VETS played those early Roeding park and Woodward gigs.
Lead singer, Hobbit was an interesting guy. 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 ultimate destination.
Hobbitt was quite a talented and prolific artist. Several times when he came over to my shop or my house he would sit and do some artwork
for me. He also saved my ass from getting whooped one night at the On Broadway. Thank you my friend. And he was one of thee punkest
dudes I ever knew.
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. I hope he found some peace in the afterlife.
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.
Sean "Hobbitt" Landers-vocals
|Veterans of Disorder performing at Roeding Park 1981
LtoR Max Quigley-bass, June Beard-drums, Eric Holt-guitar, Hobbitt-vocals
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."
|Max Quigley - Bass player - Veterans of Disorder
Drawings by Hobbitt