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celebrity interview: tori amos

In effort to continue my troubled interview series, I was going down a list of publicists, making calls. Eventually I came to and dialed Tori Amos’ reps. I gave my typical schpiel, ready for the CLICK that always followed, when strangely I was granted the interview. Apparently Tori doesn’t like to do much press but has agreed to make a real concerted effort in support of To Venus and Back. I was stunned. And scared. And excited. And then hungry so I made a sandwich.

I arrive at a posh suite on the fourth floor of LA’s famed hotel Chateau Marmont. Many people have died in the Chateau and I really feel the spirits of such stars as John Belushi stirring in the breeze. Or maybe I don’t. I’ve never really been in "touch" with that sort of thing.

Tori’s publicist answers the door and leads me into a swanky room where Tori sits, looking radiant and red-headed on a black duvet. At least I think it’s a duvet. It might just be a couch. Wordlessly the rises and hugs me. I can feel the absolute sincerity in the hug. She sits back down and smiles. She has very good posture and locks eyes with me. In fact her eyes almost never leave mine. It gets kind of creepy.

ME: So. Thank you for agreeing to sit down with me.
TORI: Thank you.
ME: I really love your new album. (Tori smiles, stares at me.) Uh… and the live stuff is very good. I saw you live about eight months ago at the Greek Theatre.
TORI: Did you have a good time?
ME: Yes. Did you? (I laugh. Tori smiles, stares at me.) At the show, there, I was surprised how rabid your fans seemed to be. For instance, there were two girls sitting in front of me who would burst into tears every 30 seconds. How does that make you feel?
TORI: Thank you.
ME: I liked the lighting, in that show, by the way. Very cool… uh… lighting. (Tori smiles, stares at me.) So, people accuse your music of being pretentious and increasingly obscure. What do you think about that?
TORI: What do you think about that?
ME: I… don’t agree?
TORI: (Tori smiles, stares at me.) I think the songs, they are who they want to be. I don’t tell them to be obscure. Rasberry Swirl, for instance-
ME: Off From The Choirgirl Hotel.
TORI: (Tori smiles, stares at me.) –Yes. She was very straightforward and I think she had a need to be understood on a base level.
ME: Who’s "she"?
TORI: The song.
ME: Oh. (Tori smiles, stares at me.) Right. So where do you live these days?
TORI: In England.
ME: Do you like it? (Tori smiles, stares at me.) I’ve never been. Maybe I’ll come stay with you. (I laugh. Tori smiles, stares at me.) I was kidding.
TORI: Would you like some wine?
ME: Yes, I’ve heard you like good wine. In fact, you manage to sneak that fact into every interview, it seems.
TORI: (handing me a glass) This is Marseau ’82.
ME: It’s very good.
TORI: Do you think so?
ME: Yes. (We sip in silence. Tori smiles, stares at me.) I like the new album.
TORI: You said.
ME: Yeah. Have it on shuffle. (Tori smiles, stares at me.) It’s like a whole new album each time… with the shuffle… you know. (Tori smiles, stares at me.) Tori? (Tori smiles, stares at me.) You’re kinda creeping me out. (Tori smiles, stares at me.) I have to go. (Tori smiles, stares at me. Nods. Then hugs me.)
TORI: (looing deeply into my eyes) Thank you.
ME: OK. Can I go now? (Tori smiles, stares at me. I leave, stumbling out onto Sunset where I search for my car, but all I can concentrate on is that smile, hovering over the House of Blues, like the Cheshire Cat.)


…It’s past noon my time, and Regis did not call me. Fucker. I’m trying him again. "I won’t be ignored, Regis."


jupiter.gif (29573 bytes)

…The question of moons in our solar system has elicited far more response than I ever could have guessed. It is a comfort, and a bit of a shock, to discover that my readers care about shit like that. I’m sorry I underestimated y’all. From now on we only discuss intelligent, worldly things. No more fear of the Kool-Aid Man. No more TapLights. No more tales of stars masturbating in public restrooms. Just science, baby. Get ready.

