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The Mark & Brian Show (US, radio)
KLOS, Los Angeles (99.5 FM)
August 24, 1992

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Tori Amos interview and live performance

Brian: Hi, Tori...

Tori: Hey, Brian.

Brian: Hi, how are ya?

Tori: I'm pretty good.

Brian: You got yourself some red hair there.

Tori: Yeah, it's dyed. But it still looks good, doesn't it?

Brian: Thank you for being honest.

Tori: It's not real, but...

Brian: Ask Mark about his.

Mark: Hey, who else went and had some streaks put in?

Brian: Not me.

Tori: Let's, why don't you take your cap off, Brian?

Mark: Tori, Tori, Tori, let him sit with it, let him sit with it for a second.

Brian: I had no streaks put in my hair. I had no streaks.

Tori: That can't be real. That's real?

Brian: The sun bleaches my hair, man. I'm like a beach guy. Brain, Brian, Brian...

Brian: Blond. A lot of people call me Dolph. Hey, Brian

Brian: So, Tori... Brian.

Brian: Hm? No, I don't. Brian.

Brian: I don't dye my hair. Brian.

Brian: Look. So, Tori... Brian.

Brian: You've been touring now for how long?

Tori: Since October.

Brian: Yeah, so Mark was telling you that uh... Just knock it off. No, I want you to say it.

Brian: I don't have my hair dyed. Hey!

Brian: I don't. Hey!

Brian: Never have. Dude!

Brian: When I was eighteen, once. Look at me! Hear me, see me, watch me eyes. Did you have your hair streaked?

Brian: No, I didn't. Brian.

Brian: Never have, never will. I don't go for that kinda stuff. Nothing against you, Tori. You're gonna spontaneously combust.

Brian: It looks good on you.

Tori: Thank you, Brian. He did, he did have it done.

Brian: So um, he was telling you about Marc Cohn just digging the hell out of you. Where did he see you? How does he know about you?

Tori: Well, he did a tour in Europe and he needed an opening act -- this is before my album came out, I had an EP out in London, and I was living over there -- and he was looking at a bunch of people and he was really hesitating because I play the piano, too, and he thought it would be boring.

Brian: Mmhmm.

Tori: But, you know, too much guitar, eh? So um, he was a bit, I think... not, you know, he had his own choice, but he was a bit... bribed, to put me on the tour.

Brian: Just what exactly are you talking about, here?

Tori: Well, you know, little, little...

Brian: No, we don't know, Tori.

Tori: Yeah, yeah, you know, the little...

Brian: I mean, was there some sort of casting couch back there?

Tori: Come on, Brian, you know the little phone call that says, "Brian, why don't you do this..."

Brian: [??]

Tori: No, it's not that kind of bribe.

Brian: Ok, alright. Why is it that some of the streaks in your hair are blonder than the others?

Brian: Will you shut up about the streaks in my hair? I actually don't understand how that can be. Is that natural, or what?

Brian: He's so jealous. He's obviously so jealous of my attractiveness. Yeah, check his hair, won't you, Tori? Feel that hair he's got on his hair over there, would ya?

Brian: So, Tori, you've been touring for how long?

Tori: Ok. Touring since um, October.

Brian: Ah, now this is your first album out?

Tori: No.

Brian: Ok.

Tori: This is my second album out.

Brian: Mmhmm.

Tori: But it's completely different than my first.

Brian: What was the first one like in comparison? 'Cause this one's pretty mellow and beautiful, heart-felt songs. Was the first one like that?

Tori: No. You think I would murder your children on the first one. Just my vibe.

Brian: Really?

Tori: Yeah. It wasn't the music, necessarily. Unfortunately, I can't tell you that it was a metal record, but I kinda looked that way.

Brian: How did the album do -- the first one?

Tori: Terrible.

Brian: Mmhmm. So you changed direction a little bit.

Tori: Yeah.

Brian: Second one, now?

Tori: I went back to what I was doing, which is always playing the piano.

Brian: How is this one feeling so far, this album?

Tori: Great.

Brian: Doing well?

Tori: It feels great that I did what I wanted to do, and I didn't make it for radio. Nothing personal, but I didn't make a record to please anybody.

Brian: So, what about making money? I mean, money doesn't have to be important to you, but you also have to feed yourself.

Tori: No, well, this has sold 700,000 worldwide.

Mark: Jeez, that's pretty good.

Brian: That's money.

Tori: So, you know...

Brian: That's more than the Beatles sold, and Elvis.

Mark: Sure was.

Tori: Well... it's not like, it's not like I'm selling as much records as a lot of people, but I'm making enough to do what I want and pay my rent.

