Monday, October 22, 2007

Please share your memories of Lance

We would love to hear your stories and remembrances of Lance. Please write to stories at lancehahn dot org.


porkmuffin said...

my dear, sweet friend Lance is gone. i honestly can't believe it. many people know Lance, he's a punk rock legend. but to me he was mostly just my friend. my hilarious, brilliant, wonderful friend. i think everyone who ever met him called him a friend--he was just that great of a guy. we spent so many birthdays together, (our birthdays land close together so we often celebrated at the same time) and we spent last christmas together, with plans to make it an annual tradition. countless nights i stayed up talking with Lance about everything from philosophy to shitty TV shows. he came to my band's first show and said encouraging things. he made me mixes with artists from Otis Redding to Abba. he always asked for rides in a sheepish way, (he didn't drive) but the truth is that i loved giving him rides. we always talked in the car and often sat in the car at our destination long after arrival just to keep the conversation going. hugs made him uncomfortable, but i always forced him to hug me. i'm so glad i forced him to hug me the last time i saw him. i love you Lance and i miss you.

Anonymous said...

In one way or another, Lance Hahn has been a part of so many lives. It's an awesome thing to think how he affected people directly and indirectly through his music. In some ways, the songs just EXISTED and became part of the larger tapestry, weaving in and out. I could say that I even took them for granted. I bet a lot of people did. Same can be said for Lance himself. Despite all the benefits and urgency, I never doubted that there would always be LANCE, making songs, having "late night conversations" somewhere. It's a nice thought that there are others who took inspiration from him and will be making a mark of their own. Anytime I would get on the phone with Lance, we would talk for hours. I would not even remember why we were talking after a while, but the ride was always engaging, often hilarious, and immediately such a huge lift to my spirits. I miss him already.

Anonymous said...

Good bye to a great man. The first time I met Lance was at a Cringer show that we opened on. He was great to a small boring band from Illinois. He will be sadly missed by all those whose lives he touched. My heartfelt prayers go out to his friends and families.

Anonymous said...

I graduated with Lance at the Kamehameha Schools in 1985. Back then he was the only Hawaiian with a mohawk. That is how different he was. He was also genuinely kind to me when I was super poor. That is how I can tell if someone is genuinely cool or not.

I didn't know he was extremely sick recently. I wish I had known.

So far his former classmates at Kamehameha Schools know about his untimely passing. I hope he knows that he will never be forgotten.

I will really miss you, Lance!


Anonymous said...

Many peers have come in and out of my life that have inspired me, Lance you were one of the very few that were never not there, constantly inspiring me, constantly writing, touring, performing, objecting, raising an issue, fighting a cause, exposing me to new music. I excitedly opened your emails for years, like I opened MRR to read your columns before that. From my first trip to California in the late 80's where you interviewed the band I was on tour with, to seeing you play with BECK in the 90's, to seeing you most every time you came to NY I never left without the feeling of how lucky I could be to be friends with such a good person. I hope we have all learned, and will continue to learn from the example you set and the path you paved. My deepest sympathy to all of his friends and family.

LuckyComeHawaii said...

Hi Lance. Howz it? Happy times for your life. You never stay Huhu at anyone. Your life touched thousands of people. Good Job! From MMR to the stage and now I hope to see your book in print sometime soon. Bum Bai Aloha Nui Loa

Anonymous said...

"I'd like simply to live... because life is expressed only with itself. I'd like to express myself by examples, to throw my body into the struggle...
Death is not in not being able to communicate, but in no longer being able to be understood" - Pier Paolo Pasolini

We understand, Lance.

Lance Hahn lives on...

Jack Control

Anonymous said...

I wrote about Lance here: R.I.P. Lance

(weirdly I posted this earlier but it didn't seem to take...)

Anonymous said...

When I was in 8th grade my sister was penpals with Gardner from Cringer...They stayed at my sister's boyfriend's house and had some meals at our house. I watched Wheel of Fortune with them, and Lance did a pretty hilarious impression of a lady that won a puzzle; "To fetch a pail of water." I can't describe in writing the voice he used, but it sticks with me to this day. When they went to Europe they parked their van in my grandfather's garage. Years later I became a pretty big J Church fan. Whenever I saw them, I'd mention who my sister and her boyfriend were, and he'd seem pretty excited and ask after them. The most surreal part of all this is that I listened to J Church on my trip to Sleepland Sunday night. When I woke up, someone on the radio (I'm in Florida) was talking about the Santa Ana winds, and I thought "what a nice coincidence." About 2 hours later my friend texted me the news. I called my sister.

Also my friend Jordan and i did something neat back around '96 or '97. This picture was taken this past December on a trip back home.

I'll miss you Lance.

Anonymous said...

highlighting the above link *will* copy the whole thing, even if it doesn't all show on your screen.

lil m said...

I met Lance about 17 years ago in SF and wrote a short tribute obit to Lance posted at some various links including this one:

Hadn't seen him in a few years...

perhaps we'll meet again...

Unknown said...

first time i saw lance was at my first j church show in summer 2003. i'd only heard one j church song in my life at that point and had no idea what the band looked like. i was surprised when the "chunky asian fat guy with a receding hairline" walking around all night got up on stage and totally rocked. i was an immediate dedicated fan from then on.
i approached him two years later a sxsw show nervously, but his friendliness, knowledge, and general coolness made me feel at ease and we chatted until he had to get ready to play. at the end of the set, i told him how great it was and he smiled and thanked me. i went to japan that summer and a by total coincidence it was when j church was on a japan tour. lance and some friends of his from japanese bands came into an infoshop where my friend and i were kind of staying/hanging out and we chatted on and on about japan and japanese bands. again, very friendly and knowledgeable. what a great guy!

Anonymous said...

The first time I ever "met" Lance, I was caught up in drunken moshy antics that wound up unplugging his amp midway through a J Church set at the Stalag 13 warehouse.
Lucky for me others in attendance would do far worse--puking in the band's merch box and badgering the members of Garden Variety while J Church roadie Floyd sat by powerless and terrorfied, as he and Lance were forced to admit that, Yes, there was indeed a toilet more disgusting than those at Gilman Street.

Throughout the 12 years since then, Lance and I have had some terrific conversations--some deep, some punk-nerdy, some about lofty topics like the French New Wave, and some just me nudging him to tell me more about Mikki from Lush in her angry punk days.

I'm proud to say that I taught him Philadelphia has a rich and varied selection of vegetarian eateries, but I'll admit that that just highlights how much MORE I've learned, comparatively, from him.

Being in Florida, about to head to Gainesville for the No Idea Fest in a few days, my thoughts are naturally Lance-heavy. Since I lost my annual trip to Austin a few years back (and since my tireless efforts to convince he and Liberty Lidz to move to Philly), "The Fest" has helped accomodate me with a steady (if still infrequent) dose of the Hahnybear.

One of my strongest memories of Lance involves something he doesn't know about and wasn't even around for. Rushing home from some show when I was 19 or so, I missed the last trolley from west Philadelphia back to my father's house. Stranded at the city-suburban terminal confronted with the option of waiting a few hours for the trains to start up again, or walking 3-5 miles in the rain, I decided to sleep on a bench in the terminal. The one thing that made this experience not only NOT lonely, but actually vividly inspirational, was reaching into my bag and pulling out the casette of "Camels, Spilled Corona..." that my friend had lent me that afternoon.
The melody, energy and lyricism of "Bomb" and "Sacrifice" eclipsed the knock-kneed chill of a rainy Philadelphia November at the first listen. By the time I got to "Commodity," I decided I would NOT even bother with the other casette I'd borrowed (apologies Naked Aggression) until some later time.
J Church all night from 2am until 6am when I could take the train back home... bleary eyed but a little less alone. J Church ever since.
Thank you, Lance.
---Mike McKee (Philadelphia, the town you said you used to hate 'til I changed your mind)

Anonymous said...

I didn't beleive this at first. I only had the oppurtunity to meet him a few times. As I don't really have many heroes, Lance is someone I always admired greatly. He didn't stray from the diy attitude and he allowed just about anyone to use his songs if a band wanted to do a split. There are so many splits with jchurch on them. It didn't matter if it was a big time band or just some kids with feeling and creativity in there music. I just had to leave a comment here so people in the future can understand how much of an impact this person had on a lot of people's lives. An impact on positive terms of course.

Anonymous said...

I think I will listen to every recording of lance i have, I don't know what else to do. Has anyone contacted maximum?
Brian oregon

Anonymous said...

Just like lance collected a fake family ( pictures ) I collected fake family via mailorder records.
He is in my fake family. I sent him a e-mail yesterday talkin about bein sick...I had no idea.
More than the band, Lance was a teacher to me. He allways put the best questions to things.(punk, polotics, ethics) This inspired my beliefs more than anything. I can't listen to Kathi without questioning eating meat. DIY forever I love you lance.

