Tom Waits performs for the first time in two years, joins Mavis Staples for ‘Respect Yourself’

Waits last performance was on 'David Letterman'

Tom Waits gave his first live performance in two years when he joined Mavis Staples for the Staples Sisters classic ‘Respect Yourself’.

Waits’ last public performance was on The David Letterman show in May 2015 just before the presenter retired from the show.

The Waits/Staples collaboration took place at a Lagunitas Brewery in California and you can watch it below.


Tom Waits sitting in with Mavis Staples.

Posted by Richard Zeno on Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Last week (Sept 8) marked the 25th anniversary of Tom Waits’ iconic album ‘Bone Machine.’

Acting as the follow-up to Waits’ 1987 album ‘Franks Wild Years’, ‘Bone Machine’ went on to win the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album.

It also features a guest appearance from The Rolling Stones‘ Keith Richards.

Last year, Waits penned a poetic tribute to country icon Merle Haggard.


Waits, who grew up in San Diego, California, not far from where Haggard was born, said that the musician had an impact on him during his formative years in a tribute published in Rolling Stone.

He writes: “When I was a teenager I was listening to songs like they were books and studied them to learn how to write songs of my own. Who ever thought that something great could come out of Bakersfield? It made me feel a whole lot better about living in a place called National City.”