UPDATE: NOFX Feeling Effects of Their ‘Jokes’ from Punk Rock Bowling in Las Vegas, Apologizes




Fat Mike of NOFX - Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia
Fat Mike of NOFX - Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia

By DONNA BALANCIA

LAS VEGAS – NOFX took what was deemed as a step too far last weekend at Punk Rock Bowling in Las Vegas making a comment about Route 91 Harvest Festival victims that offended many.

UPDATE 6/21: Every U.S. Show Canceled For NOFX: “We did not drop off the shows,” Fat Mike wrote. “We were told that NOFX is not welcome to play ANY big venue in the United States. No joke! NOFX has effectively been banned in our own country.”

 

UPDATE: Band issues lengthy apology via Instagram:

“There’s no place here to backpedal,” the band wrote on its Instagram page. “What NOFX said in Vegas was shameful. We crossed the line of civiity We can’t write songs about how people in this world need to be more decent when we were clearly being indecent.”

San Francisco-based NOFX, which headlined Sunday night at Punk Rock Bowling, is comprised of frontman Fat Mike on vocals and bass, El Hefe on guitar and vocals, Eric Melvin on guitar and Erik Sandin on drums. And the band is a headliner for a reason as a few thousand people came to the festival just to see them.

The 51-year-old frontman, pink-haired Fat Mike, made a crack after finishing the band’s third song “72 Hookers,” saying the song is about Muslims and he kept going.

NOFX at Punk Rock Bowling - Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia
NOFX at Punk Rock Bowling – Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia

“We played a song about Muslims and didn’t get shot, all right!” frontman Fat Mike said. Someone in the band added that it’s the country music bands who get shot at, to which Fat Mike replied “That sucked, but at least they were country fans and not punk rock fans … You were all thinking it.”

The Punk Rock Bowling venue in downtown Las Vegas is surrounded by tall buildings and hotels, so many of the estimated 15,000 attendees were indeed thinking about the possibility of being shot while attending the festival.

Some in the crowd even joked about seeing people at open windows in the surrounding hotels. It was the first Punk Rock Bowling Fest in its 20-year history to be held within a few miles of and less than a year after one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history.

Many in the crowd interpreted Mike’s crack as a sarcastic comment meant to provoke thought.

NOFX' career may be up in the air after comments get publicity - Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia
NOFX’ career may be up in the air after comments get public backlash – Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia

Thought Provoking Words by NOFX

It was not only the victims of the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting that suffered the insults of frontman Fat Mike.  Other than the comment about “silly” Muslims and country music fans, there was the crack about Mexicans having “no upper body strength,” and a host of other comments.

The San Francisco based band has been around for 25 years and notoriously does not give interviews but tackles tough topics in its songs.

On the band’s Facebook page it says NOFX has played “in some of the most dangerous locales in the world … or tackling subject matter that will make you laugh, cry and critically think—often within the confines of the same song.”

The band lost its beer sponsor and has been replaced at the Punk in Drublic fest this weekend.

‘Stupid Jokes That Make You Think’

“I don’t like their stupid jokes but they make you think,” said Bob Linden of San Diego. “I guess some people like the jokes, but their music is amazing. They’ve built their careers on offending people and maybe that’s how they separate themselves from the other bands.”

Karen Wurthen of Nevada said the band always makes jokes that get people to think and they are not really prejudiced or thoughtless.  “They actually want to help change the world, like most punk rockers.”

Also on the NOFX Facebook page is this blurb:

“I wrote a song about my parents dying and then I cry in Israel on TV,” Mike summarizes when asked to condense the past few years into one sentence. “I think this year you definitely get to see the inside of NOFX instead of the goofy exterior,” Mike acknowledges,“and people seem to enjoy it.”

NOFX - Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia
NOFX – Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia

Here are the lyrics to “72 Hookers” by Fat Mike

They don’t hate us, they just hate their lives
And desperate people learn to despise
The suicidal’s don’t want to coup
They don’t want to blow up, they just want their 72

72 virgins can never stop a war
But a 100, 000 hookers can beat the Marine Corps
In stopping hatred, fighting will cease
When everyone is getting blow jobs
That’s when we’ll finally have world peace

How many million men have been killed in foreign wars?
We need to reinstate the draft, enlist a million whores
Start with the sororities and then all the spring breaks
Ship the girls gone wild to Afghanistan
They’ll gladly blow the sheikhs

These holy wars aren’t holy, it’s not the military complex
Terrorists are 16 year old kids who were promised Jihad sex

Maybe if they could see a woman’s face
They might not get onto that plane
With a bomb in their suitcase

72 virgins can never stop a war
But a 100, 000 hookers can beat the Marine Corps
In stopping violence, fighting will cease
When everyone is getting blow jobs
That’s when we’ll finally have world peace