Anonymous said...

"the bomb is in the briefcase and it's aimed against the bourgeois state"

thank you lance

-pete buttafuoco/blacklist

Unknown said...

i remember buying "the thing that ate floyd" at cheapskates around 1990. lots of east bay bands. and there was this one song on it by a band called cringer. it was cottleston pie, a song that winnie the pooh sang. i was hooked. so i bought more cringer records. even better stuff. catchy, even though the singer was a little off. heh. then when i was working at cheapskates as the record guy i started buying jchurch records because it was members of cringer. years later i would find out from lance that they were the same band with just a different name and a new direction.
the first jchurch 7" had this song "bomb" on it. it's still my favorite song by them. amazingly catchy and edgey lyrics. it's about blowing up capitalism. in 93 i booked jchurch at the antenna and went to see them in little rock before they played memphis. adam from jawbreaker was drumming so it was extra great to see them. i remember them playing this tasty groove and all the cool kids at the rice street house really getting into it. then they kicked into the chorus and it was "creep" by radiohead. all the cool kids stopped dancing quick-like cause it wasn't cool to dance to a radio hit. i just laughed.
their show in memphis sucked. no one showed and since i booked it i felt horrible.
but lance didn't seemed pissed. most bands that i booked bad shows for would be complete assholes about it.
fast forward through 10 years or so of great j church records and the advent of the internet.
so i would send lance emails from time to time asking about records and i even had him lined up for a comp i was going to do which fell through when i lost my job in 03. adam had told me about his scare with high blood pressure and stuff and it kinda freaked me out at the time. but he pulled through and i figured it was just a close call. by this time i had given up on trying to collect all the jchurch records ever put out. man, they just couldn't be stopped. record after record after record. pure guts and stamina.
i got to see the all new jchurch in memphis 2 summers ago. it was such a great show. quite a few old memphis punks. a dirty show space. cheap beer and great sounds. i showed lance the tattoo i got after i got out of the hospital in 97 which had a quote from one of his songs on it. he had to take a photo and seemed stoked. i also drove him to sun studio on the way to an atm, it was out of the way but i figured a rocker like him would like seeing it. then after the show i took the band to see the loraine motel where martin luther king was killed. it was a great night. and i lost a job over not getting up and going to work the next morning. well worth it.
anyway. i'm just so broken up. i cried when joe strummer died, but i'd never met him and was able to call him a friend. this is just so much closer to home. fuck. i don't know what else to say.
just rest well lance. the world is a daker place with out you. thanks for the smiles and the songs.

porkmuffin said...

lots of great comments about Lance can be seen here:

Unknown said...

Lance and J Church have been such an inspiration to me. Even though I'm far away, and only met Lance once, I feel devastated, so my heart goes out to those of you who were close to him.

The one time I saw J Church live, it was December 2004. I flew from Edinburgh to Munich for a weekend just so I could catch them before they left Europe. It was worth the expense. And it was more than 'just' a gig to me: I'd recently left an abusive relationship that had given me a whole load of baggage, plus I'd been rushed into hospital unexpectedly and was now recuperating from surgery. Going to Munich by myself, where I didn't know anyone, was a really big deal given that I'd missed out on adventures for so long. I had such an amazing time seeing J Church and being welcomed by the local punks, who gave me crashspace & food & drink. It felt like a turning point, and it had such a positive impact on my life. Listening to Lance's voice always brings back those feelings of freedom that I was newly able to experience.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, and I'm so sorry that you're gone.

Anonymous said...

I never had the privilage of meeting Lance or seeing Cringer/J Church live.. That being said, I can't imagine His music, lyrics and attitude being able to affect me more than it did just listening to his records. Sometimes it's better not to know and just have the vision locked away in your head of how you expect someone be be like or look like or act like. To me Lance was none less than a songwriting master and a poet. Whether on a big stage in front of thousands or sitting in a corner with an acoustic at a coffee shop, my vision of him is bigger than life. I'll miss the new music (seemed to be a new album every 3 weeks or so) and the new ideas and the new sounds. I won't ever miss the impact Lance has had on my life... I'm Cringer74 forever.....

Anonymous said...

I lucked into a situation where when I moved to SF in 1990, the house I was to live in had two others in it -- a friend from Oregon which is how I ended up in that house and Mr. Lance Hahn. I was a very dorky, sheltered, inexperienced, not well-read kid from Oregon who couldn't wait to get to the Bay Area and become part of the scene. I'm telling you, if it hadn't been for Lance, things would've worked out very differently I'm sure. True to his nature and whether he really wanted to or not, he took me under his wing and made it his job to help me out. He was responsible for helping me land my first job, meet many people who are still my friends today, get involved with MRR and Gilman St., put out a 7" compilation (Things I Stole)and simply start doing something, anything. I highly doubt I ever thanked Lance for all he did for me over the years... and he did a lot! He will always have a place in my heart and I have many fond memories of hanging out with him, narrowly escaping trouble with him on occasion, walking the streets of SF with him, listening to records with him and following his bands around like a good little groupie should. He was just one of those rare and kind people who genuinely liked other people and showed it in how he lived. He will be missed and long remembered.

Anonymous said...

wrote this down on sunday evening...

"Its a Sunday, a cold front is bearing down on us here in Austin, Coltrane is on the turntable telling tale of his Favorite Things, and today we lost our dear friend Lance, and I want to put down a memory.

I remember being in Fargo, North Dakota with him one summer. We sat on the curb and drank beer and looked up at the sky. It was night time and those heavens were ALIGHT. We watched those green and pink streaks fly over, the Aurora Borealis was simmering and we sat with our heads cocked back and I'll be damned if we weren't little children again! We had our beer and we forgot about our lives. We were drinking it all in and it was marvelous.We were fucking alive, and there was no thought in our minds of the end. There existed no imaginable end that we could fathom, save the darkness above our heads.

Today he is up there soaring with that white fire and I know he is at peace.

I will remember that day in the summer when we looked up and were young again.

I will remember Lance and be grateful that we shared that.

Rest In Peace, friend..."


Anonymous said...

A real cool guy in person. No other person is responsible for more CD's on my shelf. And while I've forgotten about or grown tired of most of the bands I've listened to for over ten years, I can still pop in a J Church or Cringer album and enjoy it as much as I would if I had just discovered it.

His music inspired me when I was learning to play guitar and bass. The lyrics were always familiar to me as if I would have written them myself if I had the talent. The music and emotion ran the entire gamut and never got boring or repetitive, yet it didn't change so much that you wished they had changed the band name (like with so many other bands).

I feel honored to have seen J Church play live and to have talked to Lance in person. I'm glad he left us so much music to listen to.

Anonymous said...

I am amazed to see such an outpouring of support, especially from so many people who never met Lance or, like me, met him a couple times for a few minutes each, but consider him a friend. I know that when I talk about him with friends of mine who are fans, we simply call him 'Lance', as if we knew him. Call it odd, but I always knew I would be friends with Lance if I lived near enough to him to see him on a regular basis.

I cherish and vividly remember the 5 times I saw J Church. The first was at the Cat's Cradle in Chapel Hill in like '96 or so. I went alone cuz I couldn't convince anyone to go with me (it was like a Tuesday night.) It was some local band's record release party, so not many people payed attention to J Church, so I got a front row spot! I remember my jaw dropping when they launched into "Yellow, Blue and Green" and my mouth staying open all the way thru the solo at the end of the song (which Lance totally ripped), and spending every dollar I could save over the next month buying the J Church CDs I didn't have yet. From then on, J Church and Lance's other work have been constant companions in my life, getting me through times in a way very few others have been able to match. There's a song for every mood or emotion I have. (This from a socialist, BTW!) And I honestly believe the band was breaking ground with the avant-garde influenced new stuff. It's hard to explain how much Lance's stuff means to me, although most of you understand. It's also hard to be an isolated J Church fan who just moved from GA to NJ, so thanks for the opportunity to read other people's memories and thoughts and to be able to share my own.

Lance Hahn, I hope you're in a place whose beauty is purer than that of the struggle on earth under capitalism. The world is an immeasurably better place (and we're a little closer to taking over this friggin' planet) for your having been here.

"Today, everyone suffered in the usual way.
Today, we laugh uneasy because there's no escape.
I see the whole world and the possibility.
Sitting here in misery.
No place that I'd rather be."

Peace and Love,

timojhen said...

Nothing which I could add that's not already been said... great guy, totally stand-up in everything he did. Definitely will be missed....

Anonymous said...

In the early 90's, a couple of my bands had the pleasure of supporting J Church a few times on their trips to the UK. Lance Hahn was always a gentleman to us and gave us "shout outs" from the stage whenever we were at any of his other shows as fans.

The first band that I ever sung with as a teenager covered a Cringer song of his. Pretty badly, but hey! Lance was a big influence on me in my very early days growing up in the punk scene and I collected J Church records until they ended up releasing so much stuff that I just couldn't keep up any longer!

