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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] [2001] [2002-2003] [2004-2005] [2006-2008] [2009-2010] [2011-2013] [2014-2017] [2018-2023] [future & now]

1999 - 2000

January 1999

* Tori relaxes after the Plugged tour and plans her next release...

"I've been racing my boat lately. It's really small, fourteen feet. I'm trying to learn the skill of taking waves and weaving in and out of the water. I just love being out on the water and having all of these massive boats pass by and get me all wet. I did something a couple of days ago that was totally humbling. I went out into the big ocean in my tiny little boat because it was very calm. And it was such a good feeling. I'm a bit cynical about religious deities right now, but sometimes you go out to the ocean and it's really simple, 'Ocean... big.' In a sense, your faith gets restored because if a storm kicks up, then a storm kicks up. It's not personal. With religions, I was taught if you do x, y, and z and you confess and you pray and you ask to be absolved and you do all these things, then God will respond. And that's a lie. There's no guarantee that God will do anything. I'm really learning it's a free will planet and certain things are going to happen to certain people. No matter how loving you are or giving you are, you might face loss-tragically. And there's no 'get out of loss free' card, just because you go to church."

"Society gets set up in a way that there are the creative people and the noncreative people, but everybody has access to the creative force. You might express it in a way that's very different from how people think you should do it, but I really encourage people to find that voice. To me, everybody is like a fragment of the Divine. That's what I try to put out there, even though certain fragments of the Divine that I want to fucking shoot... [Laughs]"[Magical Blend - January 1999]

"I'm eating licorice right now, drinking green tea out of a Japanese cup sitting outside. I miss this part of touring. We would be taking the stage right now. I miss that relationship with the people that came to see and hear the music. But other than that, I'm feeling like I need to create at the piano."

"Touring is very external, recording and writing is internal and I have to keep going back and forth between both to keep the scales of Libra in some sort of balance for myself. It's really important I think that you have a balance of both because they feed each other. The energy that I get playing live propels me into a deep well, inside somewhere that I probably couldn't get to with out the shows..."

"We go into the studio the end of February and start putting the live part of the double box set together. The guys are gonna fly out and work with me and the tech crew I work with on putting part of the second CD together. It includes B-sides and some others you can't get anymore. There'll be songs that I kept, that I wasn't ready to finish. It's got a lot of different things on it, it'll be out Christmas 99. I haven't decided what to call it yet." [AOL chat - January 20, 1999]

* The project eventually changes to be a whole new album and a live album, packaged together and titled To Venus and Back.

"I didn't know which B-sides to choose. It was getting too random. It started to become neither fish nor flesh, and that's not good for a mermaid... ... What I didn't get before I got married is that marriage can come with trust, and lust can come out of trust. Of course that affects the new record, because I see passion differently... ... After the Plugged tour, I sort of walked into a fierce calm. I didn't need to be someone's daughter, wife, or mother - even though I am a daughter and a wife, and motherhood kind of just slipped through time and space for me. The record is just about being a woman and waking up every day... ... Most songs didn't come until the title was in place. My friend Natalie looked at me at one point and said, 'You know you would go to Venus, or that you've been there.' If you're gonna approach the Venus realm, seduction lives there, obsession lives there, trustworthy lust lives there, decadence lives there, control lives there." [USA Today - October 1, 1999]

Searching for a title earlier this year while sorting through the 120 concerts from which the live set was culled, Amos decided, "I have to go to 'somewhere and back.'"A friend suggested Venus, and once the collection was named, "all this music started to come from, it seemed, this sonic realm [of Venus]... I called [drummer] Matt [Chamberlain] and said, 'Before you get on the plane, just one thing. We're cutting 13 [tracks], not three.' And we had the same amount of time to do it in." [Los Angeles Times - September 23, 1999]

February 1999

* Tori's father-in-law dies.

"They [Mark and his dad] were so incredibly close that 1,000 Oceans seemed to be the only thing that could bring him out of his sadness. He'd come out and sit and say, 'Could you play that one, the ocean song?' It became about feeling close to people you can't reach, seeing this depth of love for this person who was gone." [The Charlotte Observer - September 17, 1999]

July 1, 1999

* Tori releases a 6-track pre-master CD to the press. It includes the songs Bliss, Juarez, Concertina, Glory of the 80s, Suede and 1000 Oceans.

August 12, 1999

* Tori's ninth appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman in New York City. She performs Bliss accompanied by her band (Steve Caton, Matt Chamberlain & Jon Evans). [click for photos]

August 18, 1999

* A double-headlining North American tour with Alanis Morissette - the 5½ Weeks Tour - starts in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida at NCR Arena. Tori and Alanis are photographed backstage at the August 21 show in Atlanta. The hat was given to Tori at the meet & greet earlier that day. [tour details]

August 22, 1999

* Tori turns 36.

