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Tori Amos Timeline
[before] [1963-1968] [1969-1974] [1975-1977] [1978-1983] [1984-1989] [1990-1992] [1993-1994] [1995-1996] [1997-1998] [1999-2000]  [2002-2003] [2004-2005] [2006-2008] [2009-2010]  [future & now]
1993 - 1994
January 12, 1993
* Tori appears on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno (in Los Angeles) for the first time. She performs Crucify (accompanied by the Tonight Show band) and Winter (solo). [click for photos]
* Tori moves into a 150 year-old hacienda in New Mexico which stands on hallowed Native American ground. She spends eight months there, writing and recording her second solo album, Under the Pink. A local Indian tribe adopts Tori as an honorary member.
"[I was] just called there [to New Mexico], just called to it. The Wild West. There was something about it, something really rugged and raw. Obviously it was supposed to happen there. It's funny, because after Little Earthquakes, I really didn't know what I was in for. I didn't think about it." [Baltimore Sun - January 30, 1994]
You recorded Under the Pink at a hacienda in New Mexico. How did that come about?
"I was just feeling something in the Southwest. [Engineer/producer] Eric Rosse found a hacienda there, and it just seemed right to be away from any kind of music center."
Were the songs already written at that point?
"I had Pretty Good Year with me. I had Sugar which was a B-side that I thought I was going to re-record and put on the album. But enough material came that I didn't have to do that. I wrote almost everything while I was there. There were certain songs, though, that were supposed to be on the record that got kicked off. Honey was supposed to be on the record and, in retrospect, I wish it had been. I kicked it off for The Wrong Band. Under the Pink wept when Honey wasn't on, and she still is angry with me about it.
"The other thing about Under the Pink is that Atlantic wanted to leverage me out in the middle of the project so Eric and I wouldn't be in control of it. I threatened to burn the tapes... They were going to take the tapes and give them to a hotshot producer. We won't talk about names. I told them, "Look, I'm the mother of this, and you won't be able to get to the cubs but through me." I'm not warm and fuzzy. That's why labels have such a difficult time with me... [But] the atmosphere was great. We were in Taos, away from everyone. If anybody from the busines side came by, they were walking into our lair. Not the opposite.
How did you know it was done?
"At one point, engineer Paul McKenna said to me, 'You know, Tori, this record's missing something.' I said 'Oh, Ok.' And within 48 hours, I had this horrible argument with a waitress... She was the devil. She was Satan. She was a meanie. She became the embodiment of a few women in my life that I was having it out with, and The Waitress got written. And Paul said, 'The record's complete.'"[Blender - Feb/March 2002]
* Tori is diagnosed with a precancerous cervical condition.
"I had a procedure done and, for a while, I thought it had spread further than it had. But it wasn't malignant it was benign, meaning that the cancer was stopped. Yet what also happened to me in New Mexico, where I went to write, and record, this album, was that at one point I was spraying Pledge polish in a cupboard and I inhaled it and I got a lung infection which meant I couldn't speak, or sing, for three weeks. And I really thought my voice was damaged forever and had to do voice lessons on the phone, with this voice teacher to try and get the natural cortisone back on the cords."
"I was thinking 'what if I never sing again?' Then I'd say, 'If I can't sing what's the point in being alive, is this person worth anything at all?' And there were moments where the only answer to that question was 'no.' Then I'd give in to the self-pity that comes out in the song Pretty Good Year, and in the lyric 'They say you were something in those formative years.'" [Hot Press - February 23, 1994]
"I wanted Under the Pink to be more abstract, for many reasons. I was really into certain poets at the time, like e.e. cummings, and painters like Dali." [Keyboard - November 1994]
* Tori continues gathering inspiration for the songs.
"I was flying over Chicago. Before I got into the city, I was flying over, and I just felt this scene happening by this 7-11 I could see way in the distance. It was a very cold night. It was in March, and I was going in for a signing at Rose Records. I was flying in, and I felt this young boy, 13, 14 years old, with his family. He's eating peas. His family is like, some of those people that show up on Oprah Winfrey sometimes, that you just go, My God, if I had to go home with them, I would contemplate, like, eating Pledge. And I just felt his presence. I felt him just opening himself up to another possibility, because his world was just so closed. The best thing he had near him was the 7-11 goddess... I was just watching from the-I was in the window seat, and I was just watching, like, way down. I felt Space Dog. I've been talking to him, and I felt Space Dog going, "Lemon pie. Coming through, lemon pie." It was very Agent 99. I kind of felt like Agent 99 going, "Oh, Max." And this young man responded. There is something out there." [Baltimore Sun - January 30, 1994]
* Tori does in-store signings of the Little Earthquakes song book in Chicago and Toronto. She also appears on Q101 in Chicago for an interview and 4-song performance, and CFNY in Toronto.
