A Bad Man in a Dirty Old Town: Bob Reuter's Beautiful New Book

bobreuter_opt.jpg
Bob Reuter (front) and Bassamp (back) of KDHX's Bob's Scratchy Records. Photo by David Mitchell
Every Friday afternoon, St. Louis listens to his sporadic and scratchy radio show and tries to dissect host Bob Reuter. Perhaps we should leave this task to the professionals. Trying to comprehend Reuter is like trying to piece together a four piece puzzle with no corners.

See also:
-The Complete Bob Reuter Interview
-Best Music Radio Program - 2012: Bob's Scratchy Records

Yet his newest book, Tales of a Talking Dog, is a set of snap shot stories that further cement his legendary status. Published by JK Publishing and Saint Louis Projects, Tales of a Talking Dog will be released tonight at Off Broadway at 8 p.m. Bob Reuter's Alley Ghost, the Trio Project, Rat Heart and the Griddle Kids will play the show.

Reuter unconsciously imparts wisdom in every conversation, despite his self-deprecating opinion of himself. Sometimes it's big stuff and sometimes it's not: I learned during our interview that he enjoys the classic American breakfast (eggs, bacon, fried potatoes and toast) for his afternoon meals.

Cassie Kohler: You call yourself a "talking dog" and "a bad man". Can you explain your perception of yourself as that?

Bob Reuter: Well, it comes from the short story in the book, "Out of the Jungle." I once did a collection of songs under the title, "Bobby the Dog Boy Raised by Wolves." I think that's where that dog stuff comes from. I feel like the family I was raised in didn't know what to make of me. I always had this feeling that I was a bad person. It was definitely hammered home to me. I got that all through my life. The first guy I ever smoked any dope with, he was the one that had it, but I was the bad kid. So if I say I'm a bad man, it's partly because I actually believe that still.

Why write these memoirs now? What's your intention for putting these stories out there?

Just to tell my story. I had this one therapist one time that said the more I tell the story the more I'll be free of the stuff. Really, it was other people's ideas to publish it. My ex-wife used to always say, "You don't have to tell everything to everybody." I figured why not just say it and no one could ever use it against you?

You focus on the other characters in your life much more than your own personal commentary. It's really a collection of short stories about people that bounce in and out of your life. Who are some of your favorites?

Little Ricky. I feel a connection to bad people because I understand what it's like to be the bad person. And Little Ricky, he became what they made him. He got applause for singing songs holding his dick on the street corner. Just how far off was hitting a 40-year old woman with a rubber hose from that? The heroes that I grew up with, people that I thought were really cool, all came to bad ends. It's enough to make you question who you are idealizing. Or maybe they were too cool to live in society. Not that beating old ladies with a rubber hose is cool.

What is cool?

I don't know. Being who you are. Frankie is a huge hero of mine. I don't know if the reasons for him being a hero came across in the book. If ever there was a guy who was just himself. He didn't put on for anybody. Together we made a whole person. It wasn't until he died that I was free to be a whole person on my own. The hardest story to tell was when my friend Sonny killed himself. That was the hardest one to tell and I knew I needed to tell it.


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Off Broadway

3509 Lemp Ave., St. Louis, MO

Category: Music

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44 comments
reallyslickusername
reallyslickusername

It's irrelevant what some black person said or did to you at some point in the past. There's something you should know about Time, Bob—it moves on! I'm so, so sorry—and not at all in a sarcastic manner nosir!—that you used to be able to spout all sorts of hateful words when "them brown people knew their place" way back in Nineteen Sixty Fuck You and not only get away with it, but feel good about it and that now when you try to preach the good news of how much more amazing your particular flavor of racism is than everyone elses, people call you a prick and mock you in public. But, y'see, between the time when you was a young'n and now when you are a full-growed Racist Prick with capital letters, TIME. F*CKING. PASSED.

Times have changed, in that the bulk of people realize that those who act and speak like you without the good graces to even feel ashamed about it are FUCKING LOSERS. It's pathetic and embarrassing to us that, at any point in time, calling people racial epithets was not only "okay" but celebrated. That it doesn't embarrass you is simply a side effect of how far up your own ass you have your head wedged. That it doesn't embarrass your band or your publisher - who are all young enough to know better - is disgusting and shameful.

And that the writer of this piece sees you as WISE? Well, that, my dear friends, is just dumbassed.

