Tori On Tonight Show With Jay Leno
On Thursday night, September 17, 1998, Tori appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. She performed Jackie's Strength with her band and was the third guest, after Paul Reiser and Lucy Lawless. Tori sounded a little hoarse but the performance was excellent! In addition to singing, Tori got to talk for a few minutes with Jay, and she was really funny. She talked about how she used to live in L.A. and play weddings to help pay the rent. She even mentioned that there is a bootleg out there with her singing at a wedding, which caused some people in the crowd to applaud. She also said she tried for a part in Howard The Duck but did not get it. She also talked about actors who suddenly think they are musicians. She was really funny. Thanks to Toriphile Michael Piane, I have a closed captioned transcript of the interview. It does not match what Tori said exactly, but it gives you an idea of what happened. You can read that below after the photos. I also have reports from people who were at the taping.
You can find photos from this appearance below.
Click on thumbnail to see a larger image.
This transcript is rough and not very accurate, but it gives you a good idea of what was said. If anyone has an exact transcript, feel free to send it! Thanks to Michael Piane for sending me the Closed Captioned one below.
[Tori performed Jackie's Strength.]
Jay: good to see you. Have a seat. Here you go. Great as always. How are you, buddy?
Tori: i'm great.
Jay: now, you used to live here, right?
Tori: yeah. [ laughter ]
Jay: what jobs did you have here? Working in l.a.?
Tori: well, i was playing piano bars.
T: i do weddings.
Jay: oh really?
T: i could have done your wedding. I've done "we've only just begun" and those fantastic, favorite songs. I mean, they're good, but yeah, "you played in my wedding," yeah. It scared the bootleg out of me, playing at someone's wedding.
[note from mikewhy: The line above is really quite wrong. Tori was saying something like she still runs into people that remember her playing at their weddings. She then said that there is a bootleg out there with her playing at a wedding many years ago. The toriphiles in the audience clapped and then Tori pointed at them and said something like, "see, they know about it."]
Jay: were you ever fired from a gig?
T: i got fired all the time because they didn't like my dresses, because i was into leather. [ laughter ] so that didn't work out too well.
[tori also said something about her being a lita ford]
T: but i was trying to pay my rent by doing -- i mean, this is funny because they are actors. They are like the real [tori points to the other two guests to her right] they do it. And i would try and make a little extra money doing commercials and stuff. And i tried to get the part in "howard the duck."
Jay: oh, the movie, "howard the duck?"
T: yeah. But it was a band. So i thought i could audition as one of the band members. And, you know, why not? I can do better than some stupid actress. [applause ] I don't mean you [motioning to lucy lawless], but [ laughter ] i just have to say one thing. I know musicians being actors, it is horrible. I think it's actors trying to be musicians and they learn three chords and think they are it. Think they are like, "strum, strum, strum, i know a song. Strum, strum, strum." [ laughter ] but i didn't get the part.
Jay: oh, well, you are lucky you didn't get it. See, it would have ruined you. You would have been out of show business. Well, no you wouldn't. You were great.
T: Well --
Jay: well, congratulations. This is "from the choirgirl hotel."
Jay: good to see you, pal. Please come back.
Toriphile Kim H. was at the taping and sends this report:
Rumors buzzed early on that Tori would sing "Jackie's Strength", and indeed she did. But i'm skipping ahead !
It was odd, but for me, the wait outside didn't seem as magical and fun as it did last time. I have no idea why. Maybe the heat ? The California heat wave is apparently not over yet. In any case, there didn't seem to be the same sort of hanging-out and camaraderie as last time. But that could well just be me !
Well, anyway... they lined us up in single file (with all their grievances--haha) and searched our bags and escorted us in. I must say that ALL the pages were really really nice this time. Last time they were a bit um, brusque with us. They even set out water and lemonade and cups for the line ! I was amazed. I went up and thanked them... i thought that was cool.
