Tori Amos has had a career full of buzz-worthy moments. Thanks to the miracle of YouTube, PopMatters brings you 10 of the most memorable ones out there. These clips prove three things: #1 Tori is hilarious, #2 You should never piss her off, and #3 she knows how to perfectly capture a zeitgeist moment and savor it.
10. “I Have a 12-Inch Cock”
In a wacky interview on German TV to promote 2007’s American Doll Posse, Tori discusses her 12-inch cock, pooping her pants, and having the fist of the patriarchy up her “yoni” -- metaphorically, of course.
9. “Time” on David Letterman
As David Letterman’s first musical guest after 9/11 (and one of very few artists not to cancel her touring schedule), Amos proved herself a class act with a performance of Tom Waits’ “Time” so tender she moved The Big Man to tears.
8. “Muhammad My Friend” with Maynard James Keenan
Leave it to Tori to out the Tool front man—in front of thousands of people no less—as a big softy who sings her lullabies when she’s sad.
7. “The Daily Show”
It would be years before we understood the impetus for her strange behavior and passive demeanor (in her autobiography Piece by Piece she revealed that Atlantic Records callously forced to go on a television and concert tour to promote 1999’s To Venus and Back following a particularly devastating miscarriage), but her interaction with the affable Jon Stewart remains one of the most awkward, maybe-funny moments of her career. “Ass sweat” indeed.
6. “Code Red/Get the Fuck Out”
Fiddle with your cell phone in the front row of a Tori Amos show. We triple dog dare ya.
5. “Caught a Lite Sneeze/Hurt”
After years of cagily dodging questions about her rumored relationship Trent Renzor, Amos uses a “Hurt” reference in her own “Caught a Lite Sneeze” during a TV performance to bitch-slap the Nine Inch Nails front man. Well played.
4.“I Like My Fucking Twat", aka, Tori on Britney’s “Toxic"
C’mon, tell us how you really feel, T.
3. Boys for Pele EPK
A rare look behind the scenes of her revolutionary 1996 opus captures at an artist at the height of experimentation and self-discovery. The short clip of Amos recording the background vocals for “Caught a Lite Sneeze” is nothing short of a revelation.
2. “Cornflake Girl” Dance
The interpretive “dancing” speaks for itself.
1. “Me and a Gun” 2007
Amos famously refused Oliver Stone permission to use “Me and a Gun” on his soundtrack for Natural Born Killers, so it was a kick-to-the-stomach shocker to see her—in character as “Pip", American Doll Posse’s dealer in dark matter, mind you—rubbing a butcher knife against her rubber-clad thighs and a gun to her during a grunge-rock reinterpretation of her unnerving acapella account of sexual assault. The pinnacle of Tori’s theatricality. Not to be missed.