After talking about falling out of love with bands from my past, I feel obliged to talk about one band that I never will fall out of love with: NOFX.
Of all the bands in the “Class of ’94” NOFX is the only band to still matter here in 2010. The Offspring have been a tired joke for over ten years now and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them at Rib America Festival with Hootie and The Blowfish and Collective Soul. Green Day has managed to jump-start their career with American Idiot, but has renewed their contract with the Devil of fame in order to do it. Rancid (one of my favorite bands of all time) lost all momentum after 2000’s amazing Rancid and has slid into ‘Fashioncore Laughingstock’ status (see Hellcat Records signees after 2002 for a good laugh). And don’t even get me started on Pennywise.
NOFX stands alone as a flagship of longevity and importance. Despite the fact that they’ve been cranking out records for so long, they are still writing solid songs. Lead singer Fat Mike (aka Michael Burkett) has been a vibrant figure in the past 20 years of punk rock’s history. His label, Fat Wreck chords, has evolved from a light-weight Epitaph Records into a incubator for some of the most important bands in modern punk rock (Propagandhi, The Lawrence Arms, Against Me!, Rise Against, etc).
This year at the South By South West music festival, Fat Mike performed solo as his alter ego Cokie The Clown. You can get the full story here, but essentially, ‘Cokie’ told extremely depressing stories from his 20+ years on the road with NOFX and then reveled to the audience that the shots of tequila that he had passed out to the crowd, had been watered down with his urine. Yikes.
The reaction from the national punk and music communities have been mixed, but for the most part, people are just confused. I personally think it’s awesome. If G.G. Allin were alive today, he would think it was awesome too. No one got hurt or sick, it was merely a harmless stunt. Fat Mike and NOFX have stayed the course for going on 30 years now. When Rancid, Green Day and The Offspring were blowing up in the post-Nirvana, ‘Alternative’ music world, NOFX said “No thanks”. They did things their own way, on their own terms. Pissing in a tequila bottle is just another installment in the NOFX saga.
I would be honored if Fat Mike would piss in my drink. I would be even more honored if NOFX would actually play Indianapolis (Warped Tour does NOT count!). I think they played the Emerson once...about 15 years ago (if not more). It’s high time they came back to the Circle City and peed in our tequila.