By Stephen CarlickFor anybody familiar with NOFX or seminal punk label Fat Wreck Chords, Fat Mike needs no introduction. Born Michael John Burkett, the 43-year-old is the bassist in NOFX and the founder of Fat Wreck, and he recently performed a set that won't soon be forgotten by those in attendance.
Taking on the persona of the titular character of NOFX's latest EP, Cokie the Clown, Fat Mike took a SXSW stage last Saturday (March 20) dressed in huge novelty shoes and white face paint, complete with red lips and nose. As Pinpoint Music relates in a show review, Mike entered with a bottle of tequila and began filling all of the approximately 40 shot glasses on stage with it. The bassist shot back five himself before passing the remaining shots around to the crowd, who followed suit.
"Cokie" played a short set, concluding with two brand new songs titled "Drinking Pee" and "La Pietà" (Italian for "pity"), which turned out to be very relevant; the show ended with Fat Mike's cameraman playing the club a video of Mike, dressed in his Cokie garb, pulling out his penis, urinating in the half-full bottle of tequila, corking it, and walking into the venue.
TMZ now reports that Fat Mike is under fire from fans and haters alike, but as he told TMZ, "I confirmed that urine was not classified as a biohazard waste and not subject to the risks of legal ramifications of blood, semen, or feces."
Nonetheless, he's now facing an investigation by officials at the Austin Health Department, who reportedly knew nothing of the incident prior to its occurrence.
Making his audience unwittingly consume his urine, however, was only one part of the set. Between his few songs, Mike related stories of his life to the crowd that left the atmosphere awkward and disturbed. Included were tales about Mike's father telling him he didn't want a child, being forced to euthanize his mother, milking a groupie's breasts and taking the belongings of a friend he'd found after having hanged himself, among other stories.
Interested readers can read about the whole set's events here.
UPDATE: As the Austinist reports, Fat Mike has now been permanently banned from Emo's in Austin, TX, where he performed his urine stunt.