BOYS FOR PELE - In Tori's Own Words...

Quotes About the Album

     "The record really talks about the thoughts I was hiding while I'd be sitting there eating my salmon with dill," she says. "I think
     that I was a little surprised at my views." 
                From "What is Tori Amos Talking About?", Ft. Lauderdale Herald, Friday, April 12, 1996, by Harold Cohen. 

     "I wrote this record because I was trying to fill the void any way I could," she says, tears in her eyes. "After nothing worked
     - men, food, incredible Chardonnay, shoes - there was no anchor to hold on to, the old ways didn't work any more. I realised
     I'd suppressed a lot of sides to myself to be loved and understood by men. I didn't want to play seductive little girl or
     ballbuster any more. With this record I played all those roles until I got to my heart. To find your fire as man or woman you
     have to take your torch and go to the shadows." 
                                               From "Pianosexual", Diva, February-March 1996, by Lucy O'Brien. 

     "I think the last album, Boys for Pele, was very much like that. That record was very much about trying to understand a
     serious break-up that I had with someone I had been with for a long time. I was trying to find parts and pieces of myself that
     I had never claimed. I'd been living through other people in my life, particularly the men in my life. So, it was a really tough
     record, very depressing, but in the end it gave me a lot of strength. It was a real tough journey -- one of those where you
     think you're going to bite your own arm off. And you just hope somebody is there to put a muzzle in your mouth. But nobody
     put a muzzle in my mouth and I made Boys for Pele." 
       From "One-Woman Choir: Tori Amos unravels a bit of her mystery", Rolling Stone Online (AOL), August 8, 1998, by Matt

     "In many ways, I'm just starting to understand this album. What it really means to my own personal growth. The songs are
     tools that our from my mind, and sometimes I might not even catch the personal meaning of what I am writing. The
     information's coming through and I'm recognizing it like, Oh yeah, I felt that way. Oh yeah, I actually do feel this way, oh
     yeah, but wait a minute, there are parts of this that I don't recognize.' So there's a mixture of knowing and not knowing. Some
     things reflect an experience I had six months ago, or that's just how I felt when this or that happened. But then you go, 'Wait
     a minute, this part right here, what's that? So there are layers to it again, and at the same time, it's really personal. We shot
     the cover for the album in Louisiana, Cajun country. I also recorded some there: gospel, choir, saxophone, a little bit more
     brass, and more with George [Porter Jr] and [Steve] Caton, just to finish up. We were there for three weeks total, shooting
     photos and recording. I sprained my ankle during shooting. It was hilarious. Hilarious as in I roll as a crocodile with your left
     wrist, and in your right hand you have brie cheese going, 'Hang on a minute. Delusions of grandeur. I'm OK, I mean I'm
     better than OK. My ankle's just like that of a 60 year old woman, but that's all right. I'm wearin' Nike's everywhere I go now.
     I'm hanging in there as far as my health the music is propelling me." 
                                                                              From Upside Down #7. 

     "What a difference 2 years makes. Last time I was... um... when I started recording this record, it was, uh, very interesting
     because, um, none of these record guys wanted to let a woman produce her own record; and they were very, very nervous
     about letting me do this. And, uh, they were much more nervous when they heard it. Heh.
     "But, um, what sort of happened was I turned in the record, and, um, I've never really had such a moment in my life - I mean,
     things were kind of better when I pooped in my pants. And, uh, I walked in and, um; you know, I'd sold millions of records for
     this company; and I walked in - I'd had some pizza, and a nice glass of wine and I was like, 'Well, I'll meet the new girls;' and
     I know it's a little dark, but you know, everybody needs a good bottle of wine and some depressing songs every once in a
     while. And so I walked in, and this is what I... met. [Tori, stone-faced, sits with her arms folded across her chest for twelve
     seconds; audience breaks into laughter.]
     "So, basically, what I said was - after this record went platinum - I said, 'Well, we didn't do it, because of anything you all
     did.' And, then, so I'm just saying that it was because of, um, you guys [motions toward the audience with her shoulder].
     Record companies, radio, had absolutely fuck-all to do with any of this whole year. And that's the truth." 
                                                          From the Boulder CO concert, November 11, 1996. 

     "I think I wanted to expand a bit as a musician [on Boys for Pele], as a player and arrangement-wise, so I do think that that's
     changing. On the tour, I'm hoping to have guest musicians show up at different times. I'm not bringing a band because, first
     of all, I don't think I could improvise. I only have ten days to get the live show together. We couldn't learn how to think like a
     band that's been together for a long time. Part of the live shows are very much based around improvisation, so I think you're
     going to see some people show up who maybe won't be there for the whole tour, but I hope to keep it interesting for
                                             From Modern Rock live, Sunday, February 5, 1996, by Tom Calderon. 

     Tori describes Boys for Pele as a "fast ride with pedals to the floor and a load of snacks in the backseat." 
                                               From "Pianosexual", Diva, February-March 1996, by Lucy O'Brien. 

     "It's a multi-layered work, and there are people that don't get that impression," Tori agrees. "But I think that's a reflection of
     them more than the work. I say: get a bottle of red and lie down... you know, the head gets in the way. My head wasn't in
     the way when I was crawling on my knees trying to find my womanhood. These are the things that I said when that phone
     wasn't ringing; these are the things I wanted to say to men - this was my innermost heart. And if it's 'You think I'm a queer' -
     well, I think you're a queer, I think you're a queer, I think _you're_ a queer!" 
                                                          From "Flaky Pastry", Keyboard Review, April 1996. 

     "We are not recording in analogue this time. We went digital, and I'm absolutely pleased with the outcome. Remember one
     thing, not everybody has the engineers that I've got to work with. I mean you can do it right, or screw it up. It's been such a
     discovery for me every day with what they come up with. I produced it, but the thing is, and let's be real fair here, I produced
     it, but to have my live front-of-house guys, Mark [Hawley] and Marcel [Van Limbeek] working on it too. I couldn't have
     done it without them. And they are going on tour with me again.
     "Anyway, this record goes into relationships, archetypes even, Lucifer, Jesus, etc., et al. Relationships with your brother's
     friends, relationships with your brother, your father, relationships with that boy you had a crush on the first time, even the first
     time relationship with the guy that you were seeing last night. It's the boy record. Boys for Pele. Some of it was a bit of an
     eye-opener for me, it came down to these men that have come into my life, the one's I've run into anyway. They made me
     see that I had to find my own passion, not steal theirs, and this is what this record is to me.
     "Boys is not a short album. I've had many different types of relationships with men in my life. A relationship does not mean
     sex. It can be any person you've ever known, friend, lover, brother, mother, but this album is mostly about the men I've come
     in contact with. So there are still songs negotiating for position. Some are gonna switch because as the mixes are going down,
     I'm pulling my hair out. I'm going, this is like Upside Down, how can I not have this on the album. It's the same scenario of
     everybody's humming this, wanting to hear this one, but if I don't have this one on, I'm gonna kick myself. One of those
                                                                              From Upside Down #7. 

     "Well, I was kind of claiming my womanhood on this record, so I felt like I couldn't look over my shoulder and say, 'What do
     you think?' I really enjoyed collaborating with some of the producers I've worked with, namely Eric Rosse whom I worked
     with exclusively on Under the Pink. I missed that in some ways, and in other ways, it was kind of like I did things that I have
     never done before just because I had a bunch of live guys, sound guys, there, and sound guys kinda looked at you... I could
     have suggested, 'I want to mike up 15 sherpas,' and they would just sit there and find a way to do it. That's the thing about
     techs. When I came up with an idea, they said, 'Let's find a way to do it,' instead of 'Does this make musical sense? Is this
     really what you want to do?' They wouldn't ask me that. I really needed at this time in my life to not have any logical
     comments (laughs)." 
                                             From Modern Rock live, Sunday, February 5, 1996, by Tom Calderon. 

     "I went to Hawaii when I was at my lowest. I was desperately trying to find passion. I had five minutes of wanting to push
     them [past lovers] over the edge; I think if we're all honest ... If anybody said they've never thought about just roasting their
     lover, they're a liar." 
       From "The book of Amos continued: Believer in past lives is making the most of this one." Toronto Sun, January 30, 1996,
                                                                                  by Jane Stevenson. 

     "On Little Earthquakes I dealt with the son, and on Under the Pink I dealt with the father so ... I've handled the men -- I'm
     gonna go deal with the women. Maybe some Mary Magdalene energy. But I really don't know what the next work means
     until I've written it. Whatever I do, it has to be challenging, because the one thing I always loved about The Beatles is that
     they were constantly changing and exploring, and no record was like the last one. That fascinated me." 
                   From "Tight Socks and Feminist Freedom", Illinois Entertainer magazine August, 1994, by John Everson 

     "To me this is a trilogy: Little Earthquakes, Under the Pink, and Boys for Pele it's a trilogy child. It could all go horribly
     wrong. I could pick up the sitar and make my sitar record and there you go. And write only about ketchup, fair enough,
                                                                              From Upside Down #7. 

