Here is Fiona Apple’s handwritten explanation for why she cut her show short at Roseland:
March 01, 2000
I write this particular entry as the most humiliated form of myself. Last night I really fucked up. It was the New York show, my home town, 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 fucking 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.
I can’t apologize enough. I wanted so much to give not just a good show, but the best I could do — and given the situation, I wasn’t able to do my best. If I can’t do my best, I can’t do it. I just couldn’t hear myself at all. And then, true to form, of course I got on a crying jag and couldn’t stop. I didn’t mean to insult the audience by cutting the show short, but it was becoming a very un-musical spectacle, and it needed to be aborted. I have to say I think I made the right decision — for myself, at least. I’d rather have people be disappointed in me for walking off a show, than have them see a bad show. I certainly won’t ever do that again; I won’t let myself be in a situation like that; I won’t play at Roseland — actually, the only other time I ever cut a song from the set was also at Roseland, and for the same reason. I only cut Never is a Promise, and I felt bad then, but nothing compared to this. I’ll make it up to everyone, I promise. 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?
My fear is that when I say the sound was bad, it may sound like a trivial thing — believe me, please — I couldn’t hear a thing — I’d give anything to take back last night — I’d give anything not to have let everyone down, and I’d give anything for the peace of mind to deal with my ego now. 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. But I guess that just means I’m only human, and this was only a show. And speaking selfishly, I’m glad I walked off, because if I hadn’t, the sheer mediocrity that that show would’ve become, would’ve absolutely killed me. So I’m sorry, and I’m not sorry, and I’ll make it all up, and I’ll be really embarrassed, & I’ll kick myself for awhile, and other people might too, but pretty soon it’ll be next week, and then it will be next month, and then there will something new to worry about, and many new things to not worry about.
At this point, I should probably say sorry again, in regards to the writing of this letter, but I think I’ve worn out the word for now.
I’ll write again soon
Colorized version of ”Le Voyage Dans La Lune”, by Gorges Méliès. Musica by AIR.