Details and a few photos from Tori's New York City Tower Records signing on November 24, 2003
Updated Wed, Nov 26, 2003 - 1:40am ET
On Monday, November 24, 2003, Tori did a signing at Tower Records in Greenwich Village (692 Broadway) in New York City. I now have a few photos from this event, and some accounts from people who were there.
From Richard Green III:
Photo from Richard Green.
I went to Tori's album signing at Tower records yesterday and I'd just like to let you know what happened. They were only allowing people who had bought the album last week (and were given wristbands) to meet Tori. This sucked a lot for me and the group I came with - we drove 6 hours from Pittsburgh because we thought that it was going to be first come first serve (as www.toriamos.com and the Tower records website only mentioned the signing - nothing about the wristbands.) Even when we arrived at the store, all the posters and signs for the signing just talked about her appearing at 6pm on the 24th - they didn't include the part about the wristbands.
It was okay though - me and my friends had a wonderful day out on the town in New York and we did get to see her! The record store had the autograph table on the second floor, and those standing on the first floor could see Tori as she signed autographs and talked to the lucky fans that had wristbands. Joel said very clearly that there were to be no pictures, so I don't think that anyone who actually met her got to take any pictures. I did snap a few from the first floor, which I'll send to you as soon as I have (if any turn out). Tori seemed very talkative- she talked to each individual person for a good 3-4 minutes. She remained standing (at least for the first half hour of the signing - I left after that). She was giving everyone hugs and she looked very happy - everytime I got a glimpse of her face she was smiling!
All in all, a fun day - better if we had known about the wristbands - but still fun.
From Kim C.:
I attended the signing yesterday in NYC and managed to snap a few photos from a pretty close range (cameras were not permitted). I will get those to you in the next few days!! The signing itself was amazing!!! The signing went well over 2 hours-I left at 8:45 and probably 100 +people remained in line and all of those people were guarenteed a mtg with Tori (they had wrist bands). she was taking time with everyone and was as amazing as ever!!! I had her sign T.O.A .L but she was signing other stuff too!
so i was at the tower signing ... i was number one hundred. she was on the second level of tower and you had to wait outside ... and then inside ... then on the steps ... and "on deck" next to joel. joel was in a great mood ... he said he was just there for the day and probably wouldnt be in LA ... but that "you never know." tori looked good ... she was wearing a big shirt/dress type thing over a black jeans/pants and had her hair extensions in. they only allowed everyone on thing to sign (but tori signed more than that for some people) and all of the tower employees were talking to each other about how nice she was and how sweet she was ... but how long they were going to the be there (at almost 8:00 they had only gotten through 100 people ... still had 150 left to go ...) tori was super sweet ... instantly gave me a huge hug and i thanked her for playing purple rain for me in minneapolis ... she said "yah ... we had so much fun doing that ..." and she was pretty much all smiles. i told her snow cherries was really nice and she said "really? that means a lot to me" ... after another hug i was gone. she spent between thirty seconds and four minutes with people depending on how well she knew them ... how much she had to say to them ... etc. i thought the whole thing was really well run ... very organized.
not much to say about the tower signing, it was really nice, tori looked beautiful, the fans were all well behaved. probably not too many pictures around because joel asked that no pictures be taken. the event started off at 6 with groups of us being let into the building, then we waited again while store employees got things signed. at about 6:15 we were let up to see tori. tower was very organized and seemed to be well prepared for the event.
From Craig Mandel:
Hey...I figured I will write a mini review. There were approximatley 250 wristbands given out for the event but for more than that showed up. Maybe 500+?! Anyway the line was very very slow moving. It took me 3 hours to get to Tori! As for the siging only one item per person was allowed and no pics near or with Tori were allowed. I got some off from the bottom of the stairs but nothing that exciting. The set up was interesting. Tori was on top of the stairs and one by one she meet with each person. She spent an average of 30 secs to a minute on each person. It was nice and all but it sucked when you had to wait and wait and wait. But I really appreciated it when I finally got to meet her. She was very warm and super charming. She looked so happy and blissful as she hugged each person as they left. When I met her I introduced myself and said "Pretty Good Year sounds soo amazing on the dvd you have to start playing it more" She said thanks and that she really should. I said thanks hugged her and said goodbye. After attending this event you can realy tell how much Tori appreciats her fans. It was a nice experience. I hope everyone who went was fortunate enough to meet her.
My name is Alex, and I met Tori. I still cannot believe it actually happened but it did, and I have the autograph to prove it!
I got to the Tower Records on w. 4th at about 4:45 pm. I found my friend and we waited. The bouncer was pushing everyone up who had a bracelet or signed receipt. You had to buy Tales of a Librarian at that exact Tower Records in order to get one. If you had neither, you were out of luck. (Although, people were scalping receipts.) Tower was very good at guaranteeing everyone who had a bracelet or receipt that they would meet her.