     Some of us heard the name of the album and thought it was about football....
     "Well, there are moments when it is about football, of course! [laughs] "But Pele is a volcano goddess, quite a strong force in
     Hawaii. She just became a symbol for me, when I was crawling on my knees trying to find my fire, my passion, as everything
     fell apart because of my separation [from Eric Rosse]." 
                                                          From "Flaky Pastry", Keyboard Review, April 1996. 

     "Well, an emotional work like this is inspired from an emotional place; it's about stealing fire from the men in my life. I guess I
     didn't realize how much confidence I have in certain areas of my life, and so little in other areas. It seemed as though
     everywhere I turned it was to male mentors or emotional involvements. I became a vampire needing to feed, needing their
     energy and I didn't know how to access it. When I was on stage I could, but when I walked off that stage I began to see that
     the woman was completely divided and segregated from the work." 
                                                       From "One On One With Lisa Robinson", IGuide, 1996. 

     "These songs are not about make-ups or break-ups. And they're not concerned about who is sleeping with whom. These
     songs are about the realisation that you and the person you're with are talking different languages. They're about recognising
     that an extreme kind of viciousness is being played out even as you exchange honeysuckle. They're about the hidden things
     that go on in a woman's heart - the things that are expressed and the things that have to remain hidden. They're about the
     breaking down of the patriarchy within relationships and the idea of women claiming their own power." 

     "Pele is a volcano goddess in Hawaii, and I fled to Hawaii in the middle of the Under the Pink tour for five days when I was
     at my lowest, and I couldn't feel any fire within myself. I couldn't feel anything. I came to the north shore in Hawaii, and a
     friend of mine - we'll call her a medicine woman, a very wise woman - was there. And I felt after the San Francisco, or
     around those dates, I couldn't feel a sense of when I wasn't behind that piano or with a man in my life. I couldn't find out who
     the woman was. Some of you may ask me, 'Why did you go to the men in your life?' and the truth is I felt they had an energy
     force, to a flame, that I couldn't find. When I went to the north shore and I just spent time walking up and down that beach
     with this medicine woman, I just began to feel the presence of Pele all over the island, even though I know she's not on that
     island. I just felt this deep little flame start to happen." 

     "This record is metaphorical in that there are places within each song where it becomes clear, I think, what the emotion is
     that's being claimed. It's all about the intimacies of womanhood." 

     "This record is truly a story about a woman who descends, who finds fragments in the unconscious to bring back into the
     light. But I was forced to do this... You're on your knees, and you make a choice." 

     Interviewer: But why specifically Boys for Pele? Is it some kind of human sacrifice you have in mind?
     "Well, it crossed my mind (laughs), for a moment. But it does have that element to it, because when you're working through
     something, you might be, ahem (pauses), a little pissed off sometimes. And I do have a wicked sense of humour. However,
     it's really about the gift that the men in my life gave me by what they did or didn't do."
     I: Is it an allusion to Eric Rosse?
     "He's one of them. He was a dear soul mate, a wonderful being. And when we separated, I tried to fill this void with other
     male energies that drugged me even further into, shall we say, realms of defecation."
     I: (Defecation? Gulp.) Someone in fact described this third album of yours as your Joni Mitchells' Blue.
     "Well it was a very emotional album. Y'know, it was about finding my own fire, not through the men in my life, but finding my
     worth as a woman on my own."
     I: Is that why you wanted to self-produce the album and not have anyone look over your shoulder?
     "Yes. It's very much like when you know you have to try things you've never done before. But that doesn't mean the things
     you've done before weren't right for that time. And I needed to do things without having to turn around and go : 'Well, what
     do you think?', because even if somebody else's opinions are exciting, you never really go after your own vision. Besides, I
     have collaborated so much with so many people that, for once, I really needed to just let myself kind of potter around."
     I: I have to say it's a rather painful album to hear.
     "Well, I do suggest a really good bottle of red. Then as you're hearing some of the pain, you can hear the giggle and the deep
     love for these men. Of course, you sometimes hear the (enunciates slowly) *deeply-pissed-offness*. But, not just with them.
     A lot of times it's just pissed off at me, that I can't pick myself up off the floor and like scram."
     I: Are you still talking to Eric? "I'm really trying to keep that private. I think the songs say a lot. I have so much respect for
     him. And for the other men who taught me lessons, even though they were hard lessons. It's a tricky thing when you want
     something from another person, and they want different things from you. And you just can't be together." 
                                                 From an interview With Tori From Singapore, January 23, 1996. 

     "I was separated from my soul mate. Just feeling that shock when half of you walks out - the songs just started coming to

     "It's a record where a lot of thought got exchanged, stolen, thrown back in your face. I wouldn't really call it a party record. It
     might have a lot of fun on it, but it's definitely got a lot of that vampire feeding energy, domination of each other, and you've
     got to descend with it before you can ascend. I think you can enjoy it without having to figure out every word, but unless you
     know that that's the thread... you know, this is not a vegetarian record. It's medium rare. And some people don't eat meat.
     "When I sing, especially with this album, it's uncensored. A lot of the songs were finished in the recording. I had bits of paper
     hanging up so I could remember the words and I was just going after them, in that moment.
     "I hoped this record would be in the present tense, so when you're listening to it, I'm not singing about something that
     happened in the past. It's happening in that moment, the revelation of things as they're coming. The argument as it's
     happening. The desire to drag him and just destroy him as it's happening. Not 'let me write a song about what it would be like
     to destroy...' Wrong! "It's about the feminine side, whether you're male or female. If you're really open to the emotional bond,
     then you can go travelling there. If you've crawled, and you allow yourself to remember that you've crawled, or that you
     watched your lover crawl... You know, men in hetero relationships rarely know what happens when they put down that
     phone and say 'Look, now's not a good time'. No, now is the time. How many times have you gone on trying to keep things
     on an even keel instead of saying, 'Wrong, I'm doing something to you: I'm poisoning your muffins'?" 
                                                          From "Flaky Pastry", Keyboard Review, April 1996. 

     "There is to me, more like novel form on this, chapter to chapter. It is a story. She does descend, she goes to visit Lucifer,
     she finds the Black Widow, she finds Mr Zebra and some of the other characters that she takes along with her. It's very
     'Alice in Wonderland', in a sense." 

     "The men in my life at the time... inspired me to go to the hidden parts of the feminine. Well women are not the only beings
     that have hidden parts of the feminine. The Feminine - throwing a little Eastern, you know, 'talk' around - the Yin, that very
     important side of the whole that hasn't really been passed down. More in this century than before, I think more in the last
     couple decades. The sixties really opened that up a lot. And it's about all of us going to the places underneath the heart,
     behind the heart, in the unconscious, where we give our Fire away. We think somebody else has access to 'power' or
     freedom or life force, and we don't have that except through them or if we know somebody or we get invited to this party. I
     find so many people kind of talking to me about, when they get fame, just 'when I get this everything's gonna be alright.
     When I just get this or when I just get her, it's just gonna be alright, everything'll be fine.' And the funny thing is, you get
     fame, you get a few of these things and unless you have access to the underside of the heart, which we all do, and yours is
     unique to you, mine's unique to me and I can't give you yours and you can't give me mine. Kinda just that freedom to express.
     So it's not about women, it's about the Feminine, which you [men] have just as much as I do." 

     [How Eric and her breakup with him has affected her writing]: "It's affected everything I've written. He's given me some
     amazing gifts and amazing ways to look at life. And I'm trying to carry them with me." 
                                       From All These Years, the authorised Tori Amos biography, by Kalen Rogers. 

     [said by Mark Hawley]: "In order to separate the vocal signal from the piano and harpsichord mics, we built a wooden
     construction, acoustically tiled on the inside, which encased the two keyboards. The instruments could then be miked in the
     hall while she sang in an entirely separate acoustic space.
     "Her vocal sound is exact and we were able to capture it without compromising the keyboards, which were recorded with full
     ambience in the church. On the piano we had just two U87s as a stereo cardioid pair, while two KM184s were configured as
     closely as possible to an ORTF pair.
     "Then we used an A-B pair of KM130s about two feet away from the piano, which was recorded with the lid off to provide
     a more ambient signal. We were recording in the main church hall, with a beautiful acoustic and a very gentle reverb, so we
     added a couple of KM130s at the back of the hall just to pick up the reverb trail. The results are amazing."
     [Technical notes from Richard Handal: ORTF is a mic positioning where the capsules are placed 17 cm (approx. 7") apart at
     a 110 degree angle. "A-B" is another pattern of microphone positioning. Cardioid is a loose, unidirectional pattern describing
     the "live" areas from which a mic picks up its sound.] 
                                           From Pro Sound News (European edition), October, 1995, by Phil Ward. 

