KROQ Breakfast With Tori & Alanis
On Friday, September 24, 1999, radio station KROQ 106.7FM in Los Angeles, CA hosted a "Breakfast with Tori Amos/Alanis Morrisette." Tickets to this event were won by people who listened the week before to the Kevin and Bean morning show. The event was not open to the public. It aired on KROQ that morning. Below you will find details about the event from people who were there or who heard it on the radio.
September 25, 1999 - Breakfast with Tori was quite interesting this morning. My friend Robert and I arrived at the club Vynyl in Hollywood at approximately 4:00am and there were about 20 people in line already. I recognized the sweetie at the front of the line, Eric with the bright magenta hair.. he said that most of the people in line were waiting for wristbands because they weren't on the guest list. After bonding with that crowd for a while, security separated the wristband people from the guest list people. I was on the guest list, so I moved to the other side. They handed out random wristbands to the waiting people at about 5:30am and drew a random number to begin the sequence (allow me to say that, in this case, I believe the random wristband drawing was unfair and unnecessary). The guest list people were let in at about 5:40am and we proceeded to go straight up to the stage. Said Hi to Kevin and Bean and their posse (very nice people.. but very busy). They had donuts, juice and water available for everyone. Soon everyone started filing in, we were all asked to sit down, move forward and become communal. Then the drama began..
Kevin and Bean interviewed Alanis first, allowed some fans to ask her questions, then she played a few songs with her band. I'm not a fan so I couldn't tell you what her songs were, but she made some comment about not ever having sung that early in the morning. She sang well and was entertaining. Then it was finally time..
Kevin and Bean introduced Tori to the audience and they went wild. She sat down for a brief interview and some fan questions and then played what was to be her first of three songs. Kevin and Bean asked if the first song would be from the new album and she said no, then while she was stepping away to the piano they said that she'd just see what came to her when she got to the piano. What came was "Take To The Sky." Tori's 'brother's' weren't there this morning, just Tori and her little baby Bose. Kevin and Bean continued to interview her about various things and Tori was being her normally creative, elusive self. They talked about table wine tasting like pee, about how thngs should always be in odd numbers, like owning three houses vs. owning two, or having two lovers versus having three. Tori said that a triangle was a much better shape than a line. She was asked by a fan what her musical influences are to which she replied she likes underground music. Another fan asked about the extreme lengths fans go to see/meet her and Tori said that they definately have crossed the line, saying that when they show up at her house plastered on her windows like someone needing oxygen it's a bit much. She also relayed an interesting story about how coming back to the hotel late last night/this morning she went to take a shower and written on the mirror only when it was steamy were the words "I'm Waiting." She mentioned how Joel checked everything out but she was worried someone was on her balcony or had jumped to her neighbors balcony just waiting to jump out. There were a lot of fans at the show trying to hand her things and get some autographs. She did accept some things and sign some things. One girl made her a dress and Tori graciously accepted it saying, "now you know i'm not going to strip down and get naked right here right?" We all laughed and it was sweet.
Joel was a little aggitated with some of the security and their unability to keep the fans in order. Fan after fan was trying to weezel their way up to Tori, and at a few points my friend and I were truely concerned for her safety. We were not at a huge venue with lots of 'staff', we were in an intimate setting provided for us by KROQ and Tori based on the trust both establishments have in us, the fans.
[rises to stand on soap box] It's really sad to see some people's selfishness, their absolute greed that rises above everything, even the respect they should be showing for Tori. The girl sitting next to me, for instance, was stepped on by a guy who came from nowhere like gangbusters and when he approached the stage Big Tad (based on instructions from Joel) told him he couldn't hand her anything, so he proceeded to throw it onto the stage. That's just rude, I understand his desire for her to receive his gift (fuzzy blue jammies I think) which Tori did hold up and think they were rather cute.. but come on people.. show a little class? Being a fan is about mutual respect.. she's going to lose respect for the majority of us if the minority continue to act selfishly. [steps down from soap box and disposes of it with fuel and fire]
Anyway, my magenta haired friend yelled to Tori (he didn't get up from his seat) and asked that she play a song for him and his friend sitting next to him also asked for a song. Tori agreed and so we heard, "Concertina" and 'for the girl in the front row' we heard Honey.
Tori was gracious with her time, energetic and played the piano beautifully. Kevin and Bean asked her if she would consider recording classical music, she said she'd been thinking about it but that it would have to be visual too. Tori was wearing black leather boots, a long black skirt that had some elastic on the bottom and was minimally embroidered with some flowers and/or leaves, and a black shiny silk button down shirt with a gothic flair (vampirish collar and long flowing sleeves).
September 25, 1999 - I wasn't there (just didn't feel up to it) altho they did give away about 100 tickets to wristband lottery winners at the door. You had to be there by 5 AM for that... anyway... Here's what came over the airwaves =)
Alanis was up first, Kevin and Bean interviewed her, some of her fans asked her things, she talked about her trip to India, then sang three songs. One which I hadn't heard before was kind of good. I think she's a decent writer but, sound-wise, ouch.
Then it was Tori's turn; the crowd of only 400 people still produced VERY loud screams when she came out. Kevin and Bean chatted with her a bit, she mentioned that she'd been up all night shooting a video (when they asked about it later, she said "it's for a format that's not yours" whatever that means) (*maybe* a special enhanced cd or dvd ?!) and still had her video makeup on. But that she'd taken a shower very late at night/morning, and when she got out, the words "I'm Waiting" were written in the steam on the bathroom mirror ! She searched the entire hotel room and even the balcony but found nothing (maybe it was from the room's previous tenant, and the maid just hadn't seen it so didn't clean it ?). What a way to start the day !
Anyway. There was one pseudo-question (it was more like the guy wanted to tell his entire Tori music history) (but he sounded nervous so that's understandable) about why Tori chose something like Smells Like Teen Spirit to cover, when at the time it had hardly been heard. She said something about the piano trips you and lets you know. She chooses things that speak to her. She has to find a way into the song. When she covered Famous Blue Raincoat, Leonard Cohen's version was "already so stunning" that she had to find her own way in. She finally sang the song from the point of view of "Jane" in the song.
Then she sang Take to the Sky. Her voice was sometimes a bit gravelly, (but not during Concertina-- WOW) and sometimes in the interview she'd lose her train of thought, but really she sounded great and even her gravelly voice had a gravity/maturity/depth to it, by contrast to Alanis' nasal tweak. (tho Alanis had her moments too-- will be interesting to hear *her* in her late thirties) That was cos she hadn't slept I'm sure.... I hadn't slept either so I kinda knew how she felt ;o) Don't get me wrong it still sounded great.
Then let's see... what else did she mention... K & B asked her how she liked England, and she said she likes it but isn't an Anglophile. Brits are okay, she likes their humor. But if you wanna *relate*, "put a bucket on their head, forget it". An EWF asked her "what do you really think of your fans ?" Tori said most of the time "it's easy, except for when someone is plastered against the side of my house... you say, what's this sea creature sticking to my window ? Do they need oxygen ? Maybe they know I've always got oxygen with me, maybe that's it..." Then Kevin or Bean interrupted her (hate when they do that !) when she said "I'm into oxygen chambers and all that" and asked her, "Did you also buy the Elephant Man's bones ? Was that you ?" (because of the rumor about Michael Jackson sleeping in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, and trying to buy the Elephant Man's bones, I assume) You could almost hear Tori's irritation, in the silence. Then K or B described the look she gave them. LOL
Then she just basically said usually it's okay. What else... they asked her about her houses plural. She said she likes odd numbers (she has three houses). That if you're gonna have a main person and then an affair, you can't just have an affair with one, have an affair with two ! Cos a triangle is a more interesting shape than a line. They went back and forth about that while the audience cracked up. And cheered. And K & B said "it's about choice". Tori said "right" I think. Then K or B said, "That's why we like Tori. Right there."
The second song Tori sang was Concertina. This was amazingly, awesomely light and beautiful. The piano work, Tori's voice, everything. It just transported. (another EWF asked Tori about her musical influences, and Tori talked about some music being able to take you on a journey even tho u never leave your headphones)
This was where I had the radio by my ear, and eyes shut. And I was just taken somewhere else; it would sound goofy to anyone else so I won't describe the 'journey'. This 'girl' is my fave so far on TVAB anyway; and hearing her play it live, it was so soothing, so beautiful; it was like medicine. Her piano work was so gorgeous, I thought later, this is what those lucky few who got to hear Mozart or Liszt play, in person, must have felt like. There's talent and then there is awesome overflowing talent like Tori's. IMHO :o)
There was some more talk with Kevin and Bean and another couple of EWF questions, and then Tori played Honey.
About the audience: there were lots of shouts of "I love you Tori" off and on, and loud cheering; they sure sounded happy to be there. Kevin and Bean remarked on the stream of gift bearing EWF approaching the stage. Some gifts mentioned: flowers, candy, wine, and pajamas with monkeys on them =) And someone named Gracie gave Tori a handmade dress, saying "it's always been my dream you would wear something I'd designed". Tori thanked her twice, and said "I'm not gonna strip here though, and put it on, I hope you understand." (audience laughed)
It was just all really nice to listen to. Hope I've done it justice.
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