“Fat Mike” Burkett, the mohawked, 47-year-old lead singer of NOFX, is no stranger to onstage controversy. In 2010, he appeared at South By Southwest as Cokie The Clown, an alter ego that caused a stir when the audience was made to believe it took shots of Fat Mike’s urine. Two months after the kerfuffle, it was revealed that it was all a hoax, securing Burkett’s spot as Jimmy Kimmel in bondage pants. But now Fat Mike is back in hot water after he punched and kicked a fan at the band’s tour kickoff show in Sydney, Australia, in a video that was definitely not a prank.
The video shows an enthusiastic fan in a bucket hat rush the stage and attempt to hug Fat Mike during “Linoleum.” Instead of embracing him, Fat Mike punches him and, once he’s on the ground, offers a boot to the face as well. The fan, who afterward identified himself as “Alex” on Twitter, is quickly removed from the stage as the band continues playing. Reports from the show state that Fat Mike had been complaining of neck pain during the show, and when the video surfaced, an outcry ensued—though not from either of the parties involved.
Both Alex and Fat Mike took to Twitter to apologize to one another, with Fat Mike confirming that he had, in fact, been suffering from neck pain during the show:
The two continued to respond in kind, with Fat Mike attempting to bury the hatchet by offering Alex a beer at another NOFX show:
It appears that Fat Mike made good on that offer, as Alex has since changed his profile picture on Twitter to a photo of him with NOFX guitarist El Hefe. But, this being punk rock, things took a turn for the worse when another fan-punching lead singer entered the fold: Screeching Weasel’s mercurial Ben Weasel.
A year after Fat Mike pulled his piss-drinking stunt at South By Southwest, Weasel, who was then signed to Burkett’s record label, Fat Wreck Chords, punched two female attendees at his band’s showcase. The blowback there was strong and it continues to this day, as any discussion of Screeching Weasel is immediately clouded by bringing it up.
And so, a day after Fat Mike made amends with Alex, Weasel took to his band’s Facebook page to offer up a lengthy screed against Burkett, self-righteously attempting to paint himself in a better light in the process. True to form, Weasel’s inflammatory message wasn’t enough: He also took to the comments section of the post to offer up a few more inflammatory barbs, saying the situation between Alex and Fat Mike was akin to spousal abuse, all before devolving into sentiments such as “[Fat Mike] is obviously mentally retarded.”
Fat Mike has remained silent since Weasel’s post, ensuring that—in the feud between two adults who still use the adopted surnames they picked in high school—he is somehow the bigger person.