Resistance: A Songwriter's Story of Hope, Change, and Courage

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Resistance: A Songwriter's Story of Hope, Change, and Courage
Resistance: A Songwriter's Story of Hope, Change, and Courage. Released May 5, 2020.
Author: Tori Amos
Cover Artist:
Country: United
Language: English
Genre: Autobiography
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Atria
Publication Date: May 5, 2020
Media Type: Hard Cover, Paperback, Audiobook
Pages: eBook - 234, Physical - 273
ISBN: 9781982104153
Paperback Edition
Will be released September 30, 2021.

Resistance: A Songwriter's Story of Hope, Change, and Courage was released May 5, 2020. It's been released in paperback, hardback, and as an audiobook. This is Tori's second autobiography since Piece by Piece, which was co-authored by Ann Powers.[1]

Background[edit | edit source]

Resistance: A Songwriter's Story of Hope, Change, and Courage was written in response to the political and social climate that began around the Trump administration, as a way to confront by out-creating. The book talks about the artist's role, and it also offers an inside look into the music industry and Tori Amos' music.[2]

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

According to her publisher's page:

A timely and passionate call to action for engaging with our current political moment, from the Grammy-nominated and multiplatinum singer-songwriter and New York Times bestselling author Tori Amos.

Since the release of her first, career-defining solo album Little Earthquakes, Tori Amos has been one of the music industry’s most enduring and ingenious artists. From her unnerving depiction of sexual assault in “Me and a Gun” to her post-September 11 album, Scarlet’s Walk, to her latest album, Native Invader, her work has never shied away from intermingling the personal with the political.

Amos began playing piano as a teenager for the politically powerful at hotel bars in Washington, DC, during the formative years of the post-Goldwater and then Koch-led Libertarian and Reaganite movements. The story continues to her time as a hungry artist in Los Angeles to the subsequent three decades of her formidable music career. Amos explains how she managed to create meaningful, politically resonant work against patriarchal power structures—and how her proud declarations of feminism and her fight for the marginalized always proved to be her guiding light. She teaches us to engage with intention in this tumultuous global climate and speaks directly to supporters of #MeToo and #TimesUp, as well as young people fighting for their rights and visibility in the world.

Filled with compassionate guidance and actionable advice—and using some of the most powerful, political songs in Amos’s canon—this book is for anyone determined to steer the world back in the right direction.[3]

Video Interviews[edit | edit source]

You can find video interviews here.

Audio Interviews[edit | edit source]

Book Shambles interview here.

Text Interviews[edit | edit source]

"You write that part of your goal in writing Resistance was to “reassess the artist’s role in society.” How have you come to understand your role as an artist in this particular cultural and political moment?"

"Well, you know, sometimes it’s wishing I was somebody I’m not. Sometimes I wish I could be a comedian. I wish I could bring laughter. Some people write songs that make you laugh, and I can do that once in a blue moon, when the muses gift me with that. Really, I think you have to come to terms with the kind of writer you are. I feel that having really cut my teeth professionally in Washington, turning pro at 19, there’s something that I’ve carried with me. I understand that particular creature of power. And the power of the lobbyists, and really white-collar crime—but understanding that it’s legal. So, cutting my teeth, underscoring these liquid handshakes, as I call them in the book, is a part of my piano-bar-playing DNA." - Tori Amos, Vanity Fair (May 4, 2020)[4]

"Resistance is all about the role politics plays in creating art. But I wanted to also get your perspective on the politics of consuming art. What responsibility do you think we have as consumers of art? What is to be done about the work of people who we know to be abusers or predators?

"It’s quite a question, because…You will not know all the ones that are involved in something that isn’t consenting. So, that needs to be said first. When I know something about an artist, can I segregate their actions from their work? I can’t. I can’t, no. But I have to know that it’s true. But that doesn’t mean that their work is bad work. If you’re going to ask that question and get an answer, it’s a complex answer. If you’re gonna push that thought, you’ve got to drill it down. It can’t just be a liberal perspective. Of course, I’m a Democrat, but you’re going to have conservatives that take that question too and say that if you are pro-choice, you’re a killer. You have to see that, surely. Because I run into these crazy people when I’m out in God’s country." - Tori Amos, Vanity Fair (May 4, 2020)[4]

"There doesn’t have to be anything (election). If we’re living in a world where you’re under house arrest—don’t kid yourself. And yes, it’s the responsible thing to agree to participate in. So, yes, the goal is to finish the record and have it out before November, yes. And to tour, yes. But, I’m having to write to the now. Not just songs that I’ve been working on since the 2017 tour. Some of those things are still holding up. But some of those things are not relevant now. I just listen to them and I just say, Sorry! Go whistle by the graveyard, my friend!" - Tori Amos, Vanity Fair (May 4, 2020)[4]

"Your Cherokee heritage has been a major influence in your life and on your work. I wonder if you could share your reaction to the controversy around Elizabeth Warren’s DNA test."

