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WDRE, Long Island (US, radio)
February 5, 1996

Tori Amos interview and live performance
songs: Hey Jupiter, Thunder Road, Doughnut Song, Gary's Girl

Gary: It's 92.7, 98.5 DRE with Blur. Boy, that's a good one, Charmless Man. Good morning, everybody, 9:34, you know, it's just three lousy degrees... They're reporting nine degrees in New York City. This is one of the coldest days of your life, dear listener... We are awaiting the arrival of Tori Amos this morning, oh I can't wait. I'm gonna ask for that Hey Jupiter tune. That's the best song on the record. Hey Rob, don't you think Hey Jupiter's the...

Rob: One of my personal favorites.

Gary: Isn't it great?

Rob: Good song.

Gary: And she did that on Saturday Night Live, oh man was that good. "Are you gay, are you blue, thought we both could use a friend to run to." So fragile, the voice. So precious, so fragile. ...

[commercial]

Gary: It's 92.7, 98.5 Long Island's Modern Rock. Good morning, everybody, and Tori Amos has arrived. Good morning, Tori. How are you?

Tori: I'm well.

Gary: I talked to you on a satellite a couple weeks ago.

Tori: Couple weeks ago.

Gary: Oh the fun we had.

Tori: It's, yeah.

Gary: You've been on a grueling promotional tour. I get the web page up on the internet and it's like, every day you're hitting another radio station.

Tori: Yeah.

Gary: Do you enjoy that?

Tori: Uh, sometimes. It depends. I mean, look, let's be honest. Sometimes you get along with people and you have a good time. And when it works, when there's a spark, then that's good.

Gary: Boys for Pele, your new record, is good.

Tori: Thank you.

Gary: I love it so much and a few people here at the radio station have asked you to sing Hey Jupiter this morning. That, I think, I would call that the centerpiece of the record.

Tori: Uh, that's why I put it in the middle. Cause it's... [laughter] Glad we agree on that. Um, yeah, because it's the turning point, when she knows it's never gonna work.

Gary: You're playing a harpsichord on the new record, is this your first record with a harpsichord?

Tori: First record with a harpsichord.

Gary: Is that...

Tori: We're taking her on tour.

Gary: Oh, you are?

Tori: Yeah.

Gary: For an accomplished pianist like yourself is that difficult, to play the harpsichord?

Tori: Very, very tough, yeah.

Gary: Really? There's no sustain on the harpsichord.

Tori: That's right. No cheating.

Gary: I've done my homework.

Tori: You have done your homework.

Gary: Did you read that Spin magazine story that Francesca wrote?

Tori: No.

Gary: It was very well-written.

Tori: Was it?

Gary: You haven't seen that yet?

Tori: She's a lovely lady.

Gary: Did you have fun with her?

Tori: She was lovely, I mean, she's a writer in her own right. She's written quite a few novels - The Hangman, and others.

Gary: Where do you live these days?

Tori: Well, I spend a lot of time in London.

Gary: Uh-huh.

Tori: A lot of time.

Gary: You live in a castle?

Tori: No. [laughs]

Gary: A little flat?

Tori: No, that...

Gary: No?

Tori: No, I mean...

Gary: Taking you the wrong way?

Tori: No. I think that um, my impression of me is very different from other people's impression of me. Basically. No, I'm not a castle type of girl. I'm a big old farmhouse, yeah.

Gary: You come from a big family? Small family?

Tori: Well, let's put it this way - because you're a minister's daughter, you're part of the greater Christian family. [laughs] You with me?

Gary: Ok. I hear you on that.

Tori: So, as a minister's daughter, you kind of um, you know, everwhere you look you feel like you've got an auntie. An auntie looking over their shoulder to see if you're kissing one of the boys behind the altar. Everybody rats on you when you're the minister's daughter. Everybody's ratting.

Gary: Did your father play the organ?

Tori: Oh, my father's tone-deaf. My father, I adore my father. You know, he'll sit there singing his hymns, and it would be, "Dad, get away from the microphone during the hymns, can you just move aside, because it's,[imitates her dad singing out of tune] Almighty fortress." And it's like, "Dad, just back away a little bit. And in 48 years he never [laughs], I think he did it just to drive me nuts.

Gary: My favorite hymn was Onward Christian Soldiers, you know that one?

Tori: Oh. [Tori plays Onward Christian Soldiers]

Gary: [sings] Onward Christian soldiers, fighting off to war. ...of Jesus... Well, hey, they're not tuning in to hear me sing. [laughs] How about that Hey Jupiter tune?

