Lowside of the Road
A Life of Tom Waits
By Barney Hoskyns
(Broadway Books, Paperback, 9780767927093, 609pp.)
Publication Date: May 11, 2010
List Price: $21.00*
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"Lowside of the Road" is the first serious biography to cut through the myths and make sense of the life and career of this beloved icon. Barney Hoskyns has gained unprecedented access to Waits's inner circle and also draws on interviews he has done with Waits over the years. Spanning his extraordinary forty-year career from "Closing Time" to "Orphans," from his perilous "jazzbo" years in 1970s LA to such shape-shifting albums as "Swordfishtrombones" and "Rain Dogs" to the Grammy Award winners of recent years, this definitive biography charts Waits's life and art step by step, album by album.
Barney Hoskyns has written a rock biography--much like the subject himself--unlike any other. It is a unique take on one of rock's great enigmas.
Absolutely outstanding" --Danny Baker, BBC
"[This] book lights up and whirls like one of the greasy carnival rides in Mr. Wait's own sprawling oeuvre" --The New York Times
Hoskyn's superlative overview of one of America's major (though idiosyncratic) popular artists will likely stand as the best book on his life"--Library Journal (starred review)
"Hoskyns persevered in writing the first Waits biography, netting fascination firsthand stories, terrific photographs, and fanatically detailed information about studio sessions and concerts...the result is a respectful, entertaining, and revelatory portrait set within a vivid cultural context."--Booklist
"It's about time [Waits] received biographical homage from a rock writer of the stature of Hoskyns."--Stephen Poole, The Guardian
"Comprehensive and judicious. [Waits] could not have found a more respectful, sympathetic and knowledgeable biographer if he'd chosen him himself."--Mick Brown, The Word
"Thanks to his diligence. His Californian connections and some magazine interviews he conducted long ago with Waits, Hoskyn's life comes across as convincingly lifelike."--Robert Sandall, The Sunday Times