ESPN Music: Fat Mike

NOFX's Fat Mike talks golf, punk bowling

May, 24, 2012
5/24/12
11:12
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You don’t see many Mohawks on the links.

Not until “Fat” Mike Burkett, bassist and lead singer for NOFX, tees up with an awesome swing like this. It’s not as bad as it looks, said Burkett, claiming he typically scores in the mid-80s.

“I started golfing at 27,” he said. “You’re on tour. You play an hour and a half a night, and then there’s nothing to do but get drunk and get in trouble.”

[+] EnlargeFat Mike
Courtesy of Fat MikeFat Mike of NOFX stands out a bit on the golf course.
Reason enough to head to the golf course. Fat Mike even has a nine-hole putting green in the backyard of his Las Vegas vacation home.

These days, Burkett’s four-day-a-week golf habit has been cut back thanks to the demands of fatherhood, something many can relate to. But his rock-star connections still have perks.

“Most of my golf schedule is centered on who we have connections with,” he said. “We’ve played some of the best courses in the country on Mondays when the country club is closed.”

But it’s not just golf that’s a passion for the 45-year-old. He’s also a former champion of the Punk Rock Bowling Tournament, an annual event in Las Vegas. Burkett says his squad won after a sleepless night spent under the influence. He’s like the David Wells of bad bowling.

This year, Burkett returns to try to capture an elusive second title at the event, which begins Friday. Also, NOFX headlines the weekend festival with Rancid and Pennywise.

The 14-year-old Punk Rock Bowling has long been a must-attend event for punks and others looking for fun. But this isn’t for Kenny Powers’ mom. The real bowlers are up in Reno at the National Bowling Stadium.

Instead, it’s a three-day party. Dozens of bands play on the street in downtown Las Vegas, the older and arguably hipper section of the city to the north of the famed Strip. This year features more than two dozen bands on the main stage as well as a series of late-night club shows headlined by bands like Youth Brigade and The Templars.

Burkett gives himself a 1-in-1,000 chance of winning. And there are only about 200 teams.

“Punk Rock Bowling is about who has the most fun,” he said.

Now that is something Burkett and NOFX know all about.

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