Remembering Bob Reuter: St. Louis Speaks [Multiple Updates]
Steve Carosello, singer, The Love Experts:
For the last several years, Bob called every week or so, and we'd spend an hour or two on the phone giving support and encouragement, sharing true confessions, exclaiming "I KNOW!!" when one of us said something the other had been thinking but, mostly, cracking each other up until we were too worn out to laugh any more.
Besides being the heart and soul of North Side Past and South Side Present, he was a touchstone in my life that cannot and will not be replaced.
Here's a conversation we had when we both lived in 63116. Bob had finally won Songwriter of the Year in the RFT:
"Hey, Steve -- I won!"
"I saw that, Bob, and it's about fucking time, too, but I gotta tell you: I don't even think you're the best songwriter in this zip code."
"WHAT??!! .........Oh...... y'know, you're the only person I'd take that from."
"Well, Bob, wouldn't you say the exact same thing to me if the situation was reversed?"
(dissolve into raucous laughter)
Shaun Morrissey, drummer, the Humanoids:
When I worked at Vintage Vinyl Bob was my favorite person without tits to see come through the door. I felt compelled to immediately start digging through the newest of the new 45s to show him. The "still waiting to be priced" stuff. I was technically breaking protocol, but I knew that I would be rewarded with his latest off-color joke. Often it was so terrible that neither of us would laugh, and then pretend that awkward moment never existed. The best part was, I never had fear that he would cherry-pick anything I had my eye on. He either owned it twice or already knew it sucked and never needed to hear it again.
Over the years I drunkenly offered to buy Bob Reuter a beer when I would see him out at CB's or Mangia. Upwards of 30 times. Almost as much as I offered to buy Tim Jamison a beer before I ever worked at Creepy Crawl. It eventually dawned on me in both cases that steadfast yet polite decline was indicative of sobriety. Novel.
I won't sugarcoat it. I watched Bob Reuter be a humongous asshole to some of the people who loved him most and were only trying to help him. That said, he wasn't sugarcoating anything either, and he was going to make his point whether you liked it or not. Turns out, he was right about most things, and it just took the rest of us a sec to catch up.