Tori: Oh, ok.

Gary: We're at 92.7, 98.5 WDRE, good morning everybody, Tori Amos is here.

[Tori performs Hey Jupiter]

Gary: Thanks. I love that one. You did that on Saturday Night Live.

Tori: Yeah, I did that and Sneeze.

Gary: This is the first album you've produced by yourself, right?

Tori: Yeah.

Gary: Was that a big, you liked doing that, I bet.

Tori: [laughs] Well, it gets tricky when uh, when the chef hates the girlfriend of the [cough] and the guy hates the [cough] of the so and so and they're all, they're on location. And you're sitting there feeling like Dear Abby. I mean, I'm calling Johnny, my tour manager, on the phone going, "Oh my god, how do I handle these people?" I just want to like, make a record. And the techs are scratching their heads, cause you know techs, they just wanna push the red buttons and tweak the knobs. They're happy tweaking knobs and they're going, "What is all this drama?" [sighs] Eh. So it's a whole thing, being on location for fout months, living together, making music.

Gary: Where were ya?

Tori: County Wicklow, Ireland.

Gary: Oh, really?

Tori: Yeah, in a church. Recording in a working church. We'd have to clear out when they'd have funerals and the ladies had their little bake sales on Friday, and they were really groovy. And you work around the church.

Gary: Did you do any recording down in, down south, Louisiana?

Tori: Yeah, a little bit in Louisiana. Um, the gospel choir and some brass and a couple things with George Porter, Jr, who is very involved in the record. He's from New Orleans, the father of funk. Yeah.

Gary: I picked up your CD-5 yesterday, with the Silly Songs on it.

Tori: Yesh.

Gary: I love that Toodles Mr Jim.

Tori: Toodles Mr Jim.

Gary: How about Toodles Mr Jim?

Tori: Do you really, are you serious?

Gary: Oh, I like that little tune.

Tori: Nobody ever asks me for Toodles Mr Jim.

Gary: Well, you're on DRE

Tori: Toodles Mr Jim. Can I?

Gary: How come you talk like Shirley [?] when you do that? [laughs]

Tori: I don't know, something happens to me. Oh no, she doesn't talk like that.

Gary: She does, so.

Tori: That's a Warner Brothers character.

Gary: Oh, sufferin' succatash.

Tori: Ok, are you ready?

Gary: Yeah, hit it.

[Tori begins playing Toodles Mr Jim, but stops after the first line]

Tori: [laughs] I can't sing this. I can't do that, you're making me giggle.

Gary: How about the one, That's What I Like? Is that tough? That's a lot of words.

Tori: Do you know what? The truth is, I - are you ready?

Gary: What? You don't like any of that stuff? [laughs]

Tori: No, no, no, no. The truth is, ok, I'm a bit of an idiot savante, so I have to learn that song because I'd never played it before. And the crew, cause I was working them really hard and driving them nuts, they would go off and they would always go, "Musn't grumble, musn't grumble." And I said, "Who sings the grumble song?" And so out comes a CD of Chas 'N Dave, these pub guys who made it famous in England, and singing in pubs.

Gary: Right, Chas Chandler.

Tori: No, no, Chas...

Gary: That's not Chas Chandler, the guy from the Animals?

Tori: No, this is a pub band, Gary, pub. And so um, anyway, they played me some of their songs and I said, "Push the red light, guys." And I just made them write the lyrics down - like you've just down for me - and I raced into the room and said, "Hit it." And so that version that I have down, I have to learn. I don't know that song.

Gary: I gotcha. Well, when you came in here, you started singing a Bruce Springsteen song and you don't remember all the words, do you?

Tori: No, I don't know much of this song.

Gary: Neither do I, but I wrote most of it down.

Tori: But I'll give it a, I'll give it a crack, right.

Gary: Alright.

Tori: This is the thing... I don't know, I walk in here, I haven't thought of this song in forever. So...

Gary: This song's twenty years old.

[Tori performs part of Thunder Road by Bruce Springsteen]

Tori: [laughs] That's all I can do.

Gary: It's the edited version.

Tori: That's the edited version.

Gary: Bruuuce. Alright, Rosellini, here we are, ready? You're out there, girl. It's not too late, girl. Thunder Road. I love that. My sister, oh that is the story of my sister and my brother-in-law's marriage, that tune. My father hated my brother-in-law.

