I first heard of
Tori Amos from my daughter Becky who was a DJ at her college radio station at East Carolina University. The year was 1992. As usual I downplayed her comments because we had gone through a love-hate debate over who we favored musically. As fate would have it, while driving on vacation to Fort Walton Beach, Florida through Nashville surfing radio channels, here comes Smells Like Teen Spirit on the radio. That Tori cover appears on the Crucify single. I asked my wife Marsha: "Who was that?" The DJ thankfully answered my question. Tori Amos. When we got home I bought Little Earthquakes and have been captivated ever since. I pretty much kept Tori to myself because I was older than most of her fans and nobody in my age group (my peers) knew of her. Marsha and I saw Tori in concert in Indianapolis in the summer of 1994 during the Under The Pink tour. Of course, she was awesome. I continued to privately (in the closet) worship the goddess until a series of events led me to discover Tori's internet following. That led me to realize that I was not alone in my adoration. Thousands of others seemed to have felt just like I did about her. Many seemed to have been inspired by her to improve their lives or to cope with a misfortune in their lives. Even though I had no such "demons" to exorcize, I still had this inexplicable attraction to Tori like I have had with no other person in my life. Through the internet I learned that if you go to a venue in the afternoon on a day Tori is scheduled to appear, you stood a good chance of meeting her. In July 1996, Tori was again on tour and was once again coming to Indianapolis to the Murat Temple Auditorium. I decided to go there in the afternoon to see what happens at these so called "meet and greets". I couldn't convince Marsha to go along with me so I went alone. I arrived in downtown Indy around 2:00 PM. There were already 4 young people there waiting. By 4:20 PM a group of 50 people were waiting quietly and somewhat nervously for Tori's arrival. While there I introduced myself to a nice fellow named Michael Whitehead from Louisville. He told me he had a Tori website and gave me the URL. Little did I know that I had just met the great MIKEWHY!! I took a photo and another of some of the nice young Toriphiles who were waiting with me. Mikewhy is the tall dude standing to the rear of the first photo. Then Steve, her bodyguard, put us into a single-file line, told us to behave, and said we could have something signed or have a photo taken, and to be quick about it! Okay, it was an assembly line, speedy meeting with Tori, but hey, it was worth it! And it was kind of interesting feeling like a school boy again, lined up in the hallway.
At 4:30, Tori's white limo pulled up and the temperature soared about 10
degrees. The sun was beating down on us fiercely. Agent Orange sprung from the car (Joel, her other bodyguard) and again told us the rules. Tori then came out to the cheers of everyone. She looked really relaxed in a pink, short sleeve top and jeans. We were in line, and I slowly edged my way toward her. At one point, I could hear her exclaim, "I KNOW YOU" to one of the fans in front of me. I felt like melting, but I somehow held it together.
It was my turn. Tori looked my way. I approached her. She looked at me somewhat mysteriously. I gushed: "Tori, I'm one of your geriatric fans." She laughed and grabbed my arm. She talked to me and everyone like she had known us for years. She was so at ease and well poised. Now since this was a 'meet her quick and then go' kind of thing, there was not much time. Agent Orange kept things moving swiftly. We hugged and I had my arm around Tori and she had hers around me (SIGH) and the kid behind me took photos. (God I hoped those photos turned out okay!!!) They did. I then turned toward her and looked into those incredible eyes. She was still smiling and gave me 100% of her attention. I handed to her my 12 x 12 cardboard photo of her and she signed it.
I know she said a few more things to me, but I was so nervous and my heart was
pumping so loudly I don't remember. Then I had to leave to let the next person see her. Two months later Marsha and I along with another couple travelled to Bloomington Indiana to see Tori at Indiana University's beautiful auditorium. I had planned on trying to get her to sign a 8 1/2 x 11 photo of our Indianapolis meeting but too many people were there so she wasn't signing. I did speak to her though and reminded her that I was the geriatric fan. She replied that she could use a little geritol herself. I gave her the photo. The Cincinnati "Plugged" concert that we attended in July 1998 was great. Tori's September 5, 1999 Indianapolis concert kicked ass. "Plugged 98" was also great.
This is my wonderful cybercat whose real name is Sylvester but answers to Bubby. He's the greatest cat on earth and in cyberspace.