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Tori Amos' Secret Garden

Page 4 of 4

"Because the songs are complicated and not so literal, people get lots of room to move," says Amos. "And I think the songs can become little myths for people. All the myths are symbolic and representative of something." And anyone who mocks these myths can expect the moon child to morph once more into Mr. Blonde.

"I want to torture the people who don't understand the world of faeries," fumes Amos with almost church-lady righteousness. "You'll get some reporter from Vogue who doesn't know what she's talking about, who paints me as some insipid Tinker Bell character – well, Tinker Bell ain't up my Strasse, baby. I'm not some shivering waif in the forest. Sometimes I want to grab these bitches by the hair and take them to the world of faerie and say, 'Would you repeat that?'

"People can be so vicious toward the imaginary world, and it saddens me. You kill a lot of little people's dreams that way. You're no different from Hitler, as far as I'm concerned."

Amos stares her piercing stare. You wait for her to realize what she's just said and issue a disclaimer or make some gesture of self-deprecation. She does not blink.

This story is from the June 25th, 1998 issue of Rolling Stone. 

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

More Song Stories entries »
 
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