provides the answer to that old chestnut, 'Where do you get your ideas?'
"You know how it is," he says. "If you're a writer you know that the stories don't come to you, you have to go looking for them. The old men in the lobby: that's where the stories were. And then when the record label would send me on tour, I always resisted checking into the usual places. I'd step off the bus and look for the hotels named after presidents." Hotels named after presidents, he argues, guarantee a certain grubby authenticity. "The Taft!" Waits says with relish. "You could usually rely on finding a Taft in every town. Take me to the Taft! You walk in and there they are: the old men in the lobby."