Tori: Did he?

Gary: Long hair, and then he cut his hair shorter than my father.

Tori: Is he still your brother-in-law.

Gary: Oh yeah, absolutely. Once they got married, once they had two kids...

Tori: Now your father loves him.

Gary: Absotively.

Tori: See, that's the thing. Most of my boyfriends' mothers never liked me.

Gary: Really?

Tori: No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.

Gary: "Why are you bringing that girl around for?"

Tori: "She's wacky."

Gary: "She's loopy."

Tori: "Don't get the wacky one that sits like that on that stool. What's she trying to do, is she constipated or something, what's wrong with her?" [laughter]

Gary: Where'd you grow up, North Carolina?

Tori: Well, I spent, no, half the time in North Carolina - 4 months a year - and then the DC/Baltimore area, that whole Silver Spring, Rockville, you know, Joan Jett. Yes. Rock.

Gary: Where'd you go to school? You went to school or something in Baltimore? Conservatory or something?

Tori: Up at the Peabody, yeah.

Gary: You didn't care for that, did you?

Tori: No, but this guy was really, really cute and I wanted to run off with him and my father was not open to it. I was five and he was sixteen. He was absolutely beautiful. But, you know, I was ready, I was really not - ok, let me clarify. There are certain things that you're not ready to do til you're a girl, grown-up, woman. But in your mind, you fall in love. You want to take walks and have peanut butter and jelly and talk about, I don't know, um, Faulkner. And I wanted to do this with Robert Plant and he was my, he was my love when I was five.

Gary: Do you listen to your own records at the house?

Tori: Not much. Um, I had to do so many checks of test-pressings that once you hear it so many times, it's hard to listen again, yeah.

Gary: Why don't you do one from, you know,whatever you want to do.

Tori: Ok. Ok, ok, ok, ok. Somebody asked me to do this one, so I'm gonna do this.

Gary: Alright.

[Tori performs Doughnut Song]

Gary: You're so good. You're so good.

Tori: Thanks, thank you.

Gary: We're gonna take a quick commercial break. I've written a song for you. Hopefully I can teach it to you during the break.

Tori: Ah, oh fantastic, yeah, yeah, ok.

Gary: And we'll see if you can do it. Tori Amos live, everybody. We're gonna be back in about oh, 3 or 4 minutes. 92.7, 98.5 DRE...

[commercial]

Gary: Alright, good morning everybody. My special guest live in the studio, Spin magazine cover girl. You like that picture? She's our cover girl.

Tori: Honey, let me tell you something. Air-brush is fantastic. [laughter] They can air-brush me any day of the week.Air-brush that tummy, air-brush it. No, cause I like my butter and I'm not quitting. I'm like, I am not going, forget it.

Gary: Eat sushi, you like the sushi?

Tori: I like everything, I love food.

Gary: I know you do, you like pizza?

Tori: Yeah, I love pizza.

Gary: I'll take you to Patsy's in Brooklyn, that is the place for pizza. Maybe I'll take you there tonight, but I'm sure your record company has got five more interviews booked for this evening, right?

Tori: No, but, nobody, I think that's really great you asked me out for pizza because nobody asks me out for pizza.

Gary: Well, I'll ask you out on a serious note.

Tori: [laughs]

Gary: After you, ok, let's do the tunen that I've written, everybody. Here it comes.

Tori: Explain, though.

Gary: What?

Tori: Nobody's ever written me a tune. Gary has written this tune.

Gary: Yes.

Tori: And he's coached me on how to do it.

Gary: Yeah.

Tori: So...

Gary: Here we go, everyone.

[Tori performs Gary's Girl, a parody of Cornflake Girl]

"Gary's Girl"

I'm gonna be Gary's girl
six in the morning, my hands are roaming
'cause I'm Gary's girl
there's a little bit of heaven on 92.7
when you're Gary's girl
the boy knows how to tune me in
my friends all call me Gary's girl
he's just, just, just, just so happening
you bet your life he is
you bet your life he is
you bet your life

he's a peel not a banana
he's a peel not a banana

I think I'll be Gary's girl
we're all alone with his microphone
so I'm Gary's girl
he's coming around
because I'm going down
(that's stretching it, Gary)
to Gary's world
the boy know's how to tune me in, yes
my friends all call me Gary's girl
'cause he's just, just, so, so, so happening
you bet your life he is
you bet your life he is
honey, you bet your life
he's a peel not a banana
still a peel not a banana
but he's just
what he is
and he is
and he is
and he is

Tori: [laughs]

Gary: I'll Never forget that. Now, when they put together the Tori Amos box set in 2050...

