Enter your email address to receive our daily LGBT news roundup

You're free to unsubscribe at any time.

Family pay tribute to London gay legend, Simon Hobart

Post your comment

Comments on this article are now closed.

Reader comments

  1. If this is true it is really sad, I can’t believe it

  2. ben cohen, editor 23 Oct 2005, 11:41pm

    Can I personally say that if Simon’s death is true, it’s so sad. He’s a lovely guy and has been so supportive of PinkNews since we launch.To his Dad, family and friends can I say “wish you long life” and only joy in the futureBest wishesBen Cohen and all the writers and helpers at PinkNews.co.uk/ CyberBritainx

  3. Simon will always have a special place in my heart, thanks for the great times in 1991, I’ll always cherish themLoveLee B (“Leeee Beeee”)

  4. I can’t begin to say how much of an impact Simon’s work has had on the people I know and party with. If Popstarz had never been set up, we’d be lost. His legacy is immense, and he will be missed.

  5. Tony Tansley 24 Oct 2005, 2:48am

    I worked with Simon on His first Pride, at Substation and part of his Red Stripe Members Club. Absolutely shattered to hear the news. Such a loss.

  6. Ben Clarence 24 Oct 2005, 7:47pm

    He was a dear, dear friend.This is awfully sad news, and my thoughts now rest with his family, friends, collegues and those who’s soho life was made more rewarding and interesting.Ben xx

  7. some deal with death with sadness, simon would have wanted people to celebrate his life, but who is in the mood for that right now?

  8. Such sad news. It’s been ages since I’ve seen him but I didn’t think I never would again. He was a good person and was responsible for so many good times for so many people.

  9. I don’t think people will have understood until now just how much we owe him, as someone who gave us so much – countless opportunities to have some amazing fun and a real alternative that was different yet inclusive. London is a much poorer place for his absence. It’s so very very sad, and my thoughts are with all Simon’s friends and family right now.

  10. This is horrid news to hear, lets hope hi legacy lives on strong for many years to come! he has brought so much to the world.

  11. What a tragic loss to us all. Whether you knew Simon personally, or just went to his many clubs over the years, his death leaves a void that I don’t think will ever be filled. His legacy is in the many memories he has left with us and the scene he was the major factor in creating.I shall miss you very much my friend.

  12. DJ MARK BAMBACH 25 Oct 2005, 1:40pm

    SIMON WAS ONE OF THE FIRST PEOPLE I MET ON THE SCENE WHEN I FIRST MOVED TO LONDON IN THE LATE 80’S. ITS SUCH A SAD WASTE OF A WONDERFUL LIFE, AND SIMON CERTAINLY WAS A GREAT,FUN LIFE LOVING GUY. EVEN IN TIMES WHEN WE DID NOT SEEE EACH OTHER FOR A WHILE, HE WOULD ALWAYS TAKE TIME OUT TO ASK ME HOW I WAS. HE HAS DONE SO MUCH FOR THE ALTERNATIVE GAY SCENE, AND WILL REMAIN A GAY LEDGEND AND ICON.DJ MARK BAMBACH

  13. Debbie Smith 25 Oct 2005, 1:48pm

    The news came as a total shock.I hadn’t seen him for a while, but it was nice to know he was out there somewhere, doing his thing.Now we’ll never see him again. He was one of a kind – irreverent, funny and irreplaceable, and there are a lot of people who are going to miss him.Goodbye Simon, and thanks for everything you did for us.Debbie x

