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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]



* Tori records an album of covers called Strange Little Girls - twelve songs written by men. Tori brings out the female perspective in each song. Makeup genius Kevyn Aucoin transforms her into a different character to go along with each song.

"I was nursing Tash in Florida, and I was hearing a lot of male artists on alternative radio. And some of them really hated women. I thought about my daughter and what these guys were thinking about women. I wanted to build some kind of bridge, and I figured that was the only way to get into the heads of these men." [Blender - August 2001]

"I'll tell you about the guy Kevyn Aucoin did the make-up right, everybody's heard of him, he's the make-up artist who does the characters...he does everyone. But the thing is, to make the different characters, and ladies if you're listening, he was tying parts of my face. They have...I'm not supposed to tell this but um, a lot of the celebrities in photographs, they get their faces tied. They're pieces of tape with strings that you put under the chin and around the cheekbone and around the forehead and you give people a mini lift."

So you pull it back and tie it around the back.

"Around, and it goes under wigs, it goes under hair and a lot of people, um that you know, go do television, you don't even know..."

And they wear that when they're on TV?

"Well, if it's say it's a concert and it's for TV and they can hide it with wigs, they can really do a lot and it can change everything."

What a terrible thing if you then forget to take it off when you go out for a coffee afterwards.

"You don't forget to take it off. It's one of the most painful...oh yeah. Yeah well, it's torture. I mean think about it, your face is getting tied in knots, but the thing is, that's how the women were created to be different ethnicity or from different places, different stories." [Jonathan Ross radio show (UK) - December 8, 2001 ]

August 22, 2001

* Tori turns 38.

August 30, 2001

* Tori gives a preview show for her Strange Little Tour at Union Chapel in London.

September 11, 2001

"On September 11th, I was in Midtown New York only 2 or 3 kilometers far from the World Trade Center when IT happened. At that time, not only the Twin Towers have been torn apart, but also a whole country. Since then, the masks have been thrown off and people finally start questioning things again. Of course, there is a huge amount of patriotism, but this always happens when people are under attack. In America, there has been a movement out of hatred for a long time, and many think that the event of 11.9. now overshadows all the hatred that has been existing before. But this is the wrong approach. I am not talking about the "good old pure murder", but I am talking about the senseless hatred against homosexuals, blacks or women. Because when all those people now talk so loud against the Taliban, they are nothing but hypocrites. Because the truth is that anybody who exercises power, whether it is a partner, a government or a religion, only wishes that the others remain fools." [Action (Austria) - November 2001]

For years she lived in London. "I loved it - I used to play along with all the reggae, it influenced me a lot." She now has a house in Cornwall, though for the past three months she's been living on the road. That's quite a production number with a small child (who gets bored on long bus journeys, while aeroplanes have a bad effect on her ears) yet her tightly knit touring crew seem to make it work. "Home is where your love is and we travel as a family," she says simply.

She was in New York when the Twin Towers were hit.

"You can feel it in your stomach. You can walk down Fifth Avenue and smell it. Your senses are filled and the emotion is so raw you have no delusions. I do believe in non-violence... but I became a warrior mother. How can you be rational with the irrational? You want to see fury? Just wait till the soccer moms start marching. Once the body bags for the children are brought up it's game over. If you come after my cubs you give up your rights..." [London's Evening Standard - November 29, 2001]

September 18, 2001

* Strange Little Girls is released in the UK, and the next day in the US. It is an album of 12 songs written by men, and is Tori's last album for her contract with Atlantic Records.

* Tori's tenth appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman in New York City. She performs Time. [click for photos]

September 28, 2001

* Strange Little Tour begins in West Palm Beach, Florida, at Kravis Center. Tori brings her Bësendorfer on tour, of course, as well as a Fender Rhodes and a vintage Wurlitzer that Tori says once belonged to Country Joe and the Fish and was played at the original Woodstock. [tour details]

"To me, she [the Bösendorfer piano] is really the soul of the thing. She gives me courage when I don't have it. The hard part is that I'm always waiting for Tori Amos, the performer, to walk through the door. I mean, tonight she hasn't shown up yet. Sometimes I think, 'Y'know, it's five to nine, are you coming?' And I bought her some really cool shoes today. [laughs] I have to hope she comes. But when I'm ready to falter, I see that piano from the wings, and the piano looks at me, and winks, and says, 'The bitch wouldn't miss this for the world. Just trust.' And I say OK." [The Times (UK) - December 18, 2001]

* The Strange Little Tour isn't as long as Tori's previous tours. She brings her daughter, Natashya, along to see how she likes being on the road...