Lougehrig
Lougehrig

I notice RFT deleted a bunch of comments on this page about how Bob and his friends made fun of and bullied a woman friend of his who was recovering from PTSD after being raped. Interesting.... I guess either the Reuter mentality of misogyny is the St. Louis norm, or RFT hasn't learned from facebook's mistakes (decent people don't support the rape culture of this society) or both. I always thought RFT was a frat boy rag. This confirms it. Why all these fawning tributes to Bad Bob, who quite honestly just isn't that talented? Why don't you do a story on Reuter that shows him for who he really is? Otherwise you're just as bad as him and his friends, who are just as bad as the high school kids at Steubenville.

nicksticktrip
nicksticktrip

His self-deprecating opinion of himself? My dear, you didn't get to know him very well did you? He's a flaming narcissist! Bob is the most textbook example of a narcissistic personality disorder. And as for the humble talk about people looking up to him, the whole reason he hangs out with so many young people is because they look up to him, they give him a source of narcissistic supply. It's a classic narcissist behavior. As for his imparting wisdom - what a crock of shit. People who are truly wise don't treat the people who are trying to help them like shit, don't wind up homeless on multiple occasions, don't pick physical fights with people (ask his kdhx buddies about that one), and don't deliberately hurt people who are friends of theirs just for the hell of it. Take a look at his three facebook pages if you want to see a narcisisst in action!  Bob, you're ex-wife was right - Shut the hell up and spare us your narcissistic bullshit.

jubaleegirl
jubaleegirl

"it's good to stay friendly with people whose bodies you've been in." Well, Buttface, that would be a hell of lot easier for you if you weren't such an abusive prick. I can't think of anyone I know whose body you've been in that would ever want to see you again. try being decent to the women you're with and maybe you'll get further with this.

littlewalter
littlewalter

Women beware: Do not get involved with Bob. He'll suck you in, screw you over and then walk away laughing. Seen it happen again and again. The more you hurt, the more he gets off on it. He loves mind rape, it's a fun game to him. Enjoy his music but don't get near him. Don't say you weren't warned.

lorettalynnetta
lorettalynnetta

I think Bob is a sad old man who doesn't understand why people who get close to him usually leave him. He doesn't seem to be able to make the connection that if he is abusive or narcissistic good people of his age will not stay around, and the only people he'll wind up with are either those who just know him superficially or those who are much younger, more naive, and more easily manipulated. He reminds me of the Cowardly Lion, always talking about how bad he is and making bold gestures,but really quivering on the inside. I have no desire to read his book. I would rather read stories from people who have come from this kind of horrible youth but who had the courage to get beyond it and make a better life, instead of taking what I see as the easier but more cowardly route of reveling in it and not caring about the people who have gotten hurt along the way. I just don't see anything inspiring or "beautiful" in wallowing in past hurts and using them as an excuse to be "bad".

guttlestar
guttlestar

God, Bob is such an asshole. Being around him as a woman is as much fun as having a toilet brush rammed up your vagina. His idea of a cute thing to say to a woman is "I want to pee in your mouth." Yet he wonders why good women don't want to be with him. Dumbass.

gumby
gumby

hes always saying pokey lafarge is a trick on white people, but he's a trick on white people too. hes a trick on white kids who arent old enough to know any good old music. they think hes the real thing but hes not.

tomtee360
tomtee360

His band loves those ni**er jokes! So does Erin, his publisher. The more outrageous he is the more they love it. If she didn't love his racism and sexism she wouldn't be putting so much energy into his book. If you don't want to support racists, don't buy from Saint Louis Projects and don't support Bob. If he didn't stop using the n word after the 60's then he must enjoy using it. Anybody who wasn't a racist gave it up. There isn't any excuse!

daisimae
daisimae

Bob has a dick like an overcooked hot dog. I've seen it! Keep that thing in your pants, Bob!!

mscheetah
mscheetah

I call BS on his band telling him to cut out the n word jokes. I've been with them when he's telling them and they laughed like hyenas (and I don't mean Christina). If they told him to stop it's because they didn't want the bad PR. You don't spend as much time with Bob as these guys do and not share his attitudes. Otherwise you'd get sick and walk away. I wouldn't want to be their girlfriends either. Bob's nasty with women, especially ones he gets close to. I'm not an idiot, I'm just on to his BS.

jksw
jksw

Bob's like a little kid waving around a pistol playing cowboy and yelling "I'm bad! I'm bad!" thinking he's cool but unfortunately the bullets are real and people get hurt by him. Like a little kid he just isn't mature enough to care.

prettyposy
prettyposy

Not a bit of a thank you to Erin Wile, who worked very hard to put this book out? Shameful, but classic Bob.

yiosy
yiosy

"Be careful around the people who love you too much too quick, cause that ain't gonna last."

Right, because the more people love you the more you treat them like shit, Bob. It ain't gonna last if you abuse people. Stop whining and wake up, Dumbhead!

yiosy
yiosy

Trying to figure out why people like this guy is the puzzle. He's still a racist ass, he just hides it better, and he's used and abused everyone who ever cared about him. The woman who published this book for him worked very hard and he still bitches behind her back about how long it took her to put it out. He's a user, and not a real talented one. Wake up, idiots!

