Milestone would be the only way to describe the past year of our “Cornflake Girl,” who turned 50 last August and released her 14th studio album, Unrepentant Geraldines, in March. That’s given way to Tori Amos’ ambitious, one-woman worldwide tour.
“Well, 49 was not good, first off,” reflects the singer from a stop in San Francisco. “These songs were the songs that walked me through that bridge, or over it and into a different place. Now I’m looking at the next 50 years of my life.”
She admonished the pop industry for the manner in which it treats women of a certain age, while also taking it head on.
“In the pop world, record labels tell you that they have more men over 50 and up than they do women over 50 because there isn’t a big demand for it. I said, ‘Well, that sucks.’”
Just as she became a cornerstone of Unrepentant Geraldines with a powerful duet on “Promises,” Amos’ 13-year old daughter Natashya (“Tash”) provided the push to send her mother back on the road.
“My daughter was instrumental in [the tour],” recounts the singer. “She was like, ‘Look, what you’re saying is that you’re defeated by this. You have to go compete with your 28-year-old self. You’re not 84. You’re not a grandma.’
“In the music business it’s very much about younger success. Or men. You know, there’s pot bellies and beards and gray hair and all that, but as I get older as a woman I have to find ways to tell those stories and play those songs. You don’t get cast in a movie. It’s not as if you’re going to see a Helen Mirren movie.”– Abby Johnston