In a surprise public appearance, Tom Waits presented a lifetime achievement award to Nicolas Cage at the SFFilm Awards in San Francisco. Waits spoke about their long history together, starting when they co-starred in the 1983 film Rumble Fish. “He was the same as a teenager,” Waits said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. “It was troublesome for his family and other people around him. He needed some kind of a swimming pool to put that [talent] all in, and I’m sure glad that he has that now.”
Before Rumble Fish, Waits said in his speech, Cage had worked as his driver. Years after the film, Waits wrote the song “Eyeball Kid,” from Bone Machine, prompted by a conversation with Cage about comic books. Cage named Waits his musical hero in a 2010 interview with NME.
Last week, Waits made another rare public statement, honoring the late Pogues frontman Shane Macgowan. In September, he auctioned a fedora to support crew members affected by strikes across the film industry.
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