"Thing is, if she wants to play, she's more fun than almost anyone. You sit and read these baby books and you might be half asleep but it's a blast, because I've never really known this kind of love... Also, there's no time now to concentrate too much on yourself. You can't go over and over what you should've done in the show, because you're reading Babar and playing with the crocodile, and then you're in Manchester." [The Times (UK) - December 18, 2001]

October 25, 2001

"the fire is in me... now
the fire is in me now, girls..."

-tori amos, caught a lite sneeze
[Indianapolis - October 25, 2001]

November 2001

* Tori talks about living in Cornwall, England...

"I have one man, three homes and five pianos - that's not too excessive, is it? Cornwall is our main home but it's also where my husband, Mark, and i have our recording studio. I wanted to create a spot that was a little bit difficult for the outside world to get to me. I wanted a place that didn't have all the crazy anticipations that go with the music business - when I walk into the studios in LA, I can smell the fear. Often in LA, the studio's fear is greater than their faith - bless their cotton socks. But when I'm in Cornwall the record company never crosses me. There's a real positive energy force.

"We've lived in North Cornwall since 1997, and it's the place we're going to raise our one-year-old daughter, Natashya. I had three miscarriages before she was born, so she's very precious. As a musician you spend a lot of time travelling and living in hotels, so when we get a chance to breathe, we want to make our own food and sit on our own porch and just play house. I love being a hermit.

"Cornwall is a real heart space for Mark. He's very British. He loves the land and all the things that make Britain what it is, from local history to a good pint of bitter. He loves the fact that the Cornish still own the land. when he was a little boy, his family would drive down to the south coast and stay in bed and breakfasts. He has these fantastic memories of English summer holidays.

"Since 1994, Mark has been the sound engineer on all my albums. when we first met in a rehearsal room in North London, I thought, "This is big. This is an upheaval in my life." He's a Northern lad, quite anarchic, and a little bit shaggy, you know. When he proposed to me, he said, "I'm definitely not marrying you for a Green Card. I can't live in that place," so I've had to be the one who relocated.

"We have three houses. I'm restoring a Georgian house in Ireland, and we have a beach house in Florida, but Cornwall is our base. we live in a 300-year-old converted farmhouse a few miles from Bude. When we found it, Mark looked in my eyes and said "I'm at home here, I understand this place." I recognised that it was a power spot for him. It's not easy being married to a musician. If you're in a relationship where one person gets an unusual amount of attention, the other has to find a place where you can both take root. So I just figured we all had a much better chance in Cornwall.

"The other great piece of advice came from Peter Gabriel. After we worked together, he took me aside and said, "you have to get your own workshop. It's very important." So we set about converting our barn into a state-of-the-art recording studio. It's called Martian Studios, and when you see all the computers and monitors, you probably do feel as though you've walked into ground control at NASA.

"Being in Cornwall is like living on location. about a month before we start recording a new album, the crew arrive and it's a very creative time as everyone just gets the feel of the area. It's not like we play hooky or go off fishing - well, the chef goes fishing, which is great - but it's more about osmosis, getting to know the land.

"I'd like to think our presence is quite low-key. We don't do that over-the-top, 'L.A. comes to town' thing. Although it's quite funny when the record company flies in. The chopper has to land at the rugby club nearby, and everyone has a laugh about all the fuss. They know it's not something I'd usually engage in. And i suspect the local women are quite excited by the male crew who come to work on my albums. I was once invited in for sherry by a woman who asked, "So when are you bringing that tall, dark Dutchman round?"

"I think Cornwall connects with my Celtic and native American roots. I'm predominantly Cherokee Indian and Scots. As a family, we grew up in Cherokee nation land in North Carolina, and my grandfather taught me to have an instinctive relationship with the spirit of the land.

"Cornwall is so spiritual, too. It's Arthurian country, full of tales of chivalry and wizardry. Travel down the coast to Tintagel and, on the rocky headland known as the Island, you'll find Tintagel Castle, said to be the birthplace of King Arthur. Locals insist it's the true site of Camelot. The cave at the tip of the island is called Merlin's Cave, and Dozmary Pool, at the heart of Bodmin Moor, is where the king's sword, Excalibur, was received by the Lady of the Lake.