Paul Reiser and Lucy Lawless were the other guests. Jay once again said that he knew a lot of us were there for Tori but to try to remember to laugh during the monologue ! I think he mentioned something about being responsive (can't remember his exact words) during the whole show, with the other guests too (this was all during his pre-show talk, in shirt and jeans). I wonder if he says that to other fan groups ?
Cos the pages told us that people camped out for two days for Depeche Mode, and one day each for The Cure and The Artist.
Oh... some interesting things that happened, that won't be on the taped show...
Before the show, Jay Leno comes out and asks if people have questions for him and people can also request pictures with Jay. This time, two people (Heather was one) (Heather, Jenn, Jeni and Steph were there again this time too) asked for photos of Jay but not to be in them themselves since the photos were a gift for someone else.
The second person told Jay it was for an 11 year old cousin and Jay said, "what's his number ? Let's call him up !" and he did !! That must be one happy eleven year old. And he signed the Polaroid taken of himself on the phone, for the boy, also. Everyone cheered that.
And during Paul Reiser's segment, there was a problem with his microphone and the show stopped tape and the crew came out to replace the mic. Paul was adorable, joking about everything that happened, and being self deprecating and the whole bit. Well, i've had a mini crush on him since seeing him as Modell in Diner *L* so i may be biased. I really did think of it as a bonus he was there too.
Then Lucy Lawless came out, to some big cheers. She had quite a group there to see her as well. She talked about being late for her own wedding and how it's a tradition in New Zealand. I couldn't help but think it was coincidentally appropriate since Tori was going to sing about being lost for her own wedding, in "Jackie's Strength".
Then soon enough, Tori was announced, the EWF cheered loudly, and the wall went up to reveal Tori and her band. I couldn't really see as much as i could last time; i was in the middle section in the floor seats. I could see Tori but i had to lean over. I could see part of Caton and that was really it. I thought Tori's voice was full and throaty and full of sensitive emotion. A mellower rendition of the song. Her outfit was great; all grey, which is supposedly the color of the fall season. She looked great in it. Grey shirt, skirt, hose and shoes. Her hairstyle was fluffy waves. She looked beautiful.
Something else not visible on tv: during the song, Paul Reiser and Lucy Lawless were both rapt ! During the commercial break before Tori came out, Heather nudged me and said "Paul's looking at the cd". And he was ! He took the little booklet out and read everything there was time to read, looked at the pictures, everything. Many times during a taping, when someone's own segment isn't on they look bored, and don't pay attention to the musical guest (well, i used to work for a tv station and i noticed that). But see-- i knew he was a nice guy ! :)
And during the actual song, Paul leaned over in his chair to see her and he just looked really transfixed; and Lucy stood so she could see too. They both listened the whole time. Nobody just chatted during it, etc. That was really kewl of them, in my book. The power of Tori !
I noticed Tori's shoes when she sat down to talk with Jay. Partly open at the sides, pointed toes, high heels. They looked like Manolo Blahniks. Her outfit was understated but really well put together.
She talked with Jay about trying to make a living when she was in Hollywood, just trying to pay her rent. She said she did a cereal commercial and auditioned to be in the movie "Howard the Duck". She said she knew that musicians being actors were... (she made a finger in her throat gesture here) but, also, actors being musicians... they knew three chords but still acted as if "oh i know a sooonnngg"; it was pretty funny. She said she thought she could be one of the members of the band in the movie, but she didn't get the part.
She also said that early on she played weddings and piano bars. She said to Lucy Lawless, "I could have played your wedding". She said she sang things like Evergreen and that there was a bootleg out of her singing at someone's wedding. Some EWF cheered and Tori said to Jay, "See, they know".
Well, the rest can be seen in the actual show. So i'll skip ahead...
Tori waved to us after the show ended. Then all the guests together with Jay, cut some promo clips. Jay seemed to favor Tori; he introduced Paul Reiser and Lucy Lawless very nicely but he had his arm around Tori and introduced her as "my wife Tori". Haha.
