On The Nickel (1980) Tom Waits
Tom Waits is the smoke and beer soaked voice songwriter/singer who has graveled lyrics about Downtown’s seedy bars and hotels, both as an observer and resident. He will pull up a broken bar stool alongside Neil Diamond, the Alice Cooper Band, Dr. John and Darlene Love as a 2011 inductee in the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame.
“On The Nickel” is his love letter to Downtown’s Skid Row and there are quite a few videos to choose from. This version was selected because it opens with a few bars of Waltzing Matilda, the unofficial anthem of Australia that is really about a wandering man who carries his worldly possessions on his back.
Then Waits introduces the song: "It's about downtown Los Angeles on 5th Street and, where all the winos uh, affectionately refer to it as The Nickel. So, this is kinda a hobo's lullaby."
After the jump, bonus video of Waits reading Charles Bukowski.