songs | interviews | photos | tours | boots | press releases | timeline | stories

WHFS, Baltimore (US, radio)
WHFS, Baltimore/D.C. (99.1 FM)
April 10, 1998

telephone interview

5:15ish, in the P.M.

Johnny Riggs: Tori?

Tori Amos: How are you?

Johnny: I'm quite, quite well and you?

Tori: I'm pretty good.

Johnny: You're a little busy right now, though. You were just doing some photographs.

Tori: Yeah, I have a camera staring right into my face as we speak and five people looking at us. We're doing some, um, you know those fly-on-the-wall footage they do for god knows what?

Johnny: Yeah.

Tori: Well, it's happening right now.

Johnny: Oh, good.

Tori: So, they're all here. Say hi to all of them, Johnny.

Johnny: Hi!

Tori: (to others in the room) hey, Johnny says hi.

(some guy in the background says "Hi Johnny.")

Tori: Did you hear that Johnny?

Johnny: Yeah I did. That was nice of them.

Tori: Yeah.

Johnny: Well, I really need to start out saying that we're not going to give the information just instantly. 'Cause I know you have a way you want to do the tickets. But, uh, I, I think that I just want to talk to you for a couple of minutes first.

Tori: (laughs)

Johnny: So...

Tori: Well, what have you been doing with yourself?

Johnny: You know, I've been... ah, we don't want to talk about me.

Tori: Oh yes we do.

Johnny: Alright.

Tori: I'm so sick of talking about me, Johnny.

Johnny: (laughs)

Tori: Ugh! It's like...

Johnny: It's what you have to... you have to do that. We'll milk you. We'll milk you while you're famous. One day you won't be talking about yourself anymore.

Tori: Well, just sometimes you'll do anything to talk about anything. I mean, I'm gonna start questioning these guys where they get their tennis shoes. You know what I mean?

Johnny: I'm gonna have to tell you off the air what I've been doing. It's all top secret.

Tori: Okay.

Johnny: It's very exciting too. First I need to congratulate you. We haven't really even talked about it much on the air. And I know it's one of those private things. But, I just think if you could hold up your ring right now so we can all see that, that rock on your finger.

Tori: How do you know it's a rock?

Johnny: I've heard, I hear things.

Tori: Yeah...

Johnny: And just congratulations. No questions about it.

Tori: Okay. Good.

Johnny: That's it. So tonight you're going to be on Letterman, right?

Tori: Yeah.

Johnny: You did that yesterday?

Tori: Did that yesterday.

Johnny: Dave seems to really like you.

Tori: Dave is... Dave is very nice. It took me a while to understand that I think he's just shy - when he's not behind his desk. I think he's shy, but I think, you know, deep down inside he's a really sweet and sensitive person. But I swear to Christ, you know, when he's behind that desk, oh my god, this guy can be a baracuda.

Johnny: Yeah, but did you know that his birthday is this Sunday. My birthday, his, Claire Danes. All this big circle of Aries people.

Tori: Wow.

Johnny: I'm still looking for my gift from you. I think maybe you forgot.

Tori: (laughs)

Johnny: I don't know...

Tori: Well, what do you want?

Johnny: Anything.

Tori: What is this top secret thing you got going? Maybe I should get you something to support that.

Johnny: We'll talk about that, we will. Your new album comes out May 5th?

Tori: That's what they say.

Johnny: Cinco de Mayo. Recorded in a barn as I hear.

Tori: Yeah.

Johnny: And something a little rare for you, a full band. Pretty much all the time.

Tori: Pretty much all the time.

Johnny: Touring with them, yes?

Tori: Touring with them. They're wonderful people. Um, I cut every song except one live with the drummer and the programmer. So if you can imagine, I was in one room, one part of the barn with a television screen with his face on the screen. Then the control room is in between us. The control room is really like a spaceship. It's really, um, this... Outside it looks like an old barn. Inside it's sorta like a spaceship. And so the control rooms are in between the two recording rooms and then you get to the room the drummer was and that room is purple. And he had three of his drum kits there. And one is a kit from, uh, a Native American nation. And he would be just banging on things and I would be on his TV screen and we would be communicating with each other on screen.

