Waits performs a 50 minute set at the annual Bridge School Benefit, his first concert in over five years. His band includes Les Claypool on standup bass and David Hidalgo on guitar and accordion. Midway through the set, Waits explains his presence.
I volunteered to come here. Long story. Back in the 1970s I borrowed a lot of money from Neil. For me, it was the days of long hair and short money. He loaned it to me so I could start a restaurant. I lost a lot of money on that restaurant. Let me rephrase that, I lost a lot of Neil’s money. And you don’t wanna see Neil mad. Anyway, it was a small, little restaurant, sort of a specialized place. We were gonna have eel and donuts and fish scales, just fish scales, sauteed and all gluten free. But it went under, so Neil said, ‘Listen, you owe me a lot of money, so I have three ideas for you: Jail time or you can come work in my yard, or you can do the Bridge School.