I'm going to get my hands on a copy of "Quetzelcoatl" again as soon as I can....

RIP Lance. Jamie Delerict.x

Anonymous said...

i can't believe this has happened. i know Lance has been in & out of hospitals for a while, but it's still unbelievable to me. when the Kathy 7" 1st came out a LOOOONG time ago, i immediately wrote Lance to ask permission to record a cover & put it out w/ a 7" that my band was planning at the time. his response was awesome & so sincere. he said, "of course, that would be awesome, on one condition. when it's done & ready, you have to send me a copy." of ocurse, it never happened, due to our laziness, but that's beside the point. Lance's response was so straight from the heart & sincere. it wasn't about getting paid for royalties or asking for credit. a true punk rocker thru & thru.
i don't think most people realize just how much of an impact he had on the punk rock community. he influence is immeasurable.
i miss him immensely already. it's rare for an artist of his quality to be that nice & that genuine. more than his music, i'll remember his awesome personality, & that's saying something, considering how great all his bands have been.

i miss you already Lance.

RIP, henry

JC said...

I really don't remember when I met Lance. Gilman? Blacklist? He was always just there, larger than life, with a really cool sense of humor and laugh.

One of my fondest (albeit seemingly insignificant at the time) memories of Lance was when a group of us were on Lower Haight (1994 or so??) and we realized the Simpsons started in five minutes. Somehow we managed to get from Haight and Steiner to Hayes in Steiner, up the giant hill, within four minutes in order to run up the stairs to the Hayes St. flat with about 10 seconds to spare. I just remember all of us huffing and puffing and laughing our heads off.

Then there's the day I saw him at Lydia's, when he told me he was no longer watching 90210 because there was this great new show called Seinfeld on at the same time. Maybe I shouldn't admit the 90210 part....

Last but not least, one of my favorite memories is stuffing 6 people in my VW Squareback to head over to Pancho Villa's when Blacklist was on Shipley St. Lance stuffed himeself in the very back compartment and yelled commentary about his placement in the car the entire way there, jokingly claiming I made minorities ride in the back. His sense of humor will be greatly missed.

I know Lance got somewhat "famous" but he was always just Lance--nice, down to earth, genuine and a really good person.

I'm very sorry I won't see him again. I'm glad he got to do a lot with his life when he was healthy.

Hopefully he and Tim are having a good catch up chat.

Jennifer (now in Portland)

Anonymous said...

In 1996, at the only public performance of my two-piece punk rock band, I wore a J Church t-shirt. This is the only aspect of that performance that I do not regret. (I was thirteen years old. You can probably imagine.)

Lance Hahn was a true artist. Once history has had time to deal with the insane volume of material he's left us, it will recognize him as such. (So many stabs at the sublime; so many bulls-eyes.)

Songs like (just off the top of my head) "My Favorite Place" and "Razors" and "Bottom Rung" and "Contempt for Modesty" (really, give it another listen) and "Alone When She Dies" and "Travelers" and "At the Cannery" (and etc. and etc. and etc.) don't just disappear. They seep through narrow channels into the culture, and from there into the Earth itself.

Those closest to Lance Hahn deserved many more years with this man whom they obviously loved so dearly.

But we, the fans, while we mourn, should thank the fates that, amid this horror of life, we have had so many of his songs touch us so deeply (and poignantly and violently), and we should take comfort in the firm knowledge that we will discover many more of his songs, and re-discover even more, before we're through.

I haven't got anything
clean today
to wear,

JM said...

In the summer of 1990, my friends and I were obsessed with two records: Neurosis - The Word As Law, and Cringer - Tikki Tikki Tembo. A group of us followed Jawbreaker around on their east coast dates, and one special night in DC we were all able to run over and catch Neurosis live after the Jawbreaker/Jawbox show at DC Space, but we pined for our beloved Cringer. [We also hung out at Liberty's house in Pennsylvania on this road trip!] Lance recently wrote me in an email, "I remember the Jawbreaker guys telling Cringer that we needed to tour the East Coast because of you folks." It was very obsessive.

Luckily, when Cringer did make it to the east coast, touring with Citizen Fish some 8 months later, there were more than us 5 fans in attendance. I believe this was the first of many many tours so far from home for Lance. I think he was always a bit surprised by folks' positive reaction to his music--he really was as humble as everyone here reports. My friends Tyler, Carlos, and I caught the New York (w/ Born Against) and Providence (w/ Jesus Crust) shows, met Lance, had fun heckling him with all our insider lyrical knowledge, and along the way came up with the concept of "Tofu Punx," an ethos based on equal parts care and fun. Cringer was our flagship band, as they approached painfully serious topics in their lyrics while never taking themselves too seriously. Lance lived his life in such a way.

And yes, I have a homemade "Tofu Punx" tattoo on my ankle, which rarely sees the light of day. I WAS 19, after all. I never told Lance about this.

I ended up moving to the Bay area, where I caught probably the first 25 J Church live shows in a row, and got to know Lance. At the time I didn't realize that I, like innumerable others, was signing on to a lifelong friendship. I always enjoyed running into him on the street in the Mission, and sometimes just going on home with him to listen to records and talk shit about whatever was on our minds. I was always impressed by his breadth of knowledge, wide areas of interest and influence in music, books, movies, politics, life. He was 25 and I was 20, and I definitely was "looking up" to his way of seeing the world.

We came to realize that we shared a birthday, (February 15), and I'm happy that we once got to celebrate together by doing what we loved: having our bands play together at Gilman Street (1994?). Viva the aquarian brotherhood.

Before the "infamous" Beck tour, Lance gave me all the UK tour dates, and said, "meet up with me anywhere." Our friend Chad and I were taking a 6 week trip throughout the UK and Ireland, beginning with an international anarchist gathering, and we carried along the Beck itinerary alongside our maps and bombs (joke to you gov. saps!). For some reason we decided to try to make it to the Manchester show, all the way from Cork, Ireland, in a day. It began with hitchhiking early in the morning, eventually taking a bus to the coast, taking a ferry to Wales, then a train all the way to Manchester. We got there, relieved, just as Beck was taking the stage. Lance played really well, and I loved watching him sing backing vocals. Afterwards Chad and I looked forward to a hotel room floor after our long journey, and Lance said, "oh, no, we're driving to Glasgow tonight...we only have a small van, and it's filling up with exhaust fumes as we drive...I'm really sick." We stood outside talking about the Smiths, and Chad and I asked every girl who came up to Lance for an autograph (and there were plenty of them!) if they knew of a place we could crash. Well, us scruffy ass punks slept where we belonged--behind the venue underneath a bush (it was November, and raining).

The London show a week later was a lot better...plenty of provisions backstage!

I ended up moving back to Rhode Island, and losing touch with Lance, but reconnecting randomly every now and then in Aquarius Records when I would visit SF, and then via the magic of online "social networking," of course. I really enjoyed our exchanges in the past year, keeping abreast of his health situation, and sharing fun stories and memories.

I still can't believe that he is gone. It has been a sad and painful week for me, as it is for everyone writing their comments here. It strengthens me to read all the wonderful messages, and it really drives home what a unique, special guy Lance was, and will always be in our memories. My heart is especially with my dear old "punk rock penpal" Liberty at this time. We are with you!

Love, peace, and tofu for all. We're wearing our black sweatshirts in solidarity!!!! I love you, Lance.

Jason McGill

envythedead said...

The world has lost a really amazing, inspiring and passionate human being. This is really devastating. I was friends with Lance when we both lived in the mission in the mid nineties... never super tight bros, but would still spend an hour chatting whenever we ran into each other. I was a young fresh-faced kid back then and he was one of the first people that I looked up to that was not condescending. He was very supportive of the zine I did and taught me how to make a screwdriver when I decided to stop being straight-edge.

I went to Austin for a week in late 2003 and immediately reported to Lance’s work to get a list of vegetarian restaurants to check out while I was there.

I will never forget his huge laugh and warm smile. A true poet with thoughtful lyrics and passion for music and film that knew no boundaries. A caring and involved person. I wish I had more to say but I think I need to just to go listen to some records. Goodbye wonderful person. Hope we meet again.

My love goes out to Liberty (remember me?!) and everyone else that has been by his side the last few years.

James Squeaky

Anonymous said...

There was a time in my life where everything seemed to revolve around getting the latest bunch of records from the then burgeoning San Fransisco/East Bay/Oakland punk scene. Lance's bands were always a huge part of that excitement.

Over time I lost interest in a lot of the music but the history of our culture, along with the ideas and people i was exposed to, continue to compel me. Reading about how Lance's lyrics and personality affected people is depressing because of losing him, but also inspirational.

Paul Raven, Paul Fox and Lance Hahn within 24 hrs of each other...Rest in peace, dudes.

pencrush said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pencrush said...