"I have a lot of respect for her as a politician. My experience with the Native American community has always been one of spiritual guidance. My sister’s been a part of [the Association of American Indian Physicians since 1982]. Before that, I only knew from my grandfather. So, it’s been something that I’ve held really sacred to me, and it’s a personal experience when they have shared their wisdom with me. That’s been my experience with those from different nations. You can see the difference, right? Where the controversy comes in?" - Tori Amos, Vanity Fair (May 4, 2020)[4]

"I loved Resistance. You have so many songs, so how did you select which songs would make it into the book?"

"It really started to show itself that it wanted to enter with “Gold Dust,” because that was just the way in. With every project—with all the albums—there’ll be a song that grounds the project. It might not be the song that everybody is relating to on a record, but it might be the one that just helps to bring clarity to the narrative of the album. So I applied that process of making records and how the songs operate to this. What I had to really keep in mind, though, was this storytelling is quite focused. It isn’t, as you know, the story of my life; it’s a book about how artists write during a crisis, and towards that crisis, to then ultimately heal from that crisis. So songs needed to work within the chapters but sort of underscore them in a way." - Tori Amos, NewNowNext (May 2020)[5]

"You were the first person I knew of to write an explicitly first-person song about rape. What has it been like to witness the #MeToo movement and the wave of changes over the past couple years—people talking about this more openly, people being held responsible for sexual assaults they committed 20 years ago? And when you wrote the “Me And a Gun,” what was the reaction at the time?"

"There were people at the label who didn’t want me to put it on the album because it made them so uncomfortable. I said, “If you’re not uncomfortable, there’s something wrong with you!” You need to be uncomfortable. This is what art can do. This is what a song can do. Just discussing an issue doesn't have the same power that a film or a song does, to express the emotion and tragedy in a way that only art can.

It was a shock to people, and it was a shock to me, that an epidemic of sexual assault has been going on in every sector, has been endemic in our society. Finally the public is holding people accountable. There was a time, though, when the culture was, 'Look the other way.'" - Tori Amos, Elle (May 5, 2020)[6]

"On alternative radio, if they were playing two women, [you would hear] “Well, we’re already playing two.” There was a culture I found very divisive in the ’90s, where they would pit women against each other. And critics would do this too. As if there was only room for one! The truth that you and I know is that if someone is writing to what they're experiencing or what they’re seeing, then there’s not a carbon copy of that." - Tori Amos, Elle (May 5, 2020)[6]

"Are you working on new music? How does being a performer work in a time like this, when everything is remote?"

"I'm pretty fortunate that I ended up in Cornwall, because this is where the recording studio is; it’s where the Bösendorfer is. She can’t live in a home studio. I’m writing a record for Decca right now. I think you’re going to find a lot of artists are being called to write through this crisis—write toward it, and then write through it." - Tori Amos, Elle (May 5, 2020)

"My sister is a doctor and she cannot believe that there are people - there are even people in our family - that are against vaccinations. And she tries to explain the epidemiology, which of course, I can’t understand. But she thought that after something like this that people would realize the importance of science and vaccines." - Tori Amos, Forbes (May 7, 2020)[7]

"...Certainly, you grew up with music from an early age. But that’s one of the first things we see cut today from the American curriculum. Are you a proponent of music and arts in the classroom?"

Amos: "Oh, absolutely. And I think it’s tragic that it’s cut or is being cut. And it makes you have to ask the question why?

It gives you something that I don’t know if anything else does. Because it’s its own language - it’s a universal language. And you’re able to communicate with people even if you cannot speak their native tongue. So, having that skill, what it teaches a person, I don’t know where else you can really learn it." - Tori Amos, Forbes (May 7, 2020)[7]

"So telling stories through songs, and getting those stories to give someone something - whether it’s an awareness of where they really are, and that they need to understand they’re in a depressed state, or light that fire within them to get out of, and we’re back to this word, despondency. Which is one of the most dangerous things that I think is happening to many people." - Tori Amos, Forbes (May 7, 2020)[7]

"I grew up certain in my belief that music could change the world. Does it still have the power to do that?"

Amos: "I think it’s one of the most powerful forms of art. Because there’s a magic to it. It’s not an illusion. Many magicians, most of them, I reckon, would say they’re great illusionists. Music isn’t an illusion: it’s collecting from the ether and bringing it down into this three-dimensional form.

