I put a lot into ‘Bad Liver and a Broken Heart’. I tried to resolve a few things as far as this cocktail-lounge, maudlin, crying-in-your-beer image that I have. There ain’t nothin’ funny about a drunk. You know, I was really starting to believe that there was something amusing and wonderfully American about a drunk. I ended up telling myself to cut that shit out. On top of everything else, talking about boozing substantiates the rumours that people hear about you, and people hear that I’m a drunk. So I directed that song as much to the people that listen to me and think they know me as much as I directed it to myself.
Tom Waits - “Smelling like a brewery, lookin’ like a tramp”. Rolling Stone: David McGee. January, 1977