SophieZavaglia
SophieZavaglia

@Lougehrig The only comments that were removed by the RFT were the ones calling me out by name, saying that Bob should have raped me and that I should be beat up. And like you, the people calling for me to get raped and physically assaulted posted these comments under anonymous monikers.

I didn't ask for the RFT to delete the comments; they did that on their own. But, I think it's pretty funny that cowards like you get upset when anonymous comments calling for a person to get raped and assaulted are deleted, and somehow the RFT is perpetuating rape culture? Hilarious.

jubaleegirl
jubaleegirl

@nicksticktrip I was appalled at the fawning tone of this interview, too. She must be one of his little girlfriends because she did everything but suck his dick. He doesn't  impart wisdom he imparts meaness, self-obesession and an unnatural interest in young girls. Has anyone ever seen him with a woman over age 25? RFT, can you get some professional journalists who know the difference between an interview and a blow job to do your arts interviews? Maybe someone with a little maturity?

mscheetah
mscheetah

@jubaleegirl I heard this too - pretty funny since I know his last few girlfriends who he treated like shit. Oh, but I forgot, it was all their fault, of course! Pretty hard to follow your own advice when your a piece of shit, eh Bob?

moosicchix
moosicchix

 @gumby

 I think you hit the nail on the head. Bob has been doing the same thing for years, literally the same thing. He hasn't progressed in his art at all, which makes me suspect he is afraid to take any risks, or, more likel;y, he is too narcississtic to think it is a problem. And why should he, when there are 20 and 30 year olds who never saw the original artists and musicians that Bob was inspired by, who adulate him and think he is the real deal? He can just keep repeating his schtick over and over. It wasn't original the first time he came up with it, and it certainly isn't original now. He is literally doing the same music he did with his early bands back in the 80's and anyone who has been anywhere near an art school in the 80's and 90's has seen that photographic style over and over. If you look at his photographic portfolio over the years he is even photographing the same subjects. The scantily clad young girls (which I find creepy and predatory), the old falling apart buildings, the hipsters looking trashy. If you are young and impressionable, it's cool and hip, but if you are over 45 and remember the original inspirations for this then Bob's work pales in comparision.I think Bob should bill himslef as "Uncle Bob's Kiddie Show" because honestly, he is playing to naive kids who should seek out the originators of Bob's style. Of course, saying this is sacriledge. It's like pointing out the emperor has no clothes!

prettyposy
prettyposy

 @beastlyboy

 He made fun of that woman  alot. How can you make fun of a rape victim? That made me sick. He's a sick bastard.

mscheetah
mscheetah

@jubaleegirl @nicksticktrip has anyone ever seen him with a woman at all, of any age, for more than five minutes? Young or old I don't know any woman who would stay with him once she got to know him.

mscheetah
mscheetah

@mscheetah @jubaleegirl Funny thing is I don't think he's been "in" anyone's body for quite awhile. Guess his dick isn't working these days because of all those heart medications. Couldn't have happened to a more appropriate guy.

moosicchix
moosicchix

 @moosicchix  @gumby

 And actually, I think the title of this should be "A Dirty Old Man in a Bad Town." RFT has it backwards.

tomtee360
tomtee360

 @prettyposy  @beastlyboy

 I thought you wre going to say that Bob was the rapist! Wouldn't surprise me. I've known him for years and I wouldn't let my daughter near him. His attitudes about women creep me out. He owes a lot of people apologies but they'll never hear them. It takes a real man to apologise and for all his tough guy act Bob isn't a real man. He's a mama's boy who probably had his ass wiped for him for the first 20 years of his life. The place where he has his studio gave him a pink key with Princess printed on it because he's such a pringle. A real man can say "I'm sorry" and be a bigger man for it.

jubaleegirl
jubaleegirl

@mscheetah And I don't care what anyone says - his photos suck! I agree with moosicchix - they've been done before but if you say that it's like saying the emperor has no clothes.

jubaleegirl
jubaleegirl

@mscheetah His relationship with Shanna is just creepy. The stuff she writes on his fb page gives me the willies. "Oh Bob, tomorrow I shall be with you, and everything will be...oh!!" What 25 year old writes that to a 60 year old man? His photos of her reek of a dirty old man getting a kick out of manipulating a young girl. I feel sorry for her - doesn't she have anyone nice in her life so she doesn't have to seek attention from this creep?

mscheetah
mscheetah

@jubaleegirl @mscheetah didja catch his love in with Shanna on fb the other day? "Oh Bob I love you you are such a warrior! I've known you always! " "Yeah since you were in your girl scout uniform!" Bet he wanted to stick his hand up that uniform. made me puke.