March 3, 1993 - Q101, Chicago
March 5, 1993 - CFNY, Toronto
August 22, 1993
* Tori turns 30.
"When you turn 30, life is starting to get better. It's important that you keep working on yourself. 'You have to do the work.' Only then you feel happy about yourself. Do not pretend to be someone they want you to be, just be yourself. If you don't, you're gonna be a neurotic 30-year old woman, who wants to be 20 instead. It's your choice. You cross the border of wisdom, or you don't. [Elle (Dutch) - March 2002]
* Tori finishes recording the following songs for Under the Pink:
Sister Janet, Icicle intro, Icicle, Peeping Tomi, Space Dog, Yes, Anastasia, Baker Baker, Past the Mission, Daisy Dead Petals, Bells for Her, Cloud On My Tongue, Cornflake Girl, Pretty Good Year, Honey and God. Not all of the songs make the album's final cut.
November 15, 1993
* Tori finishes mastering the Under the Pink album.
December 1993 - January 19, 1994
* Tori makes music videos for Cornflake Girl (the first UK single from Under the Pink) and God (the first US single).
* Tori talks to the press about Under the Pink, her second solo album.
"This record is about the search for wholeness and clearly focuses on divisions.."
How does Tori respond when she sees those reviews of her new album which
dismiss her as a "weird chick" or reduce her to a sex object?
"It's a classic case of control, don't you think? In the States I'm presented as a sex object and questions in interviews usually focus on that. And in Britain I'm 'weird.' Either description is a copout and an easy way of avoiding having to face what I'm really talking about in my songs or really want to talk about during my interviews. And, again, it is harder for me to deal with women do it. And they do it a lot, particularly in America, just write about my being a 'sex symbol' whatever that is."
"I understand that they don't want to fuck me, they want to fuck themselves. Let's take it to its most naked form here. They see an energy that they want to be a part of. Forget about the journalists, they have another agenda. But the people in my audience really do, I believe, want to tap into the energy force I've awakened in themselves and they feel a oneness at that level, which is something higher than simply sex."
"I've wanted to fuck guys who had a primitive energy on stage but once I meet them and talk with them I realise I don't really want to fuck them but I want to get close to where they're coming from. I talked about this to a wise woman in the desert and she said 'you want to suck his energy, isn't that what you want?' and that's what it's all about to me."
What would Tori say to those who might respond that fucking is indeed just about the physical pleasure involved, particularly a fan's fantasy of fucking her, or his, hero?
"To me that's a whole different thing, like someone needing to own, to possess someone else's energy, to fulfill something in themselves that is empty. Why do we have heroes in the first place? To compensate for what we lack in ourselves. It shouldn't come down to the act of fucking... To tell you the truth I can't deal with the fact that some fans would just perceive me that way. They don't have a clue about all my problems that are involved, in terms of my sexuality. If they did, perhaps they'd change their minds!"
During her time in New Mexico, Tori also had to try and come to terms with the silencing of her own sexual energy, a question she couldn't help but relate to the development of cervical cancer in her body and the lingering after-shocks from being raped.
"Being in that place in north New Mexico I was forced to come to terms with myself on every level. And what I definitely and to come to terms with is my violence and my withholding, from myself, of my sexuality and how I'd withdrawn from passion in my own life. I know I wrote about my experience of rape in Me and a Gun, but it's another thing to really go back inside myself and see how that experience seeped into my cells, how the disease has spread."
"A part of me has been unable to open up intimately since I wrote Me and a Gun. After so many years I wondered what was it in me that cannot be juicy, that is so dry, except when I play music? I can go out and channel this energy during a show yet the moment I walk backstage afterwards I close down, sexually. And in New Mexico I did finally realise that I have to take responsibility for the fact that the man who originally violated me is not stopping me now- I am. But, still, there is a part of me that hasn't been able to open up since I came to terms with Me and a Gun. And without Eric [Rosse], my boyfriend, I couldn't work my way through it right now."
"I never talk about this and it helps the healing process to do so. Because people out there must be told about the self-loathing that follows rape and how it's the greatest breakage in divine law to mutilate themselves, as I have done. Emotionally, I mutilated myself by feeling I'm not worthy of being loved and fucked, and being able to love and fuck at the same time. I was straining toward the reconciliation the last time we talked but the last frontier was crossed when I got the illness. At that point I had to deal with so much trauma in that part of my body and psyche. I do believe repression of that nature can cause the disease."
Tori pauses and having gathered her emotions again goes on.
"I also feel that the great frontier was crossed when I confronted my own violence, which is also what the album Under the Pink is all about. Even though I had been working my way out of that violent experience I realised thtat I would remain a victim of it until I recognised the violence in myself. And my willingness to give up my Victims Anonymous badge followed my realising that the withholding of passion and pleasure, from myself, was a form of self-violence. I told you before that seeing the movie Thelma and Lousie, years after the rape, finally made me feel like I wanted to kill that man but, instead, I now realise that what I did was kill a part of myself. I already had the hatred that women feel for themselves in the Christian Church in terms of their sexual response: that tyranny of believing that love is one thing and lust another, instead of being able to join them together. That was where I first began to be segregated, within myself."
