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WNEW, New York (US, radio)
February 5, 1996
Tori Amos interview and live performance
songs: Marianne, Muhammad My Friend, Never Seen Blue intro/Sugar
DJ: And welcome, it's 102.7 WNEW. We're in the Sky Lounge here. We have a fabulous studio audience and a wonderful guest. Welcome, Tori Amos, to WNEW. Everybody.
Tori: Hello. Thank you.
DJ: We're very pleased to have you here, and I know you've been doing a lot of stuff all over town today. You've been on TV and really working. You're # 2 on Billboard charts.
Tori: Yeah, but I visited the soup man.
DJ: Oh, that's more exciting.
Tori: It was so exciting.
Tori: I did everything they told me to do. Had the money ready, go to the left, go to the left, pick up your soup. I totally followed directions. He didn't yell at me.
DJ: Great, great. It's right around the corner from us here, so we're kinda used to him. So now Boys for Pele. I imagine everybody's asked you the same question - he is not the soccer player, Pele is a goddess. You want to explain a little bit?
Tori: Well he's a goddess. [laughs]
DJ: He's a goddess.
Tori: Um, no. I was in Hawaii during the Under the Pink tour and it was when my personal life had just become completely not good. And after my separation, I fled there. And I just felt this force from this fire from the volcano. And I've tried to get it through men all my life. Through men or through fame or through something. But a lot of times through men. I mean, I have these little fangs, you know, I have these little fangs, and sometimes they just wanted boy blood. So as I got to know the feeling of Pele I was going, "If I could feel one billionth of this feeling just, without having to have any outside force, um, that's what I really really want." So the men in my life, in truth, brought me to the volcano from what, in some cases, they didn't do.
DJ: So you exchanged boys for Pele, then, in a way.
Tori: In a way, yeah.
DJ: Well what would you like to play for us. Your first selection for us from this great new album.
Tori: Well, I have re, I'm taking requests today.
DJ: Oh, great.
Tori: This is like, old piano bar days.
DJ: Ok, request from the audience here. In our lounge at NEW. I heard call for Marianne.
[Tori performs Marianne]
DJ: Wow. Thoughts of Marianne. Miss Tori Amos on Atlantic Records. That was great. Did you read the biography of Marianne Faithfull at all?
Tori: No, I haven't. I'd like to read that, yeah.
DJ: Who's Marianne, can you tell us?
Tori: Marianne is based on a girl that I went to school with. I mean, actually, she's a lot of people, but there was a Maryanne that I knew; that they say killed herself. And the thing about when Maryanne passed was that um, when she looked in your eyes, you saw you better than you've ever seen yourself. Just the way she would look at you. Um, I never in my life saw a nasty thing come out of her. And she was the coolest, I mean, she was the coolest girl. But she never put that out so when she passed, you see, the thing that reflected the best part of you, had passed. And that was part of the grieving that happened with Maryanne, cause nobody could find a good piece of themselves for a very long time after Maryanne passed.
DJ: That's a very interesting explanation. Now, you said you're taking requests, so um, for sure? You want requests from our audience here?
Tori: They've given me some requests.
DJ: You got more? Ok.
guy in audience 1: Father Lucifer
guy in audience 2: Muhammad
guy in audience 3: Blood Roses
Tori: Alright, um...
DJ: What are we gonna have? We have Tori Amos live on NEW. Live studio audience. Contemplating your requests.
[Tori begins Muhammad My Friend, then stops after a few lines]
Tori: Oh, I'm sorry, I started in the wrong key. I never do that, hang on a minute... That's funny, isn't it? Ok, see, it happens to all of us.
[Tori performs Muhammad My Friend from the beginning]
DJ: That's Sweet Muhammad. Miss Tori Amos. I say Miss because you're of that stature, you know, certain people deserve that. You know, you say like, Miss Midler or, you know, Miss Streisand. So you're Miss Tori Amos, now. How do you like that?
Tori: Well, thank you very much.
DJ: I think you deserve that. Number 2, your beautiful music, beautiful voice, and lyrics that are a little obscure to most of us. Do you realise that?
Tori: I'm hearing that.
DJ: From people?
