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Seventeen (US)
November 2002



When I Was 17
Tori Amos


She loved Pat Benatar...
and she had the leg warmers to prove it.

In my closet you'd find all the bad 80's stuff. The 1980s were probably the worst fashion decade of all time. I wore leg warmers, and big, chunky socks over tight black leggings-and a bunch of bangle bracelets.

I dated in high school but I lost track of my boyfriend and haven't spoken to him since. I was nuts about him. He was just a really great guy, but I wasn't ready for a committed relationship.

I never wanted to be anything but a musician. I love making music and never considered another path.

My favorite female musician was definitely Pat Benatar. She was my goddess. I loved her and I got into her whole look. I stuck out like a sore thumb in school.

My celebrity crush was Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin. He was a bad, bad boy. My father thought he was the devil. Robert awakened a lot of girls to their sexual feelings and that made him a threat to parents everywhere.

There was a lot of peer pressure regarding drinking and drugs. But my older sister, who's a doctor, gave me a great gift. She drummed into me that there is a cause and effect with that stuff. I've experimented with a lot of things - I think it's a part of growing up - but I realized if you're going to take that drink, you had better be surrounded by people you trust, because you'll let your guard down.

I went to my prom with a dear friend. I have great memories of that night. I wore a short party dress with a pretty flower print and a rose pinned on it. All my friends went in long dresses.

from the Seventeen web site...

Tori Amos loved leg warmers!

by Laura Morgan

In the November issue of seventeen, Tori Amos spilled that Pat Benatar was her goddess and she had a crush on Robert Plant. Here's more from her.

What did you like to wear at 17?
I had the leather skirt, the leather pants and a leather shirt. And I guess I was wearing long dresses at night with my hair up, as it was required as a pianist.

Do you still keep in touch with your friends from back then?
My friends were very forgiving with me. Because let's face it, I stick out like a sore thumb. I mean in a fashion sense at least. But after high school, we all went our separate ways. I am still close with Cindy. She is in Texas. Unfortunately, people fall. You drift apart and things are happening to you, and unless you keep up. It's hard to keep up.

What did you guys do for fun? Where did you hang out?
That is kind of an interesting question. They would go to Aruba and they were always trying to get me to go with them. And looking back, I wish that I had gone. I was working all the time. My friends would say, 'When are you going to get off your butt and live life?' I was always busy.

Did you get in trouble with your parents for anything?
I don't like authority. I don't like getting yelled at. I don't respond well to it. When someone is harsh with me, I just want to go away. But if somebody just doesn't let up, like a mosquito, and they cross that line one too many times, then I swing the other way as a lioness. Because I am a Leo female. Unfortunately, you don't feel great about it. You try to let somebody know that you're not going to get me to do what you want me to do this way. Please try another approach. Then all of a sudden you become this Tori monster.

What about your siblings?
I had a great relationship with my sister. I have an older brother who is almost 10 years older. My sister was 7 years older. When I was 17, she was in medical school. She's just one of these people -- I am just glad I got to know her as a sister, 'cause doctors can be very intimidating, but there's a really soft loving person there. She is brilliant medically, and because of that, she has helped to guide me. In my world, you have loads of access to things, and she was able to let me know about it. I have experimented with a lot of things, and I think that's part of growing up.

What was the best part about being 17?
I didn't know it back then, but it was having enough time to do it all, to go see the world, to go have experiences without having responsibilities. The best thing is you can do things for yourself. And I did. I had dreams, I went and saw them.

Photo: Billy Reckert


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