     [Steve Caton]: "What's interesting is on [Boys for Pele], the guys, Mark and Marcel, I'd never met them and they'd almost
     recorded the whole record before I got there. I like being one of the last people unless I'm doing rhythm tracks with the band.
     I can tell what's going on with the song, that's the way I really create. I don't play guitar in a real traditional way, I'm more of
     an arranger. They said that she stood over everybody who came in like a hawk. And when I played, she was gone. She
     always would come and listen when I had done, and if she didn't want it I would do something else. Tori gives me spectrum.
     She plays a lot of very unorthodox chord voices and things. You have to be very picky with your choices and what you do,
     and you certainly can't be busy. That's the real challenge. Technically what I do with Tori isn't about technique. What I do
     with her is about making sensible choices for what she's doing, otherwise it's a mess." 
                        From "Interview with Caton", Really Deep Thoughts fanzine, #11, April 1998, by Melissa Caldwell. 

     "I had separated them from birth: the girl from the musician. For the most part, Pele is about my response. The women really
     held the space for me to dive into on this one. My women friends knew that only I could go after this. They would be
     dragging me back by my hair, going, 'Hello? Are you aware of what you just did to yourself?' And I'm sitting here with veins
     ripped open, licking a little blood from my chin, going, 'No!'" 
            From "Voices in the air: spirit tripping with Tori Amos", Musician Magazine, May 1996, by Robert L. Doerschuk. 

     "Earthquakes was my diary, Under The Pink an impressionistic painting. This record is a novel." 
                                               From "Pianosexual", Diva, February-March 1996, by Lucy O'Brien. 

Beauty Queen/Horses

      "The record starts off with the horses from Winter taking us and we ride. Going into
      that program of the beauty queen. She's a beauty queen, and that's not enough because
      it never is. The idea that beauty is our answer when we are four years old, 'oh, isn't she
      pretty...' that's the first thing that you hear. So it's going after those programs of the
      feminine, going after them, going after them." 
        From "A bottle of red: Tori Amos", B-Side Magazine, May-June 1996, by Sandra A.

      "Sometimes, it's like, 'No, I want a Leslie. Where are we gonna put it?' The techs go,
      'We're gonna put it in the graveyard cos there's no place else.' Does it matter that it's
      raining and the wind is blowing 50 m.p.h.? No! We get blankets. We put the
      anointments under the blankets. They put the Leslie out in the graveyard and we roll
      tape, and that's what's on Horses. So it just became, 'Let's try it. Let's do it.' No kind of,
      'What do you think?' We would just try things and do it." 
                  From Modern Rock live, Sunday, February 5, 1996, by Tom Calderon. 

      "The record begins with the horses from Winter coming back to take me on this journey
      and we ride and go find the demons." 

      "It's as if the horses have come to take us back, to descend, to find the dark side. By
      dark I mean what's hidden, not necessarily satanic." 

      "Beauty Queen and Horses came in one take. It was all done as you hear it live with
      the pedal of the Leslie." 

      When you hear Beauty Queen, you are hearing this girl in that ment: She's standing in
      that bathroom, watching those girls put on that lipstick. I don't want us to be talking to
      her 15 minutes later about what she realized in that bathroom. I want her to go back to
      that moment in the bathroom: It's white. It's that funny fluorescent light. It's that tile,
      with the green crud in between. It's those old toilets with the beautiful handles. You can
      hear the sound of the water dripping. Time doesn't exist in that moment. I wanted you
      to feel that kind of swimming, where you're almost coming back from 15 feet under
      water, and you're coming up, and you're almost up. That's what it's like in that
      bathroom, when you're looking and you're realizing what's really going on at your table.
      That's what I want to catch. This is not a confident girl. You are not at acceptance
      level. You are in her brain, getting triggered. The little windshield wipers are going, and
      you're starting too see it from the other side.
      You want to bring that moment...
      "... always onto the tape. Every time you hear it, that girl is in the bathroom, putting on
      that lipstick. Every time." 
          From "Voices in the air: spirit tripping with Tori Amos", Musician Magazine, May
                                               1996, by Robert L. Doerschuk. 

      "A lot of the old songs are being reworked. The band has tackled Horses and Waitress
      much differently. It's exciting to see the songs take a different shape... some of them
      don't want to go into the new territory, though, like Winter and Hey Jupiter. You can't
      just put a drum on something for the sake of it. Horses on the album was just the piano
      going through a Leslie cabinet. Now it has a really different read, but it can hold it." 
         From "Amos behavin' Grab the piano stool. Tori strikes up the band", Tulsa World,
                                          October 4, 1998, by Thomas Conner. 

Blood Roses

      "Actually, Blood Roses was written to be the first song on Pele. I didn't
      finish it until I walked in to record it.
      Is there something about this song that's harder to get to where you
      want it?
      Oh, yeah. Zebra gets invited to all the parties. "Blood Roses doesn't get
      invited out a lot. She's all right about that. She's very aware of a thing that
      I haven't dealt with: faithful anger. Anger expressed faithfully. I think
      she's come to visit me to explore that side that I've blocked away.
      There's a real stigma that gets put out on a woman's anger. You become
      a madwoman, instead of, 'I'm very loose about this moment, and you have
      just really pissed me off.' I'm trying to use compassion - passion coming
      into its fullest - so that I can explore these 'dark sides' of Woman: the
      anger, that power, the destruction, the manipulation, the parts that lead to
      a label of 'hysterical' for women, to bring them into balance, the balance
      of destruction and creation." 
            From "Voices in the air: spirit tripping with Tori Amos", Musician
                        Magazine, May 1996, by Robert L. Doerschuk. 

      "Tori describes the song as 'Baroque gone askew', to capture the
      disillusionment of the loss of romance." 
                                From Making Music, January 1996. 

      "And the songs started coming. Blood Roses was the first, and it was that
      feeling of ripping open your vein and going, 'This blood has sold millions of
      records. This blood can do many things.' And [the men are] like, 'Yes,
      Tori, and this blood isn't enough for us.'" 
                           From The Baltimore Sun, January 21, 1996. 

      "Once you write a song like Blood Roses ... which is really about me
      finally being aware that I'm choosing to be defecated on, this sort of
      [other] person [comes] out, the black widow who would systematically
      drag somebody's balls to Antarctica." 
         From "What is Tori Amos Talking About?", Ft. Lauderdale Herald,
                             Friday, April 12, 1996, by Harold Cohen. 

      "She's very aware of a thing that I haven't dealt with: faithful anger.
      Anger expressed faithfully." 

      "But they come in and out, these fragments. Like, I couldn't record Blood
      Roses for days. Technically, I could play it. But she had not come. A lot
      of times, it's what's happening around me, for me to get to that stage. It's
      who I run into, the phone call that comes. Then it's like [snaps fingers].
      That's why we live here, on location, because it's like, 'She's here. Let's
            From "Voices in the air: spirit tripping with Tori Amos", Musician
                        Magazine, May 1996, by Robert L. Doerschuk. 

      "We couldn't go to Blood Roses, who we needed to go to first, because
      she's the one that is crawling on her knees, and has given it all away just
      to be accepted. And has gotten defecated on to the point where she's in
      the middle of the stench going, 'How could I have let myself be so
      degraded, how could I have degraded myself by letting certain events
      happen. But we had to go to her, we had to travel. And it was very
      important that Beauty Queen/Horses took us there." 

      No I'm actually just trying to explain what I was smelling when I was
      getting defecated on, and instead of writing a song that says, 'well here I
      am, dum-di-di-dee, getting defecated on, dum-di-di-dee, doesn't smell
      sweet, dum-di-di-dee, I think I'll go wee' - you know? Cute, but there's no
      romance in there." 
                     From "Flaky Pastry", Keyboard Review, April 1996. 

      "I don't feel like the jokes and the pain are on the inside, it's so worn on
      the sleeve. Sometimes, it being a metaphorical work, you have to get your
      head out of it. But you know, when she says, 'I think you're a queer... (to)
      God knows I've thrown away those graces'... it's very clear that the war
      has begun. You've just walked into the record and the war has begun.
      The blades are out. And she's become a piece of meat in her mind, she's
      willing to cut out her voice, she's willing to 'cut out the flute from the
      throat of the loon, at least when he cry now he can't even hear you.' It
      doesn't matter who the people are, you know, and if you resonate with
      letting yourself go that far to be needed or to keep something going, well,
      do you need another pound of flesh? What do you need, what more do
      you want? And that's the point when I say, 'he likes killing you after
      you're dead.' So from the beginning of the record on it's really obvious
      that you're walking into not what is going on on top of the table, the
      conversation with the rose at the dinner of the couple, but what's really
      going on in the couple. Sometimes the man changes, but it's her story. It's
      her, who she pulls in to work this out with, and the men that defecate, the
      men who can't be enough, the men who aren't ready to embrace
      themselves so no matter how much you like them you can't go there
      because ...[they're not yet whole]" 
        From "A bottle of red: Tori Amos", B-Side Magazine, May-June 1996,
                                           by Sandra A. Garcia. 

      "Yet so many of these girls will come to me with tears in their eyes and
      scratches all over their wrists from self-mutilation, and I'll say, 'I actually
      do understand the obsession to be difficult.' I mean, I was in absolute
      horror that I allowed myself to be raped. Blood Roses is the
      on-the-knees version of that, the ripped-open veins and the blood dripping,
      going, 'Why is this my fault now?' Just trying to negotiate on any level --
      "Mr. St. John, just bring your son" [from Caught a Lite Sneeze]." 
            From "Voices in the air: spirit tripping with Tori Amos", Musician
                        Magazine, May 1996, by Robert L. Doerschuk. 