So, yeah. I think it’s pure magic." - Tori Amos, Forbes (May 7, 2020)[7]

“I don’t quite know what the record’s going to be yet,” she says of her in-progress recordings. “But there is a process of working your way through with personal crisis and artistic crisis and a collective crisis, and we’re in a collective crisis and a personal crisis at the same time. I can’t speak if people are at an artistic crisis. But I do think people will need artists on the back end of this." - Tori Amos, Billboard (May 13, 2020)[8]

Defiance[edit | edit source]

The audiobook also has an accompanying song called "Defiance," which is not yet available to download.[9]

Where to Purchase[edit | edit source]

You can preview the book here, and it's available to be purchased at Simon & Schuster, Amazon, and Audible. Paperback edition will be available here September 20, 2021.

Quotes[edit | edit source]

“Once she said to me, "One day, young lady, you will give your body and obedience to your husband your soul to God." And I whipped around and said, "And what, pray tell, Grandma, are you saying is left for me?” - Tori Amos, Goodreads[10]

“Containment of your opinion is a must if you are going to nurture an artist's development”[10]

“But over the years you can cultivate hate for the art you love.”[10]

“What I wished another songwriter would have told me years and years ago is that your circumstances make up your story, and no one has exactly your story. It is your very own. You need never envy someone else’s life story. Not as a songwriter.”[10]