"On top of that I took from the rape that man's hatred of women, so much so that I couldn't access parts of myself. It's as though a computer chip has been put in, to cut out contact with your core self, your central energy source. And that hatred ran so deep that I just numbed myself to survive. Even sexually, after the rape, I became the vampire, I drank but would not let the men drink. And I had to be a hooker to have sex. Having felt I let myself, and all women, down because of my total vulnerability the night I was raped. I then had to continually tell myself I was in complete control, so I had to feel like I was getting paid."
"Even in Baker, Baker, on this album, it says I'm the one who was endlessly unavailable, to Eric, even when having sex. And now the only way I'm getting out of all this is with him. The only way back now having taken so much hatred from one man is to accept so much love from another. But it's a long, slow process."
"Okay, let's get to the core of it all. What this means is that Eric has to say 'I am not the man that raped you and I will not accept that concept.' When we make love he'll leave the lights on and say 'look at me, what's my name?' and I'll say his name. And even more importantly, he'll say 'what am I doing? I'm fucking you, say it."
"And I'd try to say 'you're fucking me.' Then he'll hold me as tightly as he can and say 'And I love you, I adore you, I treasure you'. So I am healing that way. And we're healing, because as you can imagine, I am hardly an easy woman to live with. Or to love. But I am finally ceasing to see myself as a victim, which is the only way out of all this..."
"I really do feel as though I was psychologically mutilated that night and that now I'm trying to put the pieces back together again. Through love, not hatred. And through my music. My strength has been to open again, to life, and my victory is the fact that, despite it all, I kept alive my vulnerability." [Hot Press - February 23, 1994]
January 17, 1994
* A Limited Edition "tribute" CD single for Cornflake Girl is released in Europe. The b-sides include her version of Jimi Hendrix's If 6 Was 9, playing her piano through a Marshall amp. She also sings Joni Mitchell's A Case of You and Billie Holiday's Strange Fruit.
Why those songs?
"To show that all things are possible, and permissible, for me, as a singer-songwriter," she explains. "They're my roots. Joni was part of my life from the moment I heard her. And on the single I want to move from the Keith Jarret jazz plus reggae undertones in Cornflake Girl into Joni's "A Case of You" and make it a seduction, heightening the undertone that was always there, when a woman sings to a man, 'I could drink a case of you!' [laughs] And what Jimi Hendrix represented to me was 'be all that you are.' I had idolized Jesus Christ and then it was Hendrix. There's no difference in terms of the force of the feeling."
"And Strange Fruit is there because that is the South, where I was born and raised and here I directly experienced that kind of racism myself. As a white woman in the South I experienced many forms of racial hatred, deeply, and my grandfather did, because of his Cherokee background. I understand the energy of those racial tensions so well and that's what I tapped into for Strange Fruit which I recorded one morning at 5:30am, having been called out of bed by the Forces, to do so."
"I really don't worry about people not understanding what I said to you about being called by 'the Forces.' When he'd talk about the blacks and the whites fighting one another my Poppa would always paraphrase that Indian saying, by telling me 'they can't understand each other because you never do, until you walk in another man's moccasins.' If people can't see things from the other side, that's not my problem, it's theirs. And that really applies to racial tensions in America - still. The deepest psychic wound in our country is the genocide perpetrated on Native Americans. The deepest root of our country is being denied and we are a people dislocated from ourselves, our past. We can never be whole until there is re-integration at that level." [Hot Press - February 23, 1994]
January 31, 1994
* Under the Pink is released in the UK and debuts at number 1. Under the Pink is released the next day in the US (debuting at number 12), and in Japan on February 25.
