A Brilliantly Manic Cover of Tom Waits’ Wonderfully Frenzied Anthem ‘Going Out West’

Nick Parton, a British musician and self-described “Rain Dog”, performed a brilliantly manic cover of the guitar-heavy, wonderfully frenzied Tom Waits anthem “Going Out West” from the iconic 1992 album Bone Machine. In making this, Parton acknowledged that his version, while structurally the same, sounds nothing like the original by design.

Tom Waits is a special artist to me. Anyone taking on a song of his knows they’ll be lucky to do justice to the original. The best approach is to reinterpret the song, and run a different race. Any other song, and I might have done that, but ‘Going Out West’ is different. Its bizarro swagger and grizzled protagonist demands a certain type of treatment, so fuck it. Here, I downtune to Bb, puff out my chest, and charge headlong into the desert.

Here’s the original music video that accompanied the song in 1992.