      Audience member yells "I wanna marry you", to which Tori replies, "You
      know you don't wanna do that. No you don't [shakes head and does a
      no-no wave with her finger], just listen to these words [of Blood Roses]
      sweetheart; you don't want to go there." 
                      From the Columbus Ohio concert, August 1, 1996. 

Father Lucifer

      "Father Lucifer is about needing to go to the space of shadow, to go
      where we hide. Not Satanism. A whole different plane." 

      "I've been taking tea with Lucifer. I mean I've truly spent time with
      Lucifer, the energy of Lucifer. So when I sing, 'Father Lucifer, you never
      looked so sane,' I truly went to those places. I'm talking about the shadow
      side, the secrets of the unconscious. It's about claiming in ourselves what
      we hate in other people." 

      Father Lucifer is really about going to have a cup of tea with Lucifer,
      which I had to do. Now, when I say Lucifer, I'm talking about the feelings
      that we hide from ourselves [not something that's twisted and evil, like
      during the Inquisition when they used Christianity to torture people. That's
      Satanism.] I had to go in this record when I was trying to find parts of
      myself that I had not let scream and dance and have a tear. I went to go
      visit Lucifer to get my talisman, which means my little magic key that took
      me to the places that I hadn't let myself go. That's really about having a
      little tango, a little dance, with Lucifer. The idea that Dark is not a scary
      thing if you go in there understanding there is a purity in Darkness. There's
      also a lot of distortion in Darkness. It's a choice where you want to go, and
      I wanted to get to the truth, not to the drama and to keeping me from the
         From Modern Rock live, Sunday, February 5, 1996, by Tom Calderon. 

      "To visit Father Lucifer, to have a moment to dance... to go down in the
      dark, to visit with the dude! Not these little 'Prince of Darkness'
      wannabes... some of them are cute, but to visit the real energy force that
      has held the darkness: you go there with honor. And that takes a very big
      heart to hold the place of shadow. When I went to Lucifer I learned many
      things. But that whole thing of, 'he didn't see me watching from the
      aeroplane, he wiped a tear and threw away our appleseed'... there's so
      much religious reference and metaphor coming back full circle from the
      myths. A part of her loved Lucifer, a part of her tried to find him in so
      many men that couldn't carry his energy... And I am not talking about
      Satanism... that's the distortion of those who can't really claim the dark so
      they become evil because they are not really claiming their shadow. So we
      claim our shadow, then we go and meet the Widow. Then we pick up
      pieces as we go." 
       From "A bottle of red: Tori Amos", B-Side Magazine, May-June 1996, by
                                               Sandra A. Garcia. 

      Father Lucifer didn't have drums on it originally, but now that Matt
      [Chamberlin]'s on it, we had to move the arrangement around. It's like a
      Rubik's Cube; if you move one thing, you've got to move another." 
      From "Amos behavin' Grab the piano stool. Tori strikes up the band", Tulsa
                            World, October 4, 1998, by Thomas Conner.

Professional Widow

      "That's my cornerstone song, my Lady Macbeth. It's my desire to be king, to
      have what the big boys have, and giving up my femininity and vulnerability to
      taste it." 
            From "Pianosexual", Diva, February-March 1996, by Lucy O'Brien. 

      Did any of these songs frighten you as you wrote them?
      "Professional Widow. Blood Roses." 
      From "Voices in the air: spirit tripping with Tori Amos", Musician Magazine,
                                   May 1996, by Robert L. Doerschuk. 

      "I wrote it about my own experience. I got all that nastiness out. The truth is,
      if there's a part of you, of Polly [Jean Harvey], of Bjork, or of Courtney
      Love, which is the black widow, then you will relate to the song. If people
      don't feel that way, they won't resonate with it." 
                From an interview with Tori from Singapore, January 23, 1996. 

      "That's my Lady Macbeth, the side of me that wanted power. But power in a
      man's world. I wanted to be Indiana Jones, not the girlfriend (laughs). But
      as I began to do that I started to alienate many men. Widow is my hunger for
      the energy I felt some of the men in my life possessed: the ability to be king.
      I wasn't content just being a muse. I was the creative force. I was in
      relationships with different men where if they could honour that, they couldn't
      honour the woman, and if they could honour the woman, they couldn't honour
      the creative force." 

      "Professional Widow is the Lady Macbeth archetype. There are many
      ways to play Lady Macbeth. It can be done in a Jackie O suit. Believe me,
      I... I like to think that I was clever about it. I don't think I really was. But I'd
      like to think I disguised it." 

      "I was going, 'Oh, I wanna see him crawl.' And letting that be there. Wearing
      a really cute fuzzy pink shoe. And having no limitation of exploring certain
      facets of the personality. And being shocked and horrified about
      Professional Widow, and then loving her - just loving the fact that she's
      convincing him to kill himself, guaranteeing that Mother Mary will supply.
      And I said, you really can't get any lower than that. I love the fact that she
      said, 'This is how far I've gone - this is where I am at this moment. Are you
      willing to see that part of yourself? The part that wants his energy, that
      wants his fame, that wants his light - not recognizing your own.' It gets to the
      point where you don't even have to push him over the edge - you're just
      reading him poetry, and that's enough to make him want to kill himself." 

      "Okay, so, I..I...aghh, I promised this girl I'd give this a go [performing the
      Merry Widow version of Professional Widow live on harmonium organ], so
      I don't know what's going to happen here, but we're going to ...I've only tried
      this one more other time in my life, and I gave myself a brain aneurism, so
      I'm not sure's okay...I'll get some seafood later..okay..let me just
        From the Boston MA concert, May 21, 1996. Quote can be found on the Hey
                                                    Jupiter single. 

      "Frankie, you've waited three nights for this..." [on being asked to perform
      Professional Widow three nights running from a loud fan in New York]. 
                          From the New York City concert, May 15, 1996. 

      "As I got to know Widow, I began to really adore her candor. She was so cut
      off from so many other parts of being, but here she is, deliciously convincing
      him [i.e., the black widow spider's doomed male mate] to kill himself so she
      doesn't have to leave fingerprints on his body. She'll make sure he showers
      before all this begins. She's ready to extract what she wants until he's dead.
      Whatever his addiction is, she's convincing him that Mother Mary will supply 
      From "Voices in the air: spirit tripping with Tori Amos", Musician Magazine,
                                   May 1996, by Robert L. Doerschuk. 

      "I wanted to go into the hidden parts of the feminine; the way I see it,
      anyway. We all have our own perspective, men and women, about what the
      hidden parts of the feminine are. I went after what in some cases have
      become distorted, such as Professional Widow, the black widow, and when
      I ran into the widow...[she lets out a sick little laugh] I had to come to terms
      with the fact that I wanted to be king. And to be this in the patriarchy... I
      never wanted to be the maiden. I wanted to be the knight that got the castles.
      I wanted to be the one who got the Land. But still I wanted to have babies; I
      wanted to be a mother, I wanted to feel that ability to do that. So the role of
      woman, to have babies and do that, you can't be a knight too, you can't do
      that. And the women who were knights were virgins, the Joan of Arcs... so
      you are not a sexually active being who wants to be involved and have a
      baby and a love relationship and be the brains to keep the castle running. And
      I do not mean the chatelaine... I want to be Patton." 
        From "A bottle of red: Tori Amos", B-Side Magazine, May-June 1996, by
                                                Sandra A. Garcia. 

      "Let's put it this way, Courtney [Love] and I have never spoken. We've
      never spoken about it and I think it's best kept that way. We have mutual
      friends. I don't want to put them in a bad position." 
          From "Ready, Steady, Kook", Q magazine, May 1998, by Tom Doyle. 

      Do you realize you're seen as good copy by journalists?
      "Courtney Love gives good copy."
      Seeing as you um, mentioned Courtney Love, there's talk that you wrote
      Professional Widow about her. Is that true?
      "There's a lot of talk about her. One of my best friends is close with her. I
      would never dishonor that." 
        From "Shock and bull TORI", Herald Sun newspaper (Australia), July 9,
                                          1998, by Cameron Adams. 
Mr. Zebra

      "Lyrics to me, when they become references so that Mr Zebra can be
      who you want it to be, although you know that there are certain clear
      words - Strychnine, sometimes she's a friend of mine. And you get a
      sense of the characters, of who they are. And I'm sure the person,
      women that you know that are Ratitouille Strychnine, and we can kinda
      love those women, but you have faces that are different from the faces
      that I see when I sing about um, that cute little babe that's poisoning the
      muffins in the kitchen. But we love her, too. And that was important in
      this record. This is really the hidden sides of the feminine, the ones that
      get a little wicked, and the reasons that they're wicked. That's what is
      being said also in the story, the reasons, 'cause they haven't been
      recognized, that they kinda have to mutiny for me to listen to them so
      that we can get to the heart, and that's really the core of the record." 