I only met lance briefly through his music at a few shows but he was always friendly, gracious, and extremely nice. His music has meant very much to me over the years, and the news of his death saddens me greatly. He touched many lives, and will be greatly missed. RIP Lance.

Unknown said...

I don’t know spit about punk music, really. But because I was lucky enough to know Lance in LA in the 80s, I got to see tons of cool music, meet really interesting people, and have absurdly large parties in my backyard. At the peace group SANE where we worked he helped dozens of kids find themselves a place in LA and a voice for their outrage. He put together a benefit gig for us once with Final Conflict, and was right there when we peaceniks fought off the skinheads crashing the door.

He was calm and wise and giving then, like 20 years ago, and all of these posts make it obvious he was the same to everyone who met him since. One of the genuine good guys, to be sorely missed and long remembered.


Anonymous said...

My memories seem a little lacking compared to what I've been reading but my piece was written as some sort of coping mechanism and you're welcome to read it... It's pretty cheesy but we can blame that on the whiskey and beer...

Anonymous said...

I think I first met Lance in the summer of 1990 in SF. I had taken Aaron and Cristina down to SF and we met up with Lance at the MRR house and ended up hanging out all day and wrapping up the evening eating burritos in the Mission at 3 a.m.! Lance didn't forget this all these years later when I caught up with him and we again began to communicate via emails. He was always amazing from the very first time I met him and he will continue to be amazing in the afterlife. I'm going to miss our emails. And the world is a lesser place without Lance Hahn. xoxo, Julie

Sloopydrew said...

Lance, I started listening to Cringer in '87 or '88. I loved your "fuck rock stars" attitude. I remember 2 things the most: 1. meeting you at the "Speedboat Cafe/Motorboat Coffehouse" in Mankato when you were hanging with Billy from The Libido Boyz and 2. Buying an EP where you wrote an essay on how much you loved playing WITHOUT a stage and then watching you (with Cringer) playing on the floor at the Profane Existence House in Minneapolis with all the fans. Your music -- and esp. your lyrics -- has made a huge difference to my life. I will cherish your records, EPs and CDs and fondly remember the few times I had to meet you. Thanks for everything. I already miss you more than words can express.

John Turner said...

You know, I didn't know Lance like many of you but I felt like I did. I remember ordering the "Perversion is their Destiny" 7-inch from Vinly Communications back in...geez I dunno...maybe '86 or '87. I still have it along with a sea of 7-inches and most of the full lengths. I always seemed to miss Lance when the band toured but I finally saw J Church at the Knitting Factory in NYC around 1996. I took my future wife to see them again a few days before the blackout in NYC....seeing Lance was like seeing an old friend. I loved his lyrics, and even though all my more hardcore friends thought J Church were too soft....they just didn't get it. Lance was a brilliant songwriter and lived so true to what many of us talked about but few of us actually followed.

RIP Lance Hahn...JT

spike. said...

I only knew Lance through his songs. Seeing these comments (here and elsewhere) only affirm how "much much loved" he was to all who knew him. I'm so sorry for your loss to all of Lance's family and friends.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't listen to great punk rock if it wasn't for Lance. Seriously, it's super cool to read these posts and realize that this guy worked his nuts off to define punk rock. His life was the best example--live in a van, play lots of shows, and hang out with folks in whatever town you're in.

I saw these guys in Minot, ND back in the early 1990s. It was an amazing show. My band opened for them in Fargo a year later and we sat around after in a basement telling stories. Lance and Gardener are about the two nicest guys I've ever met.

Thanks for everything Lance. You were a legend years ago.

Bryan Kulba said...

I never really got J-Church until we ended up putting a show on for them in our basement during a severe drought of venues.

The show started really early and it left the rest of the evening open for just hanging out. Lance was obsessed with the movie Canadian Bacon and wanted to watch it again while here in Canada. We walked down to the local video store, grabbed the movie and snacks and proceeded to laugh the night away. Lance was his lyrics, his lyrics were him: sincere, sympathetic and resonant to all who took the time to read them or meet him.

Jackson Lo said...

The last I saw Lance was in Austin, outside of Emo`s must`ve been, cos I was rolling with the Subhuman dudes for a month and a half. That guy was always around in the Bay Area anyways, but of course when you live there nobody fucking kicks it until they all leave it.

Tikki Tikki Tembo Si Ma Rembo, that`s the one. Bomb, I admit that I didn`t buy all those goddamned JChurch Splits except the Discount one.

Rest In Peace!!!

This comment has been removed by the author.

sorry, this:

Fuzzy said...

I haven't read through all of these comments yet. I posted on my blog about it as I sat here crying, I was not even that close to him, but it was a shock. He had a profound influence on many people, I hope some of them managed to tell him such, I know I didn't get to it, I wished I had. Here I tell him all about his impact on me.

Fuzzy said...

The link should have been
France and Almost There Tales!: Lance Hahn R.I.P.

Rob said...

Everyone is far more eloquent and expressive than I can ever be.

While I never knew him, I did lose a chldhood hero. His impact and influence will not be forgotten.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to add my voice to the sea of solidaity. Lance's actions and music had a profound effect on many people acoss the world. It's such a shame it had to end early but his family should be proud.

Unknown said...

hey guys and gals. we can make this tragedy something positive. we can all get regular check ups. make sure your health is good. we can also all become organ donors.

for lance and for ourselves.

please take care of yourselves and if something happens give the gift of life. donate.

Anonymous said...

Lance Hahn was one of those people that really fostered the idea of community in the punk scene around the world. The first time I met Lance was at a show at the Red Eye in London (1997), where he seemed happy to talk to everyone that came to that show. We gave him a copy of our tinny demo tape, which he amazingly reviewed in MRR. Even in the days of snail mail he always took the time to reply to letters or stop to chat at shows, which many others didn't seem to want to do for random fans and random bands. I only met him in person a handful of times, but each time he was extremely friendly, never arrogant, and an all around honest, caring person.

He was so active in the DIY world, and that inspired so many people to do something of their own. The world wide family of touring bands along with JChurch fans will miss him. Despite his untimely death, he has left a legacy of music, writing and inspiration behind. This is such a good thing for a scene that could at times be divisive and negative. He's going to be greatly missed.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know Lance, but I know Lance, inside the lyrics of the songs I memorized. I don't like pop-punk either. Neither did he, probably. "One Mississippi" was fucking amazing. What a strong heart.

Good luck out there, stranger. Goodbye, friend.

Anonymous said...

I, too, worked with Lance at SANE in the late '80's. While I caught more than a few Cringer shows in those days, I best remember Lance as a charismatic field manager who could be inspire activists just discovering how to act on their beliefs, comfort those feeling beat down by the indifference they encountered to their expressions of that belief and a man who never hesitated to speak truth to power.

He was a hero, whose heart was pure and smile (always) puckish.

~ j! Leonhardy, SANE Canvass, 1984-89

T.J. Peng said...

It was the mid 90's the bay area punk scene was about to explode, I was relocated to UC Santa Cruz and saw J church with a refreshing change of seeing an Asian face fronting a band. The energy was good and I thought they were really cool. It's sad to hear the passing of a nice guy, amazing front man/artist. peace

Anonymous said...

Love u Lance

I did not know Lance personally but he seems to have been a fan of my music and wrote articles on my old bands apf brigade and man's hate.

He befriended me on myspace and i kind of got to know about him a bit and his ongoing illness, and his rather distressing myspace blog.

He will live on in my thoughts until i pass on.

i will post on my blog about him
love and peace to his family
andy x

Anonymous said...

To me, Lance Hahn was truly an individual. He was simultaneously everyman, with his down-to-earth nature, and superhero-eque, accomplishing more in his 40 years than most people could even imagine. How many J Church records are there? Exactly. Lance was a doer; to me, he was 105% of a human being, always creating, listening, reading, watching and learning. At times, he seemed to be everywhere at once. I think I first met Lance in ’86 or ’87 when Cringer came up to the Bay Area to play at Gilman. At the time, loads of bands came up to play the club, getting a show was fairly easy and soon a worldwide network of people was born. Dedicated kids from all over came to perform, watch and participate, doing fanzines, picking up instruments to start bands, organizing and going to protests; out of all these hundreds of people, Lance stood out. We crossed paths often and although we weren’t best friends, I always had an overwhelmingly positive impression of Lance and was always happy to see him. His interpretation of punk, politics and, well, life was multi-dimensional in the best way; his “human-ness” shined through in everything he did. What he did was what he was and vice-versa.

During our time at Epicenter together, I used to go there way more than I really wanted to, definitely more than I actually wanted to work there. I really liked how places like Epicenter brought together so many people on a personal level; often I would just cruise over there without any intention to do anything at all. Time would disappear during conversations about politics, what band sucks or rules, who wrote what in the Epicenter log book, and whatever interpersonal drama flared up that week. Most of the time, I would hope some of my favorite people would show up; one of those people was definitely Lance. When he would arrive, I honestly would feel a sense of satisfaction and relief, like “Finally, a REAL motherfucker is up in here”. Lance really seemed to be a “hub”; where he was was where people wanted to be, not in a hipster/groupie/scenester type of way, but because he was a great down-to-earth person who drew people towards him.