"For this album, I was in New Mexico for the writing and recording of it. And I would go out into the desert and just sit until really the soul of the song came and visited me. When it would come, I would just start to get to know who this being was and what they were trying to say to me. Of course all these beings are just parts of me, parts of you. Anybody that comes to visit you is a part of you somewhere, somehow. So I would sit and try to just feel what I was feeling. So many times, I think I'm supposed to feel a certain way, and that's not good. That's not very interesting, in your normal life or your creative life. So I would sit by the Rio Grande and try to stop all the voices. I still had to deal with it as much as last time. 'Silent All These Years' was just a beginning, but the outside voices didn't get any quieter, they just got louder. The whole last record was about finding my voice again. So it was kind of different because I had just stumbled onto things that I hadn't dealt with in fifteen year, whereas this record it's about how to... struggle to stay awake, if you know what I mean. To stay conscious, to be present - because once you go, "yeah . this happened to me, yeah I was violently held hostage and sexually and emotionally violated; yeah I was a minister's daughter and I denied how I buried my true beliefs for all those years, yeah, yeah, yeah. When you first deal with those realisations, it's kind of like the whole earth opens up. A week later, a year later, you don't have the firecrackers like you did, but you're still healing and dealing with things. So this one was a bit trickier, because when you first come to a realisation, it's like a kid in a candy shop. We've talked about these subjects before, so obviously I can't write 'Me and a Gun' again, because how can you write that again. This record is working through not being a victim anymore. I had to sit out there in the desert and listen to what my inner being was really saying, not what I wanted it to say to me." [Performing Songwriter - March 1994]
* Tori is living in a London flat, which is in a big white house on an expensive road in Holland Park. According to a British interviewer, "In her bathroom there are seven little pots of kiwi-fruit lip balm." [The London Independent - January 16, 1994]
"Every time I saw someone who looked like that guy [that raped me] I relived that night, every time I read about rape I relived that night. Whenever I was being intimate with somebody, it was like these veils came down. I couldn't see that men's physicality and strength could tender. I had to pretend I was a whore in my mind, thinking I was gonna get paid so that I could be detached and stay in control. I had so many schemes going on, and I kept 'em going for a while."
"But now, with Eric, my boyfriend, it's changing. He's relentless in making me present. Now I'm lucky I can't pretend anymore, he doesn't allow me to pretend. He makes me say his name, we keep the lights on and really have to take responsibility for what we're doing there. He'll ask me what he's doing, he'll say, 'What am I doing? I'm fucking you. Say it. And I love you. Say it'. We go through this and it's healing, it takes away the idea that you can't have passion without violence and that love is only about being held. Before, all my passion was put into my piano, and you can't live like that." [Melody Maker - February 5, 1994]
February 11, 1994
* Tori's second appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in Los Angeles. She performs God (accompanied by the Tonight Show band) and Baker Baker (solo). [click for photos]
February 24, 1994
* Under the Pink Tour begins in Newcastle, England, at Upon Tyne Theatre. [tour details]
* Mark Hawley and Marcel van Limbeek join the tour as Tori's sound team.
"My team, Mark and Marcel... They were my live engineers on Under the Pink; that's how I met them. [Personal assistant and tour manager] John Witherspoon brought Mark in as front-of-house engineer, and Mark brought Marcel as the monitor guy; they're a team. I asked them to make Boys for Pele with me, but then my whole life changed, and everybody I worked with... I had a kind of a shift - not that I didn't like those people, because I did, but my whole life just changed. I needed an independence and to strike out on my own, so I pulled this team out. Mark has had studios since he was an adolescent, which he would build in a barn - Martian [Studios] now is built in a 300-year-old barn, so there's the bloodline for that. From what I understand, Mark, when he was four, he was a drummer. He was studying when he was 11 with Cliff Richard's drummer. And he picked up the guitar when he was ten, so he was multifaceted, but then was drawn into wanting to have a mixing desk as his instrument. That's his bloodline. And Marcel is Dutch and was a physicist who left school. He's dealing with facts, figures, theories, equations... and madness. Together, there was a real push from them. They argue with me. They take a very fierce stand on the engineering thing: "You need to be aware of the sound of your records." But sound is an instrument. There's no room for musicians to be sonically shut out and turn it all over to a producer. It's critical that it works with the composition." [All Music zine - October 1999]
March 28, 1994
* Tori's second appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman in New York City. She performs Cornflake Girl (accompanied by the Late Show band). [click for photos]
March 30, 1994
* Tori is interviewed by Simon Mayo on his BBC Radio One show. She mentions wanting to have a baby after the tour...
How many dates have you done on this tour so far?
And how many to go?
Only 241. So what's that, Europe...
"Europe, America, Europe, America, Australasia."
Ah, then another album?
"A little baby, then an album."
Ok, a baby. Oh, it's just quite clinically planned. So when's the baby due?
"Um, July. [laughs] Of next year."
July of next year. Right, so you know, you gotta go for conception around about September time.
"Around Cincinatti. When I hit Cincinatti. The tour, all the guys on the road have a plant. No, no, no. No, the guys on the road have bets -- 'I know who the father is.' It's not, well I just..."
Well, you can't say who the father is because the father will be.
"The father will be, yeah."
Unless you've got the gestation period of an elephant.
"Yeah, we all have bets on it."
* The May issue of Vox magazine lists Tori's top 10 favorite albums...
