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Joe Jackson performs 'Real Men' in concert and mentions Tori's version!

Updated Fri, Apr 25, 2003 - 1:33am ET

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Thanks to Eric (with a 'c') for this fascinating tidbit from April 24, 2003!

    I attended a Joe Jackson concert tonight (in Cologne, Germany). Similar to Tori, he does a three song solo set in the middle of his (very good) show.

    And in this part, he is 'sort of' taking requests. (He allows people to shout song names, but then immediately rejects most of them...) Anyway, some people shouted 'Hometown' and he started the solo set with this beautiful song - and it was very nicely done! Then, he said that he would play a Steely Dan song, just because he 'felt like it'. I am not very familiar with the Steely Dan songbook, but the song frequently had the lyrics 'any kind of dude would tell you' (or something very similar...).

    Finally, when he was done with the Steely Dan song, he thought for a moment and then said 'Well, why not...'
    And then he said something like this (the wording certainly was very different - but the content should be very close), before playing a very nice (solo) version of 'Real Men', which indeed did not sound too dissimilar from Tori's:

    "My songs don't get covered too often. And when they are, the versions are usually crap. I always feel very humbled nevertheless. It's nice when your songs get attention. But one of my very old songs recently got covered by Tori Amos." (at this time, about three people in the audience, including myself, were applauding...) "And this version was not crap at all. But she changed some of the lyrics. I believe she did it on purpose, don't you think? Or do you think she just messed up...? No, I think she did it on purpose. Anyway, I will now play my version of Tori Amos' version of my song."

    The way he said all of this seemed very respectful. He certainly respects Tori a lot as a musician. I was once more proud that I am a member of the Toriphile community. After the song and into the applause, he said "Thank you very much. - Tori thanks you, too...".

    It seemed like I was just lucky to hear this song - I had the impression that it was a spontaneous choice. Maybe there was some sort of Tori spirit in the room :)...

Eric emailed me later with this additional info:
    I did some more research. It appears that the solo version of 'Real Men' is actually played by Joe Jackson quite often, maybe in about 75% of the shows on the current tour (so it was not actually that spontaneous.... It also seems like Joe Jackson has not only yesterday been talking about Tori's cover version (he also said yesterday that the changed lyrics would actually alter the meaning of the song):

    Another (more or less) interesting small aspect is that 'Real Men' was followed in yesterday's show by a song from Joe Jackson's new album. This song is called 'Fairy Dust'...

Posted by: Mikewhy

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