So for those interested, here is an email I received on the names of some of our moons:

>Hi there,

>>I don't know that many of Jupiter's moons, though I know that they were all>named after the god Jupiter's sexual conquests. I do know the names of the>four big moons discovered by Galileo: Io, Ganymede, Callisto, and Europa>(Ganymede is, I think, the only one of Jupiter's moons named after a boy.)>>I don't think Galileo named them that, though, I think he named them after>his patron, and they were later renamed. I'm going to guess that another>couple of Jupiter's lovers are also moons: Alcmena, mother of Hercules, and>Semele, mother of Bacchus. But I'm not sure without looking them up, either>on the NASA website or in Ovid. And I can't remember any more of those>unlucky women.>>I think Saturn's moons are all named after Titans. The only Titan I remember>is Rhea.>>Pluto's moon, if the habit of using mythological relationships holds, is>probably Charon (ferryman of the dead), though it could also be either the>three-headed dog Cerberus or the Lord of the Dead's unwilling consort>Persephone.>>How'd I do? Tell me that effort I spent acquiring a classical education>wasn't entirely wasted.

>>Dorie Apollonio

Well. There you go.

Back at your mom’s house…

…Here’s a brief glimpse into Stee’s sometime bizarre thought process: In thinking about Tevin Campbell’s arrest, I remembered he used to write his name like this: T.E.V.I.N. And then I was reminded of the movie D.A.R.Y.L. about the child robot. Remember that? And then I flashed on that old sitcom Small Wonder, and came to this conclusion:

Child robots are scary.

Somewhere else…

…check this. Funny site.

From the Last Chance Department…

…I got through to Regis again. Today was very easy. First dial. And today is the last day: (please forgive all spelling errors)

Put these words in order to make a 80’s syndicated show:
1 – simmons
2 – richard
3 – show
4 – the

OK. Scary, but obviously 4,2,1,3. CORRECT!!!

Put these events in Asian History from oldest to most recent:
(Oh dear God…)
1 – the fall of saigon
2 – tienamin square massacre
3 – general perry enters tokyo bay
4 – the a-bombs are dropped on japan

Fuck. Uh… 3,4,1,2. CORRECT!!!

OK. One more to go

Put these teeth in order from front to back:
1 – incisor
2 – wisdom
3 – bicuspid
4 – canine

I froze. I don’t even remember what I entered. I suck.

But… I get one more try today. I get through:

Put these words in order to form the name of a 70’s band:
1 – the
2 – gang
3 – and
4 – kool

Celebrate good times baby. 4,3,1,2. CORRECT.

Put these volcanoes in the order you would pass over them if you were flying East from London:
1 – kilawaii
2 – mount st. helens
3 – visouvious
4 – pinatubo

WHAT?! Are you fucking kidding me, Regis? What the hell kind of second question is that???

"I’m sorry, time’s up."

So you won’t be seeing me on the show this go-around. Regis will be back probably early next year. And lord knows I’ll be trying.


…I had a three hour-long meeting (we drank at a swank place at the table next to David Spade) with this former ICM agent / Big Studio VP of Production who likes my script. Basically I’m in massive turmoil about it today because of the "deal" she’s offering me. I don’t know if I should accept or not. I don’t want to talk too much about it right now, but at times like this I wish I wasn’t so TOTALLY ON MY OWN. I have no agent. No manager. No old screenwriting teacher to go to. My mom doesn’t know shit. My girlfriend knows less than I do. My writer friends are either oddly jealous or just don’t know. My actor friends just want a part in the thing. And the question is this: Who Do You Trust? Well, I wanted independence and self-reliance, I fucking got it, in spades. I’ve given myself a week to decide.

From the Proves Rob’s Point That Male Journalers Are Sissies Department…

…The girls got a new toy today. Cute cute cute.


…Show tonight. Not ready. Want to go home and sleep. Argh ack blech.

The Larry King Happy Song Corner

king larry.gif (10010 bytes)

Larry is busy watching the episode of MTV’s TRL he taped last night.

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