5 Things You Might Not Know About Tori Amos

Tuesday, August 22, 2017
5 Things You Might Not Know About Tori Amos

Since it’s her birthday, we thought we’d favor you with five things that you might not know about the woman who’s given you “Silent All These Years,” “Cornflake Girl,” and so many other alternative radio hits over the course of her career. If you’re a diehard Tori fan, then you may know some of these things already, but we’re guessing you won’t know ‘em all…or at least that’s our hope, anyway!

  1. She was the youngest student ever admitted to the preparatory division of the Peabody Conservatory of Music.

Amos was five and a half years old when she auditioned and was granted a full scholarship to attend. “I knew I was different,” Amos said in a 1992 interview with Keyboard. “I knew I did things that other kids didn’t do. But, you know, you don’t have an ego when you’re five. I didn’t want them to treat me like I was weird or special. It would be really great if other people did what I did and we could just hang out. You just want to have friends and play and eat popcorn together. And life is very simple. You get inspired, it’s very exciting.”

  1. She won a county Teen Talent Contest at age 13 by performing an original composition.

The song in question was entitled “More Than Just a Friend,” and it earned her not only a first-place trophy but also $100 and her photo in the local newspaper, The Montgomery Journal.

  1. She auditioned for a role in Howard The Duck, but she didn’t get the gig.

Some would likely argue that Amos dodged a bullet when she went out for the role of one of the rock chicks playing with Lea Thompson’s character in Howard the Duck, and they’re probably right in the grand scheme of things. but it probably didn’t feel that way at the time.

  1. Not only did Amos contribute backing vocals to Al Stewart’s LAST DAYS OF THE CENTURY album, but Stewart helped Amos develop an appreciation for fine wine.

In an interview with Wine X Magazine, Amos spun a fascinating story about how Stewart asked her to write a song for him – in fact, the first track she came up with was the song that ultimately became “Silent All These Years,” which she wisely kept for herself – and she became friends with him. At one point, she and her producer went out to dinner with Stewart and his girlfriend, and he introduced her to a Chablis that “changed my whole view of what a white wine was,” and “when Al exposed me to the French side of things – I mean, I was coming from the California side because I lived here – I was just blown away.”

  1. Amos recorded a duet with Michael Stipe in 1994 which has never been released.

The track, “It Must Hurt A Bit,” was recorded for inclusion on the soundtrack to the Johnny Depp / Marlon Brando film Don Juan De Marco, and as if the vocalists weren’t impressive enough, they were backed by Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Dave Navarro from Jane’s Addiction. It was high-profile enough of a collaboration to warrant the entertainment news show Extra showing a snippet of the recording session during a piece the show did on R.E.M., but for reasons which have never been adequately explained, it didn’t make it onto the soundtrack. Nor did it make it onto the Empire Records or How to Make an American Quilt soundtracks, though it was apparently discussed at various points for inclusion on both. The recurring remark from Amos on the status of the song is that she has no idea where the masters for that recording have gone, so if anyone’s got a line on them, for God’s sake, let us know!


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