If you’re like me and discovered punk rock in the nineties, I think it’s fair to say that NOFX was at least partially responsible for the soundtrack to your life. So when the band announced they’d be releasing a tell-all biography, I was – logically - eager to read it. And well, “The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories” doesn’t disappoint. Some of these stories will make you laugh out loud, others will make you cringe and there may have even been a couple of tears at some point. That’s okay though, I sometimes listen to emo.
Written by the band and Jeff Alulis (who was half of the crew responsible for Backstage Passport), this book stems from a series of interviews conducted by Alulis with Mike, Melvin, Hefe and Smelly and it dives headfirst into the history of the band. And yes, it gets as crazy as you’d expect it to.
The book starts and ends with stories by Mike that involve pee and in between you come across tales of murder, suicide, drugs, addiction, sobriety, riots, S&M, heavy drinking and… oh yeah, punk rock. Throughout the book’s 350+ pages, you get a pretty good grasp on what these guys are about, both as persons and as a band. The Hepatitis Bathtub sorta follows a chronology, with a focus on the band’s formative years when no one liked them and then leads all the way up to today when… well, there probably still are plenty of people who don’t like NOFX.
The Hepatitis Bathtub is not just for the fans though. It’s a story about perseverance. About chasing your dreams. About having the odds stacked against you, but succeeding nonetheless. About underdogs that end up at the top. And about pee.