Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Simon Hobart, RIP

So Simon Hobart, the man behind Popstarz and several other ventures for queers into guitars has – far too soon – gone off to that big nightclub in the sky. I have to admit, I don't feel as personally touched or have that same sense of loss as so many others who are more interested in the gay alternative scene (ie as opposed to hard thumping house & techno, or cheesy camp pop).

The man obviously filled a much needed hole in the market and gave thousands of queers hitherto marginalised by the mainstream and narrow gay scene a place to call home, and he will rightly always be remembered for that. Yet to me, there’s always been something a bit 'safe' about Popstarz, something that doen't sit too well with me. I always preferred the now-defunct Club V (which started life as Vaseline, until the makers of said product threatened to sue); it was a much more underground and smaller club, had a small but loyal group of punters and used to take real risks with the music, playing stuff you’d often get the impression you'd never here elsewhere. And they even let me do a few guest DJ slots – if that's not risky I don't know what is!

So, Club V was "my thing", it fitted my definition of 'alternative' much better than Popstarz generally did. Having said that, whilst I personally might get bored or cross with an endless diet of Pulp, Goldfrapp & Blur, at the end of the day Popstarz has put a smile on the face of a far greater number of people and I guess that’s what really matters. And from all the messages of shock, grief and condolence I have seen on various websites since, he was obviously much loved & admired by people far and wide, not just in London. You certainly have to be exceptional in some way to touch so many people.

It also seems like he died from a fall at home. How many times have you, I or anyone been in a bit of hurry and ran down those stairs without taking as much care as we should? Or done something else without thinking properly and potentially putting ourselves in a type of danger which seems to have such miniscule odds of happening we don't even think of it as a danger? Time for us all to stop for a moment and consider just how easily and unexpectedly life can be snuffed out.


Anonymous toby_ray said...

I never went to Club V (being very much a south london boy back then), howver I did win a Club V cd from BBC london (or was it GLR back then). I only played it once. Do you want it?

Thu Oct 27, 10:36:00 pm  

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