Much has been made of how social media channels are the great divider, more of a forum for shouting over one another in one-sided arguments than a way to bridge the many divides that exist out there in the real world. Sometimes the Internet does some good however, as was the case a few days ago when NOFX frontman Fat Mike issued a public apology to an overzealous fan he punched and kicked at a Sydney show Tuesday night.
“Alex, if you go to the show on Friday I’ll buy you a beer,” he wrote over Twitter. “Just don’t throw it at me alright?
He continued, “I’m sorry … I was in terrible pain all night. When you grabbed me by the neck I defensively reacted … offensively.”
To which Alex replied, “No worries Mike, I completely forgot you mentioned your neck hurting. I was way too drunk.”
Good sport that he apparently is, the fan also told his incensed followers:
Calm down guys, it didn't even hurt
— Alex. (@alexanderpeterq) November 6, 2014
To be fair, Fat Mike did warn fans of his condition earlier in the evening, saying, “I hurt my neck somehow real bad, so I can’t really move around really well. So if you throw something at me again, I’m going to really be pissed.”
Beyond that, many musicians have been on edge about stage invaders ever since the shooting death of Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell in 2005. A more extreme example of this was the manslaughter charge Lamb of God frontman Randy Blythe faced in a Czech court last year, after he allegedly pushed a 19-year-old concertgoer off the stage, causing a fatal contusion to his head. It took nine months to find Blythe not guilty of the charges in a controversial case that brought issues of safety and self-defense to light once again.
In comparison, the NOFX footage below is shocking at first and, if you ask everyone involved, justifiable in the end.