When Fiona Apple’s first album came out in July of 1996, E.R. and Seinfeld held court on primetime television. Kerri Strug and the Magnificent Seven had just secured their spots as “every little girl’s role models” after scoring gold at the Atlanta Olympics. “Macarena” topped the Billboard singles chart that year. Needless to say, a lot has changed in the world.
Since then, Apple’s career has taken an unexpected course, blooming and shrinking in an almost constant cycle, all while accumulating a firmly devout fanbase—one eclipsing gender, age and social stereotypes. For the true believers, she became a new kind of role model. Last night, we stopped by her second of two sold-out shows at Terminal 5 to talk to some who were around in 1996, and some who weren’t.