Since it’s Tori Amos‘ birthday today, I thought I’d do a post on her music and what it means to me. At 15 I didn’t have much passion for any kind of music – I listened to classical because I played the piano and whatever was on the radio so I could fit in with my friends. (I did have a big love for musical soundtracks, but I wouldn’t admit to that until I was a little older). Then one rainy day, I was waiting in a bus shelter with my friend Tiffany and we weren’t talking or anything. Just sitting and looking out into the rain. And Tiffany started to sing (she has a beautiful singing voice). She sang this song:
I remember being so overwhelmed with the melody and the words that made no sense but made all the sense. I bought the albums and the sheet music and printed out pictures to stick in my agenda like the good fan girl that I was. My writing changed and I started listening to more female musicians (Ani Difranco, Fiona Apple, Heather Nova, Suzanne Vega, etc.). All music that shaped me. I believe that.
But Tori was first.
To see her play live, seated between two pianos, sometimes straddling the bench and playing two at once, is unforgettable. Anyway, I gush because that’s what big Tori fans do. I know she’s not for everybody (in her own words: “I know I’m an acquired taste – I’m anchovies. And not everybody wants those hairy little things.”) but if you’ve never heard her music and this is your first taste and you like it, then welcome to the club.
Happy Birthday Tori!