The door would swing open, Lance would saunter in in his trademark shorts over thermals outfit. Recently, I was thinking about the way Lance looked and I came up with the phrase “scruffy and beautiful”. He would plop down in one of Epicenter’s chairs, crack open his burrito and good times would begin. Lance always had an interesting tale to tell, ideas to share or just shit to talk. I loved talking to him, making him laugh with his classic “HUHUHUHUH” laugh. Although Lance grew up in the punk/politico world, I loved how Lance refused to pigeonhole himself, peppering his conversations with exclamations like, “Dude, NWA ‘Straight Outta Compton’ is rad’!” During those times at Epicenter, I really felt like I got to know Lance a little better.

Last time I saw Lance was June 2006, a while after he had moved to Austin. J Church was doing a show at the Hemlock in SF. I wasn’t a HUGE J Church fan, but I really wanted to see Lance, especially in light of his recent health problems. I went to the show early because I knew he would be there and we hung out, catching up and talking shit for about an hour. He seemed really happy to see me in classic Lance style and we slid into conversation as if he had never moved to Austin and we had been talking the whole time. It was great. I never imagined I would never see him again and attend his memorial in the very same room.

For me, Lance’s passing has some eerie echoes of Tim Yohannon’s death. Both seemed to be such a “presence”; they were both omnipresent in the Bay Area. You would always run into them somewhere, Tim Yo flipping through records at a local shop looking for that one record he didn’t have, Lance shlepping down Valencia St. with an armload of packages, going to the post office. They were such “staples” in our community, I can’t help but feel that we get a bit spoiled. The last time I saw Tim Yo on the street, I shook his hand multiple times during our short conversation, because I was so surprised and happy to see him out and about “doing his thing” in the midst of fighting the cancer that eventually took his life. My time with Lance at the Hemlock was similar, although to me, it had the air of triumph, that Lance’s health had taken a turn for the better; he, too, was back on tour, doing his thing. Maybe his health was good at the time, but I can’t help but feel the painful pangs of ultimately being wrong about this.

Recently, one of Lance’s friends mentioned that he worked his whole life and never got rich or famous. I always felt the opposite; Lance was rich and famous in the best of ways, which most people, including myself, can only hope to aspire to. While Lance didn’t seem financially “loaded”, he was richer than most people I know. His personality and passions gushed forth from his mouth and his music, revealing a complex, whole, loving and lovable person, never snobby or arrogant, and his down-to-earth attitude was the great equalizer. Lance treated everyone the same, whether you were a member of his favorite band or the 14 year old kid shopping at Epicenter, embarrassed because his mother walked with him upstairs to get the new Rancid. …and Lance was famous. He was known by hundreds of people, and more importantly, probably liked by all. As I said to a friend of mine earlier, I have never heard anyone in my whole life say, “Wow, Lance Hahn is a real prick.” For at least a week after Lance passed, several times a day I drew my hand to my mouth, remembering yet another person who loved him I had to make that fucking shitty phone call to, letting them know he was gone.

Ultimately, the most important thing I can say about Lance is that people all over the world love him and, although his passing has been devastating to everyone who knew him, no one is going to stop loving him.

Thanks, friend.


Fuzzy said...

Of course it has seemingly all been said but here goes again.

Lance made living in a politically correct manner kinder and gentler. There was the strident group who had limited appeal, but Lance he was human. He accepted you no matter where you fell in the political spectrum. It was okay to have contradictions, according to Marx not only is this okay but necessary. You didn't have to be such a hardcore PC person, you could have many of the same beliefs but you didn't have to always be angry and not have any fun. Who ever had the idea that to be politically engaged meant one could not have fun. I wish we could return to SF Mime troupe Spiral Q Puppet Theater type paegentry as politics.

Anonymous said...

I was 16 years old, and we played around Florida with J Church. It was school, show, back to school, back to the show for five days, but it was worth it. A couple of years later, we went to Japan together. Gardner got sent back from the airport, and, there I was, playing bass in a band that was largely responsible for me ever playing music in the first place. Lance was cool about it. He even paid me to play. I would have done it for free. I would have paid him. That's just how Lance was. He effected so many of our lives. We'll all miss him.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that sucks, I had no idea... I knew Lance long ago, in the early Gilman days. Lance was a fixture in the scene at that time; J-Church were always fun, took part in everything, were supportive of their friends and scene. Lance volunteered his ass off! We'll all miss you!

Anonymous said...

It just does not matter when I met Lance or what bands he was in. What matters is that he was a genuine honest person and spoke his mind peacefully and honest. A true punk. Tell your good friends you love them while they're here. To Lance Hahn, Aaron Murphy, Jim Maclean, Tim Yohannon and all. Cheers.
-David Hayes

Lisa Gonzalves said...

Just so y'all know:

For those in the SF Bay Area there will be a memorial for Lance this coming Sunday, November 11 at the Hemlock on Polk St.(SF) from 6pm til closing/midnight. We hope to see you all there.


Lisa (Camisa)

Anonymous said...

I went to school with Lance in Hawaii. He was definitely a nonconformist and I loved him that way. There will never be another Lance Hahn.

We crossed paths again on MySpace of all places. I went to look for classmates of mine and I found his page. I am ashamed to say that I took him for granted. That he would always be there and we'd always converse. I was wrong and I am so devastated. I really, really miss you!

I am not able to make it to his memorial, but my prayers go out to him, Liberty, and his family.

God Bless...

Lord's Prayer in Hawaiian

E ko makou makua i lako o ka lani,
E hoanoia kou inoa
E hiki mai kou aupuni;
E malamaia kou makemake ma ka honua nei,
E like me ia i malamaia ma ka lani la.
E haawi mai ia makou i keia la, i ai na makou no keia la.
E kala mai hoi ia makou, i ka makou lawehala ana,
Me makou e kala nei i ka poe i lawehala i ka makou.
Mai hookuu oe ia makou i ka hoowalewale ia mai
E hoopakele no na e ia makou i ka ino;
No ka mea, nou ke aupuni
A me ka mana, a me ka hoonaniia, a mau loa, aku, Amene.

~ Lisa

Anonymous said...

I always loved the records by Cringer and J Church, and when we finally got to see them live on their 1996 german tour, I did an interview with Lance for my fanzine, and he was as sympathetic and friendly as I imagined him to be. Later, in 2000 we supported J CHURCH with our own band in Aachen, having a cover version of "Band you love to hate" in our program. Lance told us we could "keep it", because he didn't want to play it anymore. Lance wrote beautiful songs with intelligent lyrics I always could relate to. He was one of the last persons around with "true punk rock spirit" and will be missed very much.

Anonymous said...

I knew Lance back in ye olde days of MRR and Gilman Street, etc. I lost touch after moving to NYC years back, but was happily reunited via myspace, of all places. When he sent me a message, I was so happy that remembered me and thought enough of me to get back in touch. Sadly I did not get to see him before his health took this final downturn. I wish I could be at the SF memorial in person, but I will definitely be there in spirit. Lance was a genuine, kind and thoughtful soul who will be well remembered by all those whose lives he touched. Raise a glass to him for me!
Stacey White

Bacchus D said...

My band toured with J Church twice in the mid and late 90s. Listening to his hilarious stories and hearing J Church rock it every night made those tours some of my most memorable ever.

I'll always remember Lance as someone 100% stoked on life and who lived it in a pure and uncompromising way. His spirit lives on in all of us, those touched by his humor, selflessness, and passion.

Sooyoung Park

shaun citrus said...

For weeks i've been trying to think of what to write on here. How could i sum up my feelings?
Alot of people joke about the countless J Church records that were released over the years, but those records were one of the only things i could count on to make me smile. Lance's songs gave me comfort. They were well written, intelligent, wordy at times, and always catchy.
One of the best shows i ever put on was J Church, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The band had a club show booked, 19+ (not all ages). So i set up a show for them in my basement. Lance knew i was a drooling fanboy and asked me what songs i wanted to hear as he wrote up the setlist in my kitchen. That was the first time i really got to talk to him. That show was probably close to 10 years ago now and we still kept in touch.
It's going to feel strange not buying/ordering any more J Church records. Thanx for everything Lance.

Anonymous said...

Well, I guess this is where I could talk about how I had a connection with Lance and so forth, and in time, he probably would’ve penned a song about silly guys like me, a dude looking in the local paper each week wondering when J Church will be in town again. I feel sort of strange writing this after seeing tributes from all those who actually knew him well, and I’ve read such beautiful things written about the guy that it makes me feel like a bit of a charlatan, but here goes, anyway. I guess that all I have are a few incidental encounters and thoughts to share.

