A collected compilation of random excerpts from each of Jim Jarmusch’s three short films featuring footage of Tom Waits has been collected.
According to Eric Mahoney, Jarmusch’s former unpaid intern, the clips were all shot in 1992 and show Waits performing ‘Murder in the Red Barn’ on randomly found instruments like pans and barrels. Mahoney would later show ‘The Garage Tapes’ as part of the Ohio Film and Music Festival in the years that followed: “That’s something we were really proud to lock down, just because they haven’t been seen anywhere,” he said at the time.
Waits and Jarmusch have had a strong creative relationship for many years, a collaboration which has seen Waits appear in numerous of the filmmaker’s projects which include Mystery Train, Coffee and Cigarettes, Down By Law and, most recently, The Dead Don’t Die. “Tom and I have a kindred aesthetic,” Jarmusch once told Barney Hoskyns. “An interest in unambitious people, marginal people.”
Their close friendship is easy to see in The Garage Tapes, an opportunity to see Waits at his most relaxed while still playing up to Jarmusch who is quite typically exploring with camera in hand. In the first clip: “Tom describes his preferred, unorthodox method of relaxation” before the scene cuts to him on a rollercoaster.
The video description then explains that in the second sequence: “Tom performs his song, ‘Murder in the Red Barn’ solo, with vocals and assorted percussion.” Finally, in the third part of the footage: “Tom reveals to Jim the mysterious properties of a little-known slime eel, the hagfish.”
See the clip, below: