Tori's AOL Chat - January 20, 1999

Added January 20, 1990

Tori took part in an online chat on America Online on Wednesday night, January 20, 1999. This was the launch of a series of chat to celebrate the fact that People Magazine was coming to AOL. It was rather interesting that Tori did this chat, since People slammed "from the choirgirl hotel" in a recent issue! (In early 1999 Tori did finish at #8 in the Online People Intriguers Poll.)

I am sad to report that the chat was less than spectacular. In fact, it was the worst Tori chat I have attended. (I am trying to refrain from using stronger language to describe the experience.) Some of the questions were so bad that at one point Tori herself criticized one as being "so boring." The chat was 30 minutes in length and Tori responded to only 15 questions in all. There were a few interesting quotes (one of which involved mosquitos), and Tori did reveal that she is entering the studio in February to begin work on what she called a "double box set" of live material and b-sides, including hard to find and new material. Tori said, "It includes B sides and some others you can't get anymore. There'll be songs that I kept, that I wasn't ready to finish. It's got a lot of different things on it, it'll be out Christmas 99. I haven't decided what to call it yet." No mention was made of the Jackie's Strength remix, so we are left wondering about that (as well as the intelligence of the people in charge of choosing questions during the chat!) The chat lasted for only a half hour, when previous chats were often a full hour. I am sure there were many wonderful questions that were NOT chosen (and I even wonder if People paid that much attention to them, they almost seemed to be asking their own questions sometimes...) Not all the questions were terrible, and Tori did make the most of the situation with her usual wit and charm, but this could have been so much more. A truly wasted opportunity...

The transcript is below:

PeopMagMC1: Everyone, Tori Amos is here!
PeopMagMC1: Let's take the first question.
Question: Out of all your records, what is your favorite one to make?

ToriALive: That's sort of like asking what baby
ToriALive: you liked making best.
ToriALive: I have 5 babies, and if I say
ToriALive: one, then the other record kids
ToriALive: are gonna get jealous.
ToriALive: Possibly strangling me during the night.

Question: Are you planing on touring soon?

ToriALive: Definetly not.
ToriALive: I'm eating licorice right now,
ToriALive: drinking green tea out of a Japanese cup
ToriALive: sitting outside. I miss this part of touring.
ToriALive: We would be taking the stage right now.
ToriALive: I miss that relationship with the people
ToriALive: that came to see and hear the music.
ToriALive: But other than that, I'm
ToriALive: feeling like I need to create at the
ToriALive: piano.
ToriALive: Touring is very external, recording and writing
ToriALive: is internal and I have to keep going
ToriALive: back and forth between both
ToriALive: to keep the scales of Libra in some
ToriALive: sort of balance for myself.
ToriALive: It's really important I think that
ToriALive: you have a balance of both
ToriALive: because they feed each other.
ToriALive: The energy that I get playing live
ToriALive: propels me into a deep well, inside somewhere
ToriALive: that I probably couldn't get to with out the shows.

PeopMagMC1: For those of you just joining us, we're talking to Tori Amos.
Question: how many years have you been playing?

ToriALive: Since I was 2 1/2.
ToriALive: Long to get gigbutt.

PeopMagMC1: We've had a number of questions along this line...
Question: Do the fans of yours get annoying?

ToriALive: I guess anyone can be annoying.
ToriALive: I know that I annoy people sometimes,
ToriALive: particularly my friend Beenie.
ToriALive: When I won't let her eat sugar.
ToriALive: Once in a while, of course there's gonna
ToriALive: be someone that pushes something too far.
ToriALive: But....I can also find that at a family Christmas dinner.
ToriALive: So, a sense of humor is really important.
ToriALive: You can't take things too personally.
ToriALive: I don't think people really mean to be a pain.
ToriALive: I know I don't mean to be one when I'm being one.

PeopMagMC1: One other person online put the question this way:
PeopMagMC1: What part of being famous sucks the most?

ToriALive: When you walk into a drug store for example,
ToriALive: and you just need to get some girl stuff,
ToriALive: and you're sitting there with a kinda cute
ToriALive: cashier boy person,
ToriALive: having you do an autograph over your
ToriALive: sanitary napkins for his girlfriend.
ToriALive: You just don't wanna get that close.

Question: Who are your influences?

ToriALive: That's so boring.
ToriALive: Also....what I ate that day.

PeopMagMC1: Let's try another one then...
Question: Where is one place in the world that you would like to visit before you
Question: die?

ToriALive: Thailand is calling me.
ToriALive: I had a long lay over in the Bangkok airport
ToriALive: and I was drawn to get out of the city
ToriALive: and get deeper into the country.
ToriALive: I'm actually going there before I make the next work.