I’m a Clevelander, and I first saw J Church in Cleveland in 1997 at the defunct “Speak in Tongues” bar (yes, this is the reference from “Rock'N'Roll Museum”). On a night I should’ve been studying for a biology midterm at a local college, waiting for Anti-Flag to play, I saw Lance and the gang, and I guess I couldn’t understand, afterward, why a band like J Church wasn’t more popular. This was me, a collegiate jackass, who basically thought that the ultimate goal of a band was to get popular and roll in the dough.

Lance didn’t care about any of that, I don't think. The few times he showed up with J Church here in Cleveland, I tried to chat a bit with the guy, feeling a bit intimidated for some reason as I approached him (the Avail-Fabulous Disaster-Propagandhi-J Church show at The Agora was unbelievable), and he always seemed like he remembered me from the previous show, or from e-mails, and he wanted to know how things were in Cleveland, and how the town was doing. I recall him asking me where the nearest vegetarian-friendly place was located, one time.

After the fire at his apartment, I sent a wah-wah pedal instead of a few bucks to help out, selfishly wondering if I’d ever hear that pedal on some future track. The last time I think Lance was here, around spring of 2004 at Pirate’s Cove with the Methadones around the Cleveland State University campus, the guy was playing a video game before the show (the game was perhaps Galaga, but that could be wishful thinking), and I approached him and asked how he was doing, and asked how his heart problems were doing and all (kidney stuff unknown at that time, I think). Typical Lance, as I understand from everyone posting here, he said he was fine and that the medications were taking care of things. Again, I had asked about the wah pedal I sent, post-fire, and he said that, oh, yeah, he used it all the time. Who knows, who cares? What an ass I was. J Church proceeded to put on a terrific show, myself dancing in front of the stage accompanied on the floor only by a few inebriated Canadians whom I had befriended a few hours before.

Out of all those e-mails, all of those songs, I’ll always most remember Lance Hahn with J Church, under those silly lights in those weird Cleveland locales, peering through those always-friendly Asian eyes after that very first song, saying “Hey, does everything sound OK?”

It’s perfect, Lance, but I miss you.

-Kevin Halaburda
Cleveland, Ohio

Anonymous said...

Man I can't believe Lance is gone. I had no idea his medical condition was this severe, and I guess I always figured he'd overcome whatever medicals problems that came his way.

As you may or may not know, J Church was the first band I released on Dead Beat Records and would come to release a total of 2 singles, 2 split singles along with their inclusion on the first Viva La Vinyl comp. I put out. I had no idea that when I released those early singles that J Church would be around for as long as they were. I remember when I was in college how ecastatic I was to finally get the master tape (back in the DAT days) for the ‘She Has No Control’ 7”. Not only because it was the first release on the label, but a J Church single no less. Most label owners have some type of speical affinity for their first release/band that they work with and J Church were no exception in my case. I loved Cringer, and J Church were a more poppy, articulate version of Cringer who were pretty important to me when I was in college.

I lost touch with Lance over the years. Saw J Church once in Cleveland before I moved to CA. And a few times in LA. I actually ran into him more at clubs and in records stores in LA than I did at J Church shows. About a year after I moved out to LA, Lance was making a bunch of trips back and forth between San Fran. And LA to practice with Beck. So it seemed like he was always in LA around that time. So I’d run into him at the Jabberjaw, Al’s Bar or Spaceland depending on who was playing. That was around the time I was working at Aaron’s Records too, so he’d always pop in to go record shopping. He always had a smile on his face, and was always as eager to talk music as I was.

I’d always kept up with what Lance was doing musically and always respected him for his art. I think one of the things that Lance and I had in common was that we were both always DIY oriented. I've always considered Dead Beat an underground punk label and I think Lance saw J Church as an underground punk band. It’s pretty amazing that Lance kept J Church together for as many years as he did. Through thick and think he kept the band together longer than most people play music. 16 years is a long time to be playing in a few different bands. But to be playing for that long in one band as a relatively obscure underground punk band is a pretty remarkable feat in and of itself.

I’m listening to the V/A- Let’s Do It For Lance (tribute) CD right now, and it’s bringin back memories of how many times I used to spin the newest J Church 45’s over and over and over again. Lance you’re a great song writer and you’ve left a solid repertoire of music with us. Thanks for takin a chance on a label that you knew nothing about at the time. I'm proud to have your music in my back catalog. Rest in peace brother.

Tom Spencer
Dead Beat Records

Anonymous said...

First of all, I'm very moved by all those posts!

I did all ages shows in Palo Alto, at Cubberley Center, from 1994-2000. Lance came to a show. We had announced it as a J Church show but then he had to cancel. He is the only guy who cancelled his appearance but came anyways (class act!). He also signed my poster.

The bands that did appear that day were: Pee Chees (featuring Molly Neuman and Chris Applegren), The Electrocutes (featuring Tory Castellanos, Brett Anderson, Maya Ford and Alison Robertson), Pansy Division (f Jon Ginoli), and a band from Japan named Kemuri that Mike Park (Asian Man, Skanking Pickle) had brought to U.S. to make a record.

I remember that one of the reasons I booked J Church was that Chad Dyer of American Sensei said they were good.

Today I spoke to Robin Taylor, Molly, Kimberly Chun and Joey Minkes about possibly doing a special Cubberley Lives show to raise money for medical research in Lance's name.

Mark Weiss
Earthwise Productions
"The Palo Alto Soundcheck"/The Cubberley Sessions

Anonymous said...

This is from 10/23:

I made a phone call to my two old bandmates from Bicycle Rider today, and what a bummer it was. While reading Pitchfork this morning, I found out that Lance Hahn, guitarist/singer of J Church (and Cringer) had died in Austin this past Sunday after falling into a coma during a kidney dialysis session about a week ago. I knew he'd been ill and

I'd only spent five days of my life with the guy, but, man, what memorable ones they were. The first time I ever saw him was at a punk show at the Nottingham Coop in Madison back in '95 - that was my first real Madison punk show. It was a life-changing experience, because it showed me that I could do everything I tried to do, musically, in high school back in California, out there, in Wisconsin.

His band, J Church, played with Ezra Pound (who sorta morphed into Madison emo band Rainer Maria, one of my favorites). That show was what really inspired me to start a band in Madison. Although it took about two more years to get my band, Bicycle Rider, off the ground.

In the winter of '96 I was privileged to hit the road with J-Church, A Minor Forest and P.E.E. I got to travel with them to shows in Green Bay, Milwaukee and Chicago. In that van, somewhere around Sheyboygan, Lance turned me on to E.L.O. - that weekend, I must say, affected my songwriting forever. His friend Kim (maybe his girlfriend?) also tentatively offered to sign Bicycle Rider to his label, but it never worked out.

I think, by way of Lance's influence, I also got turned on to Nick Lowe, and probably a host of other songwriters. I think Bicycle Rider probably played two or three gigs with J-Church over the years, and the dates that we played with them and The Strike were among the most wonderful shows I've ever played. Being surrounded by people that inspired me, playing in cool punk clubs - a 20-year-old guy can't do anything more awesome than that. That's why I love the above photo of Lance - he looks stocky and strong and happy, just like I remember him.

You know, until today, I hadn't read over Lance's lyrics in a while. But man, over the course of those 200-300 songs, he wrote some great, beautiful stuff. And it was probably no picnic being one of the only Asian-American guys in the punk scene in the '80s, '90s and '00s, where latent racism was a lot more prevalent than what you'd expect from a bunch of "cool people" who were supposed to be abandoning the worst of society's ills to unite around music.

Little details jump out at you in the wake of somebody's passing. It's really funny - until today, I didn't even know that Lance played guitar for Beck for a short time. It goes to show you that there are sides of people that you don't even know, even when you know 20 or 30 of their songs, and have played a bunch of shows with them. Before there were social networks like Facebook and MySpace and before everybody and their mother was on the inter webs, there were guys like Lance Hahn that wrote songs that people put on mix tapes and listened to, alone in their bedrooms, and driving around aimlessly in their parents' cars. And even though everything can be downloaded in 30 seconds these days, I hope there are a helluva lot more great songwriters like Lance. My condolences to his girlfriend, close friends and family.

Anonymous said...

was given a tape...played it...loved it...saw them early 90 in rapid city...LOUD! stood outside the coffeebar and took in the energy....a few years later dragged my friend to see them play at the coffman,mpls...bought all their albums... and listened to every word...thanks lance.

Anonymous said...

I saw J Church play several times but I never got a chance to speak to Lance. Still, his lyrics and music touched me deeply over the many years I've been listening to it and his songs always made me feel not so alone. He is an inspiration and I will miss him.

Aloha Lance

Anonymous said...

I didn't know Lance well, just enough to know he was the nicest guy in the world; I liked him very much. He was also very talented and resilient, and his humility was humbling.

