Tori Amos is part of a radio documentary series on Billie Holiday called 'Billie and Me - A celebration of Billie Holiday', which has been broadcast on BBC Radio 2 in the U.K. Part 1 of this 6-part radio series was aired on September 19, 2003. Tori was heard during that broadcast and during part 3 which was broadcast on October 3, 2003. I now have a transcript of what Tori said during parts 1 and 3 of this special. BBC Radio 2 streams live at www.bbc.co.uk/radio2. I have no idea if Tori will be heard during the remaining 3 parts, which will likely air on Friday nights at 10:00PM U.K. time.
Many thanks to Emma & Andy for sending this to the Dent.
Friday 19th September
I'm Tori Amos, and i remember my mother putting on Billie Holiday records when my father would go to church to preach, and as soon as he walked out the door she would grab one of her favourite records which would be Billie Holiday and put it on, and i could just see her come alive in that moment.
If you have been violated it becomes inprinted on you, it's a stamp, it's ink that can never be taken off, it's not a tattoo, it goes to your soul it affects your life forever, you're drawn into relationships that maybe nobody knows about, some of your friends don't even know you have this other life. Writing the songs and singing the songs that are reflecting your life -- what's really happening -- is the only way that you can keep in touch with yourself what's truly happening to you. I wrote a song years ago called "Me and a gun" about rape, and it was based on my own life and i think that in singing about it maybe it was the only way that i could free myself.
Friday 4th October
I'm Tori Amos. I think she had the ability to be like the land, she was able to take every woman's tears - black or white, from my mother to a woman in Brooklyn to a woman in Russia - that they all felt that this woman understood their desires, their passion, their secrets, i mean that just doesn't happen every year.
I'm Tori Amos. If you haven't walked that road it's very hard to sing about it because you're really playing a character you're like an actor which is very different - doesnt mean you couldn't move people but it's very different.There's something when she sings that makes you feel like that she knows what you are going through - because she does. You cant read the book so when we hear her sing we know that she knows and there's something about that - there's a deep friendship that i think women have had with her over the years because she's walked the road before us.
Here is a description of this 6-part radio series as printed in the U.K. Radio Times
Billie and Me
Biographies of Billie Holiday habitually concentrate on the singer's tragic personal life - how she was used and abused and died a drug addict - but this six-part series puts a fresh emphasis on Holiday's achievements as a woman artist. It's exclusively based on the views of other women, including writer Maya Angelou and singers Tori Amos, Diane Reeves, Diana Ross and Suzanne Vega. The result is a mix of interviews, original Holiday recordings and contemporary re-interpretations. Above all, it celebrates a singer without peer at performing women's songs of survival. Hosted by Neneh Cherry.