Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Esotouric to offer Tom Waits tour August 30

New L.A. Bus Tour and Book Follows in Tom Waits' Youthful Footsteps

WHAT: Esotouric debuts "Crawling Down Cahuenga: Tom Waits' Los Angeles" bus tour, followed by a group reading and signing of host David Smay's new book "Tom Waits Swordfishtrombones" (Continuum's 33 1/3 series)

WHEN: Bus tour is Saturday August 30, noon-4pm, reading follows at 6pm

WHERE: Bus tour departs from The King Edward Saloon, 131 E 5th Street, reading at Metropolis Books, 440 S. Main Street

COST: $62/person

MORE INFO: visit or call 323-223-2767

Legendary musician Tom Waits is touring this summer, but fans in his old hometown are out of luck-- all the dates are in the South. But Esotouric, the bus adventure company whose offbeat tours expose LA's secret history, is launching a new tour on August 30 that should scratch that gravelly voiced itch.

CRAWLING DOWN CAHUENGA: TOM WAITS' LOS ANGELES is the definitive tour of Tom Waits' formative creative life and the people, places and late night pastries that shaped it.

Calling all rain dogs, gin-soaked boys and Gun Street girls! Climb aboard as your hosts David Smay (author of the new 33 1/3 series book on"Swordfishtrombones") and Esotouric's Kim Cooper (a Zoetrope Studios intern who'll tell how she used teenage subterfuge to arrange a private concert by Tom) lead you on a scrupulously researched ride through Tom's epic misdeeds and shenanigans, from the Trashing of the Troubadour to epic nights at the Tropicana.

And oh, there are such tales to tell, from food fights with L.A. Punks and smackdowns with L.A. Police. We'll crawl through the Sewers of Paris, tattle on the Ivar Theater, and get the lowdown on Tom's legendary performances at the Wiltern and elsewhere.

Before departing for points rural, Tom left hismark all over L.A., from Francis Ford Coppola's Zoetrope Studios to Sunset Sound to Skid Row. We'll show you where Tom found his true love and collaborator, Kathleen Brennan, and how all the pieces came together to transform a drunken, desperate singer into the multi-faceted, multi-media artist he'd become.

Raised near San Diego, Tom Waits launched his musical career in L.A., signing with David Geffen's Asylum Records in 1972, living at the raunchy Tropicana Hotel (where he sawed off the kitchen drain board so his piano would fit), and building a reputation as a songwriter willing to risk his own health and sanity to get inside the sad sack characters that peopled songs like "The Piano Has Been Drinking (Not Me)," "On The Nickel" and "Pasties And A G-string (At The Two O'clock Club)." By 1980, Tom was 31 and starting to feel the effects of his hard living.

While scoring the music to Francis Ford Coppola's "One From The Heart," he met Kathleen Brennan, whose influence would completely transform his life and his art. After a whirlwind courtship the pair married and began a 28-year creative and personal partnership, beginning with the revolutionary album "Swordfishtrombones," the subject of tour host David Smay's new book.

As a symbolic passage from lonesome bar hopping to family joys and sobriety, the tour starts and ends at two important downtown sites. Passengers gather in the King Edward Saloon, the last surviving Skid Row bar with the Christmas 2007 loss of Craby Joe's, before boarding Esotouric's luxury coach class bus, where the mood is set with vintage photos and live footage.

CRAWLING DOWN CAHUENGA spans Tom's personal city, from The Nickel (aka Skid Row) to once-ratty West Hollywood, favorite strip clubs and midnight diners, recording studios, night clubs, record labels and film studios, before rolling back downtown for a communal snack at Clifton's Cafeteria.

After the tour and the snack at Clifton's Cafeteria, hosts David and Kim will be at Metropolis Books, reading from their 33 1/3 series books on Tom Waits and Neutral Milk Hotel. Joining them is Austin writer Hayden Childs, author of "Richard and Linda Thompson 'Shoot Out The Lights."

Longtime collaborators David Smay and Kim Cooper co-edited the books "Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth" ("quite simply the most fun music book I have ever read." -Bucketfull of Brains) and "Lost in the Grooves: Scram's Capricious Guide to the Music You Missed" ("the perfect book for the advanced record collector" -Ear Candy) before penning their solo 33 1/3 series books on Tom Waits and Neutral Milk Hotel. Kim gives Esotouric's rock history and true crime tours. David Smay lives in San Francisco, where he is working on a history of the Beats.

Upcoming Esotouric bus tour schedule (new tours starred):
Sat June 28 ­ Amoeba Music - Where the Action Was rock history tour with guest star Ruthann Friedman (composer of "Windy")
*Sat July 12 - Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles: The New Chinatowns
Sat July 26 - Pasadena Confidential
Sat Aug.2 - Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles: Route 66
Sat Aug 9- Vroman's Bookstore ­ Haunts of A Dirty Old Man: Charles Bukowki's LA
Sat Aug 16 - The Real Black Dahlia
Sat Aug 23 ­ John Fante's Bunker Hill
*Sat Aug 30 - Crawling Down Cahuenga: Tom Waits' LA
Sun Sept 7 - Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles: South LA
Sat Sept 13 - Blood & Dumplings
Sat Sept 20 ­ Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles: The Many Downtowns
Sat Oct 11- Vroman's Bookstore - Raymond Chandler's LA
Sat Oct 18- Raymond Chandler's Bay City
Sat Oct 25 ­ Halloween Horrors

For more info on Esotouric, visit

For more info on David and Kim's previous books, visit

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