No Rent: BDSM Meets Broadway in NOFX Frontman Fat Mike’s New Punk Musical Home Street Home

excerpt from Wednesday, Feb 18 2015. SF Weekly

Long before Fat Mike — the mohawked, frequently bratty, always larger-than-life frontman of NOFX — ever set foot on a stage, he was just little Michael John Burkett, an 8-year-old boy with a flair for the dramatic.

Roll the tapes back with us for a moment and witness the child, crouched in front of his parents’ television set in Los Angeles, a cassette-tape recorder in hand, capturing the songs of The Rocky Horror Picture Show — the lyrics and innuendo of which he barely grasps. He’s transfixed. He had caught part of the movie a week earlier, and then looked desperately through TV Guide to find out when he could see it again. He was waiting, finger on the record button, as the opening credits rolled.

“It was so fucking weird,” the singer and bassist recalls now, two weeks before Home Street Home, his own musical — a project about 15 years in the making — is set to debut in San Francisco. “I just remember that I liked the songs so much. And then that was my only record for the next three or four years.” His parents, he says, didn’t even have a stereo.

No one would call Burkett “Fat Mike” for another dozen years. Nor did anyone have an inkling he’d grow up to front one of the longest-running and most celebrated bands in West Coast punk; co-founded a record label that issued compilations protesting the re-election of President Bush; or become known as much for his nonstop partying, onstage antics, and alcoholic-court-jester persona as for his songwriting, singing, and bass playing. (Examples of said antics: getting banned for life from Emo’s in Austin for allegedly urinating into a bottle and then serving it to fans, crafting an alter ego as an evil clown who squirts cocaine out of his lapel flower and, most recently, kicking a fan who approached him onstage in Australia square in the face.

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