September 1999

* To Venus and Back is released, debuting at number 12 on Billboard's Top Album Sales chart. This is Tori's first 2-disc album. Disc one is a new studio album, disc two is a live album made up of songs from the Plugged '98 tour.

"This is the fastest one [album]
we've ever done. Sometimes it just takes you longer to do something; you can't hear it or see it, and you're kind of half-present. But we were very tweaked, and we were very present, and this record was demanding us to be very present. She was so seductive none of us could sleep... none of us wanted to. It was like some Dyonisian frenzy. We didn't want to stop. It was a fierce calm." [Wall of Sound - September 1999]

* Tori talks about RAINN and the music business.

I was wondering what's going on with RAINN, how are things going with that?

"Well, right now, the good news and the bad news is there are a lot of calls coming in, that's the bad news. The good news is that it exists, RAINN is there. It's kinda shocking that as we get closer to what we think is maybe the next step to light-speed, that um, emotionally, whatever computers can do. For me, the horrifying thought is that we get so many letters and calls from a lot of young women, but some young men that are um, violated by a friend of the family, a perpetrator that has access in, a step-father, step-mother sometimes. Sometimes the mothers don't want to look, don't want to hear. And that, as we are able to talk to each other from here to bloody New Zealand in seconds, we still can't seem to work this one out, as a group of people. So that's kind of what's going on."

I was wondering if you've ever had producers try to change your music and how you dealt with that, if they did.

"Uh, yeah... Well, there are a couple things that you do. I think you... you learn, over the years, how to trust your instincts. And you don't really develop that until it's put to the test. And see, sometimes producers are changing the music because they've got a record company to answer to. And um, the cruel, hard truth is, if a producer doesn't deliver and pieces don't sell under his or her name, then they don't produce anymore. There is a um, you know, artists have to wake up from euphoria for ten seconds because, as much as I'm true to what I do, the reason I get away with what I get away with is because I don't um, owe Atlantic Records any money. And um, I know people don't like to talk about it, but for all those musicians out there, it can be incredibly frustrating when people's fear is greater than their faith. And usually they're trying to chase it. And sometimes you get people who trust, they really trust that if there's power in the music, that it will affect people. But you can kind of think you're um, passionate about what you're doing, and when you've got maybe ten people against you, you have to, that's when you're put to the test. And um, it's not great if you're wrong. So, you have to really think, spend time with the music and drive in your truck and um, it's always good to keep a pair of scissors in your back pocket." [WXPT, Minneapolis - September 16, 1999]

September 21, 1999

* Tori's ninth appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in Los Angeles. She performs 1000 Oceans accompanied by her band (Steve Caton, Matt Chamberlain & Jon Evans). [click for photos]

September 26, 1999

* 5½ Weeks Tour with Alanis Morissette ends in Los Angeles at Irvine Meadows Amphitheater. Tori and her band do 8 more shows from Dallas to Denver, then Tori performs a few solo shows at various Christmas benefits for radio stations. She finishes on December 11 at KROQ's Almost Acoustic Christmas show at The Pond in Anaheim, California.

"My life has become a fierce calm... ... I'm touring again heavily and that places a great demand on you physically but I'm kicking the idea of motherhood around in my head... I have a really good shrink but I find I don't need her as much. When I was working with her, it was like beading a necklace. One little bead at a time. The idea that you just have a couple of sessions and brush the dirt off your hands and say 'all right, that's taken care of' doesn't work. Sometimes I go to see her, just like a check-up at a regular doctor. It's good knowing there is someone you can talk to. She knows things other people don't know." [The Times (of London) - September 11, 1999]

"I'm enjoying playing with the guys immensely right now. We only have 8 shows, including tonight [in Dallas] so every minute is so precious. I don't know if it is for anybody else, but I already have tears in my eyes, because to be a part of other people that have so much passion is a real gift. Play for people that are open to hearing that and I mean as an artist, you dream and dream of that. So if you really begin to see that the gold is not in how many records you sell, the gold is that there was an exchange between musicians and the people that come to the shows." [AOL chat - September 29, 1999]

November 11, 1999

* Tori miscarries a third time.

"Those were my darkest days. There's just a grieving process that you have to go through. It's a tough journey because it's so intangible." She is visibly strained, searching for words, but she expresses herself honestly and bravely, another feature of her confessional songwriting. "It's all very thief-in-the-night. No one really knows what to say. You go into the emergency room, you think you're going to be a mum and you walk out empty. It's all neat and tidy, there's this potential being in your life and you're empty - all cleaned up and put back together, but completely shattered."

The first miscarriage inspired her 1998 album, From the Choirgirl Hotel. The second came when she didn't even know she was pregnant. The third was the final straw.