      "In Mr. Zebra we pick up Ratatouille Strychnine, who we love because
      she's our little double agent who can poison people and get us out of
      trouble when they're hurting us. But she's tired, she's tired of the
       From "A bottle of red: Tori Amos", B-Side Magazine, May-June 1996,
                                          by Sandra A. Garcia. 


      "Marianne represents the death of the girlhood." 

      "A lot of you have written me letters, letters about losing friends,
      and... hey, eh! Shhh! I'm telling a story! So this is a song I wrote
      for a friend, who they say killed herself." [fan screams "I love
      you Tori!"] "Yeah, I know you love me, but listen, I am trying to
      tell you something! So they say she killed herself, and whether
      she did or not, this is for her." 
                From the Salt Lake City show, 2 September 1998. 

      "There's this girl, Marianne, who was so nice and I couldn't
      understand why everyone didn't like her." 
           From the Melbourne, Florida concert, October 18, 1996. 

      "Something happened tonight--I got a letter backstage from a
      high school, and, it was signed by about a thousand kids, and
      they talked about a girl named Mary, who had killed herself, and
      that she really liked the music. And it's very kind of touching to
      me because some people that are here tonight will remember a
      girl named Marianne who they say killed herself--we don't think
      she did. And I think their spirits may just come.... " 
               From the Washington, DC concert, April 26, 1996. 

      "...But Marianne was a Catholic and I think they drove her out
      of her fucking mind." 
            From the Salt Lake City concert (early), June 21, 1996. 

      "Marianne was like an angel and Angels don't kill themselves." 
         From the Santa Barbara, California concert, June 23, 1996. 

      "This [Marianne] is for somebody that isn't here anymore--here
      on this planet. And, uh, she used to tease me about liking Mike
      Merrill so much, I remember. And, uh, she'd say, ooh, his hair is
      so dirty, why doesn't he wash his hair? So when some people
      say she killed herself, she died of an O.D., she did this, she did
                     From the Peoria IL concert, July 29, 1996. 

      This is for somebody who was one of the most magical people I
      ever knew. She would have been here if she could have been
      here. Sometimes I think she comes and visits me wherever
      people go when they leave this planet. I don't know where they
      go but sometimes I feel her." 
            From the NYC RAINN benefit concert, July 26, 1997. 

      [The song's] about a girl Tori knew in 7th grade, who "made
      everyone see things from a.. different light. Everybody really
      liked her, and I didn't believe it when they said... [Marianne
      killed herself]." 
              From the Boston MA (early) concert, May 22, 1996. 

      Marianne was a 14 year old girl she knew in school who was
      really "the most beautiful human being." (laughs) "That's hard to
      believe isn't it? We women can have a real mean streak.
      Another pearl can enter the room and we are ready to go...and
      your boyfriend will say 'she's so nice', but that's okay guys, we
      women have been killing each other in the 'harem' for years.
      But Marianne was truly nice... Fuck you mom [on being told
      that Marianne killed herself]. That's your first reaction you
      know, Somebody so wonderful that gave everyone such a gift,
                      From the Cincinatti concert, June 3, 1996. 

      "But the one thing is, you guys did [support me]; and this is one
      song that demanded to come tonight, because, although she's not
      on this planet anymore, she was, um, probably the main song
      that gave me strength to withstand, when everybody said that
      I'd made a piece of shit." 
              From the Boulder CO concert, November 11, 1996. 

      "I once knew the most wonderful girl. She died when we were
      15 and she came to me when I was working on this album. It's
      not often that I talk to the dead, I mean, I talk to a lot of other
      things but they don't visit me often. She has been a part of over
      200 shows and I think this is her last. She's going to the other
      side now." 
           From the Omaha Nebraska concert, November 7, 1996. 

      "Part of you has to die, and in Marianne it's the whole Mary
      Magdalene reference, a young girl who I knew that died.
      There's the whole idea of that part of woman that has been
      dormant, who's been dead. 'The quickest girl in the frying pan,'
      the priestesses who showed her they were one with the
      knowledge and the, get rid of them!" 
             From "A bottle of red: Tori Amos", B-Side Magazine,
                        May-June 1996, by Sandra A. Garcia. 

      "Tuna/Rubber/A little blubber in my igloo...' For me to say that
      line in another way would just make it really gross and crass.
      Sometimes it's just about how something makes you feel.
      You've got to go there, you've got to be willing to take that trip.
      And images, tastes, smells, objects... it's associations. To me,
      these things are concrete. Some were a little more layered than
      others, no question about that. But I think from beginning to end
      it's about a woman's journey; and it's a really emotional
              From "Flaky Pastry", Keyboard Review, April 1996. 

      "Marianne Curtis is a girl I went to school with in junior high.
      She was the kind of person everyone adored, she was just
      magical. I had written a song about her years ago which I used
      to play in the bars sometimes. It never went any further than
      being performed, I didn't record it. Since then I have always
      wanted to have Marianne in a song. She died from a drug
      overdose when she was 15. It is not known, but I don't believe it
      was suicide. I think she took the wrong things together. She is
      very special to me, and comes to visit in my songs sometimes." 

      "Umm, Marianne came to visit me -- the spirit of Marianne.
      Marianne Curtis was a girl that I went to school with. And uh,
      some say she killed herself, some say she died over an O.D. I
      choose to believe that Marianne just umm -- to me she was kind
      of like a young Mary Magdalene. She... it just wasn't... the
      world couldn't hold her any more, it couldn't, umm, understand
      her energy. I think anybody that knew Marianne, would tell you
      that she reflected the best parts of you back. So when you'd
      look into Marianne's eyes, yes, of course she was beautiful, but
      you felt beautiful, because Marianne never hated anything --
      anybody. And so when she died, you felt like this thing that
      reflected the best part of you, had died. So for Marianne to
      come back again, was umm... it was uh... like the second
      coming for me, really." 

Caught a Lite Sneeze

      "Most boys would like to think they're the flu, wouldn't they? But they're
      really just a...hachoo." 
                            Unsourced; from E.L. Perry's Quote of the Day list. 

      As an example of breathtaking moments that litter her songs, she picks the
      bridge in Caught a Lite Sneeze, when the drum loop is pulled out for a
      couple of bars. "I wanted to take the whole rhythm because we're moving
      (she sways on the couch) we're trying to get rid of the possession. The track
      just stops for a minute and it goes 'Right on Time' (singing) and then right on
      time our rhythm comes back." 
                            From Making Music magazine, January, 1996 

      The single, Caught a Lite Sneeze, is, she says, about wanting to do anything
      to keep a relationship going, "knowing that it's over, knowing that it's slipping
      through the hands." 
                             From The Baltimore Sun, January 21, 1996. 

      "With Caught a Lite Sneeze, the way we do that with [Steve] Caton live on
      stage, takes people a few minutes to recognize it. I like the fact that things
      are changing." 
       From "She's chasing tornadoes," Really Deep Thoughts fanzine, #11, April
                                          1998, by Melissa Caldwell. 

      "The whole current of Sneeze is doing anything so that you don't have to
      face yourself. Nothing is enough - you don't feel that you have the tools. I
      couldn't get to this until everything was falling apart. I couldn't get to this until
      things were being flung back in my face. When you're being gushed and
      gooed over, and all that stuff in a relationship, it disgusts you. It's like "10
      minutes of that, boys - then give me something else." It's strange knowing the
      whole time that your contact with the Earth Mother - your contact with the
      ocean - your contact with all of those things - you feel an outsider to them.
      You know they're there. You go and try everything. You go through
      everything you've ever been taught to try and feel enough. And I just stand
      there with my little plug, going, "What wall can I plug into?" Not knowing that
      we're all plugged in, already. You just have to remember." 
                              From Aquarian Weekly, February 21, 1996 

      "Then we go on to Caught A Lite Sneeze and she's still vampiring, she
      needs that boy blood. You can say you are beautiful, you are enough; when
      are you going to claim it? You are on the hunt. He doesn't give fuck about
      you; he might have cared about some parts of you but this is not about you.
      He doesn't want to work this out with you, your neediness is disgusting him,
      and you sit around going 'oh no, no, no, I've gotta have it. It's out there, he
      has something.' Anything to just keep it going." 
        From "A bottle of red: Tori Amos", B-Side Magazine, May-June 1996, by
                                                Sandra A. Garcia. 

      "It's definitely the bad side. It wasn't the one that won. My point of view was
      not the side that won in this song. I think where it shows up on the record,
      and the whole reason Sneeze is where it is is because, well, obviously, it was
      definitely malaria. It's one of those things where you know this isn't good for
      you. You know that anything any of your friends say to you just doesn't mean
      anything. 'Don't do this Tori. You're crazy. Don't do this. Why are you doing
      this?' You just look at them and say, 'Oh, I know exactly what I'm doing.
      Don't worry. Everything's just fine." 