“I don’t believe anyone’s story is boring. Every story has value because it belongs only to you. It is the one true thing that does belong to you and that you can mine for emotional gold. Someone might try to belittle your story or make a joke about it or make you think that your history is worthless because there is a rating system applied to “So what’s your story?” But—and I truly mean this—that particular power play can work only if you allow yourself to believe in that nonsense. It’s an attack move."[10]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Amos Tori. Powers, Ann. "Tori Amos: Piece by Piece." Released February 8, 2005. ISBN 0767916778.
  2. Amos, Tori. "Resistance: A Songwriter's Story of Hope, Change, and Courage." Released May 5, 2020. ISBN13: 9781982104153
  3. Simon & Schuster. "Resistance." Retrieved June 12, 2021.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 "The “Tiny Ways” Tori Amos Is Getting Herself Through Quarantine." Vanity Fair. May 4, 2020. Retrieved June 12, 2021.
  5. Rudolph, Christopher. "Tori Amos on Being “Baptized” by Gay Bars and Building Her “Resistance”." NewNowNext, Retrieved June 26, 2021.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Tori Amos Has "Pissed Off a Lot of Men." Elle. May 5, 2020. Retrieved June 12, 2021.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 "Tori Amos On Politically Charged New Memoir ‘Resistance’." Forbes. May 7, 2020. Retrieved June 12, 2021.
  8. "Tori Amos' 'Resistance' Connects the Thread Between Calamitous Times and Political Power Grabs." Billboard. May 13, 2020. Retrieved June 12, 2021.
  9. YouTube. "Defiance (cover + sheet music) - Tori Amos." YANTA. May 31, 2020. Retrieved June 12, 2021.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 Goodreads. "Resistance Quotes." Retrieved June 12, 2021.
Bibliogrpahy
Official Books "Piece by Piece" • "Comic Book Tattoo" • "Resistance: A Songwriter's Story of Hope, Change, and Courage"
Other Books "Tori Amos: All These Years" • "Pink Earthquakes" • "Tori Amos: Images and Insights" • "Tori Amos: Cornflake Girl" • "Tori Amos: Collectibles" • "Tori Amos: Lyrics" • "Pretty Good Years: A Biography of Tori Amos" • "Tori Amos: In the Studio" • "Tori Amos: Soul Searching and Uncensored" • "Sing Us a Song, Piano Woman: Female Fans and the Music of Tori Amos" • "The Light Princess" • "Tori Amos: Complete Recordings Illustrated" • "Tori Amos's Boys for Pele (33 1/3)" • "Tori Amos Quotes" • "Celebrity Adult Coloring Book: Welcome to the World of Celebrities and Famous Bands" • "Tori Amos Bootleg Webring (Remember the Internet; vol. 2)" • "Tori Amos: every song, every album"
Songbooks "Little Earthquakes" • "Under the Pink" • "The Bee Sides" • "Boys for Pele" • "MTV Unplugged" • "Great Expectations Songbook" • "From the Choirgirl Hotel" "Tori Amos Anthology" • "1000 Oceans" • "Tori Amos: The Singles" • "To Venus and Back" • "Tori Amos for Fingerstyle Guitar with Tablature" • "Tori Amos for Easy Piano" • "Scarlet's Walk" • "Tori Amos Collection: Tales of a Librarian" • "The Beekeeper" • "American Doll Posse" • "Abnormally Attracted to Sin"
Tori Amos
Studio Albums "Little Earthquakes" • "Under the Pink" • "Boys for Pele" • "From the Choirgirl Hotel" • "To Venus and Back" • "Strange Little Girls" • "Scarlet's Walk" • "The Beekeeper" • "American Doll Posse" • "Abnormally Attracted to Sin" • "Midwinter Graces" • "Night of Hunters" • "Gold Dust" • "Unrepentant Geraldines" • "Native Invader" • "Ocean to Ocean"
Compilations "Tales of a Librarian" • "A Piano: The Collection"
Live Albums "To Venus and Back" • "The Original Bootlegs" • "Legs and Boots" • "Live at Montreux 1991/1992" • "From Russia with Love"
EPs "Crucify" • "Hey Jupiter" • "Scarlet's Hidden Treasures" • "Exclusive Session" • "Flavor (Peter Rauhofer Remixes)" • "Spotify Sessions" • "Russia" • "Christmastide"
Singles "Me and a Gun" • "Silent All These Years" • "China" • "Winter" • "Crucify" • "Cornflake Girl" • "God" • "Pretty Good Year" • "Past the Mission" • "Caught a Lite Sneeze" • "Talula" • "Professional Widow" • "Hey Jupiter" • "In the Springtime of His Voodoo" • "Spark" • "Jackie's Strength" • "Cruel" • "Raspberry Swirl" • "Bliss" • "1000 Oceans" • "Glory of the 80s" • "Concertina" • "Strange Little Girl" • "A Sorta Fairytale" • "Taxi Ride" • "Strange" • "Don't Make Me Come to Vegas" • "Mary" • "Angels" • "Sleeps With Butterflies" • "Sweet the Sting" • "Cars and Guitars" • "Take Me With You" • "Big Wheel" • "Bouncing Off Clouds" • "Almost Rosey" • "Welcome to England" • "Maybe California" • "500 Miles" • "A Silent Night With You" • "Carry" • "Nautical Twilight" • "Star Whisperer" • "Flavor" • "Gold Dust" • "Trouble's Lament" • "Promise" • "Flicker" • "Cloud Riders" • "Up the Creek" • "Reindeer King" • "Better Angels" • "Speaking With Trees" • "Spies"
Videos "Little Earthquakes" • "Live from New York" • "Complete Videos: 1991 - 1998" • "A Sorta Fairytale" • "Welcome to Sunny Florida" • "Fade to Red" "Live at Montreux 1991/1992" • "Live from the Artist's Den"
Tours "Little Earthquakes Tour" • "Under the Pink Tour" • "Dew Drop Inn Tour" • "Plugged '98 Tour" • "5 1/2 Weeks Tour" • "To Dallas and Back Tour" • "Strange Little Tour" • "Scarlet's Walk Tour" • "Lotta Pianos Tour" • "Original Sinsuality Tour" • "Summer of Sin Tour" • "American Doll Posse World Tour" • "Sinful Attraction Tour" • "Summer Tour 2010" • "Night of Hunters Tour" • "Gold Dust Orchestral Tour" • "Unrepentant Geraldines Tour" • "Native Invader Tour" • "Ocean to Ocean Tour"
Official Books "Piece by Piece" • "Comic Book Tattoo" • "Resistance: A Songwriter's Story of Hope, Change, and Courage" • "Little Earthquakes (book)"
Other Books "Tori Amos: All These Years" • "Pink Earthquakes" • "Tori Amos: Images and Insights" • "Tori Amos: Cornflake Girl" • "Tori Amos: Collectibles" • "Tori Amos: Lyrics" • "Pretty Good Years: A Biography of Tori Amos" • "Tori Amos: In the Studio" • "Tori Amos: Soul Searching and Uncensored" • "Sing Us a Song, Piano Woman: Female Fans and the Music of Tori Amos" • "The Light Princess" • "Tori Amos: Complete Recordings Illustrated" • "Tori Amos's Boys for Pele (33 1/3)" • "Tori Amos Quotes" • "Celebrity Adult Coloring Book: Welcome to the World of Celebrities and Famous Bands" • "Tori Amos Bootleg Webring (Remember the Internet; vol. 2)" • "Tori Amos: every song, every album"
Songbooks "Little Earthquakes" • "Under the Pink" • "The Bee Sides" • "Boys for Pele" • "MTV Unplugged" • "Great Expectations Songbook" • "From the Choirgirl Hotel" "Tori Amos Anthology" • "1000 Oceans" • "Tori Amos: The Singles" • "To Venus and Back" • "Tori Amos for Fingerstyle Guitar with Tablature" • "Tori Amos for Easy Piano" • "Scarlet's Walk" • "Tori Amos Collection: Tales of a Librarian" • "The Beekeeper" • "American Doll Posse" • "Abnormally Attracted to Sin"
Related Articles "Delirium" • "Blue Skies" • "RAINN" • "Baltimore" • "The Light Princess"