The line moved unbelievably slow. It was very cold out but the people on line were pleasant and friendly. I was glad that I was in good company though. (I went with my best friend Brady, whom if not for him playing "Bliss" in his car 5 years ago, and me hearing, "Father, I killed my monkey" and being oddly intrigued, I would not be the devoted Tori fan I am right now.) We prolly moved about 10 feet in the first hour, that's it. We heard she wasn't rushing anyone and taking lots of pictures. One of the bouncers kept coming out and saying not to worry, she looked in no hurry to leave.
** fast forward about 4 and a half hours later.. around 9:30 pm **
Okay, so now we're in Tower on the stairs and I can see her. She was standing up, talking face to face with everyone. She was so personable and smiley. I was so nervous. I kept going over and over what I wanted to say, but it turned out to be no use. She was spending a few minutes with each person so the line was moving quickly up the stairs. There was a lump in my throat. Thank God for Yoga or else I wouldn't have caught my breath. I kept hitting Brady with my poster saying, "Oh my God Brades, we're actually gonna meet her!!" I told him he had to go first. Then, when there was like 10 people to go, we stopped talking. We had to calm down and collect our thoughts. This might be our only chance to meet her.
So, I am at the top of the stairs. First, I talked to a Tower employee, Jim. Just a "hi", "how are you", "what's your name" type of thing. I think it was just to relax you and take your mind off what was about to happen. Then, you go over to Tori's bodyguard, Joel, who was about 6 feet from Tori's side. I think you spoke to him so he could feel you out and see if you were going to go psycho on her. I have no doubt in my mind that if you freaked out, he would've taken you down in less than 5 seconds. He did not look like someone you would want to mess with. After Joel checked you out, you were ushered on to Tori…
I was so nervous, and anxious, and happy, and kinda scared, but in an ‘awe' kind of way. I'm sure you know, you've met her a bunch of times. I had told myself not to practice what to say, because I probably wouldn't say it and I didn't want to regret anything. So, I basically just said, "Hi Tori" and she said, "Well, hello!" I asked her how she was doing, and she said, "I'm good, how are you?" I said I was great! and I just kept thanking her.. She looked at my poster, which I attached a picture of (One of the whole poster, and one of the autographed part) and asked me where to sign it. I told her that she could sign where ever she wanted, the poster's artwork was a little busy, but it's a beautiful poster. She asked me how to spell my name and I told her. She signed in silver over the moon in my poster. Then I said, "Thank you so much for doing this. It really means a lot to me." AND THEN SHE REACHED OUT HER ARMS AND HUGGED ME!! She's very petite in person. She's so pretty! She had her long red wavy locks tied half up and half down (I think), a cream colored flowy top, and blue jeans on. Very casual but very chic. After I was done, I was sent down the stairs out the back door of Tower. It was over, and it felt like didn't even happen. Unreal.
I really couldn't have asked for it to turn out better. Waiting almost 5 hours in the freezing cold in uncomfortable knee boots was all worth it. I had just met the person who really showed me how it felt to enjoy listening to music. It was a very intense experience for me. One I will never forget.
I don't feel that many people or many things "get" me and when I listen to Tori, I feel like she does and her songs do. It's just a really good feeling. That might sound corny, but that's what Tori means to me.
I hope everyone who has the same passion for Tori gets to meet her. She's so sweet and so genuine.
Hope you enjoyed reading about my little encounter with Tori!
From Julie B.:
I learned about Tori Amos signing at Tower Records on your website and I later confirmed it on www.towerrecords.com and www.toriamos.com Both websites generally mentioned that she would be signing from 6-8 but said nothing more about the details. So when I got to the store at 4:45, I was shocked to learn that you had to have a wristband to get in and that only 250 wristsbands were given out the prior week. Furthermore, Tori's Body guard (Joel I think) came out and told us that Tori would not see anyone without a wristband. Had I known this I would not have come. Yet, many of us waited on line for many hours (4-5 hours) in the hopes that we will get to see her anyway. I was able to get a glimpse of her from a birds eye view by going into the Tower Records and going to the 3rd floor.
Apparently, I was not the only one who had this smart idea as there were several other people up there peeping in on the session. She was extremely gracious and spent as much as 5-10 minutes with some of the fans. No pictures were allowed to be taken, although some of the people on the 3rd Floor got a few.
