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Tori Amos' Story

There is a lady by the name of Tori Amos whose music I've come to really admire. Why is she being mentioned on this site? Well, the answer is simple. She not only is the co-founder of R.A.I.N.N. (The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network), but is also a survivor of rape as well. This is most dramatically protrayed in her song, "Me And A Gun."

5am friday morning thursday night far from sleep
I'm still up and driving can't go home obviously
So I'll just change direction cause they'll soon know where I live
And I wanna live
Got a full tank and some chips
It was me and a gun and a man on my back
And I sang "holy holy" as he buttoned down his pants

You can laugh
Its kind of funny
Things you think
Times like these
Like I haven't seen Barbados so I must get out of this

Yes I wore a slinky red thing
Does that mean I should spread for you, your friends
Your father, Mr Ed
It was me and a gun and a man on my back
But I haven't seen Barbados so I must get out of this
And I know what this means
Me and Jesus a few years back used to hang
And he said "it's your choice babe just remember
I don't think you'll be back in 3 days time so you choose well"
Tell me whats right
Is it my right to be on my stomach of Fred's Seville

It was me and a gun and a man on my back
But I haven't seen Barbados so I must get out of this
And do you know Carolina
Where the biscuits are soft and sweet
These things go through your head when there's a man on your back
And you're pushed flat on your stomach it's not a classic Cadillac

It was me and a gun and a man on my back
But I haven't seen Barbados so I must get out of this
I haven't seen Barbados so I must get out of this

Here is Tori's story:
"I'll never talk about it at this level again but let me ask you. Why have I survived that kind of night, when other women didn't?", she says.
"How am I alive to tell you this tale when he was ready to slice me up? In the song I say it was 'Me and a Gun' but it wasn't a gun. It was a knife he had. And the idea was to take me to his friends and cut me up, and he kept telling me that, for hours. And if he hadn't needed more drugs I would have been just one more news report, where you see the parents grieving for their daughter".

"And I was singing hymns, as I say in the song, because he told me to. I sang to stay alive. Yet I survived that torture, which left me urinating all over myself and left me paralyzed for years. That's what that night was all about, mutilation, more than violation through sex".

"I really do feel as though I was psychologically mutilated that night and that now I'm trying to put the pieces back together again. Through love, not hatred. And through my music. My strength has been to open again, to life, and my victory is the fact that, despite it all, I kept alive my vulnerability".

The whole page can be found here: Regarding Tori and the question of rape.

1996 (PrimeTime Live)

Tori: I saw Thelma and Louise. And it brought up things that even I -- didn't understand. and I think there's some things that, um -- ... I don't want to remember.

Narration: one night, after she finished playing at a piano bar, tori offered a ride to someone she thought was a friend.

Interviewer: did you ever bring charges, though, was he ever, did you go to the police or anything?

Tori: (gets tight lipped, closes eyes, looks to the sky, shakes head quickly and says softly) no, no, no...it's not that simple. sometimes you're in a situation where if you come forth, you're nailed. You, the law isn't, uh, supportive of violent situations for women. (tori gets an uncharacteristically slightly hostile tone) c'mon, I was a night club singer, I dressed sexy. Look, let's not kid each other. My case was closed before I began.

Interviewer: did you think it was your fault?

Tori: ... yeah. I did. um, violence is such a strange -- experience. if you, if you feel that kind of hate from another person. it's like it gets into your cells. it gets into every part of your being. and so I've been -- commiting myself to um, becoming the phoenix out of the ashes for myself. And me and a gun has been a great teacher for me. it's quite a double edged sword, that song.

Interviewer: how so?

Tori: there's a place where when I sing it every night, um, I'm trying to get to. Sometimes I get to it, sometimes I don't. where i'm just trying to free the demons. My commitment is to crossing over that river. The river of victimhood...

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For more information on Tori Amos,
please visit Undented, or visit her Official Website.