HARTFORD, Conn. — Acclaimed showman Tom Waits reportedly revved up his audience at a rare live gig by shooting off a custom “Tattered Overalls and Busted Top Hat” cannon into the upper decks of the crowd, astonished sources confirmed.
“Well now, I had just finished a ‘Rain Dogs’ medley, which usually gets the audience frothing at the mouth, y’know? But this crowd was more docile than a pack of hyenas on opposite day, so I knew I had to bring out the big guns, so to speak,” growled Waits, with a sly grin that was as menacing as it was comforting. “I had this t-shirt cannon modified to fit my particular fanbase’s needs. I blasted out a few pairs of overalls worn by dust farmers in the midwest and some busted top hats I stole from a haunted carnival, and got them hootin’…and after a few more? They were sure enough hollerin’ as well.”
Concertgoers were decidedly ecstatic about the cannon, although some injuries were inevitable.
“When Tom started blasting off that cannon, I knew I just had to make myself a prime target,” whimpered a bandaged Harland Hellur, a self-described Tom Waits superfan. “Well, in true Waitsian fashion, those overalls had a mess of rusty switchblades in the pockets of ‘em, and I got two or three sliced right across the ol’ jugular. I couldn’t be happier to leave a concert riddled with tetanus. The only way it could get any better is if I could somehow get Tom to sign my hospital bill with a railroad spike dipped in tobacco juice.”
Legendary music manager Peter Quartz expressed interest in harnessing Waits’ new technology for other bands on his roster.
“I could see this type of thing working for a lot of the groups I represent. The Residents, for example, could be blasting off giant eyeball masks, easy. And I just signed the Dire Straits, so you know their fans would freak for one that shoots sensible button-ups and corduroy pants! The only one that’d be a toughie is the Village People,” Quartz noted. “I’d need a ‘shuffle’ function so you don’t know whether you’re getting a construction worker get-up or a sailor suit. Somebody get the fellas in the lab on that task, ASAP!”
After the show, Waits vowed that his next gig would be an even bigger spectacle, due to the trading of his custom cannon for a real, functioning Revolutionary War-era one.