(AND OTHER TORIPHILE GOODIES)
I’ve got meanness in me. And some of you girls have meanness in you, too. And it’s not necessarily something I know we’re very proud of. Well, sometimes I’m not. When I’m vvvvv-vicious. And that usually happens because, ohh god, who knows why. But it’s funny when it happens and you just become one of these like um… You know those comic books? Sven the Berserker. Well, it’d be nice if I uh… had a better understanding of it. And I think those of you that have those crazy tempers know what I’m talking about. Now some of you are at the other end of those crazy tempers, which isn’t that fun, either, is it? Or maybe it is, isn’t it, you little mmm, mmm, mmm, you little gimp, you! [Tori snorts like a pig] But um, the thing is, this girl I knew once named Maryanne, who was the absolutely, you know, coolest. She was totally cool. And yet she didn’t have this meanness in her. She had so many other things in her. You know, nanana, but meanness wasn’t one of them. So when I was hanging around her, I didn’t need to have this meanness. Basically when my mother said, “Hey, um, oh my god, Maryanne killed herself,” the only thing I could think of was, “Fuck you, mom.” Because… in truth, nobody was really the same after Maryanne killed herself.
--Tori Amos, in concert
June 8, 1996 - Milwaukee, Wisconsin
I don’t feel I’m as good a mum as my mum was. She stayed at home, I work full-time, but Tash says: “If you were around all the time that would be annoying.” I want Tash to feel the unconditional love I had from my mother from me. I wanted more children but I miscarried a few times before Tash, so after we had her we thought, “That’s it.”
--Tori Amos - The Observer (UK), Saturday, September 14, 2013
My nightmares are so bad, that I mostly reject it when my friends want to take me to a cinema to watch a horror movie. Then I say, ‘No, thank you. I will dream in a few hours.’ Sometimes I feel like Hermann Hesse’s Steppenwolf … The nightmares have agonized me since my childhood. I am the daughter of a Methodist preacher and as a child I was sexually abused by a friend of the family. I think the nightmares are telling me things about me I need to know. And I try to understand what they mean. Maybe so I can get to know something more about my soul.
--Tori Amos, Die Zeit (German newspaper) - November 11, 1999
The last time I cried… Not long ago – I cry at movies and television shows. I think Tash was playing me a re-run of a House episode.
--Tori Amos - “My Secret Life” The Independent (UK), October 13, 2012
… From Rimbaud to e.e. cummings and from Pablo Neruda, one of my favourites, to Byron and Shelley, who I just recently discovered. Talking about influences: D.H. Lawrence has been a tremendous influence. Right now I am reading Charlotte Brönte. By not reading the great writers you cut yourself from a lot of visionary ideas. And then there are Dylan and Lou Reed, Joni Mitchell and Laura Nyro, all visionary poets in my eyes. Kate Bush is one, too ,and the same for Sinéad O’Connor. There are so many, all in their own way. You have to keep fueling yourself. I will never get enough of that. Therefore I don’t mind being compared to them at all. It’s only human to make comparisons, I do it myself. I see it as a huge compliment because I appreciate the work of those people a lot.
--Tori Amos, Oor Magazine - March 7, 1992
… I was concerned with all kinds of issues that we all are right now. And “Flavor” stepped forward as a song girl and said, about a year ago, “I have to be a part of this, and the reason I have to be a part of this album is that in the 21st century, we still have issues as a culture with how other people want to live their lives. Even if they’re not hurting anybody, that we feel the need (some of us) to dictate to other people.” And you have to have my father, the minister, in the room when I talk about how the patriarchy likes to dictate. And he’ll just look at me, and I will say, “Where is the Christ consciousness in our culture? Where is love thy neighbor as thyself?”
--Tori Amos - The Record (NPR) October 17, 2012
sometimes things break
and hearts ache
and things fall down
and my own heart, now
some things fall
does that mean I’m not worth
hanging out for
cause we pick ourselves
right up again
we pick ourselves up
waiting on my friends
to be there sometimes
for you, now…
intro to Rattlesnakes
September 28, 2001 - West Palm Beach, Florida
I have no regrets about breastfeeding a piglet. The image appeared on the back cover of my 1996 album Boys for Pele. It caused a sensation in the U.S., where people made associations with Mother Mary and the Christ Child. It took a while to get that photograph right – maybe 45 minutes. That’s a long time to be holding a piglet. I put it on a Christmas card and sent it to my father – he was not a fan.
