Tom Talks Tattoos
02:02 PM
There's been a lingering itch that I have yet to scratch (and not just from last Thursday's outline session at Kings Ave Tattoo) - to do a post on my favorite songs about tattoos.  But after enough time with my iPod in the NYC subway system, I realized that there's a tattoo reference on just about every Tom Waits album ever recorded.

So I present to you, in no particular order, my top five Tom Waits songs that mention dermal decoration (and feel free to click those iTunes buttons to preview and get the songs for yourself).

9th and Hennepin from Rain Dogs
"And the steam comes out of the grill / Like the whole goddamn town's ready to blow / And the bricks are all scarred with jailhouse tattoos / And everyone is behaving like dogs"
Tom Waits - Rain Dogs - 9th and Hennepin

The One That Got Away from Nighthawks At The Diner
"Tattoo parlor's warm and so I huddle there inside / The grinding of the buzz saw / whatchuwanthathingtosay / just don't misspell her name, buddy, she's the one that got away"
Tom Waits - Small Change - The One That Got Away

Circus from Real Gone
"She had a Tattoo gun made out of a cassette motor and a guitar string / And she soaked a hanky in 3 Roses / And rubbed it on the spot / And drew a rickety heart and A bent arrow and it hurt like hell"
Tom Waits - Real Gone - Circus

Warm Beer and Cold Women from Nighthawks At The Diner
"All my conversations I'll just be / Talkin' about you baby / Borin' some sailor as I try to get through / I just want him to listen / That's all you have to do / He said I'm better off without you / Till I showed him my tattoo"
Tom Waits - Nighthawks at the Diner - Warm Beer and Cold Women

That Feel from Bone Machine
"I cross my wooden leg / And I swear on my glass eye / It will never leave you high and dry / Never leave you loose / It's harder to get rid of than tattoos"
Tom Waits - Bone Machine - That Feel

a crackin tattoo-related song by the greatest guitarist you've never heard of:


Love this. I always get a warm fuzzy feeling when I listen to Mr. Waits and he mentions tattoos. He is my favorite...

Or what about albums? Tattoo You, no?

Blue Tattoo:


Nice blog here! Also your website loads up fast! What host are you using? I wish my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

connect with us

Marisa Kakoulas
Miguel Collins
Craig Dershowitz
Brian Grosz
Sean Risley
Patrick Sullivan
Needles and Sins powered by Moveable Type.

Site designed and programmed by Striplab.

NS logo designed by Viktor Koen.