Brian: And getting a lot of respect in the industry, which will help out with future albums.

Tori: Well, it's just, you know, you have to look at what kind of music are we leaving behind for this generation? A lot of it is not like what I grew up with. I mean, I turn on the radio and I hear Joni Mitchell and I hear Led Zeppelin and I'm tripping Floyd, and I hear... so much music is out there, and I'm just saying that there's a responsibility that I think has to kick in a bit about what we're leaving behind. And it's not just about McDonald's being an advertiser. It can't be the common denominator. And um, that's just what I feel in my guts.

Brian: Alright, well, we wanna hear some of this live, and the god to all engineers, the Norm Cat has entered the room in his plaid shirt. And that means it's a serious engineering day when he wears his plaid shirt. So he's going to figure out where the buzz is on this. We're gonna try to get this keyboard going so you can in fact share with us some of your music, and watch you do it live, would be great.

Tori: Great.

Brian: So why don't we take care of a bit of a business break, return to you with Tori Amos on the Mark and Brian program.

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Brian: It's 99.5 KLOS, 22 minutes after nine o'clock on the morning on Mark and Brian program. Um, here it is... Tori Amos.

Mark: Yeah. Amos (A-muhs) or Amos (A-mos)?

Tori: Amos (A-muhs)

Brian: Ok, Tori Amos. We keep saying Amos for some reason. I guess it's spelled that way. Anyway, the magical being we call Norm stormed into the room and tweaked some knobs, pulled some chords and knocked it out for us, we got it now. Do you have a piece you might want to share with us?

Tori: Yeah, Silent. Silent All These Years.

Brian: Ok, so it's a rocker. [laughs]

Tori: No, it's not a rocker.

Brian: I'm kidding.

Tori: But you know, Brian, it's context, what you're saying. You know, you can have lots of noise and say absolutely nothing, Brian.

Brian: Don't wanna be too serious.

Mark: Show her your streaks. ... Alright, I hate listening to this on the headphones, so I'm gonna go out and listen to it on the radio. I'm gonna be right back.

Brian: Alright now, with that live piece, please, now welcome Tori Amos.

Tori plays the opening notes of Silent All These Years, then stops.

Tori: I can't put my headphones on [laughs], hang on a minute.

Brian: Alright, hang on. Headphones!

Tori: Sorry, it just seemed so real for a minute.

Brian: Oh yeah, you gotta hear that, put those on to hear the keyboard... Alright, she's adjusting her headphones, now. It's these temperamental musicians, it's all gotta be just right for them or they can't perform.

Tori: They're big.

Brian: Alright, now they're a little bit -- she's bitching, now. So we're gonna deal with this and try to be as cool as possibly can before Tori entertains us with her musical prowess.

Tori: [laughs]

Brian: Rita just about busted her ass as she walks aroung to help with the chords. And here she is now, pulling on chords and yanking on things that she might not should be... And Rita is now requesting that she give her her headphones, she's unwrapping them... she's putting them back on... Alright, do they fit now? No?

Tori: It doesn't matter, we'll just go.

Brian: Ok, cool. She'll do her best to work with it. Alright, she's got her headphones on, she is ready. Please once again welcome Tori Amos.

Tori performs Silent All These Years.

Mark: Very nice!

Brian: Very. Did you write that?

Tori: Yeah, yeah.

Mark: Pretty!

Brian: You know, she wrote that, she performs, and it's also really cool, one thing we love about this particular form of the show is that, when we do have musicians who come in and strip it down to the rarest, neatest form, which is just your voice and a little bit of accompaniment there -- excellently nasty.

Tori: Well, this is the live show I've been touring around, I don't know, 120 dates so far, I don't know. I can't even count them anymore. But I'm going with just me and the piano because you come to a show and that's where the songs come from, really.

Brian: Do you find yourself being interpersonal with the audience, or is a song a song?

Tori: Hey! No, it's gotta be me and them because there's no drummer. I used to be in a band with um, Matt Sorum, who is now in Guns 'n' Roses.

Brian: I can't imagine him playing drums for songs like that.

Tori: Well, it wasn't this.

Brian: Right.

Tori: But, you know, you're out there, you've got your band behind you, you're pumping. And you're out there alone with the piano, you've got to commune, you've gotta face them. And sometimes it's like, it's really intimate.

Brian: Very Janice Ian sound, too. There's a lot of the people, the artists you mentioned inspired you, there's a lot of that in your voice.

Tori: Yeah, they were, I grew up with all that stuff, so it kinda filtered through.

Brian: Some heavy, heavy lyrics in there. "Boy, you better hope I bleed."

Tori: Yeah.

