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August 1, 1996

Ticketmaster Online live chat with Tori Amos

How are you doing Tori?

Tori Amos: I just finished a sound check in Columbus, Ohio. I was just told that tonight is the 120th show, so I guess I could use a protein drink right about now, but I don't drink protein drinks.

I wanted to know what happened to the turquoise ring and I wanted to know why she loves those small silver circle shaped earrings of hers :)

Tori Amos: The turquoise ring I gave to a friend, because it just represented too many memories and I gave it to somebody who really understood what it represented. And really wanted it, as girlfriends can. The silver earrings are from a jewelry maker by the name of Jacqueline Rabin. She is an African-American living in London, and she is very talked about. You can find her work in a place off Carnaby street called Jess James. Great jewelry store. all the pieces are in aquariums. without the water.

What are your plans after the tour is complete?

Tori Amos: Passing out

Hi Tori! Want to trade recipes?

Tori Amos: That's cute, but we want to know what recipes you've got before we're willing to trade.

Hey Tori! When I hear “Blood Roses” I think of the vampires in anne rice's books. Is it related in anyway? Have you read them?

Tori Amos: I've read different pieces, but I guess more accurately, there was a time a couple of years ago when I would look in the mirror and match the lipstick to the blood stains in the corners of my mouth. I guess I was driven to find boy blood at that time because I believed that they had a force that I could not align myself with or I didn't believe I had access to this force. Blood Roses was the first song written for Boys for Pele. It began the whole descent, shall we say.

What books do you find yourself reading? Any there any particular authors who have influenced you the most?

Tori Amos: You might find this strange, but I go to the bookstore maybe once every three or four weeks if I hear there's a good one in town, and I pick up quite a few books. I don't really know authors because I just go to the new authors table and just read the first page, if I like it I buy the book. I usually lose most of them in the city. I never lose my shoes, though. As far as authors go, Alice Walker. Right now I'm reading a lot of books on history and mythology. I'm reading this whole pictorial series on the civil war. Mostly I just study the pictures. A civil war scholar recommended them to me. I take them on the bus and drive everybody mad because my books take up all the space. I'd like to think that I'll have quite an extensive library when I get off the tour. I think Johnny [Witherspoon] would like me to lose them.

Hi Tori. What's the weirdest thing that's ever happened to you at a concert?

Tori Amos: Somebody at the Beacon theater in New York almost threw themselves off the balcony. There was some commotion up in the stands, someone started screaming “he's gonna jump”. The person got taken out.

This may seem silly, but do you have any pets? You seem comfy w/ animals, like the snakes, rats, and piglet... so I thought maybe....

Tori Amos: I seem to be comfortable with slugs. And thirty crewmen that I feed and take care of. Like all good pets they poop in the corners.

Tori, hello, What is the secret of your hidden energy? How are you able to perform so many shows spread all across the country with pure intensity?

Tori Amos: I have an amazing support team. Let's start with basics. I'd like to think that my crew is similar to the Williams crew in Formula One racing. When you have a good crew with incredible endurance and stamina, and they have to be a bit mad, in the British sense of the word. That's kind of the foundation of how I can do 200 shows in less than a year's time. Another part of the equation is that I become a lightning rod and tap into another source. I've been doing this since I was really little. I think I found that anything was better than hearing one more hymn sung to me. This was the way. Some would call it a little insane, others would call it being a musician. So I become a lightning rod. Yes, I own the copyright on this playing, but if blood roses ever decides to incarnate, I'm sure she'll be knocking on my door.

Who's the hand behind the gesture puppet that comes out of the window of the bus when you are leaving your shows?

Tori Amos: I cannot divulge to whom the hand belongs, but the gesture is called Mr. Puppethead and he's definitely an alter ego. His taste in things is quite questionable. He's getting his own song. He has a pair of handcuffs and a lip ring.

Is there any way you take care of your voice so that it doesn't give out on you?

Tori Amos: I sang clubs for thirteen years five or six nights a week. At 19 I had problems with my voice. I started with a new teacher and a new technique where I worked on placement of the tone. I had gotten nodes on my vocal chords and couldn't speak for weeks. That was kind of scary but it woke me up to the fact that it is no different than being a runner, you have to stretch. There are certain needs for everybody's voice. I can't scream, but I am developing a powerful chest voice, which I didn't have a few years ago. To be honest with you, I think my fire as a woman is helping me develop that. You heard a glimpse of that on Boys for Pele, and I think you will hear more on the next album. I do do a salt water solution before I go on stage. I always carry ginger with me. I'm back stage right now and I have ginger, lemon and maple syrup. Most people use honey, but it cause phlegm. When my throat gets scratchy Johnny makes me a drink where he soaks ginger in boiling water and squeezes in fresh lemon and then we put in the maple syrup.

What does the song “Toodles Mr. Jim” mean to you?

Tori Amos: Mr.Jim lives next door to me. When I was a little girl. He was one of my favorite people. I did punch his daughter in the nose and got in trouble from my father, of all people, Mr. Jim defended me. I was five and she was seven. When he passed on I wrote that song for him. I punched her because she was insulting my mother.

I have often read descriptions of a spiritual connection you develop with the “muses” who bring you to your music, but is there one song that stands out as your personal favorite?

Tori Amos: If I say one of them, the others are going to beat the you know-what-out of me.

Considering the progressive change in your music since Little Earthquakes where do you see your next album going in regards to personality? Are there “biscuits in the oven”??

Tori Amos: I'm thinking a lot about arrangements right now. I don't mean necessarily nursery arrangements for the “biscuits”...but when I think of instrumentation, I am beginning to kick around in my head a different approach to this album than to the other ones. I think I've really done the girl with a piano thing, so I think I need a new challenge now. If there's a way to use the piano without it being the center of attention, I'd like to do that. She doesn't feel shafted by that role.

Speaking of Pele, I picked up a lava rock for you in Hawaii last week. Can I send it to you?

Tori Amos: Oh, please. Send it to Susan Swan at Atlantic Records.

Do you still feel strongly about settling down and having a baby (as you felt during your last tour)?

Tori Amos: Who says you gotta settle down? But little person, yes. And who's asking, my manager?

How do you feel about the major emotional attachment your fans have for you?

Tori Amos: I wouldn't trade my audience with anybody else in the world, let's put it that way. I guess I could name you loads of musicians who have come to my shows and asked if they could rent my audience and I have always said to them, you'll have to ask the audience...

What brought you to the faeries?

Tori Amos: the faerie question is a loaded one because those that don't have a connection with believing in the spirit world find this a bit ridiculous. The Tuatha de Dannon (sp.) in Celtic mythology are the original faeries. They were a people that were driven underground. Underground being a metaphor for another

When people put faeries and unicorns together, they are not really understanding the origin of the unicorn. The unicorn is Christian,. The Christians were threatened by the virility of the horse. Male or female. In ancient Celtic Mythology quite a few of the faerie queens are connected with being able to shape shift into horses. Unicorns represented purity for the Christians but they could not handle or accept the sensuality that was a part of all the Celtic Goddesses.

So in a sense, Tinkerbell has done Celtic mythology a lot of damage and really lessened what it really means. When you go to Ireland and you talk to an Irish builder who watches football, Gaelic football, a hundred times rougher than American football, and you talk about faeries in a derogatory manner, I don't want to place bets on what your face will look like. Faerie is not Tinkerbell to them. All that is so deluded.

Tori Amos: Well, Johnny is singing you the Cheerios song, Mr. Puppet is waving with one hand, and if you're bored, we've about 70 shows left, you can come say hi to me.

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