I learned at Rumproast that Tom Waits’ new album Glitter and Doom Live is coming out on November 24th and he’s giving away the first eight songs from it for free, here. There is a bonus disk of “stage patter” by Waits that includes the following interesting information:
Now, when I was a kid I always worked jobs at night and I always had graveyard shifts and everybody kind of threw that expression around very loosely and I wondered what the hell is a graveyard shift is anyway? Other than the fact that you’re working at night, okay I know that much, but what’s the origin of the expression graveyard shift? And then I worked for a while in a graveyard and my boss, Joe Corvello, he explained it to me. What happened in the old days, way, way, way back, hundreds of years ago, people were very nervous about being buried alive, not anymore nervous than we are today it’s just that the technology was not really with it, you could be taking a nap and they’d fucking bury you. So, there was a law that everybody who got buried had to have a string tied around their wrist in the coffin and then they’d run it up through the roof of the coffin and then they’d go up through the dirt and then they’d go over the branch of a tree on which they’d put a bell… and then there’s a guy who sits in the graveyard all night long waiting to hear a bell… that’s the graveyard shift. You’ll like this one too… the bell and the whole apparatus and everything, you know if you find the guy who actually is alive and underground, he’s called a dead ringer. I’m not kidding.