Tori: Yeah, people are saying that to me.
Tori: But um, really, I grew up kind of living in Alice in Wonderland. That made sense to me. I had a very religious upbringing and um, things were very stringent. I went to the Peabody Conservatory and things were very stringent. Everything was judgmental, everything was wrong. There was no room to just express. And um, if you didn't do it a certain way, then you weren't gonna make it as a concert pianist. And I never could have made it because um, I just couldn't imagine not having the kind of freedom to play it your own way and not be judged, the kind of judgment. So um, I would live in Alice in Wonderland, and sometimes the lyrics come from that metaphorical place.
DJ: Well that's cool. I think that as long as we all get the jist of each song, you can have your personal - the personal parts that we don't get are ok. You know? Let me ask you a little bit about the photos. You want to enlighten us a little bit? You know, everyone who has the cd knows that you have very kind of abstract photos in there. And are they all tied together, is there a general theme, or? Some of them, a couple of them, are the female empowerment, I got that part, but...
Tori: Well, we shot everything down in Louisiana, and because the record is really about um, claiming fragments of the feminine that I had been running from, the hidden sides. Um, kinda going into that unconscious place. Um, I wanted to bring out in the open certain elements that brought me to where I was in the way in my relationships with men. Me and a Gun is represented on the cover. Um, there is a dead cock and a live snake. The snake is transformation. It's about claiming everything that got me to the crossroads. Not wanting to continue this anger with men, but owning certain elements that got me there. When you turn the cover over, she's put the gun down. And picked up a pig.
DJ: Ah. Made a little peace there, too. I gotta ask you about one particular photo that's got us all stumped. The mattress and the bulls are in the background there and can you tell us anything about that one?
Tori: Well, that picture goes to Caught a Lite Sneeze. He was malaria. And it was a very difficult time jsut because um... at that time in my life, and as I was writing this song, it's about crawling to a phone that's not ringing. When you almost think that in your brain it's ringing, and it is not ringing.
DJ: Ok. Well thank you. Now what else would you like to play for us?
Tori: I'm gonna do something they asked me to do.
[Tori performs Blood Roses]
DJ: Thank you very much, Tori Amos, Blood Roses, Boys for Pele. Wonderful new album on Atlantic. Feel free to take some more requests and do us another one, if you like. Here at NEW.
guy in audience: A Case of You. Please.
Tori: Oh my goodness, oh my goodness, oh my goodness. Ok, let me think.
DJ: Ok, you think.
Tori: I haven't played that in so long, I'm afraid.
other guy in audience: Anything new, that's not on the album?
Tori: Um, um, um, um, um, um...
other guy in audience: A b-side that's not out yet?
Tori: okaaaay... I'll hurry up, I'm driving everybody crazy. Ok, ok, ok.
Tori: [starts playing] My B's stuck so I have to change keys, hang on.
[Tori performs one verse and the chorus of the previously unreleased b-side Never Seen Blue as an intro to Sugar]
DJ: Tori Amos on 102.7 WNEW. Thank you so very much. Thank you so much for coming here and performing for us. Are you going on a major tour now or what's the, what's going on?
Tori: We start February 23rd in Ipswitch, England. We arrive to the states, I think, April 8th. Yeah, April 8th. They know better than I do. They know my schedule. When we're doing 200 cities, so...
DJ: Great. So this will be one of them, we assume.
Tori: No, we're not coming to New York. [laughter]
DJ: No, ok. Well listen, next time you're here, please come back. Everybody just, you know, if you're listening on the radio, very intense performer. When you perform it's a bit, very magical to watch you. There are few people, you know, and you have that thing, so everybody check her out when she comes to town. Tori Amos, here on NEW. And would you like, we'd like to play one more selection from your CD. You wanna pick one?
Tori: Red Baron. The guys want Red Baron.
DJ: The Red Baron?
Tori: Yeah, it's Not the Red Baron.
DJ: Ok. It's Not the Red Baron. Ok, well listen. It's you, it's Tori Amos. Thank you very much for coming to NEW.
DJ: Come on back. It's Not the Red Baron.
[the CD recording of Not the Red Baron is played]
[transcribed by jason/yessaid]
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