"I'm obsessed by the sea. For me, writing music is like jumping off a cliff and then deep-sea-diving among new coral reefs. I think women are like water, while men are much more like clay, like earth. Our house is surrounded by farmland, but when you walk out of the front door you can glimpse the sea at nearby Widemouth Bay. I have to know the sea is there. I filmed a video for my single, China, around the cove. I had a piano built out of rocks and i just slipped into the sea as the tide came in.

"The land in Cornwall is so vast and dramatic, it really does hold a space for you. You can dig in as deep as you like and keep on going. In return, you must respect the land and ask its permission to enter and leave. It will protect you but you need to leave little offerings and thankyou's to acknowledge its power. Walking over Bodmin Moor, I often leave presents, like a special flower, a necklace or tobacco. It's almost like the Persephone and Demeter myth - where you go into the dark underworld and then have to leave your most precious gift behind to win your freedom." [Woman's Journal (UK) - November 2001]

"I have a daughter, Natashya, who is 14 months old. I have no free time, only when I take a shower. It is hard to combine motherhood and a music career... [My ambition is] to find a good balance between motherhood and music." [Elle (Dutch) - March 2002]

* Tori Amos leaves Atlantic Records...

After more than a dozen years at Atlantic, Amos is negotiating a deal with Epic Records. "It was time to find a new energy with a new point of view," says Amos' manager, Arthur Spivak. "It's almost like a child leaving for college."

Spivak says that even though he and Amos feel the need for the change, it is a painful departure. "We leave with a lot of sadness," he admits. "Atlantic has been a wonderful partner, but when you stay with a label for a long period of time, people see you in only one way."

Atlantic Group co-chairman/co-CEO Val Azzoli says it was a mutual decision for Amos to depart. "Her contract expired, and both Tori and I thought that it was better to try something new," he says. "It was a very happy divorce; we had a nice long run. We're getting a greatest-hits [record] out of it still." [Billboard - November 24, 2001]

November 9, 2001

Tori Amos, the newly self-style 'warrior mom' has arrived in downtown Seattle late after last night's gig in Vancouver with several axes to grind. She's still wound up after an altercation with border guards. Natashya Lorien, the 16-month-old child who's transformed her life, was blissfully asleep in the back of the tour bus when the guys with uniforms and guns boarded... "I mean, she's got Big Bird back there with her and the last thing she's expecting is a misplaced napoleon complex," Tori says, green eyes blazing. "She's clearly not a threat but you do need to be worried, however, if you wake her up. Truly. It's like 118 decibels of wail. It got very difficult. I don't want to stop them doing their jobs and I don't take issue if they go through my bag, I've got nothing to hide. if you're armed and you're an enforcement officer then little ol' me isn't a problem... Make sure you're behind me and point a gun at my head, I'll show you the baby, and if I do something weird you can blow my head off and it'll all be OK, right?" [London's Evening Standard - November 29, 2001]

November 14, 2001

* Tori's tenth appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in Los Angeles. She performs Rattlesnakes. [click for photos]

November 20, 2001

* The American leg of the Strange Little Tour ends in San Diego, California, at Copley Symphony Hall. Tori does 2 shows that night, one at 7pm and another at 10pm, playing a total of 34 different songs.

"I would watch my grandfather and see how he would read people without making them feel undressed. You read a person like you read a map. It's an emotional map. And that's what you do with each city: Find the vortex, tap into it and work with the land itself," says Amos, who also takes in as much visual art as she can in every city she visits. "If you want to have a show that speaks to those people, then you can't presuppose what they are going to feel. Sometimes you go, 'Actually, they are really in a good space.' And sometimes you pull back and say, 'For whatever reason, people are passionate today. There is a fire here that needs to be expressed.' But I can't presuppose I know the climate -- the emotional climate -- until I find out what it is." [Vancouver Sun - November 8, 2001]

November 27, 2001

* The Strange Little Tour continues in Paris, France, at L'Olympia and wraps up on December 17 in Milan, Italy, at Teatro Orfeo.

* Tori talks to Jonathan Ross about her daughter, Natashya...

"She's learning to talk now, and um, her word of the week is minibar."

Well that's a good word!

"Well I don't know, she's been spending a little time with her dad while I've been busy the last, you know, 24 hours and I just realised she can say minibar! ... But do you know what's so good about the minibar? And maybe um, Hamley's is listening. The size of the bottles, that's what she loves, it's the coloured bottles and if you just put coloured water in it, even glitter or whatever, they love shaking it and holding that. It just fits right in their hand." [Jonathan Ross radio show (UK) - December 8, 2001 ]

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