Lance Hahn
1967 - 2007

Doing a quick search through the millions of words I've typed on The Juicy Cerebellum over the past decade, I came up with at least 300 references to J Church, Cringer or Lance Hahn -- lead singer, songwriter and guitarist for both J Church and Cringer. Two bands that helped shape punk rock as we currently know it and two bands that got me through a lot of shit over the past decade and a half.

There was something special about Lance Hahn's lyrics. Something real. He was the Leonard Cohen or Bob Dylan of the pop-punk world. A true poet whose voice has now been silenced. At 40 years old, Lance died from complications related to kidney disease.

He struggled with health problems for at least the past decade and he is now at peace. As sick as Lance was over the last 10 years of his life, it's now his fans left with the broken hearts. I miss him in a way that my own words could never express. So, as I have so many times before, I'll let Lance's lyrics do the talking for me:

"I always fall in love with the wrong character,
I always fall for the one who dies,
Watch it over again,
Watch for my mistake,
What could I have missed again?"

"Everyday your life is slipping away.
Tomorrow and forever is a sacred lie.
Someone said that life is a perpetual dive.
Every night there are stars in the sky,
but they are effigies of suns already died."

"Life is so sweet and life is so sad.
In the end,
your loneliness is all you ever had.
California dreaming is just a waste of time.
The  horror of life is both subjective and sublime."

"Now it's good-bye,
Not much to declare,
This good-bye,
It's all mine."

"To push a theory,
Let me pose a question,
Are you willing to die for,
A lucrative infection?"

"Nothing's moving,
Nothing's breathing,
Nothing's changing,
It's sorrow."

"If I die,
I don't care about Heaven --
I just wanna know if you'd visit my tombstone.
I would for you."

"Death is a dream in the subjective air.
Walking down these ancient streets,
it seems strangely beautiful.
Maybe the problem is equally me,
trying to get a grip on it all."

"As I lie here close to death, it's getting serious,
I kinda wish I'd kept that data entry job,
I feel wide awake although things are turning gray,
It's the side effect of dying on Muddy Waters coffee."

"Close your eyes and realize this is it,
Is it what you imagined?"

"It's such a drag to say goodbye ..."

Dear Lance,

I started listening to Cringer in '87 or '88. I loved your "fuck rock stars" attitude. Looking back, my fondest memories of seeing you during the early days with Cringer are 1. meeting you at the "Speedboat Cafe/Motorboat Coffehouse" in Mankato when you were hanging with Billy from The Libido Boyz and invited me to take a seat and chat with the two of you 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 surrounding you, as equals. Your music -- and esp. your lyrics -- has had a profound impact on my life. I will cherish your records, EPs and CDs and fondly remember the few times I had together with you. Thanks for everything. I already miss you more than words can express (maybe even yours).

Your Fan & Friend,
Alex Sandell