The last time I saw Hobbitt was at a house party here at my
home in Fresno in the mid-90's. He seemed to be having a
difficult time dealing with reality. He stood up in a dining
chair as to get his head just inches away from the whirring
blades of the ceiling fan. It was summer and it was hot. But,
I could tell that something was wrong and I had to tell him
to behave. He was compliant yet sulked about it. Several
months later he passed away.
Sail on old friend.
Sean "Hobbitt" Landers-Vocals
|Veterans of Disorder performing at Roeding Park 1981
LtoR Max Quigley-bass, June Beard-drums, Eric Holt-guitar, Hobbitt-vocals
|Max Quigley - Bass player - Veterans of Disorder
Bandmate, Max Quigley wrote me with some thoughts about the early Fresno punk scene in 2004:
"My first punk show was The DEAD KENNEDYS at the Belmont Ballroom in 1980. I was working at Knudsen Milk on Ashlan and
Marks. Got off work around 10pm and went over to the show with my work clothes on. I went out of curiosity. It was wild and I
was hooked. I saw a bunch of guys acting crazy, flying across the stage, dancing, banging into each other. It looked like they
were having fun. I went to the next couple of shows at the Belmont Ballroom, the DOA show and the BLACK FLAG show. I
remember SOCIAL UNREST because Cretin the lead singer made such an impression on me. At one of the shows I didn't know
anybody. Keith Johnson stagedived and kind of landed on my back, which surprised me, so I kind of gave him a piggyback ride
for a while. At that gig I met Keith, Doug, Eric Holt and some others.
Some of the funnest times were the parties at Ralph Lotspeich's house especially the one after the DEAD KENNEDYS show, 4th
of July, 1981. I also attended the NBJ show at the Lemoore Naval Airbase. I think it was in the mess hall and it was weird. I hung
out with Keith and Kellae, Annelle, Raymond and his boyfriend Mike, Doug and Chuck Gillette. They were an interesting bunch.
Never a dull moment.
He left Fresno early 80's to work as doorman/security/stage manager for Paul Rat and Dirk Dirksen,
legendary punk promoters in San Francisco. Hobbitt worked at the Mabuhay Gardens,
The On Broadway and several other SF venues in the 80's and 90's.
In the DEAD KENNEDYS: DMPO's On Broadway video Hobbit is clearly seen in
several scenes helping Dirk, Jello and Klaus manage stage festivities.
And he's listed in the credits as stage manager at the end of the video.
He was one of the coolest free-spirits you would ever
want to meet and he was also tour manager/driver/roady
for several punk bands. Tour manager for the TOY DOLLS
on a couple of their US tours. I know because when The
Toy Dolls came to play at the Star Palace in Fresno,
Hobbitt called and got me and Jocey into the show and
backstage where we drank some of the band's beer!
That's why rocknroll is so cool and punk rock is it's
|Annelle of NBJ and Hobbitt in Fresno 1981
Hobbitt was quite a talented and prolific artist. Several
times when he came over to my apartment he would sit
and do some artwork for me. He knew I was always in
need of art for flyers and other projects. He also saved my
ass from getting whooped one night at the On Broadway.
Thank you my friend. He had a great ear for how a cool
guitar or bass should sound. He came up and tweaked my
amp one time and it totally helped. And..... he was one of
thee punkest dudes I ever knew.
|NBJ performing at Roeding Park in Fresno 1981. Hobbitt is stomping it up there on the right.
Drawings by Hobbitt
That Roeding Park gig was ok. The band was
Hobbitt's idea. We practiced in his garage. I just
played cause I was there. I'd play with anyone at
the time. It was a new art form. A visible
counter-culture that I wanted to be a part of.
People will never realize how fun it was. It was
before Aids, crack, etc.
The cops didn't really know what to do yet. We
were inventing it as we went along. But there was
conflict everywhere anything happened.
I loved the bands. I loved the people. I loved the
artistry. I hated the violence.
It was shortly after then I moved to San Francisco. I
wasn't in the Fresno punk scene too long,
but it sure affected my life."
VETS played those early Roeding park and Woodward gigs. Lead Singer, Hobbitt was an interesting guy.