Mickey said...

In the early 1990s, Maximum Rock and Roll was very influential to me, as was the music popping out of there at the time. I quit my job and headed out there for a year to see what it was all about.

I met Lance a few times at the Epicenter record store, and I gotta say he was a genuinely nice, self-effacing, down-to-earth individual.

And his music... whoa. Not a week goes buy where I don't listen to J Church goes by, and discover some new nuanced musical twist, delightful lyric/wordplay, or genuinely life-embracing spin.

My heart goes out to Lance and his friends, family, and fans. Please note that he's touched many who never knew him -- including me -- and his legacy will live on by his brilliant, engaging music.

Here's hoping that his passing was surrounded by love.


jonozero1 said...

Lance and his music have played a big part in my life... probably totally unknown to him but he did stay at my house once and i'm sure i might have mentioned how much i loved his music and lyrics....his blog has been an inspiration and insight and has introduced me to some great music.... the world is emptier without Lance in it but his energy and enthusiasm lives on with his music and to those he left behind. Thanks Lance. Jono.

jeffen said...

A memorial with music.

Anonymous said...

A total shocker when I heard about this last month...I didn't know Lance well...I don't have memories of even one specific conversation we had, but we shared some frames of reference and passed hellos back and forth through my sister out-of-law. Mostly I have to say his essence, as described here by so many who knew him better, is what I remember: that he was humorous while taking what he did seriously and that he seemed to live the life he wanted, a life of his own small things those.

My two strongest anecdotal memories of Lance are from the stage and I can't figure why they have stuck with me so vividly all these years. The first was when CRINGER played ABC No Rio in NY the second time ('90 or '91?). I remember him saying something like "Hey you know Rave Records? 'Fuck That Weak Shit'? They said this next songs is the weakest song ever!!" and then they ripped into something quintessentially CRINGER. CRINGER playing ABC was a big deal to a lot of people in NY, especially the first time (which I missed). Among other things it signaled that our interest in the Gilman St. scene of that time was not a one way street.

Second memory, Gilman, 1993. The band I was playing with was finishing a small west coast tour which had been a disaster. This was our final show, opening for CUPID CAR CLUB and J CHURCH. It was my first time at Gilman and in the Bay Area, both of which I had idealized for some time. I don't remember feeling connected with anyone at the show, bandmates included. I'm wandering aimlessly alone in the back while the whole world, grouped in packs of close friends is rocking out to J CHURCH. From the stage Lance says quickly "This song's about how my old neighbohood in LA burned to the ground during the (Rodney King) riots and why I don't care". (Lance lived in LA?) Perfect...sounds silly to say but it made me feel better. Some sort of intangible warmth coming off that man...

Kristen, yon sister out of law, told me she would talk with Lance at Vulcan Video in Austin. Always looked forward to running into to him at some party or at the store when we were in town visiting but it never happened. Though I could only call him a "friend" in the loosest sense, I was really saddened to hear of his passing. I always took it for granted that Lance would be around, that I would get the chance to know him better...joke's on me for passively thinking about it instead of making it happen.

For all of you who were more fortunate, love strength and condolences from Brooklyn. And a big belated hug to you Lance for your warmth and example.

-Dave Powell

Anonymous said...

I first met Lance in 1989 when Cringer played with Skankin' Pickle at 924 GILMAN ST.. The excitement over seeing another Asian playing music was our instant bond. And though it's been a few years since I had seen Lance, he was always one of the good guys. Solid and the real deal.
-mike park

Anonymous said...

your music is still with us

east europe lance hahn/cringer/j church fan

Anonymous said...

it's been an incredibly difficult time... i miss lance terribly... finally posting this here now.

i can’t even begin to write something (especially in this state) that can do justice to lance, i really can’t. so i will simply share with you a few thoughts and memories…

i can’t entirely remember the first time that i met lance. i read his articles in maximum rock 'n' roll when i was sixteen, in 1987. cringer played with born against and citizen fish at abc no rio in spring 1991, which was the first time i saw them. it was one of the most insane shows i’ve ever seen – the tiny dank basement was absolutely packed, and people had come from as far as columbus ohio, toronto, maine, and south carolina just to see the show. we met when i moved to the bay area in summer 1991, although it wasn’t until i moved back to the bay area in summer 1997 that we’d hang out regularly at epicenter.

met lance once for five minutes at 3 a.m. sometime in 1993 to tell him you liked his set? he remembered you, remembered your conversation, and could probably ask about a wide range of mutual friends… six degrees of separation? if you knew lance, you could definitely get it down to two or three degrees. the first time i took him back to philadelphia for christmas, people in the various airports we traversed kept greeting him, “LANCE!” who the hell were all of these people? with lance, it was just a way of life…

i’d always heard that it was better to have good friends than wealth, but this really struck home after our apartment burned down in the summer of 2002. friends called, friends e-mailed, friends put lance up for a month while we got a new apartment (i was in china at the time). benefit shows were set up on several different continents; labels sent huge boxes containing large portions of their back catalogues on cd to replace lance’s record collection and tons of band t-shirts; a skatewear company sent shoes, pants, shirts for us both; hand-me-down computers and stereo equipment materialized; someone from the u.k. sent a huge box of collectable peace punk lps; and huge numbers of well wishes and offers of help with *anything* fell from the skies. i had a bit of a feeling of being a mobster queen, but it was simply the case that lance is incredibly well-loved.

he had numerous colorful stories about growing up in hawai’i: about avoiding being beaten up by samoan gang members prowling his neighborhood by doing their math homework for them; about getting phone calls trying to recruit him into the military frequently when he was a junior and senior in high school because they thought a hawaiian kid wouldn’t have many opportunities after graduating and was an easy recruitment target -- little did they know that he sometimes skipped school to hand out pamphlets on conscientious objection at the naval base… about zippy’s and plate lunches; about his amazing friends from kamehameha; about seeing the few bands that could make it to hawai’i; about sleeping out on the beach…

many, many people have pointed out that lance lived more in his forty years than most people do in eighty years. london, italy, germany, switzerland, france, spain, portugal, zagreb, manila, hong kong, australia, new zealand, sweden. japan? couldn’t wait to go back, had a lot of good friends there, loved getting bottles of green tea, edamame, and ume rolls at the gas stations they’d stop at while on tour. he wrote a zillion songs that document his perspectives and experiences so articulately, and i feel extremely lucky… very few people leave so much of themselves behind… and i daresay quite a few people would trade places with him, envious of how many people say, “he ROCKS”, of his songwriting ability, of his humanism, of the warmth and creativity he absolutely exuded.

sometimes he’d stay up all night watching pbs, dvd avant-garde art documentaries, and endless episodes of the west wing. i’d find post-its with mysterious lists in his handwriting in black sharpie pen on the coffee table in the morning; many of these were ideas for songs – not so many bands find inspiration in late night pbs documentaries.

even in the last few years, when he’d had nightmarish health problems, he soldiered on despite it all. the book on peace punk, his zine some hope and some despair, j church, blogs, articles for maximum rock 'n' roll and giant robot, honey bear records, plans for future tours…

it’s hard to believe that someone with so much energy is GONE. i can’t begin to describe how much you are missed… lance, you are much, much loved.

FireInTheSun said...

Lance and J Church came through Raleigh a few years ago. That night they all stayed at my wife and I's house. Lance was an absolute joy to have as a guest, a funny, intelligent guy with a great lust for life. In the short time I spent with him, I loved how I could talk to him about anything from movies, to music, to politics, (and my wife loved that he was a big Gilmore Girls fan)... My heart goes out to all who were lucky enough to have spent more time with him.

Anonymous said...

cringer and j church got me through some rough times in my life. hearing that lance has passed away breaks my heart. the scene and the world has lost a true statesman, songsmith and i've lost a hero. where ever you are, I toast you and will smile when I hear "Cottlestone pie"

Anonymous said...

he never met me but I was always around,usually lurking in the back at cringer and j church shows. his lyrics were poetry to my ears. inspration to this geek from sactoe. now that I'm almost 40 and with a family, a career, i will always listen to his words and remember the joy that they brought to me. I hope that you meet up with sewer trout jim and jam where ever the two of you have gone...sad to see you go...skip from sactoe

Anonymous said...

ich hab jchurch im bla zu bonn gesehen gutes konzert nette band, perfekter abend
so werde ich ihn in erinnerung behalten
gl├╝ck auf lance

dirt_trail_runner said...

Damn, I had no idea he died. Peace to all his family and friends.

Cringer and JChurch songs got me through many a night back in the 90s. Carried on a bit of a penpal relationship with Lance for several years, only met him once, but wow what a talent.

RIP, Lance.

Anonymous said...

It's hard to take...

We are always going to miss ya... much love to Lance, his friends, his family, and fans.

Anonymous said...

