Tom Waits has paid tribute to Merle Haggard, who died on April 6 his 79th birthday.
Writing in Rolling Stone, Waits admitted, “When I was a teenager I was listening to songs like they were books and studied them to learn how to write songs of my own. Who ever thought that something great could come out of Bakersfield? It made me feel a whole lot better about living in a place called National City.”
Waits goes on to say that he admires how Haggard “takes the lives of common ordinary folks who we had all stopped seeing and put them in songs and gave them a voice, and kept them alive.”
He adds: “‘Haggard songs’ are lived in, broke in and filled with longing – his last name will always be an adjective.”
Meanwhile, a biopic of Haggard’s life is reportedly in the works.
Deadline reports that the film – titled Done It All – is based on a script from Cinderella Man writer Cliff Hollingsworth.
Haggard authorised the movie’s development before his death.
Waits himself has announced details of his latest acting role.
He is to star in a new TV series, Citizen.
The show will air on the streaming service Hulu.
It is directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, who directed Me And Earl And The Dying Girl.
Waits is set to play the role of a priest named Cesar. At his church in Boyle Heights, he runs a guerrilla humanitarian operation, which is described as “legally dubious”.
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