Muhammad My Friend

      "My father dragged me to Christmas Eve service not this past Christmas but
      the one before. He didn't get me this past because I was with a boy. Ha. But
      anyway this was the first time he's never got me to Christmas Eve. Last time
      I went I had this idea know the little kids were singing this
      song. Y'know..(plays and hums 1st line of Away in a Manger)...'the little lord
      Jesus lay down his sweet head...' So he's going 'Go ahead. Sing Tori Ellen
      you gotta sing something.' And I'm like... aye aye aye aye aah, aye aye aye
      aye aah...They both know it was a girl yes..uh ha...uh ha..." 
                                From the London concert, March 8, 1996. 

      "I like my father but he is very very very very very very very very Christian. I
      don't have a problem with Christians except when they expect you to be very
      very very very very very very very Christian, which when you think about it,
      isn't very very very very very very very Christian. So I'm home for Christmas
      at the church service, and I'm 32 right, and I am sitting in church with my
      father, thinking about that hot piece that I should be with. So I'm there out of
      guilt and I'm watching these kids in the choir. There's always that kid in the
      front row doing this [simulates picking her nose] and you're like, 'Put down
      your hand.' And they are singing like.." [holds her nose and hums part of
      Away in The Manger in a kid's voice.] "And my dad would want us to join
      along and he would say, 'Myra, sing.' And I would say, 'I just finished a world
      tour, piss off.' He would go, 'I'm still your father and I want you to sing.' And
      I said, 'I'm not hearing what they are singing, I'm going to sing my version.'
      And he would say, 'What are you hearing?' And I would go.. [start singing
      Muhammad my Friend." 
                      From the Davenport Iowa concert, November 6, 1996. 

      "So Christmas, not this Christmas but the last Christmas I was with my
      parents. Yeah, exactly. So I went to the little service, you know, and the kids
      were very cute. I'm not saying they weren't cute. And they do their little
      booger thing and they sing their song and you kind of love them--sort of. And
      you know, you love yours--your niece or whatever, 'Isn't she cute?' And
      anyway, I'm sitting there and they're singing their little 'down in a manger..da
      da ditti da.. And my father is going 'sing Tori Ellen sing' because you were
      supposed to sing along. But for some reason, I just couldn't hear that song in
      my head. And it was like changing in my brain and he said 'well, what are you
      hearing? I said, 'I'm hearing NA NA NA NA NA ...Away in a
      manger...away in a manger...Muhammad My Friend, said yes we both know,
      we both know it was a girl..." 
                            From the Tampa Florida concert, April 9, 1996. 

      "Um, this next song is a bit strange because my father and I had a bit of an
      argument over it. Maybe because he dragged me to Christmas Eve services
      -- not last Christmas, but a year ago. I was kind of in between boyfriends --
      you know that one girls, you gotta go home to mom and dad. So I was with
      my parents and they took me to the nice Christmas Eve services -- and you
      heard all the little tykes singing -- I like the little tykes -- when they have their
      crusty noses... but they were up there and the congregation's supposed to join
      in -- as one does in the Methodist Church -- and -- off key normally. But
      anyway, it was our turn to come in and I was contemplating and my father
      looked at me and said, 'Tori Ellen... It's time to sing.' And I said, 'Dad,
      something's very wrong with this thing.' And he said, 'What are you talking
      about there's something wrong?' And I said, 'This thing... [sings melody] daa
      daa da daaaa.' And he said, 'What are you talking about?' And I said, 'It
      shouldn't go like that -- and I'm really convinced... [sings] We both know it
      was a girl..." 
                         From the Milwaukee concert (early), June 8, 1996. 

      Tuesday 9 April 1996
      Session Start: Tue Apr 09 19:39:19 1996
      *** Now talking in #MTVarena .... IRC interview

      People when they ask me, why didn't I make God a woman
      and I go like I made the Catholic Church too? I find that
      sometimes when I'm singing about religious mythogy,
      people are getting their own opinions in there instead of
      what really happened like in The Crusades anything that
      wasn't Christian beign tortured particularly the Cathares
      I was in a place called San Galgano - it's truly endless
      the control and domination that the institution weilded
      The burning of the witches over a period of years mostly
      women and when I wrote Mohammed My Friend, it was mostly
      about having a cup of tea with Mohammed and talking about
      the circumcision of the female part of God in every
      religion Even Greek mythology, Zeus was the big bad dude
      everyone was fragmented Athena, seperated from her
      sexuality but had her wisdom Aphrodite who had her
      sexuality in truth did not have many other aspects like
      wisdom which was acknowledged 
                                    From an IRC interview, April 1996. 

      "Muhammed My Friend surprised me too. I was singing in Christmas
      services [in '94]; I was with my parents. I was watching the Nativity, and
      after a while I said to myself, 'Wait a minute. There's something wrong here.'
      We were singing Away in the Manger [Almost sings the first two bars of
      Away in the Manger, and then sings the opening line to Muhammed My
      Friend, with the identical first three notes.] I kept getting more and more into
      the perfect little love with the lullaby of Away in the Manger. I started to get
      husky in the throat. I started to wonder who, with everybody speaking of the
      baby Jesus, should come up to the cradle. And I found that, of all people, I
      wanted to have a chat about it with Muhammad, because the Prophet is the
      one who supposedly knows the Law. So I decided that they needed to talk
      about the Law - the Law of the Feminine that had been castrated with the
      birth of Christ. I believe that Magdalene was the Savior's bride, the High
      Priestess. And that Magdalene was not a blueprint for women - meaning that
      this was a woman who was honored as the sacred bride, not a virgin. We're
      talking about a Woman. We have a Virgin matrix, but they needed the
      Woman blueprint: the compassion/passion, wisdom, wholeness. But this
      blueprint was not a structure that one could relate to Woman - until now.
      Think about it. It's just been uncovered in the past twenty-some years. Even
      though women have been given power to be heads of corporations, we're
      talking about not just power within the hierarchy but access to the different
      fragments that make up the whole of Woman." 
      From "Voices in the air: spirit tripping with Tori Amos", Musician Magazine,
                                    May 1996, by Robert L. Doerschuk. 

      "When we hit Muhammad you realize we've just taken a bend in the road.
      The first half of the record is about her descent in to the horror; she's got to
      find another way of looking at herself." 
       From "What is Tori Amos Talking About?", Ft. Lauderdale Herald, Friday,
                                      April 12, 1996, by Harold Cohen. 

      "And then when you are so sure it's with the boys, we both know 'it was a girl
      back in Bethlehem...' what am I doing? You are beginning to remember the
      blueprint, you are beginning to remember that this is not just because boys
      laughed at you when you were 13, this is a program that is going back very
        From "A bottle of red: Tori Amos", B-Side Magazine, May-June 1996, by
                                                 Sandra A. Garcia. 

      "I was having a cup of tea with Muhammad and saying that there are as
      many belief systems as there are people; to not acknowledge that means
      chaos, really. Of course, I had to bring Gladys Knight into it. She's a bit of a

Hey Jupiter

      "And he's dead, he's not on the planet anymore. And I heard this voice coming to
      me and I followed him into the bathroom of all places. I was a very good bathroom,
      ya know, Four Seasons, mmm-a (a kiss noise, everyone cheers). So anyway, I went
      in and, um, I went into this bathroom and I curled up on the floor and I put my head
      (makes a "resting head on her hands" motion) . . it's the only time I've ever done it
      except when you're, ya know, puking your guts out and you put your head in the
      sink -and you know why these places put marble in their bathrooms- but I was
      curled up and I let him sing this song to me and I swear to Christ he sang it...and I
      just sat there and I tried to remember it and I couldn't remember it. And it took me a
      year to remember. I would sleep every night with one eye open just hoping I could
      remember what he sang to me in my head." 
                                 From the Kansas City August 28, 1998 show. 

      RDT: It seems like your songs continue to evolve as you perform them on tour. Has
      that evolution inspired some of the new versions of songs you've released on
      singles? Hey, Jupiter, for instance.

      "Jupiter needed to be edited, although I have a six-minute version, the Dakota
      version, which is a minute longer than the one that needed to be edited. What
      happened was, when I heard that it needed to be edited, for Jupiter to work, for the
      structure, it needed to lose a bar here and here, it was like cut and paste. It couldn't
      hold, it wasn't the same song anymore. I couldn't make it edit. I have a Damage
      edit that might be in a film that I got down to 3:15 that I added military drums and
      wonderful background singing and that worked. One edit, one splice. I took the
      whole bridge out and that's it. With "Jupiter" I couldn't do that with the album
      version without destroying the song. I was also just waking up, getting a feeling, as
      was Ian Stanley, who I'd worked with on Crucify years ago, and on Sugar and
      China. He called me and said I keep getting visions of Jupiter and it's not working.
      I said I'm getting visions too. He said let me try a different edit and I said no, don't
      try a different edit. Start from scratch. He said I was hoping you'd say that. So we
      recorded everything again so we weren't trying to make something that had already
      been done into some-thing it didn't want to be. So this is a whole new perspective
      two years later. I wrote Jupiter two years ago at the end of August. So it was two
      years ago. I think that this song reaches a lot of people and I just had to retain the
      soul of it. Sometimes things just have to shift. 
        From "She's chasing tornadoes," Really Deep Thoughts fanzine, #11, April 1998,
                                                   by Melissa Caldwell. 

