The Roseanne Show (US, TV) syndicated talk show on CBS
October 1, 1998
Tori Amos interview and live performance
My next guest wears her heart on her sleeve evert time she performs. She has turned her personal trauma into three platinum albums, and her new release has already gone gold. Let's welcome Tori Amos!
Roseanne: You look beautiful!
Tori: They did a good job.
Roseanne: You look great, thanks for being here. How are you doing today?
Tori: Um, TV always makes me really nervous.
Roseanne: Oh, why?
Tori: It's not really my thing. If I'm not behind a piano, then I just kinda, (puts her hands next to ears) rabbit!
Roseanne: Well, yeah I think a lot of performers are like that. Lilly Tomlin was on yesterday, er it was actually on today that they showed it, we were both talking about how performers are so shy when they're not doing your thing and it's hard to not have a character, or a song, or something to be behind.
Tori: I put everything into the music really, I think all my different personalities, I just sing about them so. When I'm doing it people think I'm really boring.
Roseanne: I don't think you're boring, okay, you're a little boring!
Tori: Yeah i know.
Roseanne: How about your incredible honesty and your...how about that?
Tori: It doesn't go over well like at thanskgiving dinner, y'know, when things come up. I wrote this song called Father Lucifer, and my dad said, "You know, I really, resent that, a bit."
Roseanne: Because your dad's a minister, right?
Tori: Yeah. And I said, "You know, that's the one song that isn't about you!" And he said, "Well what is it about?" I said, "well I took this drug ayahuasca, which is a drug from the Amazon, you know it's like an elixir, ayahuasca, and um, anyway, you know that movie what was it ..."
Roseanne: What is it, like Prozac or...
Tori: No no no, honey, um, no, Prozac is like Gerber baby food compared to this stuff. So I tried to tell my dad, I really asked to meet the prince of darkness because I had had so many boys in my life that were kind of, you know the kind where people say, guys would come up to me and say, "Why do you get those boys that are the bad kind?" And I would try and live through them like they had some access to the shadow, and I was really trying to find my shadow side, which we all have. And you get so much power from it.
Roseanne: Are you on drugs now?!
Tori: No. I'm not.
Roseanne: I want to go back, because I want, right now I can't get off this, I want to go back, because you've gotta, I mean you've gotta be remedial with me honey, I have to know, what does that mean, so you went on like a spirit or a vision quest?
Tori: Yeah, Yeah, you do.
Roseanne: So you figured out, that you were attracting people to you, because you couldn't face your own negative, is that what you mean?
Tori: Because I didn't go in and really look inside of myself, whether it was a side to me that can be a bit devious, and ah, I would always, the other person was always sort of the bad one, I was always sort of the angel and I really realized...
Roseanne: In my life I've done that too. I so have done that.
Tori: I finally realized that Lucifer is a woman, who wears white and drives an icecream truck! Rabbit!!
Roseanne: Would that be bad, then?
Tori: No, there's no bad about it, you know, my grandfather was part Cherokee and he would always say to me, who knows if he had a little smoke going, he would always smoke, but he would say to me, you know, the power that the native people always had was that they really could go on vision quests. And instead of um, you know, finding it outside yourself, you really are made up of many different personalities, and you honor that.
Roseanne: Right, people have a lot of different entities.
Tori: Oh yeah.
Roseanne: And now, a word from our sponsor! More with Tori when we come back.
(Plays video of "God")
Displayed on screen: Somewhere in America, a woman is raped every two minutes.
Roseanne: We want to get serious for a moment. Total change of pace here.
Roseanne: You started the National Rape and Incest hotline, which is pretty amazing. I want to know why you did that.
Tori: Well it's called RAINN, and it's a 1-800 number that you can call anywhere in the country, and what really happened was I was getting so many letters from women, and men, that had had this experience of violation, some kind of way. There was one particular night which really put us all over the edge, where there was a girl, she was brought back stage, she was hysterical, I finished the show, came back and she said "I want to go with you. Anywhere I'll go, I'll just work in the kitchen, anything." And I said, "Now how old are you?" She said "I'm 14 and I can't go home" and I said "why can't you go home" and she said "Because I was raped last night by my stepfather, I'll be raped tomorrow night, and I'll be raped when I go home, I've been raped for 7 years." And um, so I call up Arthur my manager and I said "we're taking this girl." And then, everybody gets on the phone with me and say, "You're crossing state lines and you'll be arrested for kidnapping", and I just said you know, you're telling me I'm going to be arrested for kidnapping, and we can't do anything about this? So that was really the pivotal thing that got us to get together with the D.C. Rape Crisis Center, and it's a team of people that really wanted to find a way to give people tools on "how can I change my situation?" So that's how it began.
Roseanne: And it's huge.
Tori: We had our 200,000th call, I think, just a few weeks ago.
Roseanne: Oh my god, that's such an awesome thing that you have done.
Tori: It's a good team.
Roseanne: We have, also, because of you, we have 3 women here today who are all people who have overcome and survived some kind of violence of that nature, and we want to talk to you, we want hear what you have to say to us.
Roseanne: Introduces Tori's CD From the Choirgirl Hotel
Tori performs Jackie's Strength, Me and a Gun