Investigation Proves Owners Knew Elevator Was Unsafe, Illegal Before Bob Reuter's Death

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David Mitchell
Bob Reuter's Alley Ghost. Reuter, in denim, sits next to Chris Baricevic, in brown.
Six months before St. Louis artist and music legend Bob Reuter fell to his death down an elevator shaft, state inspectors closed and padlocked the 95-year-old, poorly-functioning elevator in the condemned building.

A Sunday report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch found a Missouri inspector closed and locked the downtown elevator in the condemned building on February 8, making it illegal to operate without permission from the Missouri Department of Public Safety.

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Famous St. Louisan News: Soul Legend Tina Turner Gives Up American Citizenship

Categories: Music

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via
Tina Turner
Tina Turner is no longer an American citizen.

After living for two decades in Switzerland, Turner, who is fluent in German, signed a voluntary relinquishment of her U.S. citizenship on October 24, according to the Washington Post.

Turner may have been born to poor sharecroppers in Tennessee, but St. Louis claims her as our own. She moved here at sixteen and, a year later, met Ike Turner at Club Manhattan over in East St. Louis, Illinois.

Still a student at Sumner High School, she quickly joined, then became the highlight, with the rock & roll pioneer's band, turning the Kings of Rhythm into the Ike and Tina Turner Revue.

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LouFest: Police Report 29 Vehicles Damaged, Electronics, Bags, Wallets And More Stolen

Categories: Crime, Music, News

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Steve Truesdell for RFT
The LouFest music festival this weekend ended on a low note for dozens of attendees who had their vehicles damaged by thieves who left Forest Park with all sorts of personal belongings -- and still remain at large.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department reports that yesterday there were a total of 29 cars damaged, all belonging to folks attending LouFest. Suspects stole wallets, bags, electronics and even "personal papers," police say in an incident report.

Witnesses reported seeing two black male suspects in a black Volkswagen, according to police, who have no further information on the suspects at this time.


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Bob Reuter: Elevator in Fatal Accident Was Installed in 1918, Had No Operating Certificate

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Photo by Jon Scorfina
Bob Reuter.
Bob Reuter, a 61-year-old legend of the St. Louis music scene, died over the weekend in a tragic elevator accident at a downtown loft where he was reportedly moving. Our sister blog RFT Music has collected and written tributes to Reuter in the wake of his passing.

But how did an accident like this happen? And who is responsible for keeping elevators like this one up to code?

The Missouri Department of Public Safety oversees inspections of elevators, and online records show that the one in question had no operating certificate listed. And the elevator was apparently installed in 1918.

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Street Performers Win Temporary Injunction Against City of St. Louis Buskering Law

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Courtesy Fred Walker
Fred Walker
Calling all scofflaw buskers -- if you were putting off getting your 2013 street performer's license, this is the month to do it.

A judge issued a preliminary injunction yesterday prohibiting the city of St. Louis from enforcing the latest updates to its buskering law, which bumped up the price of the performer's license from $25 to $100.

"Even when a licensing fee is permissible in the Free Speech context, the government may charge no more than the amount needed to cover administrative costs," Judge Catherine Perry writes. "The proponent of the licensing fee must show that the amount of the fee is 'reasonably related to the expenses incident to the administration of the ordinance and to the maintenance of public safety and order.'"

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Street Musicians, ACLU Sue City of St. Louis Over Permit Law Requiring Fees, Auditions

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Courtesy ACLU
Frederick Walker
When saxophonist Frederick Walker retired from his band "Mystic Voyage" after 21 years, he decided he didn't want to hang it up completely. He took his talents to the streets, specifically the 9th Street side of the Soulard Market, to try his hand at buskering.

"I'm 70 years old and I thought it was time to give up jumping up and down on tables and chairs," he says. "I decided to slow down."

Walker says before long a city official approached him and told him he needed a permit. There was also a required audition (though Walker never actually had to complete one since, he figures, the city official saw him playing on the street).

"He saw me. He knows I can play," says Walker.

The fee, however, was another matter.

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Verizon Wireless Amphitheater Afraid of Pot Reform? Show-Me Cannabis Says It Was Denied

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via
Show-Me Cannabis, Missouri's marijuana reform advocacy group, has been spreading the word across the state about the need for more sensible pot policies -- and eventually hopes to push for legalization. Next week, the group was supposed to run a booth at Pointfest, 105.7 the Point's annual festival, but yesterday announced that Verizon Wireless Amphitheater had rejected its application.

Why? The managers reportedly were worried about having marijuana advocacy take place at their venue.

"People are just afraid of this issue a lot of the time," John Payne, Show-Me Cannabis executive director, tells Daily RFT. "It perpetuates this fear that people have.... And then no one talks about it and it gets worse."

And Payne says this is not the first time the group has been shut down by a company afraid of even giving marijuana activists a platform.

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Bootlicker: St. Louis Artist Kelly Wild Wants Her Music Removed From Controversial Movie

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Courtesy of Wild
Kelly Wild
Last week, we told you about the backlash local filmmaker Terry Artis was facing for his movie Bootlicker, screening at the Tivoli Theatre today. Part of the controversy stemmed from a flyer for the movie that depicts Mayor Francis Slay as some sort of slave master towering over his black supporters or "slayves."

This is not the only complaint he is receiving.

St. Louis musician Kelly Wild, who collaborated with Artis many years ago, is less than pleased that her copyrighted music appears in the film's trailer -- and her name is listed on the movie's "original soundtrack."

"I don't want my name attached to this in any way shape or form," she tells Daily RFT.

Is Artis going to comply with her requests -- or will she take him to court?

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Earl Weaver Remembered By His Grandson Mike Leahy, aka Clownvis Presley

Categories: Baseball, Music

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courtesy Mike Leahy
Young Mike Leahy and his Grandpa Earl.
Of all the reminiscences of former Orioles manager and St. Louis native Earl Weaver, who passed away on Friday, few are more touching than the one posted by his grandson Mike Leahy on Facebook. Leahy is the lead singer for the band 7 Shot Screamers and also the non-jumpsuited alter-ego of Clownvis Presley. Weaver's reaction to Clownvis was about what you'd expect.

Here, with Leahy's permission, is his tribute in its entirety:

Having Earl Weaver as a grandfather was the most amazing thing ever. He made the impossible seem possible. He made any dream seem obtainable. Here is a man who spent 21 years traveling the country in the minor leagues, only to go on to become a baseball Hall of Famer, and undisputedly one of the greatest mangers to ever play the game. When I was in the first few years of grade school he was still managing the Orioles. I distinctly remember getting his 1986 Topps baseball card on the very top of a pack I opened in the parking lot of Venture. It was a huge source of pride and confidence in my younger years, and continues to be today.
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Musicians Squawk As City Quadruples Price of a Street Performer Permit

Categories: Music, Politics
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Image via
Charles Haller of the Soulard Folk and Blues Band
On January 1, the city quietly quadrupled the price of a busker permit from $25 to $100 annually -- and Charles Haller of the Bates Street Folk and Blues Band feels compelled to make some noise. 

"It's going to diminish the music on the streets of St. Louis," he tells Daily RFT. Haller concedes that he and his bandmates can recoup that expense fairly quickly on a balmy weekend or two outside of Soulard Farmers' Market, where they've been playing for years.

But the permit is issued to individuals, not to a band collectively. Thus, Haller says, the price hike will discourage his friends who liked to sit in on occasion, just for the joy of it. 

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