Tori Amos - Memories
Updated: Nov 5, 2020
I remember the first time I heard this song (and this album - "Little Earthquakes"). It was during the early part of the summer of 1992 - windows and sliding glass door wide open with the faint sound of cars driving down a nearby street.
It was early evening and I was sitting on the couch across from my best friend Scott in his apartment. He told me he found something I should listen to. As we both popped off the tops of cold beers, I quickly realized he wasn't wrong.
The world stopped for the next 57 minutes and 11 seconds as I sat motionless and blown away by what I was hearing. This was something new and it immediately got my attention.
This is Tori Amos singing "Me and a Gun" (live). I've attended 3 concerts of hers. Seeing Tori is never just a casual evening of enjoying music with other fans - Her shows are a whiplash rollercoaster of various emotions, thoughts and experiences. The entire theatre (except for applause at the end of each song) remains absolutely 100% still. Nobody is walking around and nobody is even whispering. Nobody coughs or clears their throat. Dead silence, except for the beautiful words flowing from the stage. This continues until the performance ends.
I met Tori outside of an Italian restaurant in Las Vegas (my hometown) in 1992 - about 3 hours after my first Tori show. Thanks to a friend with a heavy foot and driving skills that would make you blush, we kept up with the departing car after the show. My friend left soon after arriving, but I decided to stay. I walked next door to the tacky (think: super tacky) touristy Las Vegas gift shop next to the restaurant and quickly bought a blank card with the Ace of Spades on the front and a ballpoint pen to write a quick note. I had it ready for Tori when she exited the restaurant.
She walked out of the front doors and I melted.I was wax that would never be molded into the same shape again.
I very much regret that I startled her as I walked towards her - but she quickly realized I was a harmless fan - with a genuine smile and a tacky greeting card in my hand. She was very kind as we chatted for about 25 seconds. I wished her a good evening and then called a cab to take me home.
This memory is one of my favorites and it always will be. As a writer, I strive to weave meaningful words that even closely resemble the care and complexity of a Tori Amos lyric. When Tori sings, I listen. And her work continues to be influential upon my writing many years later. Her work challenges me to continually write something better - something that might change the world, even if only slightly.
And I love that. :-)