by Cai Trefor Contributor | Photos by Still

Watch Tom Waits perform rare live cover of 'Respect Yourself' with Mavis Staples

67 year-old Californian takes to the stage with original Staples Singer


Tom Waits performas live Mavis Staples Photo: Still

Last night at the west coast’s Lagunitas Brewery the gravel-throated singer performed live for the first time in two years. Mavis Staples delivered a lusty rendition of her 1971 classic ‘Respect Yourself’ and was joined onstage by Waits, much to the delight of fans, one of whom shot this footage (have a butchers below).

Waits’ voice, once memorably described as sounding as if ‘…it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car’ does a fair job of keeping up with Mavis Staple’s bluesy R&B stylings.

The track was once, you’ll recall, covered by once-hirsute action star Bruce Willis and the Pointer Sisters. Completely un-ironically, as far as we can tell.



Mavis Staples killed it at Lagunitas tonight! And to top it all off she decided to bring up Tom Waits for a song 😳#liveatlagunitas

A post shared by Willow & Hound (@willowandhoundmusic) on

Last night’s performance at the Lagunitas brewery in San Francisco was one of vanishingly few opportunities to catch the singer onstage. In spite of this he’s still relevant; only earlier this month Rolling Stone reported the cast of smash hit HBO series Game Of Thrones were filmed singing an off-the-cuff rendition of Waits’ classic ‘I Hope That I Don’t Fall in Love With You’ during a lull in shooting.

Cai Trefor


Gigwise is a community of music writers and photographers. Sign up now

Buy Tickets

On tour now...

Artist A-Z #  A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z