MOJO 310 – September 2019: Tom Waits

MOJO 310 stars Tom Waits, Woodstock, Dr John, Richard Thompson, Pixies and more.


AS THE LEGENDARY, maverick-friendly Island Records label hits 60, MOJO celebrates one of their key artist’s most extraordinary phases: Tom Waits’ mid-’80s trilogy of Swordfishtrombones, Rain Dogs and Franks Wild Years. Also Island-themed is this month’s star-studded covermount CD, with vintage tracks by classic Island artists including John Martyn, Fairport Convention, Steel Pulse, Free, PJ Harvey, Paul Weller, The Slits and more. Inside the magazine you’ll find a myth-busting Woodstock anniversary extravaganza, an in-depth tribute to Dr John, and revealing interviews with Richard Thompson, Rhiannon Giddens, The Raincoats, Pixies’ Black Francis and more. Plus: Sleater-Kinney, Nick Cave, The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, Mattiel, Thom Yorke, Joan Shelley, Groundhogs, Wilco and Gil Scott-Heron. Get your copy quick!



COVER STORY: TOM WAITS When Tom Waits turned his back on the barfly shtick and headed for the ditch marked avant-Brechtian-blues, who in their right mind would have signed him? MOJO celebrates Swordfishtrombones, Rain Dogs and Franks Wild Years: his extraordinary Island trilogy.

WOODSTOCK There was a lot of mud, brown acid, and Creedence were sub-par – or were they? Carlos Santana, John Sebastian and more help us rethink the protean rock festival.

BLACK FRANCIS The Pixies’ ball of confusion tries to make sense of his band’s second coming and multiple goings. “Kim Deal is still a Pixie,” he tells Keith Cameron.

RICHARD THOMPSON At 70, the British folk-rock legend, inimitable axe master and pop music philosopher recalls his musical milestones. And the time he duffed up a bootlegger.

THE RAINCOATS The post-punk fem-warriors’ debut-album deconstruction manual is 40 years young. “We didn’t conform to punk,” says Gina Birch. “I’d be sitting back stage knitting.”

DR JOHN Mac Rebbenack injected New Orleans mythology into the ’60s psych maelstrom, and lit up the world. His admirers explain why his spirit is irreplaceable.

RHIANNON GIDDENS The greatest singer in roots music is also its most surprising storyteller: “Imagine realising that what you had been told your entire childhood was not true.”

REVIEWED Sleater-Kinney / Thom Yorke / Nérija / Joan Shelley / Bill Ryder-Jones / Modern Nature / Peter Laughner / School Of Language / The Yardbirds / KoKoKo! / King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard / The Hold Steady / Oh Sees / Grateful Dead / Shannon Lay / Violent Fennes / Mega Bog / Fionn Regan

PLUS Nick Cave unburdens onstage / The great Bonzo Dog Fight! / Skip Marley keeps the dynasty alive / Leonard Cohen’s Greek loves / Chris Blackwell looks back / Iggy Pop meets Roland Rat / Wilco and Bikini Kill turn up / Max Romeo drops in / Dave Bartholomew and Elliot Roberts bow out / Brian Jackson remembers Gil Scott-Heron / and… Groundhogs!