PeopMagMC1: For those of you just joining us, we're talking to Tori Amos.

ToriALive: I get tired of having to
ToriALive: remind myself that this is a funny
ToriALive: time in the industry. This is a time
ToriALive: where a lot of people that make music
ToriALive: don't really sing right or play anything musical.
ToriALive: So, you have to remind yourself
ToriALive: who are you serving, are you serving the muse
ToriALive: or the collective.
ToriALive: I mean that as the collective consciousness.
ToriALive: When you serve the collective,
ToriALive: you start walking into fast food territory.
ToriALive: I have moments of fast food cravings
ToriALive: so obviously yes, there is a place for that.
ToriALive: But artists have to be clear
ToriALive: on are you making something
ToriALive: for the quick hit, the quick reaction,
ToriALive: or are you trying to create something that
ToriALive: burns in your soul.
ToriALive: whatever rejections you get from the collective
ToriALive: or the industry. Everyone else is standing
ToriALive: around you with a raincoat on.
ToriALive: So, I get tired when I get negative
ToriALive: and what I need to do is see the
ToriALive: diversity and then gain strength again.

Question: What makes you happy?

ToriALive: Tricky question.
ToriALive: But, I think investigating my little lies.

Question: What were you like in high school?

ToriALive: No boundaries.
ToriALive: I couldn't say no if a mosquito wanted
ToriALive: to nest in my bushes.

Question: Is is hard to write songs all of the time?

ToriALive: I don't write songs all the time.
ToriALive: There are dry spells as a writer for me anyway.
ToriALive: When it isn't kinda creative time,
ToriALive: you have to almost, if you can imagine,
ToriALive: you're a huntress, but you can't chase the songs down.
ToriALive: Right now I'm hangning with some girlfriends
ToriALive: on the water and it's warm.
ToriALive: I guess you could say I'm writing all the time.
ToriALive: It's not like you seperate writing time from
ToriALive: other times, your writing is your life.
ToriALive: Even when Beenie's telling a dirty joke,
ToriALive: on some level your pores are drinking that in.
ToriALive: The way she told it, the honey suckle is winding aroun
ToriALive: d and you can almost touch it with your tongue.
ToriALive: It's almost like breathing when the songs come.
ToriALive: You can't control when they decide to come out.

Question: You say that you find a girlfriend on what you have in common with them,
Question: how do you meet strangers that are out of the celebrity cliche?

ToriALive: I don't hang out with many celebs on a regular basis.
ToriALive: I'm a very close circle.
ToriALive: I think I'm really hard to get to know on
ToriALive: a personal level.
ToriALive: I have a few close friends, but not many.
ToriALive: I think it takes patience to really let a friendship
ToriALive: bloom and blossom.
ToriALive: I think my closest friends have always
ToriALive: been the pianos. I always turn to them.
ToriALive: Spend a lot of time with them.....

PeopMagMC1: Speaking of pianos...
Question: Question for Tori? How, Where and When, did you discover the
Question: Bosendorfer -vs -Steinway,Walter,Baldwin etc.. What did this piano bring to
Question: you, that another did not? Thanks MB

ToriALive: I played a Bosendorfer when I was little.
ToriALive: I felt a difference in the presence of this instrument.
ToriALive: It was like it had a ghost protecting it.
ToriALive: Sometimes it was sinister, others alluring.
ToriALive: It was like the soul of it came from the underworld.
ToriALive: I've played some Steins that I've had a relationship with
ToriALive: For the most part, the Bosendorfers are hand made,
ToriALive: you get the personality of the maker.
ToriALive: It gives you more stuff to work with as aplayer.
ToriALive: They're live things, they really are.

PeopMagMC1: We're going to have to wrap things up...any closing thoughts? What are you working on now?

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

PeopMagMC1: Thanks, Tori, for joining us tonight.
PeopMagMC1: It's been a pleasure for all of us to talk to you.
PeopMagMC1: And thanks to our audience for all your great questions.
PeopMagMC1: For those of you who missed any of this chat, you can read it tomorrow
PeopMagMC1: when People Online's site officially launches.
PeopMagMC1: Just go to keyword: People
PeopMagMC1: Once again, thanks to Tori, and to everyone in our audience.
PeopMagMC1: And we hope to see you all on Friday, when People talks to Stone Cold Steve Austin.
PeopMagMC1: That's at 9pm ET on Friday.
PeopMagMC1: Be there!
PeopMagMC1: Or we'll send him after you!

OnlineHost: Copyright 1999 America Online, Inc. All
Rights Reserved.

Tori has done several online chats over the years (and most were much better than tonight.) Below you can find links to previous chat transcripts if you are interested in checking them out.

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