  14. Simon Price 25 Oct 2005, 3:41pm

    Stay Beautiful club DJ-promoter Simon Price here, a long-time fan of Mr Hobart.I first came to know Simon Hobart in 86-87, when I was freshly arrived in London, and he was the DJ-promoter of the fabulous and lamented Kit Kat, London’s best goth club (in the Leicester Square basement bar which is now the Moon Under Water or something, but was then the original Comedy Store). So many happy memories of that place… As soon as you walked through the door on a Thursday night, the cashier handed you a Kit Kat bar, which put a smile on your face and made you feel instantly at home. (You’ll have noticed that we’ve nicked that idea by handing out sweeties at Stay Beautiful…)Even before I arrived on the scene, the Kit Kat was legendary. One of my favourite stories is that Simon advertised the opening night but wouldn’t let anybody in, instructing bouncers to tell everyone it was full, while Simon and his co-DJs blasted out the goth hits inside to an empty room, within earshot of the frustrated queue outside. (The next week, the place was rammed for REAL, because his gamble had paid off: word spread that the Kit Kat must be THE place to be).I still have a copy of Time Out from St Valentine’s Day 1987, with the cover line Love Among The Goths, with a dramatic photo of Hobart cradling an unknown female gothette in his arms, as if dancing a tango. In the interview, Hobart explained his DJing philosophy. He said that the Kit Kat was the “McDonalds of Goth: you always know exactly what you’re gonna get, and you know it’s gonna be the same every time.” Self-deprecating, but also very smart. Temperamental, unpredictable, mercurial DJs have their place, but it was great to have a reliable place where you absolutely KNEW you would hear your favourite tunes, week in week out.When the goth scene began to fade away, and along with it my interest in all things gothic, I lost touch with Simon… until his next stroke of genius, Popstarz. It was a simple idea, but a brilliant one: Hobart recognised that homosexuality doesn’t dictate one’s musical taste, and that not all gays want to dance to Donna Summer and Erasure. So, he launched a mixed-gay indie party which coincided with the first crashing wave of Britpop, and was an instant success (I’ll never forget dancing to Elastica, Suede etc at the Hanover Grand, underneath a giant, glitter-painted Adidas symbol carved out of polystyrene!). For a long time, Popstarz was pretty much the ONLY place you could dance to indie/Britpop in a completely uninhibited, joyous way, without being surrounded by menacing aggressive arseholes.Popstarz became an institution (moving to Islington and finally the Scala), and I really admired the way that Simon consolidated that success by buying his own venue, the Ghetto (without which there would be no Miss-Shapes, Pottymouth and, most famously, Nag Nag Nag) and, more recently, Trash Palace: a little empire of friendly venues and nights, with a unifying ethos a

  15. Simon Price 25 Oct 2005, 3:43pm

    (cont’d)and a high quality-control.From a promoting and DJing point of view, then, Simon Hobart was an absolute hero and role model and inspiration for me (a few years older, and always showing the way forward). He also proved that it was possible to get past the age of 35 and still dress like one cool motherfucker and look like a million dollars.But aside from all that business-related stuff, he was a genuinely lovely bloke, and he was very kind to me. Whenever I cheekily turned up to the Ghetto without sorting out a guest list place first, he’d always queue-jump me to the front and usher me in for free. Whenever I ran into him around London, we’d always have a good ol’ chat. Last time I saw him was only a few weeks ago, when Ladytron played Popstarz.It’s a real regret of mine that (as far as I know) he never came along to Stay Beautiful (because he always had his own nights to deal with), but I know he was aware of what we were about, and he treated me with respect as a fellow club promoter (he was familiar with my journalism too).I was actually planning to ask him if he’d consider coming to spin a guest set at SB some time in 2006. I can’t believe that will never happen, and I can’t believe I’m talking about him in the past tense. It just feels totally wrong.If anyone knows about an open-to-the-public memorial or funeral, I’d love to hear about it ( s.price@independent.co.uk ). If there isn’t one, I’d still like to know where to send cards or flowers.Simon Hobart is a true London legend. R.I.P.

  16. Such a sudden and tragic loss of someone very special.Anyone who has ever felt left out and alone even after coming out knew that there was one place we could call home… Popstarz. Simon was a visionary who knew that we as a gay community were more than cardboard cut-outs of fluff. some of us had some twisted sparkle to add to the mix! He single handdly took it upon himself to show london that and the rest of the world that.I myself dont know if after years of suppression and denial without venues like popstarz and its spawn if i would be the happy well rounded person i am today. Simon i will miss you and your gravelly voice and wont forget what you have done. thank you and rest peacefully

  17. Boo hoo

  18. His death is sad to hear, but I want to celebrate the good things in his life, that in his short lift, he could bring about joy to so many people who live oppressed by society. I feel sad about his death but I want to be joyous and celebratory about his life’s work. I think he wouldn’t want us to get upset at his passing, rather, he would want us to smile and lift a pint/bottle/glass in his name everytime we think of him. I think he will be happy at his legacy, and that we are fortunate to share in it. Bless Him.

