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NOFX, Fat Mike say they’re banned from U.S. venues after Las Vegas shooting joke
Mathias Heinel/Flickr (CC-BY-SA)
‘This is not our choice, but it is our reality.’
NOFX, one of punk rock’s most influential bands of the last three decades, has reportedly been banned by a number of major American music venues because of insensitive comments two members made about the Las Vegas shooting. On Instagram, Fat Mike, the band’s lead singer and bassist, countered by saying NOFX has been banned by its own country.
“Fuck it! I’m not supposed to talk about it, but because of the comments we made in Las Vegas… every NOFX show has been cancelled in the U.S.,” wrote Fat Mike, whose real name is Michael Burnett. “We did not drop off the shows…. 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. This is not our choice, but it is our reality.”
Fuck it! I’m not supposed to talk about it, but because of the comments we made in Las Vegas… every NOFX show has been cancelled in the US. We did not drop off the shows…. 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. This is not our choice, but it is our reality. We are very sorry to our fans, especially the ones in Austin. For now, we are playing in Europe, Mexico, and Canada. The Punk in Drublic Festival is still happening in Europe and other continents. I’m trying my best to bring it back to the US but a lot of people don’t want it to happen. It fuckin sucks! We made a mistake, we apologized, and we gotta suffer the consequences. Maybe it ain’t fair, but whoever said life was. We are just very thankful that our fans are being so supportive. Thanks to all of you!!!!! See y’all in Slovenia tomorrow! #punkindrublicinternational #whendidpunkrockbecomesosafe #IhatednotbeinginOhio
A post shared by Michael Burkett (@fatmikedude) on
Stephen Paddock killed 58 people and injured hundreds more during a country music concert last October in Las Vegas when he opened fire on the crowd from his 32nd-floor hotel room.
Last month, NOFX, while playing a Las Vegas show, joked about the shooting. Guitarist Eric Melvin said, “I guess you only get shot in Vegas if you’re in a country band.” Fat Mike responded: “At least they were country fans and not punk rock fans.”
NOFX thought it would be "hilarious" to joke about the October 1 shootings while on stage in Las Vegas. They said "at least they were country fans and not punk rock fans". This is disgusting and callous. We will never support anything involving this band ever again. pic.twitter.com/am3R8QJIE6
— Dave and Mahoney (@DaveAndMahoney) May 30, 2018
Stone Brewing Co.—which produced NOFX’s branded beer, Punk In Drublic, also the name of the punk rock festival that had been touring the U.S.—cut ties with the band despite NOFX’s apology, and now the tour has been canceled in America.
After the joke caused so much vitriol, the band issued an apology via music news site NME.
“There’s no place here to backpedal,” the band said. “What NOFX said in Vegas was shameful. We crossed the line of civility. We can’t write songs about how people in this world need to be more decent, when we were clearly being indecent. Las Vegas has always been a welcoming city to our band, and to make light of the tragedy that occurred there was egregious.”
But as Fat Mike noted on Instagram, the band is still suffering from the fallout.
“I’m trying my best to bring it back to the U.S. but a lot of people don’t want it to happen,” he wrote. “It fuckin sucks! We made a mistake, we apologized, and we gotta suffer the consequences. Maybe it ain’t fair, but whoever said life was.”
Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.