We convinced Don Bolles, the drummer from Germs, to become the producer of our demo. By this I mean that we met him one evening in Cathay and offered to give him gasoline to him so that he spent the next day in the studio a few hours while we live to write nine doomed to success songs.
I wrote most of the texts, because it was another thing for others to do it. One of our tracks was a type caption and it was simply called NOFX:
We play for punks, not for cues.
Our music is fast, but it’s not rubbish,
Texts about what we think.
On the stage in the same clothes as on the street,
We are NOFX!
Maybe it’s not the most refined and highly intelligent lyrics I’ve ever written, but these words still define us very well. With the exception, perhaps, of the first line, which I would change to “Play for punk and for cash.” We must admit that many years have passed since we were paid thirteen bucks so that we would not play.
In addition to Cathay in Los Angeles, we could only fit into home parties, which are generally known for having, let’s say, very flexible standards for making tours. We played with some metal band in high school; at a party in Beverly Hills (attended by actor Paul Shore and Bob Dylan’s daughter) and we played for twenty people at the entrance to the garage in La Crescent, while one of Eric Sandin’s friends beat one of my friends. But as soon as we had a demo tape, I was able to send it to different people and negotiate for performances in other cities, so in the spring of 1985, without any records released, we went on our first tour with four dates.
First stop: Reno, Nevada. It’s safe to say that this was the best show we’ve ever played before, and the best of those shows that we played in the next three or four years. Depending on the traffic jams, the journey from Los Angeles to Reno takes about eight hours. But it took us almost twelve, because we had to overcome the snow storms when we crossed the mountains of the Sierra Nevada. We were in the multi-seat mate of Melvin’s parents, with a back door and a large luggage compartment that did not have a rear window, so we had to turn out blankets to keep warm while the snow was spinning inside the car.
We warmed up local legends – 7 Seconds – and played for three hundred punks, which all the time slamily. This was the first time that we received any reaction from the crowd, not to mention the fact that it was positive. We sold the T-shirts for $ 150, and I even managed to fuck.
We stopped at a gay guy named Chris from the group Positive Force, whose only rule was not to bring any girls to his house. I still brought the girl, and she left in the morning before Chris woke up, so I thought that it came off my hands, but then the owner found her panties and was furious at us. It was not the last time that NOFX was expelled from someone’s home.
From there we headed to the city of Boise, Idaho; then – to Ashland, Oregon, and played several small shows at parties; and then – to Portland, Oregon, to perform at the club Satyricon. At our speech there were about twenty-five people, and everyone seemed to like it. Only Tom from the group Poison Idea piled tar in this barrel of honey: they say, our version of We are138 was the worst cover on Misfi ts, which he had ever heard. A women’s group called 69 Ways also performed well, and eventually I slept with one of them, so when I came home, I thought: “No way! A four-day tour – and two quality fuck! This must be repeated! “
It was the best time you could think of.
Parties, spending the night on the floor, a musical break, hanging out with friends, eh … What else did three punk teenagers need? That summer, we immediately organized another round.
And after it, Eric left.