  19. Just thinking about Simon, and it’s funny what you remember as you feel stricken by grief.Like the day after we first met, him dropping me at the bus stop in Camberwell, only to come back in his old Beetle and saying “Go on then I’ll drop you home” His love of snakebite, not looking his age, being super stylish and wearing things other people would not pull off.But above all,just being a bright shining light, someone who loved life and kept moving forward.They say the good die young, the way I see it, he’s been called on by the Angels to spread some light and magic somewhere else. Because that’s what Simon did, make people feel good about themselves, sometimes at his own expense.

  20. Keith Dowling 25 Oct 2005, 10:46pm

    I didnt know simon personally but knew him to see as i went to the tube/ghetto consistently for over 6 years, a place which i used to call my home from home, i loved the place. I have moved on now but will it will always represent the best of my youth in London and ultimately he was responsible for that, so thank you Simon. It is really sad for all his friends and family and indeed for the gay scene as a whole. He was a real trailblazer and will be missed in many ways. keith

  21. Simon, you are not gone… you will always remain here with us, never fogotten, we the indie kids we’ll follow your steps and keep it going eternally. LOVE ALWAYS a.

  22. Utterly saddened, I met Simon through a good friend of mine around five years ago. 2000 and 2001 will always be remembered fondly. I spent my life living it up on Wig Out’s podium, being made incredibly welcome by his friends and crashing on his velvet sofa. He was one of the kindest and most generous human beings I have ever had the privilege to know.He will be deeply missedJo.x

  23. You have been such an inspiration to me over the last 12 years, I will never forget you.

  24. Rob 'Popstarzlad' 26 Oct 2005, 10:45pm

    I would like to extend my condolences to Simon’s family and close friends. Simon was a great person to know. Having known him for 8 years as the promoter of my favourite gay club and worked for him as popstarz flyerboy for 4 years I will miss him greatly.He was a great boss and a good friend. I will miss chatting to him at the Ghetto pay desk when I needed a breather from dancing. I will miss the way he spoke, the way he reacted when I tried to embarrass him by talking about sex, the way he waved his hands around when he spoke, his style, his hair, his rings everything that made him HIM.His was the first gay club i went to in London, and I’m so glad that he provided this place for me to feel safe as a gay teenager coming out AND to be able dance to my favourite indie and rock music at the same time. I hate to think what would have happenned to my sense of self if I’d had to conform to G.A.Y style in the absence of Popstarz.I sincerely hope that Simon’s legacy will live on with Popstarz, Ghetto and Trash Palace continuing to provide the only gay alternative…..

  25. I was really shocked to find out earlier today that Simon had died. I first met Simon back in the late 90s. I’d lived in London a few years, been really disappointed by the gay scene, broken up out of my first relationship, and one night I decided to give Popstarz a try. I met Simon that very night. I was always pleased to see him around, and go to his new ventures and I loved to talk to him. I was doing some work today that didn’t require my brain and got to thinking about times I spent with Simon, and it made me really smile to remember sitting in his flat with an ex-boyfriend of his (maybe called Simon too, or Will or something?). We drank Red Stripe and chatted and played Catatonia’s Dead From The Waist Down about 100 times. I remember being in a cab with him and listening to him talk about Liquid Lounge before he even had a name for it. I remember being told about the Kitcat club, I think he had a press cutting or something on the wall in his hallway, and I remember being blown away by all the stuff this guy had done (and how deep that voice was!). I didn’t see him at all for the past three years for various reasons, but I’d promised myself I’d go to Popstarz sometime soon to catch up with a few of the people I spent so many nights there with. Simon, I’m so sad to think it’s over, and I hope that you realised how much we all appreciated everything you did. Rest in peace and thankyou for some fantastic memories. Matt x

  26. i just heard the sad news tonight.thanks for being a nice guy and giving me many enjoyable nights from the Kitkat to Popstarz more.eko x

  27. mark(madame x) 27 Oct 2005, 1:44am

    my sympathy to all of simons family,and his many,many friends.it,s very hard to grasp the depth of emotion that i feel….Simon has always been around,(we met ,before kitkat).he gave me work(always great fun),friendly places to go to,and fab gossip.the other tributes say it all.a crazy,lovely,sweet man.Fly High Simon.xxx

  28. Shocked to hear of Simon’s death.Simon guest DJ’d at our first Shadowplay, an indie/electro club in San Francisco, in May 2002, and returned to spin at the first Shadowplay Stage, at the San Francisco Gay Pride Festival, in June 2003.His clubs were a tremendous influence on ours here in San Francisco–and indeed his legacy spans the globe. He will be missed.

