"What are you? Fifteen years old?
You fuckers don't even deserve Punk Rock"
Fat Mike/Nofx 10-16-08 NYC
I ventured out to see one of my favorite bands last nite. NOFX was playing what is now called The Fillmore, but what will always be to me Irving Plaza in Noo Yawk Citee.
(actually this is from a couple of nights before in Montreal)
After a 10 hour day full of mortifying meetings at the veal pen (you may not have heard, but the economy is bad and companies are taking a scalpel to everything), I need the PUNK RAWK.
And of course, NOFX didn't disappoint.
More than 25 years ago, I started going to Irving Plaza. Back then, I saw bands like Minor Threat, DOA, The Slickee Boys, Bad Brains, Johnny Thunders, The Replacements and Husker Du. I rarely get there anymore (before last nite, the last time I was there was 18 months ago for Paul Weller; but man, did the memories come back. We positioned ourselves on the railing on the second floor and watched a few hundred kids mosh and have a great time beating the shit out of each other below. I'd say 90% of the attendee's were male.(The Moshing at NOFX)
NOFX were great of course. Not as drunk as usual. They played some new stuff, alot of old stuff (including many songs from their classic album Punk In Drublic) and every now and than one of their hybrid mariachi/reggae numbers. Hey, any band that can contradict themselves with songs like "Drugs Are Good" and then "Whoops I OD'ed" and "Don't Call Me White" and then "Kill All The White Man" are my kinda guys.
The interesting thing for me was how some things have changed and yet some haven't. Many of the folks at the show (it was all ages) weren't even born when NOFX started. And many were in diapers when Punk In Drublic came out in the early 90's. NOFX are in their 40's at this point and gazing out at the crowd, you could feel that they must have been thinking "what have we wrought".
Because NOFX are the real thing. They were doing before the days of Hot Topic. And Punk rock is so easy now, as it's both big business (and NOFX certainly live very nicely off of their profits) and an acceptable part of music and fashion culture. None of those kids had to worry about getting crap in school for being Punks like NOFX (and I) did. Shit man, I shoulda been in NOFX!
So when Fat Mike was yelling at the kids how they didn't deserve Punk, I understood it. Is the crowd into the music? The politics (NOFX certainly are as political as any punk band, especially Fat Mike)? The fashion? The culture? I guess it doesn't matter as everyone had a great time. I'm just happy Punk is alive and well. And I keep trying to turn Princess Nomad and Nazz jr onto it. And that day will come (they both wear my old punk shirts all the time).
Back in the day (I hate that phrase), I woulda been one of the teeming masses, getting slammed around. Last night I was content to see a great band play and watch the melee from afar. It also might have been my first show ever at Irving Plaza where there were no intoxicants ingested (not even one lousy little beer).
Life gets weirder every day.
American Hardcore: A Tribal History - Steven Blush
NOFX - Punk Guy (Because he does Punk things)
NOFX - All My Friends In New York
NOFX - Fuck The Kids
NOFX - Last Night Was Really Fun
NOFX - Drugs Are Good