Tom Waits rolled out of Los Angeles' dirty streets with the look of a tramp, the voice of a broken angel and a sound that combined blues, vaudeville, cheap whiskey and jazz. In 1977, he met photographer Anton Corbijn; it was early in both their careers, and it has led to 35 years of Corbijn shooting portraits of the iconoclastic private musician, showcased in the coffee-table book "Waits/Corbijn '77-'11" (Schirmer/Mosel: 272 pp., $200). Through Corbijn's lens, Waits has the grit of the Dust Bowl, lush, dangerous shadows and a face that grows better with age. But Corbijn also sees the whimsicality: Waits holding a doll, jumping, sitting in a Cadillac on the edge of New York City, holding an accordion. The 20 pages of Waits' own photos and writing at the book's end are full of humor, an essential part of his oeuvre.
By Carolyn Kellogg