"November 11, 1999. I was in Paris, came to England on the train," she gulps softly and her eyes sparkle with tears. "I didn't know I was miscarrying, I was just scared to death that I was hemorrhaging. The nurse looked at me with tears in her eyes when the heartbeat wasn't there. The doctor was great, everyone was great in England..." She trails off... [Sunday Express (UK) - December 16, 2001]

"We went to my beach house in Florida, rented a speedboat and went out on the water every day, and it took our minds off things. We returned to Cornwall for Christmas and got festive, but it was a hard time. I'd had high hopes for my pregnancy. I gave away the Christmas presents I'd bought for the baby, so that I could let go of the memory." [She - December 2003]

January 2000

* Tori gets pregnant a fourth time.

"In mid-January, I started to get a bad stomach. When food was cooking it smelt awful to me and wine always smelt off. One night we had people over for dinner and I was convinced the wine was corked, even though it wasn't. I called my sister and she told me to get a pregnancy test. I bought four - and they were all positive. Mark and I were filled with joy, but my fear was, 'How am going to keep this creature alive?'" [She - December 2003]

"After the third miscarriage, I went through the grieving process again and said, 'I've had enough, I can't do it anymore.' You go to the edges of the living world to speak to any god or goddess to have a discussion and make a deal. Within eight weeks of the loss, I had a stomach flu. And Natashya became the stomach flu." [Diva - November 2001]

"After those miscarriages, I was depressed and decided, 'It is not on the cards for me to be a mom,' so I made a choice to not wait for some internal event to happen that was beyond my control...

"I'd lost the others within the first trimester. So when Mark and I went for that ultrasound, our hearts were in our shoes.. The radiologist was there, I had my feet in the stirrups, then it got quiet. And it was in that moment, before, I heard the tears of nurses. But this time what I heard was, 'Guys! Little dancing feet!' Then they turned the screen around and truly... tears of joy flowed from both of us." [Irish Independent - 2002]

April - May 2000

* Tori flies to D.C. to see a specialist.

"Three months into the pregnancy, we went back to the US to see the specialist in Washington again. I had an ultrasound scan. As Mark and I held hands, I saw the baby - there were two jumping, dancing legs. We were given the thumbs up. During the pregnancy I knew things would be different. I felt a sense of calm I'd never experienced before. I felt my baby's spirit and I knew she'd be strong.

"At first, I listened to everyone who thought they were a baby expert, but then sense set in. I was 36 and this was my fourth pregnancy. I decided not to read every pregnancy book from here to LA and back. My sister said, "Just welcome this. Your responsibility is to make sure that you're not putting either of you under too much stress." My sister is as tough as old boots, but she deals with women walking into her surgery and leaving knowing they have terminal cancer. She lives on a different side of warm and fuzzy.

"I wanted to be calm. I stopped taking calls that were stressful. I'd written a track, Carnival, for the soundtrack to Mission Impossible II and, when I was four months pregnant, I was asked to fly to LA to work on it. I told those involved I'd done the track to the best of my ability and that if they could use it, great, and if not, well, I'd done the best I could." (The song did make it onto the soundtrack.) [She - December 2003]

June 26, 2000

* The piano Tori played at Mr Smith's when she was a teenager is auctioned online in a benefit for RAINN. The high bidder pays $5,010.00 for the priceless piece of Tori history.

Read an article about the auction and see the piano.

July 7, 2000

* A very pregnant Tori Amos is photographed by Sam Jones (for the November 2000 issue of Vanity Fair magazine) at her home in Stuart, Florida.

"When I was eight months pregnant, the specialist discovered that I was indeed prone to blood clots - I had protein S and protein C deficiency, and that could be the reason why I'd miscarried in the past. This had never been spotted before, because the levels can vary and for every other test my levels had been fine at that time. I had to inject a drug, heparin, in my legs twice a day for the last two months, so I had bruises all down my thighs." [She - December 2003]

August 22, 2000

* Tori turns 37.

September 5, 2000

* After three miscarriages between 1996 and 1999, Tori gives birth to a baby girl, Natashya Lórien Hawley.

* Tori's management issues a press release:


Atlantic recording artist Tori Amos and her husband, recording engineer Mark Hawley, are pleased to announce the birth of their daughter. Born on September 5th [2000], the baby weighed 7-pounds, 1-ounce and measured 21 inches at birth. This is the first child for both Amos and Hawley, and all three are doing very well. Upon feeding her daughter for the first time, Tori noted that "an ounce of breast milk is even more potent than the finest tequila."

Tori is doing really well, her and Mark are really excited about their latest production!

"She's melted something in me. Oh God, she's... I really needed her in my life more than I knew." [Sunday Herald (UK) - September 2, 2001]

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