1. Aretha Franklin - Amazing Grace
2. Led Zeppelin - The Box Set
3. The Doors - LA Woman
4. Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral
5. Joni Mitchell - Blue
6. Miles Davis - Sketches of Spain
7. Janis Joplin - Cheap Thrills
8. Patti Smith - Horses
9. Beatles - Revolver
10. Sex Pistols - Never Mind the Bollocks
May 4, 1994
"When I was in Dublin in 1994, right after Kurt Cobain died, I'd just recorded a cover of Smells Like Teen Spirit and when I started it, all the lighters came out and everybody was singing. You'd have thought that it was planned. Thousands of people were singing softly, like a lullaby. It was beautiful. It was almost like we were singing Kurt to bed. It was quite a moment and it was really out of my control. I was a part of something with them." [Q - November 2001]
* Tori records a duet of Down By the Seaside with her idol, Robert Plant.
"Yeah, I did a duet with Robert. On the tribute, can you believe that? He sang on his own tribute. That's a hoot. He just decided 'Look, this is a tribute to the Zeppelin songs, and I think I know how to do it.' I said 'Okay, I'm with you, no arguments.'" [Anothony Horan interview - November 2, 1994]
* Tori's dad retires from preaching.
June 2, 1994
* Tori is given the 1994 Visionary Award from the D.C. Rape Crisis Center for her song, "Me and a Gun," and for helping found RAINN, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, with the help of grants from the Atlantic Group and the Warner Music Group. RAINN is the first toll-free rape help-line in the US, and is planned to be operational in the Fall of 1994.
June 28, 1994
* Tori's third appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman in New York City. Tori wasn't originally scheduled to perform, but a guest cancelled and Tori was asked to fill in the spot since her world tour was going through New York at the time. She performs Precious Things. [click for photos]
July 19, 1994
* Tori is interviewed by telephone by J.D. Consadine for the Baltimore Sun.
The big thing that I've been hearing from the Tori circles is that after this tour, you're planning to venture into motherhood for a while.
"Yes. I'm planning that, actually. It's the thing I want to do most. I'm a bit in a weird space right now, because my body's so tired that I can't really think of - I mean, emotionally I want to do that, but physically, I have 90 shows left, so..."
That seems fair preparation for being a mother.
"Yeah. I'm very excited. I'm working on - it's like, I'm targeting the next record for the fall of '96, and between then, I have a couple things on the back burner. I've done something on the Leonard Cohen tribute that I'm very excited about, because, what an influence his writing has been to so many. I did 'Blue Raincoat,' just a piano/vocal, which I'm kind of happy about. Everybody else was, you know, doing a big production thing, and I figured, no. Then I did a duet with Robert Plant, which I'm very excited about. It's going to be on the Zeppelin tribute. It's a gem."
Was that the first time you'd met him?
"No. I'd met him at the Q Awards, and I told him - he was grilling me all about the Jimmy Page project at the time, with Coverdale. 'Did you know he's trying to sound like me?' And I'm like, 'I just met Jimmy, actually. I don't really know what's going on. Why are you asking me? I wanted to tell you that I wanted to give you my virginity when I was 10.' And he laughed, and we got along well."
He's a wonderful guy.
"Oh God, what a mind. He called me up in about March, and asked if I would do a duet with him for the Zeppelin tribute. I said, 'Yeah, are you kidding, of course?' So we went in the studio in London just a few weeks ago. It was the only day that we had in five months that matched. I flew in from the continent to do it. Had to fly out the next morning.
"[The song was] 'Down by the Seaside.' It's very different. We do it kind of like 'Riders in the Storm.' It was a jam, so it's eight minutes. He played guitar, I played piano, and two of the guys that are now in the band that he's in with Jimmy Page, this is the project they're doing together, the bass player and the drummer, who have been with Robert, I think, for a little while. Anyway, it was just kind of neato. I showed up, and we kind of rehearsed, and I threw in a section and he threw in a section that hadn't been in before. I kind of went, 'God, I really want to do this part.' I thought the melody was different from what it was. In the shower, I always sang this different melody. But I was so married to it that I just made it my part. They rolled tape, and we were finished, and we all went and listened and said, 'Where's the Indian takeout? This is finished.' It was kind of like-it was so neat, because I waited all my life for that. So I stored up 20 years of estrogen. But that's coming out in January."
"And I'm doing - what I'm really excited about is that I'm scoring the music for 'The Sandman' audio series. He's doing an audio with people from the BBC. Mainly because I think Hollywood is going to be jumping in on the movie rights, and Neil wanted to do something that he was strictly in control of. I think he's just so afraid of what they're going to do to it. Just kind of like, 'Eccch.' He wanted to put out something that he felt was really representative of his work. So this is an audio presentation of six… it's the 'World's End' series. I'm doing all the music for that, and so it's quite a challenge, because it's like scoring, a bit."
"Let's hope I'm not cast wrongly here. It is a challenge, though. I'm very excited, because I have total carte blanche, which is like totally great. You know me, I'd like ditch a music director in a vat of ketchup if I didn't like him. It's really great that Neil just said, 'Go knock yourself out.' So I'm working on that. That's what I'm doing on the road right now, I'm having a keyboard brought in in between waking up, getting a plane, doing interviews, going to sound check, and doing the show, I'm writing the score for this. That's kind of what I'm up to, until the next record, and hopefully being a mom. But those are my goals, anyway."
