UPDATE: According to Fat Wreck Chords, NOFX created these passes, not the label. When the label heard of them (late into the tour), they attempted to get rid of the 200 passes created, but were unsuccessful. Several staffers defaced the passes, adding the word “rapist” to cover Cosby's face. They stressed that they don't think this is funny and will be releasing a statement on the matter soon.
Over the weekend, if you were anywhere in the vicinity of lower Potrero Hill, you’d have heard the sounds of punk rock debauchery emanating from Thee Parkside and the side street at 16th and Wisconsin. Fat Wreck’s 25th Anniversary was a huge, two-day, sun-drenched celebration of all that the label has achieved in its long and storied history. Fans got to see everyone from NOFX and Lagwagon, to Swingin Utters and Western Addiction. Aside from a spiky smattering of politics, this whole thing should’ve just been a beacon of easy, light-hearted awesomeness. And for the most part it was.
It was only when Tuesday afternoon rolled around that several anonymous people contacted All Shook Down, and informed us that they’d been told not to post photos of the event's All Access pass online. Why?
Because it’s this:
[jump] Now, depending on your perspective, “Doin' It For The Cos” is either a really un-PC, hilarious play on words, giving a nod to the chorus of NOFX classic “The Cause”; or it's a hideous abomination that makes light of the highly probable sexual assault of over 50 women.
While Fat Wreck has embraced and consistently released openly feminist, anti-sexist bands (Propagandhi, Good Riddance, Leftover Crack and more) in its history, it's also never been thought of as particularly politically correct either. This is thanks, mostly, to owner Fat Mike’s mouthy public persona and band, NOFX, which has not had a stellar reputation for being sensitive about a multitude of issues – including those relating to women (particularly lesbians), homelessness, and drug abuse.
Maintaining that rep for doing and saying controversial things, then laughing about it afterwards, has never been an issue for the success of Fat Wreck Chords. So it’s odd that, in this case, the label didn’t just allow NOFX to release the Cosby passes into the wild and roll with the consequences — or, alternatively, just make a laminate that wasn’t going to upset anyone. It seems kind of insane to throw a visual this jaw-dropping at a pile of punks about to spend their entire weekend drinking, and expect all of them to keep it a secret.
As we just saw on Saturday and Sunday, Fat Wreck fans are in this for the long haul and they’re faithful to the last. The Cosby passes won’t do any more damage to the label than the infamous Cokie the Clown tequila incident did to Fat Mike’s music career. But trying to hide them was, in some ways, even more foolish than making and using them in the first place.