The 1997 Video Music Awards were truly a watershed moment for many reasons: the fact that Jamiroquai’s “Virtual Insanity” (aka one of the most iconic clips of all time) won Video of the Year, the rather amazing series of events that somehow led to Beck and R. Kelly being nominated in the same category, Fiona Apple’s rambling “this world is bullsh–” Best New Artist acceptance speech … to say nothing of everything that happened to (then) pubescent Fun. guitarist Jack Antonoff, who not only attended the show, but made a memory that would last a lifetime.
And when we caught up with Antonoff and his bandmates backstage at Lollapalooza — where they were still glowing over their two nominations at the 2012 Video Music Awards — he told us all about that magical night 15 years ago, and the photograph that he still carries with him. For obvious reasons.
“I was in that age where it was very cool to ask everyone for pictures. Blackstreet, Meredith Brooks — this was the year we’re talking here,” Antonoff said. “I go up to Fiona Apple, and this is like 10 minutes before she gives her iconic speech. I ask her for a picture, and right as the camera snaps, she gives me this wet, like almost a little bit of tongue and full-lip kiss on the cheek. I swear to God. That picture exists — I’ll send it to you.”
And lo and behold, he did. So in anticipation of Thursday night’s VMAs (and because the image of a bleached-blond Antonoff getting smooched by Fiona Apple is pretty amazing), we’re going to share that photo with you right now. There’s even a cameo appearance by David Arquette. It is truly the stuff of pre-teen dreams.
Can Antonoff and Co. match that moment at this year’s show? We’re not sure … because while a win in Best New Artist or Best Pop Video would certainly be sweet, we’re not sure anything could trump a kiss from Fiona Apple. But maybe that’s just us.