hazzelerat
hazzelerat

 @hazzelerat  @moosicchix  @gumby

 And by the way, it actually was worse than Bob just making fun of this woman in public. He shared private emails that she had sent him concerning her experience with a bunch of his friends and joked about them, and then made fun of the emails on facebook, knowing she would see it. People she didn't even know were laughing about her getting raped. Nice way to behave to a friend who is going through hell. Now, we agree that Bob is a jerk, can we end this discussion?

hazzelerat
hazzelerat

 @moosicchix  @gumby

 I think if I were the rape victim I wouldn't want that to be dwelled on in a forum like this, beyond pointing it out briefly. To go on and on about it here is just as upsetting as Bob's original jokes were. Bob will never apologize for what he did to this woman and, yes, that is horrible. Dwelling on it and discussing it here doesn't make that any better for the woman involved.

moosicchix
moosicchix

 @moosicchix  @gumby

 And yes, he does use the n word and thinks it's funny over the years other people besides his band have told him that it isn't ok but he hasn't changed. And yes, he and his friends did make fun of a rape victim, and I doubt he ever apologized for that. Bob has never done a thing wrong in his life. He'll tell you that himself, as he has told me quite often over the years.

tomtee360
tomtee360

@prettyposy @tomtee360 @beastlyboy Oh yeah, she's real artist all right! Don't worry about Erin. She's seen him do enough crap that she knows who she's dealing with. She thinks all his racist crap and his nastiness with women is genius. Look at her in that kickstarter video. She's loving every bit of it. She watched him trash his last publisher because she "didn't do enough" for him, after the woman spent hundreds on his shit.  Erin knows who she's dealing with, or maybe Bob's right and she is a "stupid bitch". Hey Bob - why don't you play that Nervous eaters song "shit for brains" on your show and dedicate it to yourself?

tomtee360
tomtee360

@beastlyboy @prettyposy @tomtee360  That article is like porn for Bob. Unconscious 16 year old with guys poking thier fingers up her? He'd be all over that. Look at all the  "artistic" photos of tied up women on his facebook page. I bet his personal stash is gruesome.

beastlyboy
beastlyboy

@prettyposy @tomtee360 @beastlyboy i've been following this thread and I feel like I should speak up because when bob was telling me about this woman i was sort of joking with him but i never felt ok aboutit. my sister got raped when she was a senior in college and i know how rough it was for her.then i met the woman he made fun of a couple of months ago and she was really funny and nice and even listened to me talk about my stupid problems. I realised what a gross creep bob is. if he treated my sister the way he treated this woman I would never forgive him. he should apologise to her but he still thinks it's all funny.

prettyposy
prettyposy

@prettyposy @tomtee360 @beastlyboy I wish Erin would wake up to what a user he is and look into why people have walked away from him. She thinks he's so cool but he talks trash about her behind her back. Erin wake up!

prettyposy
prettyposy

@prettyposy @tomtee360 @beastlyboy I think both of them deserve a lot more than a slap, and the woman they were making funof deserves an apology. But you are right, she will never get one from either of them. I know Sophie, too. She is beyond  being a spoiled brat, and Bob is beyond being a misogynist loser.

mscheetah
mscheetah

 @tomtee360  @prettyposy  @beastlyboy

 Bob, say he's sorry for any of the f-ed up things he's done? I bet he didn't get too far with that step in AA about apologizing. He's a cowardly, sissified sack of shit. The more a guy has to tell you how tough he is, the more a sissy he is inside, and sissies don't apologize. There's a sure bet for you.

tomtee360
tomtee360

 @prettyposy  @beastlyboy

 What astounds me is that this woman he made fun of has now become the villian in the whole thing. He made fun of her in the most heinous way, publicly, and then she's a villian when she gets upset? He ought to be begging forgiveness, but this is a perfect example of what an immature narcissist he is. That damn bitch didn't like his fun! She's a villian!  That's not how a real man acts. He isn't a man as far as I'm concerned, bad or otherwise.

tomtee360
tomtee360

 @prettyposy  @tomtee360  @beastlyboy

 Uh uh, we don't start that. She probably deserves a good slap, though. but no one deserves to get raped. Especially by Bob - that's too much punishment! ha!

mscheetah
mscheetah

 @tomtee360  @prettyposy  @beastlyboy

 I got to know the last woman he was interested in as it was ending. She said one of the things he didn't like about her was she wore too much jewelery. She got anice inheritance a couple of months ago and I told her to pile that jewelery on higher because if he got the word she had money he'd be back on her like a fly on a sugar cookie. She's a great gal, money or not and she deserves better than Bob.

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