When The Pawn Takes the Pen
VH1.com -
March 07, 2000
By C. Bottomley 

Fiona Apple has apologized to her fans for abandoning a show at New York's Roseland ballroom after problems with the sound. In a letter given to the fan website www.neverisapromise.com, she explained, "I really f*cked up." 

At the February 28 gig, Apple played only eight songs before eventually giving up in the face of whistling microphones and faulty monitors. After several four-lettered outbursts, Apple claimed she was going off for five minutes to give the technicians an opportunity to fix the sound, but never returned. Her manager later emerged to promise a "kick ass" show when Apple returned to New York.

In her letter, she writes, "I write this particular entry as the most humiliated form of myself. Last night I really f*cked up. It was the New York show, my hometown, all my friends and family, and I couldn't even finish the show. I just couldn't hear myself at all on that stage, and I lost it. I just don't know how to put myself into something that is so obviously wrong. I couldn't continue with a show that was shaping up to be one of the most embarrassing experiences of my life. I couldn't. I am so f*cking sorry that I don't have whatever it takes to be 'professional' in a situation like that. I feel like I let everyone down, and made a fool of myself in front of everyone I respect. But I don't know what else I could've done. No doubt I'll get ridiculed in the reviews, and some people in that audience are probably very disappointed in me, and I'm so sorry."

At the Roseland concert, Apple had anticipated negative criticism by threatening, "If there are any critics here who give me a bad review because of this I'll f*cking kill you." 

Apple seemed perturbed about all the talk over the incident. "I'd give anything for the peace of mind to deal with my ego now," she wrote. "That's really the part I hate. How did this become about my ego? Was my head in the wrong place, wanting to impress people, and prove myself to them? If I weren't thinking that way, would I have been able to keep it together? That's something I hate to think about."

Apple did reiterate her promise to make up for the debacle. "I'll make it up to everyone, I promise," her letter said. "I wish this didn't happen, but at least now my worst stage-nightmare has already come true, so it's over with - you gotta figure something like that is bound to happen at some point to everyone, right?" 

Well, if we had a best-selling album like your latest acclaimed release When the Pawn..., Fiona, we might be inclined to agree with you. As it is, VH1.com would recommend a nice cup of chamomile tea and a copy of Yeats' "Aedh wishes for the Cloths of Heaven." Trust on us on this one, Fi. And mind your language, too, young lady.

The website obtained the eight-page letter after attending Fiona's March 2nd gig in Albany. She also handed over two other letters that explained her feelings leading up to the performance. One of them reads, "NERVOUS! Well, it's all starting. I'm in my dressing room now, and it's about 45 min. from showtime -- I can't f*cking believe this -- I'm supposed to do a show? Geez. I haven't put on this hat in about 4 years." It appears she quickly took the hat off again.

On Fiona's own website, discussion on the message boards had turned to whether Apple should do a duet with Tricky or Cheap Trick, and also the delicate subject of "cramps." Our users are invited to send their comments on Apple's apology to the usual email address, newsmaker@vh1mail.com. Those who wish to read the complete correspondence should check out the excellent www.neverisapromise.com website.

Fiona's tour continues, with perhaps more thrills and spills on the way, at the following dates:

March 6 
Pittsburgh, PA - A.J. Palumbo Center 

March 7 
Indianapolis, IN - Murat Centre 

March 9 
Cincinnati, OH - Taft Theatre 

March 10 
Detroit, MI - State Theatre 

March 11 
Chicago, IL - Riviera Theatre 

March 13 
Milwaukee, WI - Riverside Theatre 

March 14 
St. Paul, MN - O'Shaughnessy Auditorium

March 16 
Denver, CO - Fillmore Auditorium 

March 18 
Seattle, WA - Paramount Theatre 

March 19 
Vancouver, BC - Orpheum Theatre 

March 20 
Portland, OR - Arlene Schnitzer Hall 

March 22 
San Francisco, CA - Warfield 

April 9 
New Orleans, LA - House of Blues 

April 10 Memphis, TN - Orpheum Theatre 

April 11 
Birmingham, AL - Alabama Theatre 

April 13 
Clearwater, FL - Ruth Eckerd Hall 

April 14 
Lake Buena Vista, FL - House of Blues 

April 15 
Pompano Beach, FL - Pompano Beach Amphitheater

April 21 
Myrtle Beach, SC - House Of Blues