Thomas Hobbes & The Pessimists

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Early shot of Thomas Hobbes & The Pessimists during a live show.

Thomas Hobbes & The Pessimists (formed in 1652) was a short-lived side project of modern English philosopher, Thomas Hobbes. Their fast, raw sound, which stopped only for brutal breakdowns, helped fuel the fire for the England's reformation of the Catholic Church.

Thomas Hobbes Discovers Music[edit]

Pope Urban VIII sitting with his axe.

After trying his hand at writing about the obsolescence of Divine Right in such works as Leviathan, Tom saw his efforts going nowhere. 42 percent of England's population in 1652 could not read. When Tom would hold book signings for The Leviathan (1651), De Civ (1656), and De Corpe Politico (1650), ye olde booke shoppes would not get many visitors. However, when Charles I or Pope Urban VIII went down to Lord Christ's Acoustic Cafe on Cranston Street to sing about the greatness of the Catholic Church, hundreds would attend. It was through this realization that Thomas Hobbes would fight fire with fire.

The Beginnings of the Band[edit]

Tom had nipped down to his local Guitar Center and purchased himself a used Fender and a twenty-five watt Marshall amplifier complete with an overdrive button. Hobbes knew that if he was going to gain any attention, he was going to have to play harder, faster, and louder than Charles I and Pope Urban VIII.

“I listened to a lot of Iggy Pop and The Who when I was a kid. So, I knew what rowdy music sounded like, but I needed to take it a step further.”

~ Thomas Hobbes on Thomas Hobbes & The Pessimists

Tom's philosophical works had earned him a small fan base. It was out of this fan base that he discovered East Bay Ray (guitar), Sting (Bass), and Earl Hudson (Drums). After an assembly of a few simple chords, the band put out their first EP: 1651

Thomas Hobbes' Philosophy in Lyrics[edit]

Thomas Hobbes jamming on an acoustic.

Thomas Hobbes' lyrical prowess shines out in the bands first studio recorded work: 'Divine Right, Divine Shite!':

"Divine Right is the root of corruption/Divine Right is the root of destruction/FUCK Thee DV/ Divine right/I'm gonna bring it down/Eat my fist/Eat my boot/You're not my leader/Charles I!" Thomas Hobbes & The Pessimists: Divine Right, Divine Shite!

And the band began to gain popularity when radio stations around the Wiltshire music scene began playing the single, 'Leviathan':

"I'm a person, just like you/I've got better things to do/Than worship saints and get held down/Pope Urban's church runs this town/I'd Rather have an overthrowable dictator/Than King Charles I!/I'VE GOT LEVIATHAN!/I'VE GOT LEVIATHAN!" Thomas Hobbes & The Pessimists: Leviathan

But the band's most popular song is most likely Hobbe's dedication to the formation of the Protestant Church: 'Sects & Violence'.

"Sects & Violence" (Repeat 50 times) Thomas Hobbes & The Pessimists: Sects & Violence

Show attendants would eagerly wait for Thomas Hobbes & The Pessimists to do their cover of Martin Luther's "A Mighty Fortress is Our God." At which point, the hizzy would go nuts.

Live Shows[edit]

Hobbes with East Bay Ray sporting the letters DV X'ed out on his inner forearm

With the increasing number of people going to Thomas Hobbes & The Pessimists' lives shows, Tom needed to make his message more visual. In an act of symbolism that would go on for generations after Hobbes' death, he wrote the letters 'D' and 'V' (representing Divine Right) on his inner forearm and X'ed it out. Many members of Hobbes' movement did this to prove their loyalty to the underground scene Hobbes was creating. Today, angsty teenagers can be found sporting this anti-Catholic dictatorship monicker, but very few of them actually know the story or the meaning behind it.

Hobbes also wanted to portray his theory that in his natural state, man is in a state of war of all against all. He would use his vision to turn his live performances into an all out warzone.

“All I remember is that I was doing a lot of kitten huffing when I played a lot of those gigs.”

~ Thomas Hobbes on TH&P live performances

“I wanted the shows to appear as brutal as humanly possible. I needed to accurately represent how dirty human nature really is.”

