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The Times Magazine (UK)
supplement to The Times
November 15, 2003

Wisdom

"I didn't get where I am today without..."

Tori Amos, Singer-songwriter, 40

Having a good man in my life. And he (Mark Hawley, her sound engineer and husband) is good in every way. I'm so lucky to have ended up in a situation where I'm married to my boyfriend and am having an affair with the man I married. How many women can say that? Not nearly enough.

Knowing when to change shoes. This is important. There are flip-flop times, and there are non flip-flop times. So when you're being called on to be a lioness and hunter, you need to be ready in your Jimmy Choo boots.

Reaching for the Japanese tea. It's my tried-and-tested purifier and calm-me-down... Because it can be difficult, at home in Cornwall, juggling being Tori Amos, artist, whoever and whatever she is, and, simply and more importantly, being Natashya's mum. Los Angeles has just woken up, I've got scores of business calls to make or return, but here without our four walls it's a three-year-old's bathtime, storytime, then bed... Believe me, that tea's good stuff. It cleanses the palette, gets the taste of corporate blood off your tongue, and allows you to read from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe with total concentration, conviction and heart.

Recognising the Pyrrhic victory. What I've always respected about Mark is that he's warm but isn't fuzzy. You absolutely cannot buy him. He'll only go so far to please. He's taught me that unless you win fair and square, you really haven't won at all. I didn't always know that, but I do now.

Knowing that words sting. And can even be guns. So be careful how you use them. Language, like music, is a very powerful force...

Alan Jackson

Tori Amos's first-ever compilation, the "musical autobiography" Tales of a Librarian had just been released.


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