After the show, there were maybe three times as many people waiting for Tori as last time, so she simply got out and spoke to all of us at once and thanked us for being there, asked if we would be at the shows and when people said yes, asked for song requests. That was pretty much it ! She was very nice, and no one blamed her for not going down the line etc. We didn't even know if she would stop at all, so everyone was happy.
It was fun getting to know more EWF and seeing Tori. Some people did express concern she seemed tired and her voice a little hoarse when speaking. She got to talk a lot more during her segment this time; i only felt sorry for Paul Reiser who was the only one who didn't get a huge cheer. :( A lot of EWF said they liked him too, though. I hope he gets to listen to "Choirgirl"-- which by the way, i saw Tori signing for Jay during a break !
Toriphile Brian Michael Weidemann was at the taping and sends this report:
I just wanted to write you to let you know that I attended the taping of The Tonight Show earlier today. For a quick review, I'll just say that it was amazing. I attended the show back in May when Tori was on as well, but this time it was much better.
I was especially shocked that after her beautiful performance, she actually had a conversation with Jay that was longer than are those normally with the musical guests. It was so great to hear little anecdotes about her having auditioned for Howard The Duck. She said it wouldn't be that weird for musicians trying to act, but then compared it to actors trying to play music. This was the really cute part where she said all they have to do is know three chords and it's like, "Strum, strum, strum. I know a song... strum, strum, strum." Of course, this was all broadcast (in fact, just a few minutes ago, as I'm writing this) so it's not really necessary to describe all this.
After the show was over, they stuck around, like they did last time (and like everyone probably does every day they shoot) to film some promo spots. During the promos, Jay jokingly said that they were all double dating... Paul Reiser with Ms. Lawless, and that Tori was Jay's wife. Tori's response to this claim was really cute, as she leaned her head to his side and (as I recal) patted his chest.
She then left the stage with her bodyguard (forgive me, for I don't know his name) and the audience was escorted out. Because the last time I attended, when I failed to be at the exit where Tori's limo pulled out and stopped, I left rather hastily, I learned she would probably do the same thing this time... so my friend and I went to the line of people at the lot exit to wait for her. Her limo came by, and did stop. At this point, I had my camera ready and clutched the small stack of papers I wished to give her (filled with some photocopies of my drawings of her and much of my Tori-inspired poetry). Her bodyguard got out and announced something that I couldn't quite hear. All I could make out was that we could take pictures if we wanted. Tori then got out. (OH MY GOD!!!) She appeared just as she did as she was performing. I don't think she changed, removed any make-up, or anything. She was quite the vision, and I got one picture. Just one of her over the crowd. She, unfortunately, didn't come around to everybody for hugs, autographs, pictures, etc. I was very disappointed. She basically stood at the limo door for a couple minutes thanking everybody, waving, and what seemed like chit-chatting with the few people lucky enough to be right there at the limo door.
Tori said her goodbyes, got in, and they drove away.
I didn't get a chance to hand her my stack of printed creativity, but I didn't let it bother me too much. I'll be attending her show on the 22nd at the Greek, and I'm looking forward to having the opportunity to say what I have to to her at the meet & greet. I just hope that I don't miss out on that chance.
As for her performance of Jackie's Strength, it was amazing! It was masterfully performed, and it had inflections that differed from the studio recording that make the live performances all worth it. For instance, at the end, she added little melodic acrobatics to the final notes that, though I think she may be doing on more of her recent performances, make the song have more depth and beauty. During the commercial break before her performance, they lifted up the big curtain that covers the band's little performance area just about a third of the way so they could get some last minute camera shots aligned and such. During this time, I caught a glimpse (I had a really good seat of the band area) of Caton picking up his Telecaster and warming up. I had the urge really quick to shout out, for a humorous effect, "I love you, Caton," but I didn't. The curtain went all the way down and I continued to wait for them to come back from commercial.
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