Tom Waits For No One Scrapbook

Like this film, the Scrapbook was completed 35 years ago. It was John Lamb's collection of just about everything related to the film, all the way back to the very beginning - the ticket stub for first time Lamb saw Tom Waits perform in person, at The Roxy in 1977.

The book was never intended to be published, it was simply one artist's method of understanding, documenting and honoring a work he loved. But the Tom Waits For No One Scrapbook is much more than just Lamb's work - the hundreds of drawings, doodles, riffs, character studies, turnarounds and pop culture goofs is a look through the mind's eye of talented young artists in the process of making an experimental film on a brand new technology: the video rotoscope.

This one of a kind documentation about the making of a film, originally intended as a personal record of the director,  is a compelling work in its own right. The drawings, the art, are alternately raw and elegant. The humor is crass and riotously funny. Personal drawings by Keith Newton on the "joy" of working on the Lyon Lamb video rotoscope; a birthday card for Lamb of the animators, all naked, drawn by the animators - prankster kitsch among beautiful renderings of the film itself. 

But how do you explain a book like this - off beat, irreverent, unconventional, and probably barely readable to anyone beyond a microcosm of a niche audience that has seen Tom Waits For No One? 

Well, John Lamb has written the introduction to talk about the book and include insight on the individual contents. Keep in mind, Lamb collected every piece - hand pasted each onto every page. He can tell you who drew each piece and why... hundreds of drawings and he knows the story of each one. Like the small drawing of John Lennon playing a guitar, looking down, not happy, but not troubled - "that was drawn by Keith the day after Lennon was killed," Lamb said. 

In the introduction, Lamb speaks to the contents, the why, and what it's like to open that book 35 years later - and imagine everyone, the artists, when they were basically kids - working their first job in animation on Tom Waits For No One.

To frame the film from the perspective of rotoscope, animation and music video history, the Foreword has been written by Gunnar Strom, professor at Volda University College in Norway and author of "The Two Golden Ages of Animated Music Video". Strom brings his superb knowledge on the crossroads of animation and music video, framing the film at a nexus of technology, music and animation history, identifying its unique place among the history of rotoscoping and music videos.

To complete the book, it will conclude with a photograph and a brief biography of each animator and artist who worked on Tom Waits For No One, with photography by Zach Cordner,

If you like Tom Waits For No One, we think you'll love the scrapbook. It's still in the making, but early release images can be seen at:

© John Lamb 2014