Tom Waits on a Penny-Farthing!
July 27, 2008 1:53 PM   Subscribe

I seem to remember some Tom Waits album art that featured a man (possibly Waits) on an old-timey bicycle (which I just recently learned is called a "penny-farthing"). I want to get this as a tattoo, but despite owning the majority of his albums, I can't seem to find it. Help!
posted by oh really to Media & Arts (10 answers total)
 
damn you! That certainly rings a bell (not on any of the album covers) will have to have a hoke through all my stuff now or I'm not sleeping tonight
posted by twistedonion at 2:16 PM on July 27, 2008


This may be stupid and sorry if it is, but are you maybe thinking of the video for "I don't want to grow up" where he is riding a kids tricycle (if I remember right).

Other than that the only thing that I'm thinking is maybe in the Mule Variations artwork?
posted by twistedonion at 2:31 PM on July 27, 2008


Mule Variations was what I thought of, but I didn't see it there. Any chance it's in promotional material from around that release?

Maybe you can ask whoever gets email from the contact link at this site.
posted by dilettante at 2:35 PM on July 27, 2008


Hmm. The closest thing I've found so far was Mr. Waits sitting on a wheel on the cover of Alice. Could that be what you are thinking of (I'm guessing not as you seem to be quite clear that he was on top of a "penny-farthing")?

A rudimentary Google images search turned nothing up either...as I'm sure you know as well. Doh.

I'll keep poking through my collection, although it leans heavily towards the latter half of his oeuvre (the "weird years"--a.k.a. on the Island label and later).

I also want to thank you for indirectly helping me figure out that Mr. Waits included an animated flip book in the liner notes to the album Real Gone. Neat-o.
posted by dubitable at 3:53 PM on July 27, 2008


Are you positive about the Tom Waits part?
posted by iconomy at 4:24 PM on July 27, 2008


There are also photos of Tom Waits riding a tricycle and wearing aviator goggles in the album art for Bone Machine: not on the cover, but on some of the interior shots in the liner notes.
posted by redfoxtail at 5:38 PM on July 27, 2008


i was certain it was alice, but this ain't the picture i was thinking of. the one you're talking about has a red background, yes?
posted by msconduct at 6:11 PM on July 27, 2008


Honestly, at this point I'm not certain that I didn't somehow make the whole thing up or conflate it with another image. The problem is that I can just visualize it so clearly -- yet obviously a Google search turns up nothing! It's been driving me nuts for quite some time.

redfoxtail -
It is NOT that one (although I do like it!).


Thanks for all the help so far! Much appreciated.
posted by oh really at 6:34 PM on July 27, 2008


Not a penny-farthing, or even a bicycle (well, it's got two wheels), but could it possibly be this, also from Alice?
posted by Flunkie at 8:00 PM on July 27, 2008


He rides a tiny red children's bike around (with the aviator goggles) in the video for I Don't Want to Grow Up. (See: http://youtube.com/watch?v=kzKiqk2iynY) Faded pictures of him in the goggles form the background for much of the Bone Machine notes.

There's also a sepia-toned picture of him sitting on some sort of wheeled cart in the Alice booklet. There's one big wheel visible, and I could see it easily being confabulated into a penny-farthing. That's probably what you're thinking of.

Mule Variations would also be a good place to check, but I don't own it.
posted by trouserbat at 10:38 PM on July 27, 2008


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