~ Thomas Hobbes on TH&P live performances

“Anybody who as anybody was at those things: Ray Charles,Nelly, Run DMC, and every member of Matchbox 20!”

~ Robert Johnson on TH&P live performances

Hobbes' live shows consisted of acts such as:

Hobbes facially raping a show attendant.
  • Punching show attendants in the face
  • Urinating on himself and the crowd
  • Allowing Dane Cook to perform during intermission
  • Performing sexual acts on animals on stage
  • Cutting himself on stage
  • Only allowing Diet Coke Zero to be served at the concessions booth
  • Lighting Sting on fire
  • Defecating on stage and eating it
  • Raping show attendants on stage
  • Mugging show attendants
  • Stabbing East Bay Ray
  • One on one battle with Bill Cosby
  • Free style battle with Carrot Top
  • Throwing roadkill at show attendants

Such behavior on the part of Hobbes did not lessen the amount of attendants at his live events. People became attracted to the behavior, and these vile acts of "human nature" strengthened his fan bases' dedication to Hobbes' music.

Interest Dies Out[edit]

Charles I getting his head lobbed off. Sucks to be him.

After the beheading of Charles I in 1649 and the reformation of the Catholic Church, interest in Hobbes' movement seemed to die down. Many of those young reformation rockers grew up to be doctors, blacksmiths, lawyers, writers, poets, playwrights, thieves, knights, and fair maidens. Some were lucky enough to become Iron Maiden. Others went on to higher education, but no matter what social situation one of these former reformation rockers found themselves in the ones that actually got the X'ed out "DV" tattooed on themselves always regretted it.

“I remember how pumped I used to feel at the shows. I once got my front three teeth knocked out while bringing the mosh, but it didn't matter. I was at a TH&P show. Nothing mattered. Today, I just don't feel the same about it. Sometimes I'll put on my old "1651" EP on, and I'll wonder why I was ever into that stuff.”

~ Pope Benedict XVI on Thomas Hobbes & The Pessimists.

“Thomas Hobbes once threw a dead squirrel at me and bit a chunk out of my left cheek at a show. That was cool and all, but once I hit 12 Dad was like, 'Son, you can't spend all your time at those reformation rock shows. I'm worried that if Mr. Hobbes hits you with another guitar, you won't be able to live the wonderous life of working in a filthy underground copper mine. So, no more shows.' I just grew up. I sold most of my TH&P records. Might as well try to get some of my money back, right?”

~ Martin Luther on Thomas Hobbes & The Pessimists

Later Years[edit]

Thomas Hobbes tried to supplement his loss of stardom by performing side projects with other musicians. Some of these include:

Hobbes and Jay-Z at the 2003 MTV Music Awards.

Though these side projects did stir up interest for Hobbes he was no longer known for his musical contribution towards the Anti-Divine Right movement. Songs like "It's Human Nature to Pop Your Collar" have covered up the tracks of Hobbes' former reformation rock past.

“I saw him the other day on the Grammys performing with Elton John. I didn't know what to think. This was the same guy that I watched cut the head off of a chicken and stuff it into a blender? He was dancing around on stage like some kind of sissy. I miss those old days when I could proudly tell my friends that many of the scars on my body came from TH&P shows.”

~ Alfred Lord Tennyson on Thomas Hobbes & The Pessimists

“I know it's not the same stuff I used to do, but when it comes down to it I have to be concerned about my own self-preservation. Check my new single comin' out: 'All Against All' featuring 50 Cent.”

~ Thomas Hobbes on Thomas Hobbes & The Pessimists


The Cover of Thomas Hobbes & The Pessimists' first EP
  • Charles I Got Beheaded (unreleased demo tapes) (1649)
  • 1651 (1651)
  • Dictators are Better than Churches (1653)
  • Church and State, Separate! (1654)
  • Thomas Hobbes Sings his Country Songs (1655)
  • Leviathan (1661)
  • War of All Against All (1667)
  • Human Nature is Murder (live) (1673)
  • Frankenchrist (1675)
  • Philosophy Disco Dance (1677)
  • Divine Right, Divine Shite!: The Anthology Boxed Set (1993)

See Also[edit]

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