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Sunday Express (UK)
March 10, 2013



My Favourite Photograph

By Tori Amos

This picture was taken when my daughter Tash and I met Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler in New York City around Easter in 2003. We were both staying at the Trump Hotel near Central Park, which was good for us because Tash liked to be able to play in the park. My husband Mark kept bumping into Steve in the gym and one afternoon he came up to meet Tash and me. He was charming company, and it turned out to be a very fortuitous meeting.

When the power went down, it was chaos. With no air-con it got up to 43°C in the hotel and the windows didn't open. It was unsafe to drink the tap water, too, although we think Tash must have drunk some because she came down with a fever.

Then we realised that our tour bus had a generator, so we and most of the tour crew took refuge in there. Meanwhile, people were roaming the streets looking for supplies and there was a lot of looting going on. It became quite scary, as our big tour bus was hardly subtle. We obviously had electricity, so we were scared we'd be a target. But who should happen to turn up and protect us? Steven Tyler!

He hopped on the bus and said he'd heard that Tash was ill. He told us he's a dad himself and to have a sick three-year-old child in this situation was no joke.

So Steven stood outside our bus all night, like our guardian angel. Everyone wanted a bit of that power and air-con, or whatever else was on that bus, because there was nothing left in the shops. Our bus driver stayed up all night, too, and he said Steven dealt with looters and vandals by signing autographs and being the great entertainer that he is. He was so amazing.

We actually slept through the night, and by the time we woke up Steven had gone so we didn't have a chance to thank him to his face. We sent our thank yous and warm messages to him, but I've not seen him since. That's just the way it is when you're touring. But when Steven was on American Idol recently, we'd watch the show and Tash would say, "He's a very nice man that Steven Tyler, isn't he Mummy?" I said, "Yes Tash, he was very nice to you!"

Tori's album Gold Dust is out now.


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