Tom Waits – Make It Rain – For Guitar.

As I was taking a wee walk around the interwebs this morning I came across this rather brilliant little website –

I might just have to misspend the rest of my two days off learning Make it Rain, by Tom Waits now… ¬† ūüėÄ

A curious song for a heatwave, but there you are ūüėČ

And here is the great man himself¬† –

How I Became a Black Sheep.

I watched the film ‘Broken Arrow’ on television last night.¬† Despite the fact I went to see it at the cinema¬†in 1996, I could remember nothing of it.¬† After watching it again I realized why – it is absolute garbage.¬† Still, the film did get me thinking.¬†¬†¬† It started me off on a nostalgia trip to my salad days, and in particular my life in 1996, and how it evolved over the following few years.

In 1996 I was 24 and earning VERY good money with British Gas as a service engineer.   I had a pension, and was also the regular recipient of dividend cheques from a multitude of shares that British Gas kept throwing my way.  I also had a £21,000 mortgage on a little flat on Castlegreen Street in Dumbarton.  Life seemed a complete doddle.

Broken Arrow was released in the UK during April of 1996, and it would have been there or thereabouts that I first saw it.¬† I remember going to see it with my then girlfriend Fiona,¬†at the UCI multiplex in Clydebank.¬†¬†¬† I’ll admit now that it wasn’t one of my better ideas for a date.¬† Whether she had a thing for John Travolta I can’t recall, though I can’t imagine anyone fancying Travolta in that¬†movie.¬† His girning alone would be enough to give any woman nightmares.

Life¬†seemed so easy in those days.¬† The only clouds on my horizon were generally¬†the product¬†of my lovelife.¬† I had no real awareness of the wider world outside my own social circle, and had no thoughts or opinions on anything ‘political’.¬† My life revolved around work and beer, with increasing forays into dope, and guitar-generated rock and roll.

It was in about 1996 that I started to become a regular concert go-er.  Looking at my collection of ticket stubs, I can see how my musical tastes gradually changed.  In 1996 I was paying to see Bon Jovi, Oasis, Del Amitri, Reef, and Ocean Colour Scene.  By 1997 I was watching the Verve, Skunk Anansie, Live, Primal Scream, Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins, and Beck.

The late 90’s went on to become, for me, something akin to a ‘perfect storm’.¬†¬† I had moved away from Dumbarton to live in Rothesay on the sunny Isle of Bute.¬†¬† For the first time in my adult life the Labour Party had won election to Government.¬† My formerly apolitical nature had been eroded by exposure to the music of Public Enemy and Rage Against the Machine.¬† And possibly most significant of all was the new time I found for reading.¬†¬† I started reading broadsheet newspapers, particularly the Glasgow Herald, and a new work colleague was introducing me to the works of Noam Chomsky, Richard Brautigan, Kurt Vonnegut, Tom Waits,¬†and Hunter Thompson.¬† I developed strong views on nuclear weapons, on¬†the 1998 Gulf War, and the 1999 Kosovo bombing.¬† Almost despite myself, I was slowly turning into some kind of political black sheep.

And suddenly life seemed not so simple.   I saw in the millenium listening to Godspeed You Black Emperor and Mogwai.

Before long I was resigning from British Gas and getting arrested in front of nuclear submarine bases.

I wish I’d never saw that damn film ūüėČ