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From the archive: 2003 Tori Amos interview

Tori Amos, creator of the red-headed soundtrack to my adolescence, plays Chastain Ampitheatre Monday night. It seems so long ago and far away, but during my months as an AJC intern in 2003, I interviewed Amos on the phone, keeping my nostalgic fangirl calm. At the end, she told me it was refreshing to talk to someone who sounded so happy. I’ve pretty much never gotten over it.

Here’s the story, courtesy of the AJC archive:

If Tori Amos and Ben Folds were to have a duel on this summer’s “Lottapianos” tour, it’s hard to say who would win.

Folds is known for raucous melodies, a quirky demeanor and a hand-span larger than E.T.’s, suitable for hitting notes in ways most players can only dream of.

But Amos sets fires — well, not real ones, that is, lest anyone point out that she played Center Stage in the 1990s, leaving the Midtown venue just hours before it burned.

In a recent call from Chicago, Amos said every night of the summer’s tour reflects a new element, including fire.

Tori Amos during a soundcheck at Center Stage in 1994. AJC file photo.

She calls it a “metaphorical fire, ” a new fairy tale at every show, based on what’s in the news, what’s going on in her life, what’s going on in the city.

Celebrating her Native American heritage, Amos says it’s a reflection of her history, when people would gather around a blaze to share stories and information. “At a certain point, it’s just to be a part of a tradition, a privilege, ” Amos says.

Her latest release, “Scarlet’s Walk, ” follows an Everywoman as she travels around the United States, meeting other women, understanding the land and the history.

And on this tour, Amos is accompanied by her 2-year-old, Natashya (along with Folds’ 4-year-old twins). “Natashya contributes to the story and doesn’t even know it, ” Amos said. The things she picks up on and sees, sometimes I just miss seeing. It’s all through a child’s eyes.” Of course, that doesn’t mean Amos’ childlike spark is gone.

“I played the night [Center Stage] burned, kind of a Drew Barrymore ‘Firestarter’ moment, ” she says. “I guess I’m lucky enough to have danced with the devil, had a wonderful time, glorious evenings and a cup of tea now and then.”

Want to go? Tori Amos performs at 8 p.m. July 27 at Chastain Park Ampitheatre, 4469 Stella Dr. NW in Atlanta. $33.50-$43.50. For more information:

2 comments Add your comment

Jamie Gumbrecht

July 27th, 2009
9:51 pm

And really, that’s the reader I’m going for: nostalgic, giddy and loving. :)


July 27th, 2009
5:02 pm

I love your fan girl articles! Maybe because I can totally relate…