--Tori Amos - Daily Mail (UK) November 10, 2012
Eventually in ancient Ireland, as invasions grew steadily on the island, the respect for the Goddess in all her aspects was supplanted by those who worshiped the Thunder God in all his many forms. Our couple fought on the same side as poets against these invaders. We all know that the goddess-worshiping culture was subjugated by the Thunder God and then by Christianity, which suppressed any inkling of the goddess culture even further.
--Tori Amos, Introduction to “Battle of Trees” - July 2011
So it’s really funny how um… this is like my home, kind of. Um, huh? … Ozzy Osbourne. Yeah, wow. [middle school!] Yeah, I know. Wow. It’s … yeah, I love you, too. Um, so the thing is… people thought I was wacky then. So you can imagine how I’m trying to explain to the British press who um, let’s be honest… You know when you’re in one of those moments and your life is falling apart, you don’t want the British press around. Um, so I try to explain to them how the girls are alive, the songs are alive. And you can just imagine, they’re sitting there like this… And as you keep talking, you know how your words get slower, do you know, and you go, “Do you know what I mean?” And my mother said to me, “When you have, when you start saying, ‘Do you know what I mean,’ you just have to ask yourself do you know what You mean, honey.” And so anyway. And I say, “But they did this to me!” And it’s this thing like, ugh.So, anyway, this girl, right. All the guys had finished the record. Caton was there, they were drinking Guinness. It was all over, it was finished. We were partying. Well, and then I stopped the party. And I said. I know, I suck. And I said, “I’m really, really sorry. You can keep drinking the Guinness as long as you know how to push the red button,” said the singer to the engineers. And the engineers said, “We can push the red button, go ahead and sing.” So um, she just made the record.
--Tori Amos, in concert
April 28, 1996 - Washington, DC
I’ve been fascinated observing people’s evening behavior versus their behavior in the clear light of day. Depending on where you are in your life, this might just be what the doctor ordered.
Friday, September 28, 2007 - 1:17 PM
Studying the great classical masters was a life-changing experience because I began to look at structures in a different way. ‘The Light Princess’ has been completely and totally rewritten than when it started and it’s become a different project. … I would not have composed in the way I have now for ‘The Light Princess’ if ‘Night of Hunters’ and ‘Gold Dust’ had not been in my life.
--Tori Amos - Reuters, October 25, 2012
The truth is actually the most shocking thing you can do because nobody really hears it much. So when you start saying things truthfully, and I mean truthfully, there’s no greater freedom than that, and I was really dying. So I had to find out, I had taken on all of these belief systems. Whether you go from .. Christianity, to Buddhism, to God, I’m going to be one of those Mary Magdalenes, YES! I mean, to finally say, “No, wait a minute, I’m just, who’s this redhead?” Dyed of course. But, you know, what are my beliefs? Not what you want me to believe. Or what I should believe. But what do I really, really believe? And if there are a million people telling me I’m out of my mind, that should really be inconsequential. Because it’s not your truth, it’s gotta be mine. And the same with you, you know?
--Tori Amos (Tori’s Course on Creativity) at the University of California at Los Angeles - February 27, 1995
There exists such a thing as boasting about misery. One sentence in ‘Cruel’ deals with that: ‘Dance with the Sufis celebrate your top ten in the charts of pain’. When I had a miscarriage, there were people who said: ‘Yes, but you only lost an unborn child. Our son was murdered!’ For some people things aren’t bad enough as it is. And some hang on to the fact that The Most Terrible Thing happened to them: they entered at #1 in the charts of pain. And then others are secretly jealous because they’re only at #6.
--Tori Amos, San Francisco Chronicle - May 4, 1998
I really like the idea that people have a passion for collecting things and I always loved the idea of having a library. I have a fantasy of being a librarian; wearing a pencil skirt, sling-back shoes, hair scraped back and glasses. I imagine myself standing on a ladder and my husband coming in from riding his Triumph in his leathers and I pick out a reference book for him. I love it. All my books are alphabetical within sections. So you have Romanticism and Realism and Pre-Raphaelite; it goes on and on.
--Tori Amos - Sunday Express (UK) July 21, 2013