Minneapolis, MN USA
1 November 1987
stereo audience recording
Download FLAC: Amazon Drive
Another recording of this performance – made by a different taper and recorded with different equipment – is running here:
cassette side A (30:17.62):
A01. Intro / piano roll: Atmosphere; Rachmaninov 2nd Piano Concerto (00:16.08)
A02. Hang On St. Christopher (02:39.44)
A03. 16 Shells From a Thirty Ought Six (04:08.64)
A04. Down In The Hole (06:21.04)
A05. Gun Street Girl (04:30.44)
A06. comments (used erotica) / introduction (wolf boy) (02:10.49)
A07. Cold Cold Ground (03:23.41)
A08. Yesterday Is Here (02:36.61)
A09. Telephone Call From Istanbul (04:10.47)
cassette side B (28:58.30):
B01. Straight To The Top (Vegas) (09:02.43)
B02. comments (shoes / fashion) / boiler room (02:06.72)
B03. I Wish I Was In New Orleans (04:07.22)
B04. comments (Bob’s airport / 4H Club) (01:02.28)
B05. Christmas Card From A Hooker In Minneapolis (04:31.22)
B06. Jitterbug Boy > Johnsburg Illinois > Jitterbug Boy (04:51.24)
B07. Frank’s Wild Years (03:16.44)
cassette side C (26:03.49):
C01. comments (doctor) (00:35.53)
C02. Innocent When You Dream (04:56.59)
C03. Midtown (instrumental) (01:26.26)
C04. Underground (02:28.68)
C05. Clap Hands (04:41.22)
C06. comments (bad days) (00:56.19)
C07. More Than Rain (03:05.48)
C08. Singapore (02:45.00)
C09. introduction: Rain Dogs (00:43.53)
C10. Rain Dogs (03:28.30)
[end of main set]
cassette side D (20:56.44):
D01. comments (trouble light) (00:31.60)
D02. Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag James Brown
D03. 9th & Hennepin (04:03.30)
D04. Blind Love (04:36.09)
D05. band introductions (02:25.35)
D06. Walking Spanish (04:02.38)
D07. Straight To The Top (02:50.17)
voice, guitar, piano, bullhorn, space gun: Tom Waits
personnel – introduced as “The Mighty Flourescents”:
all saxophones, baritone horn, marimba: Ralph Carney
upright bass, Vox electric: Greg Cohen
guitar, banjo, trumpet: Marc Ribot
drums, percussion: Michael Blair
accordion, keyboard: Willie “The Squeeze” Schwarz
Digitizing notes [J-dot; 2016]:
1st-gen. copies of master cassettes [2 Maxell XL-II-S C-60 (High Bias)]
Sony D-6 portable stereo recording cassette deck / unknown mic > master cassettes (2 C-90 cassettes) > 1st-gen. copies of master cassettes [fade-in/out applied during transfer; possibly some minor EQ (?); level adjustment (applause; stereo imaging / balance)] >
Nakamichi LX-3 cassette deck [Azimuth adjustment applied to playback head] > Edirol R-04 [RCA/analog in; 24-bit/48kHz transfer (.wav)] > PC [via USB] > CD Wave Editor [Version 1.98; Windows Build Number: 0000.23F0] (sector boundary tracking) > Trader’s Little Helper [Version 2.7.0; Build 172] (Level 8 .wav > .flac conversion)
[additional notes from J. : 2016]:
The source for this version was made from my own re-compiled 1st-gen master tapes, shortly after the concert. As with so many live tapes I made back then, I would often consolidate segments from multiple cassettes onto one tape, applying fade-ins, fade-outs, and occasionally, some equalization in the process. If only I still had those original tapes!
Working on the “Mr. Smith” recording of this performance got me a bit excited. Nearly thirty years later, it was the first time I had seen another source for that show other than my own, and I held my breath, in the hopes that the other taper might have caught the last three songs which I missed, due to failing batteries. Alas, it was not to be the case, after all. Still, it provided the incentive for me to revisit my own recording; and I was curious how it would fare on one of the NAK decks I had picked up recently. I was nearly certain that I had already digitized this in the past, but after a good bit of research, there was no evidence of having actually done so. If it’s true that I never actually got around to it before, than this might possibly be the first digitized version from this source recording, unless someone can prove otherwise.
As this particular recording has long been one of my absolute favorites, it’s kind of ironic that at the time, I wasn’t even remotely a fan, but the young woman I was fond of at the time was a huge fan, so naturally I didn’t waste any time getting tickets, and was lucky enough to score some tickets in the fifth row (which as it turned out, did wonders for the quality of the recording). If I had been indifferent about the show when I walked into the venue, that feeling was completely gone by the end of the show; it was one of the few performances I can say was truly memorable.
For reasons I will never know, my batteries – which were brand new right before the show – chose to stop working as Waits returned to stage and began singing “Time”. I tried starting the deck again, but I could see the battery light had lost its’ glow, and I kind of knew it was a lost cause. He followed that with “Train Song”, which was also not recorded, and then left the stage again, to return a few minutes later for one final encore. I believe I was actually fighting back tears when the first notes of “Tom Traubert’s Blues” began, and I realized I was not going to be able to convince my tape deck to record one more note.
Once outside, we decided to loiter in the parking lot behind the venue, where the tour bus was parked. I hadn’t realized that the wall I was leaning on while lighting my cigarette was in fact a door, until it suddenly jerked open and nearly knocked me to the ground. “Oh! Sorry, man!”, I heard a familiar voice exclaim, as a spritely fellow quickly reached out to help me back on my feet; and once I was upright, the voice quipped, “Hey, can I get a light from you?” Of course, I immediately recognized him as the same character I had just spent the past two hours watching on stage. My friend and I chatted with him for a few minutes about nothing in particular, before others started to congregate in the lot, and we knew it was time to say goodbye. I know I silently cursed the batteries in my deck for not working, since it was still strapped under my jacket, and it would have been fun to have recorded our meaningless little chat.
Four days later, recording for “Big Time” began, on November 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. When that concert film came out, I honestly felt that I had a recording that better captured the energy of Tom Waits in performance mode, but I suppose every taper must think that about at least one of their own recordings. It’s all good, as the kids like to say.
“I Wish I Was In New Orleans” and “9th & Hennepin” are complete on this recording.
This recording is incomplete.
Tom Traubert’s Blues
additional notes [01001010; 2016]:
J. was pretty sure that he had digitized this before and that it had been on the DIME tracker, but we couldn’t find any notes in the physical archives, and there doesn’t seem to be any mention of it in the DIME-bot-list. If anyone can confirm that it was shared digitally, please let us know! In any case, this sounds pretty good – enjoy!
The “Sonic Archives” Tapes.
Made available to the world through the collaborative resources of these people:
Recorded ; digitized ; technical notes  by J. Free [sonicarchives.com]
Uploaded; additional comments: 01001010
Dedicated to tapesfor2, who had this to say about my efforts to preserve the Sonic Archives tape collection:
“You shouldn’t have. His recordings were at ‘best’ personal souvenirs. They were not quality recordings. They should not be shared. Those tapes belong on a waste dump.”