      "I was going through something in my life, and I felt the presence at the end of my
      bed of a ghost of someone I recognized. I was in a hotel room in Arizona during the
      UtP tour. I followed this ghost into the bathroom. I turned on all the water... the
      shower... I let the room steam up... the water became part of the sound, almost like
      an orchestra... and this ghost drew a picture for me in the mirror in the steam. The
      way I interpreted the picture was that earth and jupiter were in love billions of years
      ago, then they were seperated, and now they are billions of miles apart, and this is
      earth's love song to jupiter." 
                                      From Yahoo! online chat, April 13 1998 

      "The album going into Hey Jupiter and that is the point where she knows it's over
      with this particular relationship, or ships, and it's not ever gonna be what it was
      again. It is never going back. That's where the whole record turns on its axis." 
       From "A bottle of red: Tori Amos", B-Side Magazine, May-June 1996, by Sandra
                                                           A. Garcia. 

      "Hey Jupiter was especially hard. I'd made 13 calls from all over the world. I was
      getting ready to catch a plane from Phoenix to do the Vegas show, and I rang his
      [Eric's] number again, but no one was picking up. And in that moment, after all know, the fiery red head behaviour, drawing my lines, making my
      threats...I was lying there alone, feeling incredibly weak. Feeling like there are not
      enough sold-out shows, like it doesn't matter that every American show is sold out,
      because I'm only alive when I'm on a stage with a piano. The rest of the time I'm
      just this shell. So, when I wrote Hey Jupiter, it was like, how could we have been so
      cruel? Because when we started out, there was so much love. Real caring. And I
      sit here hating someone who I had been head over heels in love with." 

      "On Hey Jupiter, she knows the way she has looked at relationships with men and
      put them on a pedestal is over. There's a sense of incredible loss because I knew
      that I would never be able to see the same way again. It's freeing, and yet there's a
      sense of grieving with that." 
       From "What is Tori Amos Talking About?", Ft. Lauderdale Herald, Friday, April
                                               12, 1996, by Harold Cohen. 

Way Down

      "As soon as she knows that [it's over], then you do the whole way down thing.
      Go further into the place of the South, the place of the hidden, with Little
         From "A bottle of red: Tori Amos", B-Side Magazine, May-June 1996, by
                                                  Sandra A. Garcia. 

Little Amsterdam

      "Little Amsterdam, which is all metaphorical, is about wanting to kill people, being
      angry at people that you feel have done something... the whole domination thing,
      the whole hierarchy, patriarchy... and her way to fight back and they are blaming
      her but 'it wasn't her bullet' but she still believes it would have been fine if... [Tori
      makes a soft gunshot noise]. They lost him." 
           From "A bottle of red: Tori Amos", B-Side Magazine, May-June 1996, by
                                                   Sandra A. Garcia. 

      "And we travel further into Little Amsterdam, we go down South, which is really
      symbolic for the primal, the primitive, and the lies and the... really the

      "I've set it [Little Amsterdam] between two release points, an intro and outro. It
      helps the smell of this song, so you really get the honeysuckle with the sweet
      potatoes and the black-eyed peas. And just like you weave down those roads in
      the South, you know, you're in swampland, and then you hit water, and then
      country, and sugar cane. And then you hit a gas station somewhere and you're in
      a town, and you've gotten into the Christian sound. It's like those writers I read
      as a little girl, Faulkner and Williams. This is how I write. It's not about sitting
      down and putting 18 bars here or there." 

      "I'm a big Faulkner fan, Tennessee Williams fan. How I would get taken into the
      story, there are so many levels of a story. There are so many levels of a dinner
      table conversation that's happening, with the smells against what's being said, the
      rhythm of the shuffled feet. Because you're dealing with the unconsciousness as
      well as consciousness at every moment. The big thing that started to come to me
      in Amsterdam was... I mean, I'll tell you this, just visitations of Sylvia Plath, as I
      would be singing 'Don't take me back to the range.'" 

      "The struggle of knowing I could kill him, knowing he should be killed, knowing
      I'm totally fine about it but Mom, that wasn't my bullet. And I'm paying for it. I
      get fascinated by boundaries." 


      "I heard stories that they brought in this henchman from France, and I really
      aligned with him. He had Anne [Boleyn] move her hair over [before the
      execution] and he made her look away. He did it when she didn't know. Even
      though his job was a bit brutal, he had more compassion than the king. The
      riddle in Talula is things are not what they seem." 
                              unsourced; from E.L. Perry's Quote of the Day list. 

      "In Talula, I'm begging this concept of ideal woman to come alive in myself,
      feeling afraid of losing someone. If it matters, it must be something worth

      "What I did for the Talula single was scat, recording over the original vocals. I
      was in Holland to do tele with my guys, specifically with Marcel [Van
      Limbeek], and Rob [Van Tuin]. Mark was working on setting things up for the
      tour. The Dutch just came to hang. This all actually started in London. BT [real
      name Brian Banseau] and I were having dinner and he was telling me about
      these people who chase tornadoes and all this stuff about the Internet, which I
      don't understand. Why would someone go on there just to make up lies about
      me? I don't get it, it sounds like a sport, I mean feed the Christians to the lions,
      or like, gladiators where one of them has to die, it's nuts.
      "All I know is BT was telling me about a page, a web, or something, where
      everyone talks about chasing tornadoes. Real people who jump in their Jeeps,
      cars, or on bicycles, and start racing toward these tornadoes with video
      cameras. I just started singing, 'He's chasing tornadoes, I'm just waiting calmly,
      he's chasing her.' We were with a guy named Spence from Perfecto Records
      too. BT said, 'What the hell was that?,' and I said, it's the new opening line for
      the Talula Tornado mix. We both looked down at our plates, BT looked at me
      and said, 'screw the spaghetti, lets record.' So we smuggle a bottle of wine out
      of the restaurant, rush to a black cab, and go studio hunting. We show up at
      EastWest. I knock on the door and we say, 'It's us,' and the security guard asks
      'Is it OK?' and I say, 'Of course it's fucking OK,' he was nice to us then. So we
      are working off the label's phone trying to find a studio. We're not having any
      luck, then Spence remembers a friend that has an old studio in his house, near
      Ladbrooke Grove. So we call him, race down in another cab, it's one or two in
      the morning by then. I do a scratch vocal so I can remember it, and take it with
      me. It sounded like shit but it wasn't supposed to sound like anything, it was
      only reference. I knew I was going to have to do it again, but I was leaving the
      country the next day to go to Spain. Anyway, when I got to Holland, I tried to
      record it again but I only had seven minutes and it still sounded like shit. So I
      said, 'Come on Marcel, I've gotta go back in the studio, make it work, I have to
      do it right.'
      "So I went to Germany, then back to Holland for another TV show. After
      dinner that night, ten or eleven o'clock, Marcel and I went to a studio about 40
      minutes out of Amsterdam, and sang the Tornado mix over Talula. I didn't
      even have the CD, I had to borrow a copy of Pele from someone, and sang to
      it. The DAT was about 15 or 20 minutes of me just scatting over the album
      track. I rushed that to BT in London, and so he's using it for the 20 minute
      dance mix. Just adding to it what I made up, and the part about chasing

      From Upside Down #7. 

      "Talula is the track on the record that holds the space for permission to dance.
      And as the record moves on with the story, once we get to Talula, where she's
      placed, there's been so much grieving, there's been so much acknowledgment,
      finally after Jupiter, when she knows it's over, whatever 'it' is, but she knows
      that she can't go back and things just aren't can't pretend that
      certain events haven't happened once they've happened in a relationship. And
      we travel further into Little Amsterdam, we go down South, which is really
      symbolic for the primal, the primitive, and the lies and the... really the
      domination. Little Amsterdam is so essential to release that place before we
      can finally say... we went back to the childhood, we went back South, to the
      bloodline, where there is so much hierarchy... and now it's time to just let her

      "It keeps moving into the dance of Talula, and her desperately trying to dance,
      desperately trying to figure out the whole idea of loss: it must be worth losing if
      it's worth something. So if I feel like I am losing something, at lease I valued
      something enough to lose it in the first place... it's going back into that train of
      thought. Talula is very much a riddle. Talula came as a nursery rhyme, my
      little dance that I would do when things were so sad. Because I started thinking
      but 'God, I have these feelings, which means...' we shared so many moments
      that I value, I really valued that, so what a gift that I can feel this loss, that I am
      not so numb, that I haven't cut myself off so much, and once I could feel the
      loss then I started to feel free. I want to dance and go 'yeah, I want to be with
      Talula. I want to be able to dance through the people that come in and go out
      of your life. I want to learn how to dance with the gifts when they come and
      the gifts when they need to take a different route." 

