Tom Waits in Legal Tussle w/Bartabas The Furious

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Furiouser and furiouser….

By Uncle Blurt

We love legal stuff – what music fan doesn’t enjoy sitting on the sidelines and watching a beef unfold? The latest? Tom Waits versus experimental French performer Bartabas The Furious, over the latter’s use of his music onstage.

The Guardian reports:

The standoff between the two maverick entertainers centres on Bartabas’s right to use a series of Waits songs in his highly praised “equestrian operatic ballet”, On Achève Bien les Anges (They Shoot Angels, Don’t They?) and it now looks likely to delay plans to bring the production to Britain.

The deliberately haunting mood of the show performed by Bartabas’s Circus Zingaro has made it popular with emotionally bruised audiences in Paris after the attacks at the Bataclan theatre, but Waits does not approve. In a personal statement, he argues: “None of the customary courtesies between artists were observed.”

Waits claims that 16 songs written with his wife Kathleen Brennan are used in the show to the extent that they serve as “the narrative heart and soul” of the musical drama, and that Bartabas (real name Clément Marty) impersonates him onstage. He and Brennan have asked for €500,000 compensation.

“What I say yes to and what I say no to creates the shape of how I am perceived,” Waits’s idiosyncratic document of complaint continues. “What I mean to my audience cannot be made separate from the music. It is absorbed into the songs and together they go into the ear of the listener.

Waits apparently went to court in France last month to stop the show, but to no avail. Read the full report at the Guardian.

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