"For the next record, it's really important that I take everything and do a whole other step again. I think that's what I always loved so much about Beatles records, was it was a constant new frontier. I don't know where we're going next, but I'm feeling pieces of it coming together, whereas 'Little Earthquakes' was more of a diary and 'Under the Pink' is more to me of an impressionist painting, this project is maybe a little bit of both and something completely different. So I don't know, but I do know that I need time to make it great, and I won't put anything out that I'm not really proud of."
"It's funny, because Doug Morris [the president of Tori's record company], when he heard that I was going to do this other stuff, he goes, 'I could have thought of 10 things you would do, like run off with the devil would have been one of them, before having a baby and not doing another record right away.' And I said, 'Well, it's about making a great record, and I think all these things are going to help me make more interesting work, is if I feed myself on a personal level.'"[Baltimore Sun - July 1994]
July 22, 1994
* Tori is given the State of Maryland Governor's Citation Award for her contributions to the community regarding the founding of RAINN.
August 5, 1994
* Michael Stipe attends one of Tori's concerts in Atlanta, and says it was "amazing, just amazing." The Face magazine reports that they dined together at a local restaurant, becoming friends and mutual admirers.
August 16, 1994
* Tori's 7½ year relationship with her Eric Rosse ends... This event has a huge impact on Tori, and inspires her next album, Boys for Pele.
"Let's be real honest, when somebody says, 'Couldn't you just accept yourself?' ...you're speaking Chinese. When I'm on my knees in Oklahoma City, even though logically, 'love and let go' seems really beautiful... [Oklahoma City], that's where I was literally at the bottom. I was on tour when all this happened and I remember Oklahoma City being totally rock-bottom. It was like I was thinking, 'Just you wait, Henry Higgins,' and as I sat there on my knees in Oklahoma City, waiting for the phone to ring, needing to feed, I'd reached the end of my rope." [New york Post - January 12, 1996]
August 19, 1994
* Tori performs in Phoenix, Arizona. Her experience after the show would bring on the song Hey Jupiter.
"Hey Jupiter was especially hard... I'd made 13 calls from all over the world. I was getting ready to catch a plane from Phoenix to do the Vegas show, and I rang his number again, but no one was picking up. And in that moment, after all the...you know, the fiery red head behaviour, drawing my lines, making my threats...I was lying there alone, feeling incredibly weak. Feeling like there are not enough sold-out shows, like it doesn't matter that every American show is sold out, because I'm only alive when I'm on a stage with a piano. The rest of the time I'm just this shell. So, when I wrote Hey Jupiter, it was like, how could we have been so cruel? Because when we started it, there was so much love. Real caring. And I sit here hating someone who I had been head over heels in love with. Taking jets to meet up for four hours and then flying back to do a show the next night." [Time Out - December 20, 1996]
"I was at my lowest. I was at a hotel in Phoenix, and I realized that for once there wasn't a man I could turn to." [Spin - March 1996]
"I was going through something in my life, and I felt the presence at the end of my bed of a ghost of someone I recognized. I was in a hotel room in Arizona during the Under the Pink tour. I followed this ghost into the bathroom. I turned on all the water... the shower... I let the room steam up... the water became part of the sound, almost like an orchestra... and this ghost drew a picture for me in the mirror in the steam. The way I interpreted the picture was that earth and jupiter were in love billions of years ago, then they were separated, and now they are billions of miles apart, and this is earth's love song to Jupiter." [Yahoo chat - April 13, 1998]
August 22, 1994
* Tori turns 31.
August 23, 1994
* After her concert in Los Angeles, Tori is approached backstage by film director John Singleton. He was very impressed by the show, and asks Tori to write some material for his latest film, Higher Learning. However, due to a full schedule and tour commitments, Tori declines. Not willing to take no for an answer, Singleton returns two days later after Tori's final concert in Los Angeles. This time he convinces Tori to write a song for his film.
September 2, 1994
* Tori goes to Hawaii during a 6-day break on the Under the Pink tour.
"Pele is a volcano goddess in Hawaii, and I fled to Hawaii in the middle of the Under the Pink tour for five days when I was at my lowest, and I couldn't feel any fire within myself. I couldn't feel anything," Amos says. "I came to the north shore in Hawaii, and a friend of mine - we'll call her a medicine woman, a very wise woman - was there. And I felt after the San Francisco, or around those dates, I couldn't feel a sense of when I wasn't behind that piano or with a man in my life. I couldn't find out who the woman was. Some of you may ask me, 'Why did you go to the men in your life?' And the truth is, I felt they had an energy force, to a flame, that I couldn't find. When I went to the north shore and I just spent time walking up and down that beach with this medicine woman, I just began to feel the presence of Pele all over the island, even though I know she's not on that island. I just felt this deep little flame start to happen...