Tori: Yeah, we have to have Gary's Girl.

Gary: ...and they come looking for that one, how much should I charge 'em?

Tori: Well, actually... No, you should get the whole song. You should get the music, too. No, because it's just... [laughs]

Gary: There you go...

Tori: Fantastic.

Gary: We got a couple of gifts for Tori, couple of presents.

Tori: These are presents? Ohhhhh...

Gary: While you're opening the presents, let's talk about the CD booklet.

Tori: Ok, let's chat.

Gary: You look like Annie Oakley on here waiting for Wild Bill Hickok to come home with the venison.

Tori: Yeah.

Gary: I can't condone the gun. What'd you get? [referring to the presents]

Tori: Dusty in Memphis. Oh, that's fantastic.

Gary: Oh, that's... You will love that record. And that should be your next career move, Tori - Tori in Memphis or Tori in Nashville.

Tori: [laughs]

Gary: It's got "Son of a Preacher Man" on it.

Tori: Fantastic.

Gary: That's your label-mate, she recorded that for Atlantic. And now the big gift. Dusty in Memphis, everyone.

Tori: [opening the present] Ok...

Gary: You gotta open it up.

Tori: Ok, ok, ok... Oh, fantastic, oh my god! Oh my god, oh my god.

Gary: I gotta turn 'em on for you.

Tori: I love this, will you explain what this is?

Gary: Yeah, it's uh, wrap-around sunglasses. Hand 'em to me for a second before you put 'em on. Now, this is how you should open the show. It's got flashing lights on it. Wrap-around sunglasses with flashing lights. [laughs]

Tori: I know, but oh my god.

Gary: This is how the show, it's a shame this isn't TV.

Tori: Oh my god, I can be Elton.

Gary: Yeah, right, you can come out...

Tori: I'm so excited.

Gary: This is how you open the show - the curtain comes up, it's all dark, you on the keyboard with just the lights on the sunglasses.

Tori: Yeah. [laughs] Oh my god.

Gary: Itn't that great?

Tori: Glitter.

Gary: [laughs] You look like...

Tori: Gary Glitter. Have you heard of Gary Glitter?

Gary: Absolutely.

Tori: Yeah.

Gary: I wrote the book on classic rock. [laughs] I love that Gary Glitter.

Tori: Thank you, guys.

Gary: You're very welcome.

Tori: So come visit me, I'm doing 200 shows.

Gary: Rrrow.

Tori: Um, if you're bored and lonely and you just need a place to go, I'm sure there'll be tickets. [laughs] Or stand at the stage door. And if, you know, you can't afford it, we'll try and get you in.

Gary: You don't know when you're playing in New York, do you?

Tori: No, I don't.

Gary: Starting overseas in Ireland or something?

Tori: My tour manager just dropped his jaw when I said that. [laughs]

Gary: Hey, he loves that, huh?

Tori: [laughs]

Gary: Somebody revive John [Witherspoon, Tori's tour manager].

Tori: Just come in, just hang out. Uh, huh?

Gary: [laughs]

Tori: Yeah, we start um, February 23rd and we begin in the UK and we come over to the States by April 8th.

Gary: Cool. You wanna do one more or are you spent?

Tori: Um, I'm spent. How can I follow Gary's Girl? I really can't, I can't follow that.

Gary: Well, thanks, bud.

Tori: Thanks.

Gary: You're really, you're so good.

Tori: Well, you're good, too.

Gary: You're so entertaining.

Tori: That's good. I'm glad, I'm glad that I can... people think I'm this serious person all the time.

Gary: No.

Tori: It's good to have a little giggle, you know?

Gary: Thanks, buddy.

Tori: Ok, guys. Bye, Gary.

Gary: I don't think Paula Zon [?] gave you any gifts this morning, did she? I don't think Tom Calderone gave you any gifts on Modern Rock Live yesterday.

Tori: [laughs]

Gary: I'll tell ya, Carol Miller's not gonna give you anything.

Tori: [taking deep breaths to stop laughing]

Gary: Alright everybody, Tori Amos live. Hit the music and we're coming back at 92.7, 98.5 DRE, Long Island's modern rock.

[the CD recording of Caught a Lite Sneeze is played]


[transcribed by jason/yessaid]


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