Back in the ’90s, Tori Amos was vigilant about keeping her personal life and her music separate–even if it meant forfeiting more publicity and sales. So for an artist who has kept her private life well-guarded, save for necessary overshares, why is Amos suddenly going on-the-record about her marriage to producer Mark Hawley? Perhaps she actually does feel threatened by Lady Gaga’s staying power, despite claiming that Gaga was no better than a meteor sinking through the sky.
Amos recently told a tabloid, “We’re both perfectionists, so we’re vicious but fair. It can make it difficult to walk back in and be lovers.” Err, okay. Not that any of us should be sensitive to a woman who’s always made love, sex, and combustible relationships the centerpiece of her repertoire, but again, why now, Tori? Why the tell-all to tabs? “If we’ve had a confrontation in the studio, we’ve made a pact to make up before bedtime, so we always make sure our romance side is protected.” But the important question that even graduate students handing in iron-clad dissertations must face: “Who cares?”
Amos has always been pleasantly absent from celebrity gossip columns. In fact even when most of us came to the daunting conclusion that there would never be another Boys For Pele, we respected her for being able to step out of the limelight and work on her next projects peacefully. Usually, she’d emerge to toss out a few soundbites whenever there was an album or a tour to hawk, but for the most part, she didn’t need the promotional song-and-dance. And many of us liked her all the more for that. By the end of the ’90s, she became an anti-pop star in her own right. Then suddenly, sometime in the aughts, she transformed into someone who was more concerned about making sure the public knew how much she loved her brand new Saab than the sliding quality of her output.
Maybe Amos’ desire to shift from the fringes of pop to its center has been long in the works. In seeing the frenzy that someone like Steven Tyler can generate, Amos decided that going on-the-record about the minutiae of her life, along with the watering down of her music, could help propel her ascent from left-field priestess of alt-pop to mainstream rock fixture quite capably. Although Kate Bush–her obvious muse–has achieved that status with none of the circus.