02/05/1996 at 01:00 AM EST
MY DINNER WITH CLUNKY
How offbeat is singer-songwriter Tori Amos? Well, her childhood imaginary pal Clunky, a purple monkey, is alive and well and in a song on her third full-length solo CD, Boys for Pele (Atlantic). "I've been aware of him for years," says Amos, 32, an American who's single and lives in London, "I've had many a dinner with him. He's always sitting on my shoulder."
Where do you write your songs?
I like writing in bathrooms. The acoustics can be great. You can turn on the water, sing, and nobody can hear you.
Like Teri Hatcher
, you have a big following on the Internet. Do you read the messages your fans send to you?
I don't own a computer. I have a nine-foot piano in my home to compose my messages. Why would I want a one-foot computer to do the same thing? I'm fascinated by my road crew's fascination with computers, but I don't have any desire to use that keyboard. I want to go back to my own.
What do you like about performing live?
When I play live, I walk in feeling that we could go anywhere, reach any star system. Once I'm out there it's almost like I'm in a trance. I can get very physical, too. Hopefully, when I go back on tour, it'll tone my body.