Tom Waits celebrates Keith Richards’ birthday by writing a poem about him

"He once won the Hope Diamond in a poker game, and in the same night lost it in a game of craps"

Tom Waits has written a new poem about The Rolling Stones’ guitarist Keith Richards for his birthday.

In his poem, Waits lists off the qualities he admires in the Stones guitarist: “He wrote his share of the songs from Sticky Fingers/ In a henhouse in Malta / He once won the Hope Diamond in a poker game/ And in the same night lost it in a game of craps / He owns a lug wrench and a tire jack made of solid gold.

Richards appeared on several of Waits’ albums including ‘Rain Dogs’ and ‘Bad As Me’. They also teamed up to record a track for Johnny Depp’s pirate chanteys album.


Read the full poem featured in this month’s Rolling Stone below:

Keith Richards

Last month (November 21) Phoebe Bridgers released a cover of Tom Waits’ ‘Georgia Lee’, taken from a new tribute compilation ‘Come On Up To The House: Women Sing Waits’.

Listen to Bridgers’ version below:

The album, produced by Warren Zanes, also features Aimee Mann, Rosanne Cash, and the duo of Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer singing the songs of Tom Waits.


‘Georgia Lee’ was originally released on Waits’ 1999 album ‘Mule Variations’. The song is based on a true story about an impoverished black girl who, in 1997, was abducted and murdered at the age of 12: “Why wasn’t God watching/ why wasn’t God listening/ why wasn’t God there for Georgia Lee?”

Along with the ‘Better Oblivion Community Center’ album with Conor Oberst, Bridgers last year also formed boygenius, a supergroup with Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus.

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