There has been much written of Tom Wait’s eccentricities. His vintage cars filled with magazines, books and newspapers, his flat refusal to conform to any prevailing fashion, his vague descriptive instruction to his musicians. What to write that hasn’t been written already about him. And who would want to know any more?, the enigma must surely remain intact. So…
He spent the time between Black rider and Mule variations training elephants, not to do tricks you understand, but to help them avoid looking bright enough for people to want to train them. Instructing them to look dumb, so no numbskull human will come and try to teach them to lift logs or balance on one leg while juggling a harpoon gun. ‘Oh no I can’t do that I’m just one of those stupid elephants that can only trump, stomp and eat, look elsewhere. Maybe you’ll be wanting one of those horses over there’.
After this Tom expanded his animal whispering to dogs, a lucrative market if he could only figure out how to charge a dog for his services. The owners seem dead against wilding their dogs.
For a time while at the circus, Tom worked the high wire. He would cycle backwards nonchalantly, while eating a banana, a simple trick for one so gifted, sometimes he would feel he must add more danger by playing the piano on his bicycle, he played tango while racing along the wire, before the flame burned right through the rope holding the hot coals in a bucket just above his head. Both the audience would go wild. Ticket sales are not what they once were.
After the much publicised toenail incident that ruined a promising career as a foot model, Tom was forced back into the studio.