Brian: And all this other really fun kinda stuff. Excellent writing there, I mean, I think that's what Mark was most impressed with was, I mean, your writing is up there with his. It's, his is very personal and very powerful and very strong, as is yours. But also, to watch her perform, it was as though she were performing for an audience 'cause she lost herself, she didn't realise where she was or why she was here. Which she's probably wondering right now. Do you like either one of us very much at this point?

Tori: [laughs]

Brian: We were doing like, the antlers behind your head, you didn't even know it. No we weren't, I'm kidding.

Tori: I'm warming up to you.

Mark: Ok, good, that's a good thing.

Brian: And we're fairly harmless. Um, well that was really sweet. That was really nice. If you'd like to see her, Tori Amos, you can see her at the Henry Fonda Theatre tonight, September 4th and 5th at the Coach House.

Mark: Why don't we take a few calls for the Tori cat.

Brian: Alright, line one, Donna. Donna?

Donna: Hi.

Brian: Hello, go ahead, you're on the air.

Donna: Hi, guys.

Tori: Hi, Donna.

Donna: Hi, Tori. Hey um, I saw you Friday night at the Henry Fonda Theatre.

Tori: Oh, right.

Donna: And um, I just wanted to tell you it was a really, really good show. And I had a question for you 'cause um, right before Silent All These Years you talked a little bit to the audience. And I wanted to know, if a lot of your writing like, from personal experience or just like, what you see?

Tori: Unfortunately, it's personal experience. [laughs]

Brian: I was gonna say, that would be a very unfortunate thing, if that were the case.

Tori: Yeah. I write from um...

Brian: You been down the road,huh?

Tori: Been down a bit. Skinned my knees but, you know, it's kinda like... I write from just um, what I've gone through. And a lot of people, everybody's got a story, though, you know? It's funny, even though you can really have a giggle and everybody has a story. I mean, Mark has such a great personality, but even that guy has a story. Everybody has a...

Brian: An endless thing to talk about. ... So, to take it in a different direction... because your writing is so personal, and you have just talked about how it is from experience, what kind of human being are you now, to go through all this stuff, to skin your knees down the road, as you say? Um, are you, as far as men goes, we don't want to get in your personal life if you don't wanna share any of that with us.

Tori: I'm skinny, Brian. All this emotional stuff is making me lose weight. [laughs]

Brian: I mean, to write lyrics so poignant and so personal and to rip yourself apart and show everybody your innards, like that, can you date? Do you date? Do you see...

Mark: Do you like men?

Brian: Do you hate men? Do you hate human being?

Tori: No, truthfully, no. I think, hey, when you can look at stuff, that's when, that's when you're powerful.

Brian: I mean, could a guy come up to you and say, "Jeez, I'd like to go out with you?" I'm not coming on to you, and neither is Mark.

Tori: Yeah, yeah.

Brian: Are you coming on to her?

Mark: I don't think so.

Brian: But I'm just saying, all this kinda music, I would find it very hard to, I mean, 'cause obviously you have felt some major pain there, and you wonder what kinda scars are left.

Tori: Yeah, but I'm dealing with my scars, so if you go out with me, I'm really honest. And um, I think I have a really good sense of humor about it. I mean, I can giggle about it.

Brian: So you're saying that if you leave it there and don't deal with it and let it sit...

Tori: Come on, you've got monsters in your closet. This is where all your born-again Christians are coming from, wanting to censor stuff and, you know, everybody pointing fingers. I'm not into pointing the finger. When you work on yourself, then you really know who you are. You don't have some needy person. I, you know, I don't latch onto the men that I'm with. I'm independent, and when I'm giving, I'm really giving, and I'm supportive and I don't need them to be this and that for me. I don't need them to be my father. I don't need them to be, you know, this successful -- whatever the hell that is -- because um, looking at where that comes from. But the truth is, I have a man in my life that's pretty fantastic. He co-produced some of the cuts on the album. He's a musician.

Brian: I would assume it took some time get close to each other, is that true?

Tori: Yeah, it's taken a lot of work. But um, it's pretty fantastic. And he, you know, he sees me -- because he works with me on this level -- you know, it gets very exciting in that studio room, and you feel really open ccause he's there working the boards...

Brian: Why don't we take a quick commercial break here. We'll come back, you got another one in there, one more you can play for us?

Tori: Yeah.

Brian: Alright, Tori Amos next and again on KLOS.

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Brian: 99.5 KLOS, around 18 minutes 'til ten o'clock. It's a neat fact, you know, we were talking about this road old Tor's been down and a whole bunch of stuff that's come out. In fact, we just read the biography, which is always good to do when a guest comes in. First of all, on one of the songs on that album, there's a song there that they play at the Mustang Ranch.