  29. When I first came out I thought all gay clubs had to be like G-A-Y and that my love of indie music like suede, elastica, new order and joy division didn’t have a place in the gay world. Then someone introduced me to popstarz and proof that we don’t all have to listen to the same thing. I never got to meet Simon but all i can add is thank you and may popstarz, trash palace and ghetto live on and show future gays that there’s so much more to music.Cheers

  30. Neil Millen 29 Oct 2005, 1:54am

    He was a sweetheart and as I pause to think back to him now he did make me laugh. I remember him being as drunk as skunk and him telling me ‘Oh, Neil, your horribly drunk!’ I remember crashing in his bed with him and Michele and him saying weeks after that he could still smell Michele’s perfume in his bed. I remember him throwing me in the pool under his apartment block. I remember him complaining that the Inland Revenue wanted to know how much he spent on pints of milk! I remember him trying to persuade me to go up to Amy Lame and pretend I was the taxman. I recall his sadness at his mother’s illness and the loss he faced. I first went to Popstarz ten years ago, I learnt to dance there, I had my heart broken there. Simon provided a wonderful stage for people to play out their lives on. His Spirit is closer than we realise. God bless him.

  31. Paul Clubber 29 Oct 2005, 4:49am

    it seems simon touched so many lives… including mine, there is no way his memory will not continue for a long time to come. thank you for the times when you stopped me behaving badly in ghetto and the way you helped me be happy again. the thought of not seeing you from 1-2am on a friday night doesn’t seem real yet… i predict a riot! i predict a fucking riot! VIP RIP x

  32. Simon, i just still can’t believe that you are gone. Thank you so much for everything and all the goodtimes we shared. You will be with me always. Love your Fluffy. x x x

  33. DJ Mystique, san francisco 5 Nov 2005, 1:33pm

    Simon – You were such an inviting host. I am grateful to have known you and to have gotten to converse with you one last time as a visitor to London…you helped make me feel warm and welcome and your events were a joy. I am stunned you are gone, and can only imagine how much the alternative scene will miss you.

  34. I cannot believe this. I’ve only just heard and I’m speachless. I worked as Simon’s main DJ at the KITCAT club for years. From when it was at Fouberts Place and Westbourne Grove to when it ended up at the Comedy Store. Luckly we all have our happy memories of such a wonderful and beautiful man. Love and Bugs Baby! xx

  35. we miss u

  36. still cant believe that Simon isnt no longer here.I hadnt seen Simon for years and I thought I would Google him to see how he’s getting on…anyway I was shocked to hear of his death.I was friends with Simon and his then partner Adrian ( where are you now?) The kitcat club was the best days of my life and I always refer back to them days and feel proud to have been part of that.Simon was a decent bloke and always a good laugh….and of course a brilliant dj….I got to know a few known people through Simon: Boy George,John from Bronski Beat,Ray from Sigue Sigue Sputnic etc…it was just a mad time…Simon then lived in a squat…it was a massive fucking detached house !!! he always had to do everything in style.Anyway I could go on forever….You will be missed mate…you played a very important part of my youth/life.

  37. paul keavey 28 Apr 2008, 1:22am

    i came to london in the late 80s i was regular to the kitkat/when the leicster sq club closed i cant remember the girl who took peoples admission fees/but she gave me the doll that always sat in the cloakroom it had orange hair.sadly ive lost it,simon introduced himself to me/he was very kind and i always spoke with him at heaven when the kit kat was upstairs at heaven we always spoke,and his nights at the hippodrome,i have only discovered that he is no longer alive a beautiful man who achieved so much,may he forever rest in peace.

These comments are un-moderated and do not necessarily represent the views of PinkNews. If you believe that a comment is inappropriate or libellous, please contact us.

Top commenters this week

Latest stories

See all