Bob Reuter Memorial Show: A Review in Photos

Categories: Local History

Jaime Lees

When legendary local musician, writer and photographer Bob Reuter died suddenly last month, friends and loved ones were grief-stricken. Reuter played in and documented the south city scene for decades, leaving behind a vast amount of artistic work and no shortage of fans and admirers. Last night his bandmates, collaborators and friends came together at the Casa Loma Ballroom to pay tribute to Reuter's life and work.

See Also: Remembering Bob Reuter: St. Louis Speaks

The list of participating musicians was long and impressive, pulling from both Reuter's deep past and current projects. Between performances of his songs, friends were on hand to read his poetry and discuss his various art projects.

The event also offered items up for auction, with proceeds to benefit the Cowboy Angel Foundation, a fund set up to continue and secure Reuter's legacy and provide funds to disadvantaged musicians.

We documented the entire event in a photo diary. As a tribute to Reuter's work in black and white photography, we did our best to present the photos in a manner as close to his signature style as possible and to capture the scenes that he would have wanted to witness.

It is our sincere hope that these photographs relay the love, energy and talent that was in the room. Reuter couldn't have been given a better tribute than what we witnessed last night.

Casa Loma Ballroom




Ryan Koenig (Pokey LaFarge, Rum Drum Ramblers) and Matt Wilson ("Doormat," also of practice backstage


Maysam Attaran ("Bass Amp," Alley Ghost, Sex Robots) soundchecks


Casa Loma floor


Some of the art up for auction


In the back room


Johnny "Vegas" Moynihan readies the ticket booth


Pokey LaFarge rehearsing


At door time, the line wrapped around the block and extended far down Cherokee Street


Quiet work backstage


Ashley Hohman (of Doom Town) plays Bob's scratchy records


Erin Wiles does a reading


Guest singer Ryne Watts (right) of the Hobosexuals


Guitarist John Horton of the Bottle Rockets


Location Info


Casa Loma Ballroom

3354 Iowa Ave, St. Louis, MO

Category: Music

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To the insanely huge crowd of people who came out, thank you so much. It was beautiful. Fun was had. Love was shared. A significant portion of STL was influenced or touched by Bob and his art, and it showed. The man was a giant in many ways... I miss him very much.

Jenn DeRose


Yikes. Obviously, the irony here is that @rudycantfail is hurting the same "good people" that Bob purportedly hurt, the difference being we loved Bob like family. When family hurts you, they are still family. We make up, get closer, and move on. 

Also, I am 99% sure I know who you are. Knock it off before I call you out by name, you slanderous toad.

Best, Jenn motherfuckin DeRose


@rudycantfail FACT: I never much liked Bob. I found him to be self centered, and a total pain in the ass in many, many, ways.  But at least he was a genuine pain in the ass.
FACT: Regardless of  his faults, personal views, foibles, or eccentricities, Bob's art spoke to many, many, people.  The idea that people didn't know "the real Bob" (although you clearly presumed to) is completely irrelevant in that context.  I didn't really know Miles Davis, but it doesn't change the fact that his art lingers and that history regards him as more than the hurt he caused (which, i gather, was substantial).  If you were bold enough to sign your name, I'm sure that some people who claim to know "the real you" would surface, and we'd all have an opportunity to hear what sort of a person you are.  
FACT: Bob did more than spread hurt. The art he left behind will help to fund other under appreciated artists in the future. If nothing else he provided a perspective.  And it was a perspective that many people found unique and appreciated enough to go to great lengths to preserve. His legacy, complicated as it may be, will do some folks a great deal of good. It's a shame you can't get behind that.
FACT: Since you refuse to own your comments here, the only real legacy rudycantfail has left behind (to date) is one decidedly negative comment thread that people won't even be able to talk about without mentioning Bob Reuter in the same breath.

--Aaron Dodd       


Oh and Pokey was asked to participate as a friend of Big Muddy Records, and an active member of STL music. Not everyone lets personal issues and public performance collide.


I am Erin's partner at SLP. I am proud to say we are taking the job of archiving Bob's work seriously. This is what he asked us to do. Why are you singling us out? There are three aspects of Bob's legacy: photography, music, and written word. Erin has already said that we are not publishing Bob's work in its entirety. If you are worried about a personal story surfacing, I would suggest you kindly and privately discuss it with us. Trashing our work in a comments section is ineffectual. Stating that Bob said things about us behind our backs is juvenile. And speaking ill of the dead is cowardly.

--Ellen Elizabeth Herget


it disturbs me that Erin Wiles announced that she and the folks in charge of his estate are planning to publish Bob's journals, apparently in their entirety. First of all, Bob hurt a lot of good people, often for no reason other than that they got too close to him and pushed his buttons, so he bullied them away.Or he sucked them dry and then ditched them.  And after he hurt or ditched them he made them into villains. I'm sure he wrote some pretty nasty stuff about some of these folks who don't deserve to have their names dragged through the muck because Bob decided one day that they were evil. There are definately two sides to any story that involves Bob not liking someone and writing crap about them. Unfortunately I think Erin and her crew see him as a god, and I cringe to think what will come out in those journals that should remain private, and should stay between Bob and whatever person he was dissing.