      "Talula is very much a riddle... The sense of loss is such a tricky one, because
      we always feel like our worth can grow with things we are willing to lose. So
      there's a real letting go: Talula is about letting go and getting the dance. I do
      not want to lose him... The loss of Eric in my life felt like half of me
      walked out the door. And Talula came as a nursery rhyme, my little dance that
      I would do when things were so sad. Because I started thinking but 'God, I
      have these feelings, which means...' we shared so many moments that I value,
      I really valued that, so what a gift that I can feel this loss, that I am not so
      numb, that I haven't cut myself off so much, and once I could feel the loss then
      I started to feel free. I want to dance and go 'yeah, I want to be with Talula.' I
      want to be able to dance through the people that come in and go out of your
      life. I want to learn how to dance with the gifts when they come and the gifts
      when they need to take a different route." 
          From "A bottle of red: Tori Amos", B-Side Magazine, May-June 1996, by
                                                  Sandra A. Garcia. 

      "Talula... when I wrote this, my mother was sitting in a chair, and I'd been
      playing for a few hours. She was fading in and out of sleep. I'd been going
      through some of my blood, guts and widow's tunes. And all of a sudden I
      needed to breathe. I started playing Talula, and it became like a breath, 'cause
      I needed freedom from all these songs that where showing me my monsters.
      Talula started to show me how to dance. And my mother began to wake up.
      The song is really a riddle. Talula just came to me, telling me her name. A lot
      of the times I'm just trying to interpret what I'm seeing on the other side. A
      name holds an energy, like anything else. Look at Ruby Tuesday. I think Talula
      became about rhythm and tone and sensuality. It ain't fuckin' Catherine.
      There's something in there about West Indian dance. And yet it's a very classic
      name, too. Talula really just started to represent all women to me - women that
      let themselves dance - for themselves." 

      "Pele's a really pure work, like it or hate it. There are no "trying to be's" on this
      record. No one is trying to be anyone. They are all stretching forms, particularly
      with Talula, where it starts and stops again, and then she finally dances. So
      everything was a reflection of what was really going on with the characters. I
      tried to make that happen with the music..." 

Not the Red Baron

      "Not the Red Baron was a B-side, but really got, she slipped in there. She slipped
      in and kicked another one off because... it was a compassion for the men. Not the
      Red Baron holds so much compassion for the boys for me because as they're
      going down in their planes, and they're crashing. And as I started to see in some of
      the relationships with the men, how when it was their turn to crash, their turn to
      scream, their turn to face the pain. At that point I didn't want to kick 'em in the nuts
      any more. And there was nothing I could do, 'cause I was going through mine and
      they were going through theirs and sometimes all you can do is just pat them on the
      head and give them a Guiness. Yet this song really became about... 'and are there
      devils with halos and beautiful capes, taking them into the flames, taking them into
      the flames.' And I saw these lovely women ushering the men with the tears to their
      next place. Always connected to Fire, always all of us trying to find our own fire." 

      "Then of course in the record we move into a whole other moment. Not the Red
      Baron is the moment of compassion for all the men on the record. It's where I
      could see their planes crashing, I could see that they have a side too. And if their
      planes would crash I started to gain compassion for their side of it. But I'm still
      acknowledging the war with Agent Orange, the idea of the war." 
       From "A bottle of red: Tori Amos", B-Side Magazine, May-June 1996, by Sandra
                                                          A. Garcia. 

      "Just another pilot down
      Children down in the village town
      Just another down
      Yesterday they were playing somewhere safe yes
      Just another down
      And the teacher in her pretty gown." 
        Improvisation during Not the Red Baron that Tori performed after the Dunblane
                  massacre; from the Portsmouth England concert, March 13, 1996. 

Agent Orange

      "With Agent Orange, I was hoping you could see this orange-bodied muscle
      man, and give yourself a giggle so that we'd transform this being from a
      mutilated skin person to Orangina. It's the idea of becoming Tang - transmuting
      the chemical effect. You can't forget that happened - you can't forget the
      warfare. So, of course there's that level. I just had to bring it in. I decided to
      bring it in as the muscle man." 

      "There's one called Agent Orange. Naturally, if we're talking about the boy/girl
      matrix, there's going to be a war zone at some point in our story. It's kind of
      been a war zone from early on in the record. As the record goes on - and on
      and on and on [Laughs] - the vulnerability starts coming. Then you start
      sleeping with one of the lieutenants from the other side because you ended up
      at a country village and you forgot that you were on different sides. You know
      how it is when war begins: The strangest, craziest things begin to happen.
      That's when we start moving into something else with that break on the record
      after Jupiter, with Amsterdam, with Talula. Now we're in the South - that
      whole smell and taste. And we go into Agent Orange. If we're gonna have a
      war, we have to bring warfare in. I decided to make him a bodybuilder because
      that memory has to transmute also - the skin. To become like tango, the idea of
      Tang, or the idea of Orangina, an Orange muscle secret agent who we love ...
      That song, Agent Orange, is the one o'clock cabaret moment, where you've
      had a couple of Amarettos on the rocks, and there's just a sadness. But you
      know that sadness when you know your relationship is over and you're still
      alive? You know you're not dead. You've got all your body parts. You're all
      there. You've got a date. He's got a new love. [Long dreamy pause.] And you
      go on with it." 
       From "Voices in the air: spirit tripping with Tori Amos", Musician Magazine,
                                     May 1996, by Robert L. Doerschuk. 

Doughnut Song

      "We were in Ireland and the record was supposedly finished. And the
      guys were getting ready to go down to a place called The White Lady.
      And these cute little Irish girls show up, and my crew... drools. And so
      they were off to find a shag and a Guinness -- and they actually deserved
      it because I had had them up, sometimes at seven in the morning,
      sometimes a little too much, [whines] 'Will you tune my piano,
      pleeaassee?' It's like nag, nag, nag and I'm sorry. But I kind of ruined their
      evening -- cause you know girls -- when you're not quite finished, you're
      just not quite finished..." 
                      From the Milwaukee concert (early), June 8, 1996. 

      Um this record was almost finished and this little song began creeping
      through. This meant the guys couldn't go and get Guinness. And they
      thought it was all over and I said, 'Um um excuse me, but I hate to break
      the party, but this girl has to come now.' And they went 'OK, fine good...
      fuck...' But she came and she's like my favorite right now." 
                            From the Tampa FL concert, April 9, 1996. 

      "So I was done with the album...but sometimes us girls aren't done yet." 
                           From the Dallas TX concert, June 15, 1996. 

      "There's a bitter sweet quality about [Doughnut Song]. There's a
      sweetness to becoming a woman that the virgins don't have. They have a
      physical sweetness, but once you claim the woman...Yes I want to wring
      their [men's] necks sometimes - those I fall in love with - yet there's much
      more of an understanding." 

      "Doughnut... that's so much to me the ache of... I think one of the most
      important lines in the entire record for me was 'you told me last night you
      were a sun now with your very own devoted satellite, happy for you and I
      am sure that I hate you, too sons too many too many able fires...' There's
      the Cain and Abel reference, there's the idea that you can't have two
      whole beings together. And I couldn't live like that, and it made me really
      sad, that whether it's a female relationship or a male relationship, we're
      not supporting each other to make a whole. When I am not happy when
      you are taking you as far as you can. I can't support that or I withhold
      from you because the truth is I am afraid you aren't going to need me any
      From "A bottle of red: Tori Amos", B-Side Magazine, May-June 1996, by
                                              Sandra A. Garcia. 

In the Springtime of His Voodoo

      "Voodoo is a completely different song live. Things are changing because as you
      play them hundreds of times." 
      From "She's chasing tornadoes," Really Deep Thoughts fanzine, #11, April 1998,
                                                  by Melissa Caldwell. 

      "[Doughnut Song] leads us into Voodoo,... the key for me here is he was going
      to show me spring. Going to... and so much of my life has been about going to.
      Instead of what is happening now, it's what are we going to? Not what are we
      really giving to each other now. What am I promising him? That whole idea of
      looking to this, the idea that somebody else carries the voodoo, instead of
      becoming part of the voodoo and accessing it yourself. That runs through the
      whole thing." 
      From "A bottle of red: Tori Amos", B-Side Magazine, May-June 1996, by Sandra
                                                         A. Garcia. 

Putting the Damage On

      "And of course Damage speaks for itself. The song, being herself
      damaged, it's trying to teach myself about graciousness, and I have
      such a hard time with that. I have a very hard time. Damage was
      so essential for me to sing, it's one of the most difficult ones for
      me. I can look and have love and feelings for some of these people
       From "A bottle of red: Tori Amos", B-Side Magazine, May-June
                                  1996, by Sandra A. Garcia. 

      "Girls, do you know when you keep going and doing something...
      and I don't mean like chocolate cake.. that you know is bad for
      you?" [Someone in the audience yells 'men.'] "Well, men, women,
                     From the Boston MA concert, May 21, 1996. 

"Yet the record isn't finished until Twinkle; it just wasn't finished until
      that song. That level of the flame, feeding the flame, because after all
      the stars, the fire, I had to go into that place of becoming that instead
      of trying to find it again," 
      From "A bottle of red: Tori Amos", B-Side Magazine, May-June 1996,
                                         by Sandra A. Garcia.