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In press materials for Boys For Pele, Amos said of this song: "It's really about a relationship. And she's kind of given herself away, so she's trying to get pieces back in any way she can. I mean, whoever works at that point. And if it's Inana or whoever. And if it works calling her in the church, to evoke a little ass, then you go for it."
As you can tell, Tori is evasive regarding who specifically inspired the song, if anyone. The likely candidates are:
Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, who had a quick affair with Tori. When Tori mentions "My own Pretty Hate Machine," it's a reference to the first Nine Inch Nails album: Pretty Hate Machine.
Her former producer Eric Rosse, who she dated and went through a painful breakup. She uses the sneeze as a metaphor for the idea that he was her soul mate, and she begins to think that perhaps he wasn't after all: "Sometimes men like to think they're the flu, but sometimes they're just a h'achoo!" (thanks, Sara - Fareham, United Kingdom)
This was the first song ever made widely available on the Internet. Amos offered it as a free download. (thanks, Josh - Pittsburgh, PA)
Lita talks about how they wrote songs in The Runaways, and how she feels about her biggest hit being written by somebody else.
Dan cracked the Top 40 with "Ritual," then went to India and spent 2 hours with the Dalai Lama.
Dave Alvin - "4th Of July"
When Dave recorded the first version of the song with his group the Blasters, producer Nick Lowe gave him some life-changing advice.
Brad Smith of Blind Melon
The Blind Melon bassist/songwriter tells the story of "No Rain," which he wrote before the band was formed.