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Seventeen (US)
November 1999

Tori Adore

Tori Amos, patron saint of the unconventional, is back with a new CD. Being weird has never been so Glamorous.

By Heidi Sherman

Your new album is called To Venus and Back, what does the name mean?

Venus is the love-passion place, and once you've traveled there you can never go back to where - or who - you were before.

The first single "Bliss," deals with a woman breaking away from her father. How is your relationship with your father?

Better than it's ever been. I think you always desire your father's respect. But there has to be a place where you and I extract ourselves from what our fathers want us to be. It's taken me a long time.

How about your mom?

We're very close, but there was that period when you're becoming a young woman, and your parents don't get it.

During that time, did your parents disapprove of any of the guys you dated?

A cat burglar, when I was 18. The craziest thing was, if they had said "You know what, go for it," I would have lost interest then.

Were you a serial dater?

No, no, no. That's not my thing. But for a long time I was trying to find something in the men I was dating that I needed to access in myself. A lot of the time you try to hang out with other people to fill that void, when what you really want is to have an all-area-access pass to your unconscious. That's where your power is.

You got married last year, after you turned 34, to your sound engineer, Mark Hawley. Was it worth the wait?

I really wasn't ever going to get married because I'd just played at too many weddings, you know. But when he asked me, it felt right.

What's the essential ingredient in a successful relationship?

Valuing the differences and being OK with not needing to be with each other. That to me is how relationships start exploding.

Any myths about the music industry you'd like to debunk?

I was backstage at the Grammys in '94 and I really thought it would be, like, creativity to the tenth power - people sharing with each other. But I'd just been on a college tour, and that was far more exciting than what I found at the Grammys. There was this underground vibe at the universities, and that visionary sense. Don't get me wrong - there were some great artists at the Grammys, but I thought it would be more about creativity than about ego. Instead there's this illusion that you think the cool people are always over there.

And what's the reality?

If you want wisdom, you cannot buy it at the store. You can't get invited to that party. You have to do the work.

~ ~ ~

Tori Amos' required fall reading for the self-aware girl.

If you're searching for spiritual freedom and some serious wisdom, pore over these four suggestions from the Faerie Princess herself.

Owning Your Own Shadow, by Robert A. Johnson
"This is about how not to put your monsters on other people or take on other people's monsters. It's about power."

The Creation of Health, by Caroline Myss and C. Norman Shealy
"It's about seeing your body as a special instrument and how to look at is as not a thing, but a gift."

Goddesses in Everywoman: A New Psychology of Women, by Jean Shinoda Bolen
"It's great to see how archtypes exist in each of us. You'll begin to see yourself as part of a lineage."

Addiction to Perfection, by Marion Woodman
"We're taught how to balance our checking accounts but not how to scream at the teller. This teaches us how to handle our emotions."


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