This Week in the Mercury


Monday, October 7, 2013

Fiona Apple Gives Interview Following Heckling Incident

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Mon, Oct 7, 2013 at 10:03 AM

Fiona Apple at the Newmark, Thurs Oct 3
Fiona Apple gave an interview to Pitchfork's Carrie Battan following last week's heckling incident in Portland (read all about that here, ugh). Here's some of what she had to say:
She hurt my feelings. I don’t think what I look like is relevant. And by the way, this whole “unhealthy” thing has me baffled. It’s really confusing to me why anyone would have an opinion about that. And [the heckling] just takes you out of [the live performance]. People around me try to tell me that’s not going to happen, but it always happens. It’s really disappointing. I can’t laugh—I’m an emotional person. And I’m just very sensitive about that. Many people are, not just women. The heckler said, “I saw you 20 years ago, and you were pretty.” That’s just rude, and I don’t want her there anymore because it’s my stage, you know? I got very angry. But I’m going to try and be more prepared for that. I'm assuming that people are going to start to say those kinds of things just to egg me on now. Those people are going to have to leave if they interrupt me. I need to be able to do my job.
Apple adds:
I don’t even know what I’m being accused of. Do they think I’m on drugs? That I have a life-threatening illness? Do they think that I’m anorexic?
Read the whole Q&A here.

The anonymous heckler, for her part, continued to prove that she just doesn't get it, by leaving this anonymous comment on Rolling Stone:

[I] am the "heckler" in question. My only comment was to tell her that we, the audience, love her, and want her to be healthy so she can be around for a longer time. I made no statement regarding her beauty, the shape of her body, etc. That was another person. Nor was I escorted out. Upon seeing how quickly everything devolved, I left of my own accord. My plea came from a place of sincere concern and love. I will own that perhaps it was the wrong venue and a rash decision, but I have no regrets. After seeing Fiona give a vibrant, engaging performance in July 2012 (despite looking ill), it was an utter shock to see such a spiral in such a short time. The show was of significantly poorer quality compared to the three other times I have seen her, and the tone of the evening was just plain sad. Sure, I could have kept my concerns to myself. However, as I looked out at the audience from the balcony, it saddened me to think that I was one of many enabling her self-destruction, in whatever form that may be. I love FIona's music and have for years. In the same way I would feel regretful if I did not share similar concerns to a friend, I acted emotionally and expressed my concern to Fiona. There was no ill-intention behind my actions, although I am saddened by how it impacted her. Bottom line, I didn't feel ok lauding a mediocre performance, or sitting idly by while someone I have grown to care about wastes away. I think deep down Fiona understand that. I will always be a fan, and hope I can continue to support her. I feel the most regret at how misinterpreted I was, and want to insure all Portland fans that, should she come here, again, I promise to stay away. Not because I don't love seeing her live, doing what she does best, but because I want to see her continue to thrive. And I don't think she would feel comfortable doing that with the threat of anything like this happening again in the future. Be well Fiona. Your fans love you.

Despite this heckler's self righteous tone, it remains painfully obvious to anyone who's ever spent a single evening in public that shouting out an uninvited comment about a performer's appearance during a show is a terrible idea.

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