NOFX fans have reacted with fury to a graphic video which shows frontman Fat Mike kicking a fan in the head.
The footage was captured at the band’s gig in Sydney, Australia, on Tuesday and shows fan Alex Medak jumping on stage and putting his arm around the singer, who reacts by striking him in the face then following up with a right kick to the head while Alex lies stricken on the ground.
Fat Mike – aka Mike Burkett – had repeatedly told the audience he was suffering serious neck pain throughout the show and asked them not to throw missiles on stage. A second video shows those pleas being ignored before Medak’s stage invasion.
On NOFX’s Facebook page, fans were widely critical of Fat Mike’s actions. Ozymandias Oswald says: “Ok, you could have pushed the kid away, fair enough. But the kick in the face. Fuck dude, you turned out to be everything we thought you were against. It’s pretty fucking sad when you feel compelled to kick someone in the face, especially someone who no doubt loves you and what you’ve done.”
PJ Reeks adds: “Violence like that has no justification. Kid could been seriously fucked up from copping a kick to the face like that. Throwing dangerous projectiles doesn’t have justification either.
“I was at the show completely sober. When the kid got hit and kicked, it was still a huge shock. Lots of people, myself included, were booing. I thought I shared values with these guys.”
And David Magowan adds: “Just goes to show the complete disregard and contempt which Fat Mike has for his band’s fans. Slamming someone to the ground is a defensive reaction perhaps…violently kicking them in the face is malicious intent.”
However, there was some sympathy for the frontman. Joe Imperial writes: “Fuck that guy, he has no right to be on stage and really shouldn’t be touching the band.”
Pete Berwick adds: “You asswipes who think a fan has every right to help himself to the stage and microphone are beyond idiotic.”
Medak and Fat Mike later exchanged comments via Twitter, with both apologising and agreeing to put it behind them.
Fat Mike’s fellow punk rocker Ben Weasel came to his defence via a tongue-in-cheek open letter published on his band Screeching Weasel’s Facebook page.
Weasel advises Mike to “apologise again and again” and adds: “You need to play by the rules. And rule number one is eat shit. Lots and lots of shit. And when you think you can’t take any more, stuff some more shit in your cake-hole and swallow, and do it with a big smile on your face.”
Weasel landed himself in hot water at the 2011 South By Southwest festival when he punched a female member of the audience and pushed and punched a female club owner who tried to intervene.