With the videos going viral and punk message boards and Twittering fans almost universally condemning him for the fracas that ended Screeching Weasel's show at South by Southwest on Friday, frequently omitting the messy context as presented in this blog and the Los Angeles Times, Chicago native Ben "Weasel" Foster finally has broken his silence and issued an apology via the Weasel Manor Web site.
The short but seemingly heartfelt statement follows.
I want to apologize to both the club owner and audience member involved for my actions during our show at SXSW on Friday night. While their actions were outside of my control, my regretful reaction is wholly my responsibility. Whatever my feelings are about fans crossing the line like that, I wish I could have that moment back and deal with it in the same spirit as I did the preceding 60 minutes. Since I can’t, an apology is all I’ve got and I sincerely hope those people will accept it. Up front, I wish to say that I am sorry to the fan and any others who were involved. As a husband, father, and a musician on the public stage, I understand that it is my duty to always take responsibility for my actions in a socially acceptable way, and most especially in the face of confrontation.
I want to apologize to the San Antonio fans, also, for having to cancel that show. I hope we can make it up down the road. I’ve obviously already talked to my band about it but I also want to publicly apologize for putting them in a bad position, as well as my manager, booking agent, label, and the support bands. My actions were unprofessional and unfair to the people I work with.
Dubbed "Weaselfest," Foster is set to perform a two-night stand in Chicago at Reggies on May 27 and 28, with one night's bill topped by Screeching Weasel and the other by his equally influential group the Riverdales (Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day has a Riverdales tattoo). So far, only one band has dropped off the Weaselfest bill.