Which brings me to another point. Would Bob want his private journals made public? Yes, there was a side to him that wanted tons of attention and wanted his work to be known far and wide, but there was another side that was, in fact, very private. Stuff about his childhood that was horrendous and he didn't want anyone to know, as well as some of his relationships with women or close friends. he told me himself that 99% of the people in his life only knew him superficially (and as a matter of interest, he named his bandmates and several people who had known him for years as part of that 99%) and that there was a part of him that wanted it that way. 

And finally - I have to laugh that Pokey LaFarge played at this. Bob couldn't stand him and used to call him a "trick on white kids". yet he always wanted Pokey to cover his songs so he could get some reflected glory. Guess he finally got his wish.

And nice photos! Dare I say I like them better than Bob's?


@rudycantfail I have had the pleasure of knowing Bob for just under 20 years. I would not say that i or any of the other south side or radio listeners consider Bob a God. I have experienced the many shades of Bob. The singer song writer, the joker, the photographer, the grump, and the down right wild Bob. I feel that the hurtful bob you are talking about is the truthful Bob! People call me a ASS and maybe hurtful sometimes, but that is what the TRUTH does to people. I find that who Bob was... is as real as a person can get. If you don't like something or you find something interesting you should get it out in the open and not hide behind secrets and walls. Please speak you mind , BUT IF YOU DO......OWN IT!   Jon Coriell...


@rudycantfail Either sign your name to it or respect the dead enough to keep this shit off of public forums.



These same lowlives have been trashing Bob all over the RFT boards for years. It's gotten really pathetic since he died, though. The ones repeating things now he supposedly said in private are the ones who get me. That means a) they were at one point close to Bob and are now breaking his trust in order to stir up drama, or b) just making shit up in order to stir up drama. It's likely a combination of the two, but either way, it makes them cowardly lowlives beneath contempt. Regardless of how anybody feels about the Memorial, the character assassination of someone who is no longer around to defend himself is just plain disgusting. The little cadre of people who pat each other on the back for such behavior should all be ashamed. And Johnny is dead-on about it being even more pathetic when they're too chickenshit to post it under their real names.


@rudycantfailI never said I would publish his journals in his entirety. They will be preserved in their entirety and I will, as his chosen executor, use my best judgement about what should be made public. I wish you would have paid a little more attention to what I said last night and you might have realized that Bob trusted my judgement with his works when he asked me to take on the job. Also, if you were listening and actually thinking about what you were hearing, you might have garnered that I recognize Bob's faults as well as one might, and did not regard him as a god, but rather as a troubled, complicated man, and an incredibly talented artist. 

Maybe actually read the memoir before you pass judgement. I am not publishing diatribes, I am publishing Bob's stories and poems. No where in the stories that I have read does Bob talk about relishing hurting people, nor does he invest time and effort into bitching about people. He may have done that socially but he had better things to do when he created his art. 

If you'd like to discuss this with me, rather than posting on a public forum where I might not have had a chance to reply, you can email me []. In the meantime, chin up. You seem a little bitter.

--Erin Wiles 


@rudycantfail I doubt Bob would have posted something like this anonymously...  Johnny Vegas


@johnkrane Shit?? We're talking about Bob Reuter after all, so we need all the shit we can muster.


@erin.wiles Not bitter, just disgusted. Really disgusted. I don't see any point in emailing you - you obviously are a bit "bitter" yourself - at people who don't swallow the whole "Bob is the best artist ever!" line. You should have heard what he had to say about you behind your back, Erin - you might not be as happy to take on the job of his editor. I won't write what those words were because I think Bob put enough hurt into the world without my adding to it, but trust me, they weren't ones you'd want to hear.


@filmbender @rudycantfail Ooooo, a bad man! Do you need some kind of butch treatment to make you feel real?  You're just speaking well of dead whitetrash, I guess that's your thing?


@rudycantfail These comments carry very little weight. I'm actually embarrassed for you. "Bob is the best artist ever!"and 'thought of Bob as some kind of god'? Whhhaaa?  ( most of his friends are probably atheist anyway-ha). Come on. Get off it.  Bad mouthing Erin? Hmmm, hard to imagine that. Bob did choose her as executor while in sound body and mind. You sound a bit childish.  

Bob has often said "I'm a bad man." Certainly a man of many great talents. Bob undoubtably had plenty of pain himself to deal with.  

Also it's really bugging me this whole "trick on white kids". I guess that's insulting?  If you're going to blasphemy our deity you've got to  give us something a little juicier than that?

-Bowls MacLean


@rudycantfail This little group of mudslingers on the RFT boards doesn't hesitate to drag good people--by name--into their diatribes against Bob. This includes people who the mudslingers do not know and who have absolutely nothing to do with any nasty things that Bob may or may not have done to them, but that doesn't stop them from defaming these people by name. And all the while they do it under the veil of internet anonymity. It's childish and shameful. I've had to contact RFT to get their comments deleted before.

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