Remembering Janoct, RIP ‘King of the Hobos’


Hanging with Janoct at Jazzfest, he never missed one.


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Photo of Janoct I took at Black Sheep Coffee


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Painting I did of Janoct that hangs in his mother’s house

Not sure what to say after hearing about Janoct’s death today. The man lived a full life, and did some pretty crazy-wonderful things. Always a fixture in Sioux Falls. I first met Janoct outside of JAMZ in about 1994(?) playing his blues harp and I haven’t been able to shake him since, even after we got into fight last year about ‘city shit’ he actually made up with me, proving he was the better man. He even gave me ‘the shirt off his back’ once, when I told him I liked a blues t-shirt he was wearing.

We have had our differences, but I have always enjoyed talking to him (or should I say ‘listening’ to him). You will be missed.


#1 Sy on 12.09.13 at 5:39 pm

RIP Janoct. What happened?

#2 Scott on 12.09.13 at 6:17 pm

Natural causes. Was apparently suffering from a sinus issue for a few days, and was suddenly found by his mother yesterday.

#3 Detroit Lewis on 12.09.13 at 6:24 pm

Would agree with Scott, besides a few nips on his honey whiskey, Janoct was never known to be anything but clean. In fact he went off on me once about drug dealers an druggies.

#4 Scott on 12.09.13 at 9:46 pm

It’s funny how the things that were annoying about a person become moments you treasure after they pass away. I’ve been thinking about various interactions with him, particularly this strange day when he told me about this cool “dancer” from Sioux City he had been hanging around. He wanted me to meet her, and thinking it was his new girlfriend, I said sure. He left, and a half hour later he was back asking for my phone number. A few minutes after I got to work, I suddenly got a call from this woman. This was an extremely awkward conversation, especially after hearing her say she’s not looking for “no suga daddy”. Ugh, he was setting me up with a stripper! lol

#5 Detroit Lewis on 12.10.13 at 12:25 am

Love him. I remember when he had his lawn mowing/tree trimming gig, and I saw him riding his 3 wheeler bicycle with the deck on the back and a lawnmower sitting on it. A couple of days later I told him he should hook the mower up to the bicycle, he got this grin he gets, you know it and says, “Shiiiiiiiit.” Then invited me to a catfish feed (we all know it was catfish from the big poo.)

#6 pathloss on 12.10.13 at 10:00 am

Sioux Falls will miss his African American charm. I’ve known a black stripper 4 years now. I helped her some. She got off stimulants, no longer strips, & fixed her credit. You’ll see us out once in awhile. We should be ashamed of each other. We’re not. Mandela died this week. Janoct had his own kind of impact on our city. Thanks for giving him tribute here.

#7 pmac on 12.10.13 at 12:24 pm

I had many a verbal throw down with Jancot as well. With as much as we shared in end results, the path to those results were sooooooo different that it made for entertaining discourse. And I believe that everyone that disagreed with him was still on his list of friends……except for a few where it was best not to get him started(funny shit). Truly a good man.
“Hey big man! How’s the funny business?”

#8 l3wis on 12.10.13 at 12:34 pm

I think one of my favorite ‘Janoct moments’ was when Rob Joyce, Director of SFJB, announced at a concert that the seats were getting replaced at the Orpheum, well Janoct, I think assumed, that that was the last night the current seating would be there. So after the concert, he took off one of the end arm rests and had the band sign it. He almost walked out with it until Rob Joyce caught him.