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updated 02/05/1996 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/05/1996 01:00AM

>Tori Amos

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.

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