When I got back on line, some of the Tower Records guards came out and ordered the fans without the wrist bands to leave. Many people who had been waiting for hours left. When I was told to leave, I responded that the sidewalk was a public property and thus, I couldn't be ordered to leave by Tower Records (I'm a third year law student...I know my rights). As a result, one of the guards, who might I add was very large and very angry, called me an "asshole." Then he told us that he was going to get some of his friends to kick us out. He came back a few minutes later with a bunch of guys who again ordered us to leave. This time, he called all 6 or 7 people waiting on line "assholes." I don't think Tori Amos would approve of her fans being called "assholes" for wanting to meet her. Mind you, none of these fans did anything disruptive or said anything. We were very calm.
At this point, feeling harrassed and tired, I went into Tower records and told Alvin, the general manager of investigations for all the Tower Records in the city, what happened. He went outside to speak to the other 6-7 people, who corroborated my story. As a result, the management at Tower Records remedied the situation by allowing us (me and the 6 other people who were called assholes) in to meet and get our CDs signed. Tower Record's upper management were extremely apologetic and professional in handling the matter (although I might add that the bodyguard who harassed me made noises at me when I passed him again). When I finally got to meet Tori, I told her what happened and how dedicated her fans are that they are willing to wait hours for her, even after being harrassed and called names. While this was not the ideal situation in which I would have liked to meet Tori, I am very glad I was able to do so. Tori was so dedicated and stayed 2 hours past when she was supposed to. I still think it is extremely unfair that many people were not given a chance to meet her after spending many hours waiting. I think if Tori plans to do this again, everyone should get a chance to meet her or it should at least be more organized.
I saw an ad in the Village Voice last week that announced Tori would be signing her new CD at Tower Records to those who buy the CD from there and got a wrist band. So last week I went to Tower and bought 2 CD's. One for myself and one for my friend's birthday (cuz she's a huge Tori fan as well).
So I got to Tower at about 2:30 with some McDonald's for lunch and a great spot on line. I was like the 30'th person. The hours went by and finally at 6PM Tori shows up and starts the signing upstairs. Although there weren't that many people in front of us, the line was moving slower than a great grandmother on a walker, climbing Mount Everest. But eventually we got in.
There was no picture taking allowed, and we could only get one item signed. I brought my From The Choirgirl Hotel CD booklet cuz it was the first album of hers that I bought and the one that made me a fan. I was pissed that I couldn't get a picture with her, but meeting her was really what I was there for.
So as we got closer to the top of the stairs, I realized why is was taking so long. It turned out Tori was not only signing stuff, but she was actually having conversations with every single person who approached her. She wasn't seated, but standing there, and giving everyone the time of day. I've never seen an artist do that before. Very cool. I actually kinda felt like that kid Ralphie in A Christmas Story, climbing those stairs to meet Santa Claus. I was looking for the twisting slide for her to kick me down when I was done.
So anyways, I get up to her and we hugged. She asked for my name and signed my CD. She was then open to talk, so I asked her a question that I was wondering the answer to for a while. I remember reading an article with Marilyn Manson, where he said he'd like to collaborate with a few artists, including Tori. I told her about that and asked her if it's something she'd consider doing someday. She said she'd consider working with almost anyone, but it's difficult to get together with other artists cuz one may be on the road while the other is in the studio, and so on. Then she started saying some weird shit about Manson being "on a path," and he needing to get through it. Anyone who knows how Tori speaks, knows she says some bizarre things. I forgot her exact words, but I basically took it as, "When Manson calms down, maybe we'll do some business." She did however say that she'd "Put it in the noodle," as she tapped her head.
So there it is, I met her. And I must say that I have a newly found respect for her after that. She actually cared about every fan there and didn't try to rush them all out so she could get to her next thing. She was actually asking people about what they do for a living and otherwise. She was cool as hell.
From joshua diaz:
I just wanted to give you a quick acount of my meeting with Tori at the record signing in NYC. I came with an offering "to the goddess", so I gave her some body shop lip balm (strawberry), she loved it. I basically interviewed her and asked her when Scarlet Sessions DVD would be released because I was there and thought it was a great show and it was supposed to be released. She answered that A DVD of a whole bunch of live stuff would be released and not just from one show or performance. So i thought that was good news to hear straight from her mouth instead of hearing rumors. I asked her what was the last good movie she saw and she couldn't think of one so she asked me to to suggest a good movie for her to see and I suggested KILL BILL. I asked her if she'd heard Madonna's American LIFE album and she said she hadn't and I suggested that she take a listen to it. I also told her that she should release more live albums in the way that PEARL JAM keeps releasing live albums every other month, to which she agreed and answered "fair enough". Sooo Tori to say that! I asked her, just to make sure, if Mrs. Jesus was a man in the song and she said yes. She said she enjoyed my questions and she signed in silver marker my SLG and TOAL and gave me a hug. She is so giving and accepting and her outfit was very stylish with a mother meets punk edge to it. Just thought you'd like to here what she had to say.