Like many Primus songs, this one features a pretty outrageous character, in this case, Tommy The Cat. It's unclear if Tommy is a real cat or a man (a "Tomcat" is a male cat), but he certainly got a lot of pussy. The lyrics sound like the clever dialogue of an old movie as we hear Tommy's story over the intricate bassline Primus is known for.
A live favorite, this song was released in 1990 on Suck On This, which was Primus' first album - a collection of their live performances. In 1991, they recorded a studio version with Tom Waits on vocals that appeared on their album Sailing the Seas of Cheese.
Waits would later gain widespread acclaim, but at the time he was a relatively obscure artist. Les Claypool of Primus was a big fan from the jump. He told us: "When I first started talking about Tom Waits to friends of mine, they all thought I was nuts, because they thought I was saying John Waite. I'm like, 'Yeah, let's listen to some Tom Waits.' They're like, 'What the hell are you talking about?' So it's pretty amazing to see his evolution just as far as his status in the world of music." (Here's the full Les Claypool interview.)
Primus performs part of this song in the 1991 movie Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey during a Battle of the Bands scene.
Myke from Davis, CaMaybe it's about the movie "The Aristocats"? There is a "Thomas O'Malley" character in it... Maybe it's a coincidence...
Aaron from South C, AlI actually know a guy who grew up with Les Claypool in central California and played drums for a band called "Blind Illusions" His name is Bret Hern, and what he told me is Tommy the Cat is an actual guy that Les and Bret grew up with. He lives in Roseburg Oregon somewhere (Where Bret and I live).
Amy from Hartford, Ctbest bass ive ever heard in a song