LA – Tom Waits Bus Tour in April

I know that April 21st seems like a long way off, but trust me, you will want to get your tickets for this sooner rather than later.

Once-A-Year L.A. Bus Tour Follows in Tom Waits’ Youthful Footsteps

WHAT: 2012 edition of “Crawling Down Cahuenga: Tom Waits’ Los Angeles” bus tour

WHEN: Saturday, April 21, noon-4pm

WHERE: Bus tour departs from The King Edward Saloon, 131 E 5th Street, Los Angeles 90013

COST: $63/person

MORE INFO: visit or call 323-223-2767

LOS ANGELES- Fans of the legendary musician Tom Waits just don’t get a lot of chances to get together. Last time he toured, fans in his old hometown of L.A. were out of luck—the closest show was in Phoenix, Arizona. So once each year, Esotouric, the bus adventure company whose offbeat tours expose LA’s secret history, offers a bus tour celebrating the life and work of Waits, a rare opportunity for fans to scratch that gravelly voiced itch in good company.

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 acclaimed 33 1/3 series book on Tom Waits’ “Swordfishtrombones” album) and Esotouric’s Kim Cooper (a Zoetrope Studios intern who’ll tell how she used teenage subterfuge to arrange a private concert by the man) lead you on a scrupulously researched ride through Waits’ 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 Waits’ legendary performances at the Wiltern and elsewhere. Before departing for points rural, Tom Waits left his mark all over L.A., from Francis Ford Coppola’s Zoetrope Studios to Sunset Sound to Skid Row. We’ll show you where he 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 in a famously cluttered room in 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, Waits 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 30-year creative and personal partnership, beginning with the revolutionary album “Swordfishtrombones,” the subject of tour host David Smay’s latest book.

Passengers gather in the historic King Edward Saloon, the last surviving Skid Row bar since the 2007 closure 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 last bottle of beer at the King Eddy.

ABOUT THE HOSTS: 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 hosts Esotouric’s true crime and occasional rock and roll history tours. David Smay lives in San Francisco, where he is working on a history of the Beats.

For more info on Esotouric, visit

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