Two Singers

Tori Amos

The redhead…Tori is away with the pixies, that much is certain. Maybe it was her Methodist upbringing? (Her father is a priest.) Her conversation is kooky, brash, full of food metaphors, effortlessly interesting, and I could listen to her talk for hours. In fact, I thought the only disappointing thing about her concert here in 1994 was that she didn’t talk enough! There was just the one all-too brief rap about masturbation before she did Icicle, and that was about it. She plays piano (or fucks it, as one commentator memorable said) and sings her very personal, sometimes profane songs in a flamboyant style that recalls no one except maybe Kate Bush. Her range is amazing. She has a funny, dear, expressive face. I recommend her Little Earthquakes video, where her captivating personality is on full display – and the live songs are better than the studio versions.

Agnetha Faltskog

We got our first real look at Abba on the Mama Mia video. I remember watching it with a friend. There were some wide shots, and then a close-up of one of the blonde-haired members. My friend exclaimed, “Ugh, what an ugly girl!” Idiot, it was Bjorn! When the camera got to Agnetha, the blonde girl, my friend changed his story. ‘Aggy’ was the epitome of every boy’s dreams of the blonde Swedish babe, with a perfect bum that was rightly famous. Not much of a personality there (or of what we got to see of it). But that was okay. She was a blank canvass on which, like Garbo in Queen Christina, we could write our own desires and emotions.

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