NOFX With Jeff Alulis: The Hepatitis Bathtub And Other Stories

Sex, drugs and rock’n’roll times 10.

Why you can trust Louder Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

For anyone in any doubt as to what kind of book The Hepatitis Bathtub… might be – and, indeed, what kind of band NOFX are – the opening sentence wastes no time in pitching its tent. “The first time I drank piss was on a fire escape overlooking downtown Los Angeles,” reveals bandleader Fat Mike. And on we go.

The fact that this most unruly of punk collectives have somehow managed to sell eight million albums is remarkable enough. The fact they have done so while inhabiting a world that’s close to complete chaos is almost miraculous.

Compiled in the style of Mötley Crüe’s now legendary book The Dirt, this readable and engaging account of a band who live life almost as fast as the music they play is predictably rip-roaring. But more than this, The Hepatitis Bathtub’s… key achievement is that it serves to act as a therapy session between the group’s members, with the reader as therapist.

“Some nights,” writes Smelly, the band’s one-time heroin-addicted drummer, “[Fat] Mike is a diamond and some nights he’s a lump of coal.” For being a book that spares nothing, this one is hard to beat.

Ian Winwood
Freelance Writer

Barnsley-born author and writer Ian Winwood contributes to The Telegraph, The Times, Alternative Press and Times Radio, and has written for Kerrang!, NME, Mojo, Q and Revolver, among others. His favourite albums are Elvis Costello's King Of America and Motorhead's No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith. His favourite books are Thomas Pynchon's Vineland and Paul Auster's Mr Vertigo. His own latest book, Bodies: Life and Death in Music, is out now on Faber & Faber and is described as "genuinely eye-popping" by The Guardian, "electrifying" by Kerrang! and "an essential read" by Classic Rock. He lives in Camden Town.