Tori: Yeah, I just found out. Somebody came up to me last night and said, "Yeah, I was just at the Mustang Ranch and I think you should know that, you know, they're playing this once you go in to get your money's worth.

Brian: So, the Mustang Ranch is the brothel outside Vegas.

Tori: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Brian: It's very passionate music. And intensely passionate music.

Tori: I'm, you know, I love prostitutes, I think they're the best.

Brian: I love Vegas.

Tori: So I think they're, I'm really, I'm happy about that.

Brian: It's kinda neat, they're just hanging around... It's part of the whole ambience of the Vegas thing.

Tori: Well, they're around everywhere. I mean, I played in lounges for years. I think a lot of piano players, Billy Joel, you know, where are you gonna make your money? You play piano bar. And the greatest thing is, they come in, sit around that piano bar, and they come in twice, three times a night. They go in, they go out, they come back again, it's great.

Brian: Sit at the bar and put bread in your jar.

Tori: That's right.

Brian: At age 13, is this true, you were playing in gay bars in Baltimore, chaperoned by your father, who is a Methodist minister?

Tori: Yes, true.

Brian: And you played showtunes.

Tori: Everything. Zeppelin, showtunes, you know...

Brian: [laughs] Zeppelin and showtunes.

Tori: It's requests, so you sit there and do The Immigrant Song and then you do, you know, Hello Dolly...

Brian: Still close to your dad?

Tori: Absolutely.

Brian: Cool. So it's very supportive, front row kinda dad.

Tori: Yeah, I mean, you know, we don't always agree. But that's part of it. But my did is pretty, for a minister, I mean, you know, he knows Nine Inch Nails, he knows what's up. He's happening.

Brian: Why don't you share with us something out of there. Pull something else out of them keyboards.

Tori: This is the one that they're playing at the brothel.

Brian: Alright.

Tori: So uh...

Brian: Tori Amos.

Tori performs Leather.

Brian: I can't imagine why they'd play that in a brothel, Tori. [laughs] Wow, that's something. Beautiful piano, there. So you gave up piano for awhile.

Tori: Yeah, for awhile.

Brian: Why's that?

Tori: Send your tapes out for seven years. I was sending them out since I was 13 to record companies. And you get those little rejection slips. Have you ever seen one of those?

Brian: Actually, no.

Tori: You know, "We listened to your..."

Brian: So, because you were just getting rejected?

Tori: For seven years. You know, all these tapes went out.

Brian: Starting when you were 13, though.

Tori: Sending out tapes, yeah.

Brian: Yeah, but you're 13.

Tori: Yeah, but you're 19, I was playing since I was 2 and a half, studied at the Conservatory when I was 5...

Brian: [Play another song, is that] ok with you?

Tori: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Brian: Ok, jam on it, big momma.

Tori: Are we on the air?

Brian: Yeah.

Tori: [whispers] Oh, you're kidding.

Brian: Never left it. We're rather informal here, on the prog. Whole Lotta Love, Tori Amos.

Tori: I used to, I tell this story because it's totally true. You know, my dad's a minister.

Brian: Right.

Tori: And it's just law that you went to church twice Sunday, sometimes three times. And it was law that you'd come back and mother would be baking chicken. Always. And...

Brian: It's a law.

Tori: Law. And I go downstairs and my friend Linda Yon, who didn't go to church and didn't have a mother that was baking chicken, would show up with these things under her jacket... and they were records.

Brian: Records.

Tori: And we'd go down and we'd put these things on, and I'd listen to this guy sing and my little thing went "nee-nee-nee-nee-nee-nee-nee-nee-nee-nee-nee-nee-nee-nee-nee-nee." [laughs]

Brian: You know, was that a law, or...

Tori: Law.

Tori performs Whole Lotta Love.

Tori: Ok, play them now.

Brian: Hold on, that's just as cool as I thought it would be.

Mark: Yeah, that's very nice.

Brian: I can see you doing that one. If you want to see her do the entire thing, she has two shows -- one tonight and then one coming up soon -- two shows at The Coach House. Make your plans to be with her and Swithboard has all those details. Do you know Little Willy?

Tori: Do you know, I don't know Little Willy.

Brian: Thank god. I bet she could knock it out.

Tori: I should check it out.

Brian: I'm totally serious. Remember Sweet, Ballroom Blitz, that group?

Tori: I do, I do.

Brian: They do Little Willy, it's called Little Willy won't go home.

Tori: I'm gonna, I'll work it out.

Brian: ...Thanks.


[transcribed by jason/yessaid]

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