2008's gonna be lacking without you. I really regret never getting the chance to at least internet meet you.

goodnight Lance

Anonymous said...

by the way...

great post, Liberty.. thanks for sharin' it..

Anonymous said...

I met Lance in the early 90s. I was working as a contractor for a company in SF. I had a lot of sitting around time. Lance also worked there and was often around when I was working. I wasn't into punk and didn't know anything about his band except that I figured he named it after a bus. There were hundreds of people that came and went at that place and yet I remember Lance well. He was intelligent and gracious and he struck me as a very special person. I never knew what happened to him until I read about his passing in sfgate (asian pop). Rest in Peace, Lance, you sure touched a lot of lives.

Anonymous said...

a really nice article published recently about Lance:

much, much love,


Anonymous said...

Just thought I'd check up on future dates Jchurch were planning after picking up the new album and was rocked onto my backside with the news. I had the pleasure to meet Lance a few times at places like the Duchess of York in Leeds and was always struck by his level nature - people in bands are usually way too pompous to chat to someone in a crowd about where that Goober Patrol t-shirt came from and so on. I'm not going to drone on but I will miss Lance's music and presumably Jchurch. Thankfully Jhcurch were prolific so there's many an hour of memories to keep the memories alive. Condolences to family and friends for the loss of a true humanist who never compromised. Erudite, compassionate, thoughtful... the words could go on forever. Bye Lance

Anonymous said...

Lance was one of the nicest people I have been fortunate enough to know. He hated to ask for anyone's help, yet he gave so much. His music has touched the lives of so many people, including myself. I heard that J church had to cancell there tour, and were heading back to Texas. Later I found out, that Lance had collapsed, and was rushed to the hospital. They realized his Kidneys were shutting down, and that he had a severe heart condition. He began going to Dialysis, which he truly hated, I think anyone would hate having needles in there stomach. He underwent several operations, to install, or replace stints. Yet he kept right on blogging, and living life. I think Liberty was the only thing keeping him sane, at this point. Months before Lance slipped into a coma, we had been messaging one another alot. We would talk about bands, and labels. He shared some great stories with me. He knew I was very fond of Berkely California, and the 924 Gilman Street Project. I was never fortunate enough to have been a part of all that. Yet, he took the time, when he felt utterly horrible. Sat down and responded to my messages, and would reply with a real message, not like some people who just type stuff like, Cool! Lance was one of the Greats, he always will be. I was fortunate enough to have gotten to know him, and call him friend. If I have a saint up there looking out for me, I hope it's Lance. I miss you man.

Anonymous said...

I knew Lance while we were at Kamehameha. Even though I hung out with him during free periods or occassional outings I never knew him as a punk rocker, I never noticed his mohawk, and I never noticed his technicolor hair. I just knew him as a really cool friend who was easy to talk to, had really interesting experiences to share, never treated me like the outsider I felt like I was, and always had an easy smile. His friendship, as brief and school-based as it was, helped me get through those tough years.

I haven't seen him since high school, and I never knew that he lived such an incredible life. I wish I knew since we probably crossed paths with all the same cities we've spent time in.

Here are some pictures of Lance from my yearbook. I know I have pictures with Lance stored away with all my high school stuff which I'll try to find sometime.

Ka Mo'i
The Outcasts

In reading all the comments, articles, and websites mentioning him since his death, I'm sorry I never hooked up with him during his journeys, but I'm glad to discover that the Lance I knew almost 25 years ago never changed except for the fact that he shined a lot brighter.

Anonymous said...

'I'm kinda hungry' and 'Stuff like that' are phrases that will always remind me of Lance. I sang on a couple of JChurch songs and had the best time doing ELO covers - Lance was a real sweetheart. When i went to San Francisco he looked after me all the time i was there and we even mananged to get to go on a few of my cousins hot dates, giving marks out of 10 for each bloke. The highest scorer had paid for our dinners aswell as my cousins- nice.
Even though i hadn't seen him for years i always had a soft spot for him and was really shocked and upset to hear he'd gone.

Anonymous said...


lance, you are inspirational. it's because of you that my 7" collection is so huge. about half of them are j church and cringer 7"s. and every one of them is a golden gem of amazingness, even some of those cringer ones that aren't so easy to listen to.

thanks lance.

Anonymous said...

i first met lance at a j church show in mesa, az when i was 14. he was more than friendly, easily approachable, and incredibly intelligent. i was amazed when i wrote him and he actually remembered me. so began an occasional correspondence in 1997. i admired his passion about everything from music and politics to the san francisco giants. he inspired me with his music, and encouraged me to pursue my own musical goals. he introduced me to new music and films. his kindness and authenticity was awe-inspiring. he will certainly be missed.

Anonymous said...

I knew about J-Church and lance since 1995. I saw him play live in Boston and then a couple of years later I moved to California.
One day, I went into Lookout! Records in Berkeley, CA and I saw Lance there. I went up to him and started talking, expecting him to act like a rockstar and not have much of a conversation with me. Instead he was so damn friendly and open and I felt very comfortable talking to him. I asked him if he would like a copy of my (then current band in CA) band's cassette tape and he glady took it and thanked me for giving it to him. Having someone I looked up to be so friendly and nice and accepting made such a HUGE impact on me which I still carry to this day. Years later in 2001, I formed a new band with my (then) wife and I mailed the CD to the J-Church website. Lance wrote a glowing review of the CD and even said that it brightened his day. These are the two personal experiences I had with this man, and he never knew me.
I can tell music and his friends has lost a great person.
I'll never forget how great a person Lance is.

Anonymous said...

I knew Lance when he and I were political activists with SANE/Freeze back in 1989. Today I did a Google search on his name because I was searching for people that I knew back in those days. I want to find out what they're up to now. So, I found out today that Lance had passed away last year. And that he was a punk rock musician!
I am saddened that Lance died so young, but I'm glad to see that he was very much loved. This does not surprise me at all. The first memory for me that comes to mind when I think of him is a converstion he and I had while sitting on a curb somewhere in LA just before we were about to go and knock on some doors to talk with people about political issues we cared about deeply. He and I were remarking about how great it felt to be doing something powerful with a group of passionate and intelligent friends. I was very hopeful about our goals, and it meant a lot to me that Lance understood and encouraged that hope.
Thank you, Lance.
-Tom Kingsley Brown, San Diego, CA

Anonymous said...

Having now read through many of the previous entries on this page I want to make another comment.
I am struck by something very consistent here: people keep saying what a kind and unpretensious person Lance was. Someone with whom long conversations would ensue upon random encounters because he was so friendly, living in the moment, and knowledgeable and interested in so many things.
The last time I saw Lance was when I was visiting SF and I decided to stop in at the SANE/Freeze office to see if there was anyone there that I knew (the name of the Org had changed names by that time; Lance and I had worked with them in Los Angeles in 1989). There were only 2 people there that I knew: Lance and a guy who'd been a higher-up manager of some kind in LA and was now running the SF office. Anyway Lance, true to his nature, immediately dropped what he was doing and talked with me for probably an hour or so over coffee.
When I knew him in LA, I didn't even know he was a musician, and I hadn't been keeping in touch when I saw him in SF (this was around 1993 I think). I didn't know he was well known as a musician, and you wouldn't know it from the way he spoke of his life.
-Tom Kingsley Brown

Anonymous said...

I just found out the Lance passed away last year. All I can say is that I hated hearing this and that Cringer and JChurch will always be the soundtrack of my youth.

Anonymous said...

Fuck, I was trying to find some new interviews that Lance has done and I didn't even know. This is tragic. Lance did the best interviews I've ever read, his documents left behind will be cherished forever.

Unknown said...

I remember Lance from the Sane/Freeze Canvass...what a great guy...he was such a sweet mellow person in the toughest situations.... I never liked punk rock till I heard this mellow little guy rage...he was awesome!

Armando Zumaya

Guille Mauri said...

Voy a hacer este post en espa;ol , ya que soy de Argentina y creo que es importante que sepan que J CHURCH y Lance , tuvieron una influencia en sudamerica.

Debo admitir que la primera vez que vi una foto de Lance , me resulto un tipo realmente gracioso y no le tenia ninguna fe como musico o frontman de una banda. El primer disco que escuche de J CHURCH fue THE DRAMA OF ALIENATION y me sorprendi totalmente , J CHURCH fue para mi una de esas bandas que inserta su semilla en tu cerebro y corazon al instante, y mas de una tonada se quedo en mi por un largo rato.
La muerte de Lance me sorprendio rotundamente , Lance es de las personas que uno espera que nunca muera y cuando pasa no sale de su asombro hasta pasados meses.

Gracias por todo Lance
se te va a extra;ar en este puto mundo

Anonymous said...

Hi, if anybody knows anything about a 5-year tribute this year (in 2012) please post something on here, thank you very much. I have missed the previous tribute shows but I would be willing to come to Texas this year.
Jon W

jamfox said...

Thinking of lance and J Church.