Johnny: Good lord. Modern technology just gets sillier and cooler as it goes along.

Tori: Yeah, it really made a difference because obviously we can't be in the same room together. Um, I'm not playing any piano on the record, only live. I have to play it live or otherwise you wouldn't be able to know...

Johnny: You wouldn't be able to hear anything. Everything would be sucked into your piano.

Tori: Yeah.

Johnny: It would be horrible. You know, I do love your new album. I've heard the whole thing and I think it's wonderful. I think "she's addicted to nicotine patches" is the funniest line you've ever written. It's too good. And I don't know whether it's out yet, I've seen the new Rolling Stone and I don't know if the review is in it. But one of my best friends in the world is just doing a big lead on you for Rolling Stone. And he thinks it's your best album. So just in case you haven't read it yet, I think it should be positive.

Tori: Well, I'm trying to stay away from the reviews, Johnny. You know that one. (Pause) Well, you're gonna come to the show, right?

Johnny: If you put me on some sort of list.

Tori: Oh come on!

Johnny: I can't buy a ticket because we're going to explain... we should maybe do it now.

Tori: I think we should do it now.

Johnny: We're gonna do your special ticket plan.

Tori: Do you like this plan?

Johnny: I think it's cool... a couple of times I've read on this... there's this website that's basically known as the Dent and if anyone's paid attention to it, they probably would have figured out what to do this evening. 'Cause it's sort of worked basically them same in different cities and most of the time gone really smoothly.

Tori: That's what we're trying. I mean, we're trying to make it so that it;s not about the scalpers and it's not about the schmoozeheads in the music industry. And I've been quite ruthless about it because, um, it's really about the people who love the music and want to be there for the music. And it is a sneak preview, the band, we've just been rehearsing and I'm a little nervous. And we need an intimate setting, so that's why we picked the small clubs. And, uh, we really wanted the people that, you know, that care about the stuff to be there.

Johnny: Well, the 9:30 club is a beautiful place to see a show too.

Tori: Alright.

Johnny: Alright. Let's unvail it... all the secrets. Do you have all the secrets?

Tori: You tell them the secrets, Johnny.

Johnny: I just got your secrets right before this phone call.

Tori: Okay.

(JR gives all the pertinent info on tix: Valid photo ID, Cash only, etc.)

Johnny: Tickets, 27.50? Is this correct?

Tori: I have no idea Johnny.

Johnny: I don't...

Tori: I don't get into that. You know me, I avoid that one.

Johnny: The pricing?

Tori: Yeah, I don't get into that.

Johnny: Alright, so 9:30 club, 6 o' clock. Get down there. First come, first served.

Tori: Well, I can't wait to see you guys. And, uh, you know, Johnny I'm sure we can get you in.

Johnny: I think I'm gonna be there. I always love seeing you. You know, one of my favorite moments in life, I have to point out, is when you were here a few years ago and asked me what song I wanted to hear on the air and you just sat and played Pretty Good Year to me. Right, right as I sat beside you, just staring in your eyes. The most beautiful thing in the world.

Tori: Oh, Johnny. You're a heartbreaker. Now look, I gotta back.

Johnny: Get outta he-ah!

Tori: But, um, come find me and tell everyone to be safe getting there to the 9:30, you know.

Johnny: Yeah, don't fight, kids.

Tori: It's only a show and we're coming back in the summer. Okay Johnny...

Johnny: Thanks for calling.

Tori: Okay, bye bye.

Riggs plays "Raspberry Swirl" (one hell of a whirlwind of a song I must say.)

[transcribed by Nithya Rajendran]

t o r i p h o r i a
tori amos digital archive