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The Herald (UK)
Glasgow, Scotland, newspaper
Saturday, June 4, 2005

The third degree: TORI AMOS

The singer enjoys cleaning her teeth, gazing at the stars and avoiding people, and bemoans the loss of her behind

by Susan Swarbrick

Who would you be if you could swap places for a day?

My daughter Natashya, who is four and a half. Sometimes I wonder what kind of parent I am and how my child sees the world; what her own little world is like. I'd like to be able to see myself and my husband from that perspective.

Who was your childhood hero?

Martin Luther King. He had a commitment that meant he was willing to die for his beliefs. I was just a little girl, but my father marched in Washington, D.C. and was very much part of the civil rights movement. I saw King as a great preacher and leader.

What's the first thing you do in the morning?

Look at my watch and wish it was earlier.

What's the last thing you think about at night?

I'm not sure what I think about, but I always look up at the little window above my bed, and out into the night sky.

How often do you brush your teeth?

At least four times a day.

Would you ever have cosmetic surgery?

It would depend on the circumstances. It's hard to know in life what obstacles you face and what you'll go through, so I couldn't tell you I never would, because I just don't know that.

Which designer labels do you own?

Quite a few. On tour right now I'm wearing designs by Bora Aksu.

Who are your favourite writers?

e.e.cummings, Sylvia Plath, and Anne Sexton.

What is your favourite building?

The Mesa Verde cliff dwellings in Colorado. They were built by the Anasazi Indians between the sixth and 12th centuries. I've been there and walked around, and you can understand why people built these tall stone houses to survive the dramatic weather of the area. How they managed to do it at that time, though, is something that has always baffled me... and baffled many people who know a lot more about these things than I do.

Who did you last text?

I've never sent a text message.

City or country?

Country. I like being away from people. You have to conform a bit when you're around so many people; you have to deal with different personalities. Even in a city like New York there are a lot of people in a small place.

Skinhead or mullet?

Mullet. Then I could take it to a hairdresser. With a skinhead you're kind of stuck with it for a few weeks until it starts to grow again.

Pajamas or au naturel?

Pajamas. Not big fluffy ones, though. The lightweight variety.

Love is . . .

The thing that gets me through the day.

What do you believe in?

A good idea.

What colour are your pants?

Red cotton. It's important to stress cotton, because red nylon or lace is a whole different thing.

What have you loved and lost?

My ass. I'm 41 now. I used to have a really cute ass.

What makes you blush?

Things my husband, Mark, says.

What would be the soundtrack to your life?

On one level my own work, but usually I find myself humming the Mission: Impossible theme tune.

What brings out the devil in you?

Right-wing Christians.

Sum yourself up in five words.

Definitely not dull for husband.

Tori Amos plays the Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow, on Tuesday. The biography Tori Amos: Piece By Piece, by Tori Amos and Ann Powers, is published by Plexus, priced 12.99.


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