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Baker's Dozen

A Baker's Dozen: Steve Vai's 13 Favourite Albums Revealed
Mark Eglinton , July 31st, 2012 11:23

Porridge powered super Scot Mark Eglinton talks to compositional guitar virtuoso about his favourite albums of all time


Tom Waits – Mule Variations

There’s a funny story here. When I was with Dave Roth he would always talk about Tom Waits in a very respectful way which was rare. I never heard Dave speak reverently about anybody and I didn’t even know who Tom Waits was. I had never come across his music. But all through the years, Dave would always say, ‘Yeah, like Tom Waits’ and I’d just say ‘Yeah, yeah!’ And then I was on tour with Whitesnake and there was this band opening up called Bad English whose singer was a guy called John Waite and I thought “Wow, this was what Dave was talking about? Hmm, it’s kind of strange because it’s not the kind of singer that Dave would be reverent about.” And then I realized I had the wrong guy… So I went to the store and bought about twenty Tom Waits albums and (one of them was Mule Variations), and I remember that I was listening to all these records, getting three tracks in and literally throwing them away. Then I put Mule Variations on and stopped dead in my tracks. It completely leveled me and I can say – out of everybody I’ve talked about – Tom Waits is my favorite artist now. I completely resonate deeply with his music, his voice and his lyrics; I buy everything he ever does. He’s one of those guys who are totally at one with the creative element with no excuses or concerns about what’s going on around him – totally uncompromising.A lot of people think they’re uncompromising, but they’re not…