"If I could have one one-billionth of what I felt from that energy, the volcano that permeates that whole space there in Hawaii, I was like: I won't need anything. I won't need to go a party and be liked. I won't need people to understand. I won't need anything. So Pele really got me in touch with repressed anger that I needed to loose, got me in touch with the resentment that I had had and the deep place in the heart where I was really, really sad, because I couldn't be playmates with certain boys that I had wanted to be playmates with because we just didn't want the same things, although there was a lot of love." [Everybody's News - May 31, 1996]
"Pele is a volcano goddess, quite a strong force in Hawaii. She just became a symbol for me, when I was crawling on my knees trying to find my fire, my passion, as everything fell apart because of my separation [from Eric Rosse]." [Keyboard - April 1996]
"I was there when I came up with the title [Boys for Pele]. I was there kind of crawling on my knees, lighting my hands on fire 'cause I'm such a bad pyro. And it was like um, I was in the middle of the Under the Pink tour and all my, my whole life was kind of -- on the personal front -- going down the toilet. And um, the strange thing about it is, when a relationship ends after so many years, and that's your soulmate, you kind of have to, like a part of you walks out the door. So I had to find my own passion, I had to go find my fire. And each song is a fragment of... pieces." [KDGE, Dallas - December 12, 1995]
September 12, 1994
* At 2 a.m. in a local studio, after her concert in Eugene, Oregon, Tori records backing vocals for the Tom Jones song I Wanna Get Back with You. The song is included on his album, The Lead and How to Swing It, released on November 14, 1994.
October 4, 1994
* Tori collapses after a show in Madison, Wisconsin, suffering from "inflammation of the chest cavity wall," and is rushed to the hospital. She is diagnosed with Caustocondritis. Tori is kept in the hospital overnight and is advised by doctors to end the tour right there. But Tori, dosed up on antibiotics, carried on with the tour and played the following night in Milwaukee. [Take to the Sky - December 1994]
A lot of reports appeared on the internet about your show in Madison about a month ago, where you collapsed after you came off stage - that must have been a weird one...
"Yeah, it was weird. It was very weird. I had severe pains in my chest. Did you ever hear what it was?"
We had varying reports - the official record company line was that it was exhaustion, and I think you said onstage the next night that it was the wrong type of peanut butter that caused it!
"Well, yeah, I did eat the wrong kind of peanut butter, but the truth is that it's Caustocondritis, which is an inflammation of the chest wall cavity, so that when you overwork those muscles, it was like running into my ribs, there was a bit of a train wreck happening. It felt like I was getting stabbed, like my ribs were puncturing this muscle. I felt like I was having a heart attack. So I didn't know what it was, I just couldn't breathe and when I breathed I felt like I was getting stabbed in the chest, so I just had to..."
Is that from overworking your voice on a lengthy tour?
"Overworking my piano playing. I'm playin' heavy, meaning the way I breathe and sing and play at the same time, very few people do that. If you're just a player you don't have to use the same breathing, and if you're just a singer you don't have to use the same power from the chest as when you're playing and singing. I mean, those muscles all at the same time - the doctors even said to me, it's like, you have to specifically kind of be you... they said, I don't even know if Elton John uses the same amount of energy force. It depends how much he's using, you'd have to monitor it, but they said, you and Elton and maybe... I don't know... do you know what I mean, the less you play and sing, the less you use these muscles. So they really said, it's not like you can go 'yeah we see this every day', because it's very specific. I mean, people do have Caustocondritis, but how it got developed is specific to what I do."
So have you had to moderate your performance a bit to stop it happening?
"No, I was put on a heavy anti-inflammatory, I got the biggest shot in my ass you've ever seen."
One of those big needles?
"Yeah, totally. But it was a dyke doctor who gave it to me, and she was kinda cool, so I was into it. And she was into it too, so it was cool. It was very funny." [Anthony Horan interview - November 2, 1994]
October 6, 1994
* On a day off from the tour, Tori gets with Michael Stipe to write the song It Might Hurt a Bit.
October 19, 1994
* Tori records the song Butterfly for John Singleton's film, Higher Learning. She also records a cover of REM's Losing My Religion for the film.
November 14 - 16, 1994
Tori goes to Los Angeles and records a duet with her friend Michael Stipe called It Might Hurt a Bit for the Don Juan DeMarco soundtrack. They are accompanied by Flea from Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Dave Navaro, formerly of Jane's Addiction. The song is not included on the soundtrack, and is never released.
See images from the recording session and read interviews with Tori & Michael Stipe.
