Downtown Train: Tom Waits

Here’s the video clip for the song Downtown Train, sung by Tom Waits, a cut from the album Rain Dogs (1985, Island Records).

So you’re thinking, ‘What the hell’? Tom Waits, and Downtown Train have nothing to do with boxing. And if you’re talking about the song, then you are absolutely right. But it’s a great song, and I wanted to post it on P2K.

As for the boxing, well here’s a paragraph from the book, Small Change: A Life of Tom Waites by Patrick Humphries (Omnibus Press, 1989).

Determined to foist Waits on a nervous teenage audience, ‘Downtown Train’ was lifted from the album and released as a single. Propelled by the guitar of G.E. Smith (who first emerged as guitarist behind Hall and Oates in 1980 and accompanied Bob Dylan to great acclaim on his 1988 tour), the stark black and white video opened with the real ‘raging bull’ Jake La Motta moaning about Waits singing underneath his window. Waits gavottes on the rain-drenched streets, hair sticking out like the split in a horsehair sofa, spindly arms snatching at stars.

So there we have it – the boxing connection – Jake La Motta, the Raging Bull appears in this video.

Uploaded to Youtube by: silverjoo22

May sees the launch of King of the Outback, the sixth book in the popular Fightcard series – and my literary debut (writing as Jack Tunney). Accordingly, in a month long celebration, Permission to Kill will be looking back and some of the highlights – and lowlights – of boxing in film and literature – and in music too.

For an up-to-date direct connection with the Fightcard series check out the home page, or for you youngsters, you can follow the Facebook Fan Page.

2 Comments Posted in Music
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  1. I love this song (the whole album, really). So many people have trouble getting past the Rod Stewart version to appreciate it.

  2. Tis a great album. I think I came to it it via Jarmusch’s ‘Down By Law’ – where some of the tracks were used in the soundtrack… Jockey Full of Bourbon etc.

    When I heard Rod Stewart was gonna do a version, I was initially hopeful, that it wouldn’t be too bad – but the MOR finished product was rather disappointing.

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