all showbiz.

    By lowendbill on Jan 14, 2014

  19. Sorry darth. I figured it was obvious, so your point is well made. silly me.

    By lowendbill on Jan 14, 2014

  20. Does anyone remember seeing TOM WAITS on thatTV show, “FERNWOOD TONIGHT”? That was some very, very early stuff. I think he only got on that show because of MARTIN MULL was such a huge fan

    By THE Russian Assassin on Jan 14, 2014

  21. Dear LOWENBILL…. screw those trolls. I appreiated your post.

    Dont waste anymore of your time… they will be so depressed when they find out KISS wears makeup and Gene doesn’t blow fire in real life!

    Don’t bother responding trolls, I quit reading LONG ago

    By THE Russian Assassin on Jan 14, 2014

  22. KISS - return to DRESSED TO KILL

    By THE Russian Assassin on Jan 14, 2014

  23. Russian, yes, agreed. And yea, I remember seeing Tom on Fernwood, too. “Better off without a Wife”, I think he played? Anyways, a great put-on talk show, as long as it lasted. Both of them had a ball playing to each other’s put-on characters - fun! Also caught Martin Mull a couple times playing the Troub… enjoyed it.

    By lowendbill on Jan 14, 2014

  24. What lowendbill and dropkick sarge said originally!
    Always like to find a different piece of Tom Waits, this looks fascinating can’t wait.
    Fank yooooo!

    By swappers on Jan 14, 2014

  25. bill- i was cowriter on those early waits songs you love so much. i preferred to remain anonymous. the beatnicky persona? tom and i created it while tom was selling cars at cal worthingtons. I remember him wearing his baby blue sans-a-belt slacks. his name tag read “chuck weiss”. herb cohen was very intimidating so i didn’t protest when he took the credit. you were at the troubadour shows? then you saw me on bass. i hope you enjoyed my work on the glitter and doom tour too. im sending this from the international space station i hope it comes through.

    jus stirrin up tha ol hornets nest……………..

    By barth on Jan 14, 2014

  26. Barth, you need a drink. Or three. It’s on me.

    By lowendbill on Jan 14, 2014

  27. bill- you gave away the secret. tsk tsk. send the drink to the piano. not me.

    By barth on Jan 14, 2014

  28. Tom Waits Sidney 1979, a must have, excellent performance and sound quality.

    By ND on Jan 15, 2014

  29. Tom Waits Sidney 1979, a must have, excellent performance and sound quality.

    hope he isn`t doing his contrived beatnicky persona is he? oh the horror..

    By dropkick sarge on Jan 15, 2014

  30. barth, your posts make my day.serious man.

    By dropkick sarge on Jan 15, 2014

  31. thank you sarge, i respect your opinions even when you dont compliment me!
    humour always makes the ongoing troll battles less tedious.

    heres a fine tom waits show from 2008 in atlanta. i downloaded it a while ago as a podcast but it looks like its only streaming audio now. ill search later for a download link. there are other links on the page for more waits-iana.

    By barth on Jan 15, 2014

  32. that tom waits on fernwood tonight thing -×3Nqys

    By darth on Jan 15, 2014

  33. –Definitely Sydney and Atlanta! Also, I really liked the Paramount Theatre (Oakland, CA) 2/4/99 for the Bone Machine tracks live and Charlie Musselwhite guesting. Scrape me off the wall! Then there’s the original Alice demos (a hundred times better than the limp legit release).

    Must. Stop. Now….

    … after this little memory: I taped him in Dec. 78 at the Huntington Hartford in Hollywood (Blue Valentines period). Reviewing the recording later, he segued into “Silent Night” (it was Xmastime) and after the line about “Holy infant so tender and mild / Sleep in heavenly peace…”, a nearby baby CRIED out loud! As if right on cue! Only on an audience boot would that be possible.

    By lowendbill on Jan 15, 2014

  34. the tom waits 2008 atlanta show is right here on bigO! unfortunately the songs are no longer available for download. perhaps a friendly email would get them re-upped.

    By barth on Jan 15, 2014

  35. Tom Waits Atlanta 2008. SugarMegs.

    By ND on Jan 16, 2014

  36. Tom Waits rescind Sugarmegs crap audience.

    By ND on Jan 16, 2014

  37. The track listing on the rear cover is erroneous.
    Le concert, lui, est un régal, merci

    By Amchinart on Jan 17, 2014

  38. Hi lowendbill

    I like the music of tom Waits a LOT. However, my favorite period is the early period. I happen to love Foreign Affair, and One From the Heart, which I consider to the be the great “lost” Tom Waits album, both of which you didn’t like. His later material is certainly strong, but I suggest that you revisit those two albums. They contain a lot of good music, IMHO

    By Paul on Jan 25, 2014

  39. Paul, thanks for the thoughts. Foreign Affairs does contain (for me, anyway) the superb “Burma Shave”. I was lucky to tape him at the Troubadour when Bette Midler got up to duet on “Never Talk TO Strangers”.. a real nice surprise. And on Heart, I’ll definitely give ya “old Boyfriends”.

    The unreleased Waits album I’d love to hear (I’ve made my own, but…) would be a compilation of his instrumentals. “Cinny’s Waltz” (FA) has the most lovely, delicate pre-dawn atmospheric feel…

    By lowendbill on Jan 25, 2014

  40. i love ALL the tom waitses… early and old.

    This is great, thank you

    By tony on Jan 27, 2014

  41. i love ALL the tom waitses

    waitses…you sound like gollum LOL

    By dropkick sarge on Jan 27, 2014

  42. tom waits on vh1 storytellers 1999. great show!

    whats he building in there starts around 25:00.

    full show all mp3s with many more songs & stories:

    By barth on Apr 6, 2014

  43. chuck e. weiss is back! read the interview stream the album. not necessary in that order.
    then buy the album when its released.

    By barth on Apr 14, 2014

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