* Tori talks about her relationship with her record label, and other things:
"Oh, they're not gonna bother me. Warner's got so many problems, they gotta deal with their own stuff. No, Warner doesn't bother me. You need to know a little secret. I really don't have to answer to any of those people... It's a situation I created, it's called "unacceptable." Piss off. You can't just write because somebody says do it. It has to happen, or it doesn't happen. You know, Max Hole, who's head of EastWest London, he understands that. I get along with him very well." [Anthony Horan interview - November 2, 1994]
"It feels like I've said 'Fuck you' to the entire American music industry," she muses, now seated in a decadent red limo, "and to all the people who said for seven years, 'This girl and her piano is never going to happen.' That's warm milk in the kitty.
"Now I've avoided the 'sophomore slump' (the 'difficult second album' syndrome, in Anglo biz-speak), I've been on the cover of Spin, I've had Number One records (most recently 'God', for six weeks on the American college charts) but I've got a career not based on hits, based on a body of work. I haven't compromised, I'm in a position to do things in music I thought about for years, and people still wanna hear it. Wouldn't you be stoked? Anyway, if it keeps me from The Marriott Hotel singing Send In The Clowns six times a night, I'll be just fine..." [New Musical Express - December 17, 1994]
"The new songs I'm writing," explains Tori, sipping cup after cup of odd-smelling tea backstage between gigs, "are about my making a choice that I wanted to live. Maybe that's why such a long relationship ended. Because if you stop having adventures, stop growing, stop exposing yourself, then I don't think you have anything to say. Or anything to write songs about, come to that...
"...Since then, I've been through a number of short, weird relationships, and I ended up crawling like a wimp. I shocked myself with my behaviour... For example, at one point I was willing to put aside everything to chase this one boy - that's how scary it got. He adored me until I was willing to say, 'OK! Where are you? I'm coming! I've got 18 hours, I can fly and see you for an hour and get back to do my show!' It's like I needed him in my blood... I was just ravenous! Then he kicked me in the face... Of course, when he kicked me in the face it was like, 'You are fuckin' TUNES, man! And let's hope they're hits, you motherfucker! And by the way, you don't get a piece of the publishing you cocksucker!' Heh heh heh...
"...Well, I'm irrational. And very emotional. Virtually all the guys I've slept with I've had pretty deep feelings for... OK, a few of them I thought 'Cute piece of ass' and just sucked 'em off, but if I don't have that level of trust, I can't let them inside of me. Whereas with guys it can just be a slam, a physical function." [New Musical Express - December 17, 1994]
Tori talks about the Under the Pink tour:
"[Things are] wondrous. It's like a total fucking love-in, and very passionate too. I mean, American audiences are very different from European audiences. Europeans are very quiet and reserved. It's funny, but sometimes they just kind of go, 'what's she going on about?' And yet the girls in America scream their heads off. They know exactly what I'm talking about. It's just a cultural thing. It's not like I'm saying the girls in Italy don't understand. They understand oppression of religion, the English understand suppression of emotions. Everybody understands from a different angle. Like New York is absolutely crazy, whereas Washington DC is very reserved. They're afraid to get into their kundalini, you know what I mean? Their root chakra, that whole passion centre. They're all about being politically correct...
"I'll tell you now that there has not been one woman from a band who's turned up at my gigs. Polly Harvey and Bjork are the only women I know in the music business. I know hundreds of men in bands. And not because they wanna get with me. There just ain't that kind of supportiveness among women in rock." [New Musical Express - December 17, 1994]
"In New York they're so alive. It's not about good or bad. It's about feelings. They just have to express. Some guy even tried to throw himself off the balcony in New York, to see if he could make it to the piano. I was singing Silent All these Years and I hear these screams from the balcony. I was doing this bit, "sometimes I hear my voice, I hear my voice", and this guy's going "waaaaaarg! aaaargh!" And I'm like, what's going on?! And somebody's screaming he's trying to kill himself. And I'm like, I don't know. Lights! Lights!" [Campaign - December 1994]
December 13, 1994
* The Under the Pink Tour ends in Perth, Australia, at the Concert Hall.
"[After the tour] I'm gonna go pass out. I'm gonna go to London, and then I'm gonna travel around, I really want to do some hiking." [Anthony Horan interview - November 2, 1994]
"My relationship finished during the end of the tour. I was writing in the soundchecks, in the bathroom and in the middle of the show. It's very strange when people break up because they don't want to be together anymore. You break open the champagne and say see you later. But it's different when you just can't be together. I think when you are with a soulmate it's not just somebody who you are hanging out with to blow time with. But you wake up one morning and you are making these gingerbread muffins for breakfast and you are dropping razor blades in them to just see how he reacts and you have to pull back and say hang on a minute. And that's really where the record stems from; it's being a woman alone and not being able to hide behind anybody else's personality. I steal fire from a lot of the men in my life and that makes it fairly difficult and bloody. I didn't allow myself to get angry and I needed to do that before I could kind of sit across the table and say 'OK baby, I'll make a margarita without using a lethal alcohol.'" [New Musical Express - December 16, 1995]
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the World of Tori Amos