Born in 1947 to schoolteacher parents who divorced in 1960, Thomas Alan Waits was brought up by mother Alma in San Diego, CA, near the Mexican border. A number of trips south with his father helped develop Waits love of music - via his hearing a Mexican ballad "probably a Ranchera, you know, on the car radio with my dad". By age 15 Waits was playing in R&B band The Systems and had begun his first job at Napoleone Pizza House in National City - about which he would later sing on I Can't Wait to Get Off Work (And See My Baby on Montgomery Avenue) from Small Change and The Ghosts of Saturday Night (After Hours at Napoleone's Pizza House) on The Heart of Saturday Night. He admitted that he was no fan of most 1960s music, stating "I wasn't thrilled by Blue Cheer, so I found an alternative, even if it was Bing Crosby." Five years later, he was working as a doorman at the Heritage nightclub in San Diego, where artists of every genre performed and it was here that he performed his first paid gig, for a fee of $6. A fan of Bob Dylan, Lord Buckley, Jack Kerouac, Louis Armstrong, Howlin' Wolf and Charles Bukowski, Waits began developing his own idiosyncratic musical style. Tom Waits signed to Asylum Records in 1972, and after numerous abortive recording sessions, his first LP - the jazzy, folk-tinged Closing Time - was released in 1973. The album, produced and arranged by former Lovin' Spoonful member Jerry Yester, received positive reviews, but Waits didn't gain widespread attention until more prominent artists covered a number of the album's tracks, most notably the Eagles 1974 version of Ol 55. He began touring and opened for such diverse artists as Charlie Rich, Martha and the Vandellas and Frank Zappa. Waits received increasing critical acclaim and gathered a loyal cult following with his subsequent albums. The Heart of Saturday Night (1974), revealed Waits' roots as a nightclub performer, with half-spoken and half-crooned ballads often accompanied by a jazz backup band. By the mid 1970s he had established himself as a thoroughly unique performer and composer, unlike anybody else on the scene - and that s the way Tom has remained across the 40 years since. This double DVD set reveals the real Tom Waits in a number of fascinating ways. The first film contains a riveting documentary about Waits music, films and career generally, which, unlike other programs on the subject, takes a rounded and inclusive look at the whole Waits enterprise. The second film lets Tom himself do the talking; featuring as it does almost 90 minutes of filmed interviews and discussions with Waits from a variety of eras throughout his career. Highlighting the raconteur in the man, along with his dry humour and eccentric outlook, this revealing and enlightening film collection will almost certainly become the standard work on this always captivating artist.