In the punk rock scene around the world, Hamilton resident Talli Osborne is a legend.
And she adds to that legendary status now that she begins her new job as the official spokesperson for the Punk Rock Museum in Las Vegas.
The Punk Rock Museum is the creation of NOFX singer “Fat” Mike Burkett and is set to open later this year.
In the early 2000s, Burkett and Osborne briefly met at a NOFX gig in Toronto, and then Burkett wrote a song called She is Nubs about Osborne – who was born without arms and with short legs.
Osborne said that when she first heard the song, she emailed Fat Mike and asked if it was about her. The next day he answered.
“After writing 12 albums of songs, sometimes it’s hard to think of things to write about,” she said.
“When he first met me, he knew I was the perfect character for a song. So he said, I’ll save you a spot on stage next time we’re in town” , she said.
It would be easy and fair for anyone to be hurt by a song like She is Nubs, at least a little, but Osborne chose to embrace the nickname. She is the lead singer of her own punk band, Nubs and Her Studs.
The punk rock community embraced it
Osborne was born in Montreal, raised in Toronto and moved to Hamilton as an adult. Growing up, she said she never felt like she belonged – until she found the punk community.
“After writing this song, you know, the punk rock community really, really embraced me for exactly who I am. I found my community,” she said.
“Punk rock, to me, is just about being authentically who you are and not giving an F to what people think.”
Osborne is an accomplished public speaker and spent her adulthood talking about her differences. She gave a Ted Talk at the 2015 TedxToronto seminar on her experience of growing up differently and her ideology of self-love.
“The first time Mike wrote to me, I wrote back to him and tried to get a job with his record label because it felt like…I had this opportunity,” he said. she stated.
Osborne said she applied for a job in the early 2000s, but was too young and the time was not right.
This year, two decades after they first met, Burkett reached out to Osborne with the opportunity of a lifetime. She said he asked her to be the face of the Punk Rock Museum.
Osborne will travel to punk festivals as the official spokesperson for the Punk Rock Museum and serve as the museum’s director of customer service when not on the road. She is moving to Las Vegas in the coming months. The museum is currently still under construction.
“I’m ready for a new and huge adventure.” she says.
“It’s all a bet”
Osborne said just talking about the move makes her excited, especially when she thinks of the punk rock legends she might meet at the museum.
“I could show Joan Jett around the punk rock museum,” she said.
Joan Jett was the lead singer of two legendary 1970s punk bands, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts and, before that, The Runaways. His most iconic song is I like rock and rolla staple of jukeboxes and karaoke around the world.
“It’s literally going to blow my mind,” Osborne said.
Moving forward for Osborne means leaving behind a lot of people in Hamilton who love her.
Osborne’s sister Miriam lives in Toronto and said when her sister moved to Hamilton she thought it was a big change. Now Osborne is moving to another country.
“I’m sad that she’s moving so far away because now it’s not hard for me to get to Hamilton anymore. I can’t just hop on a bus to Vegas,” Miriam said.
Although she knows she will miss her sister, Miriam said she was very happy with Osborne’s move.
“Vegas is lucky to have him,” she said.
“It’s the absolutely obvious next step in her life, even though we didn’t realize it,” Miriam said. “She lives and breathes punk rock…you know. That’s all she is.”
“The friends I have here, they would literally drop everything for me if I needed to,” Osborne said, and added that while she knows she’ll make friends in Vegas, she doesn’t. if they will be as close as the ones she has in Hamilton.
“Maybe I will. Maybe I won’t. It’s a gamble,” she said.