Bob Reuter Halloween: This Awesome Kid Went as the Alley Ghost This Year
By Jaime Lees
Fri., Nov. 1 2013
Some kids are just cooler than others. Let’s talk about the lil’ homey, Dresden.
Dresden is a big fan of Bob Reuter, the late St. Louis musician and photographer. He’s also an honorary member of Reuter’s band, Alley Ghost. Maybe you remember seeing him in this photo set from Bob’s memorial show?
As it turns out, Dresden is also the nephew of RFT staffer Bob Westerholt, so we were able to scam these pictures of the wee cutie paying tribute to his friend this Halloween by dressing up in costume as the Alley Ghost, as well as the Reuter-themed pumpkins his family and friends made for the occasion.
Photos and pumpkin carvings courtesy of Uncle Bob and Dresden’s parents, Andy and Natalie.
I got the call early, about an hour and a half before the news hit the Internet. My friend Jim was on the phone. The tone of his voice was calm and reassuring — gentle, even. Bob Reuter, he explained, was dead. Over the next few minutes we talked each other through the shock as best we could. Then Jim offered a short list of people who would be good for a quote or two on Bob’s life.
What follows here is a collection of uncensored stories from many of the people — musicians, writers, fellow KDHX deejays — whose lives were touched by Bob Reuter throughout the years. We’re working hard here at the Riverfront Times to gather your memories of Bob’s work and life. It’s something that we take very seriously, and we feel that his story is best told by his friends, colleagues and fans.
Many people have stories yet to share, so check back frequently. This page will updated as the contributions continue to roll in. And please, feel free to write your own story in the comments below.
Like many others, I have my own history with Bob. There are better stories to be told, so I’ll keep it brief.
I met Bob in the late ’90s when I was just a teenager. He circled me like a hungry wolf and asked me to come over to his house so he could take my photo. (I was his type: artistic with bleached hair, severe eyeliner, short skirts and photogenic breasts.) But I knew Stranger Danger when I saw it, and I told the old perv to get lost.
But he never disappeared and neither did I. We shared the same friends, the same venues and the same scene for years. And as time went by we came to know each other, and I (mostly) forgave him for being such a creeper back in the day.
Bob and I didn’t always get along, but it never went past the general head-butting of two people who both like to be in charge and don’t take any shit. It was never that serious, anyway. If anything, I think he was impressed by my frequently sassy attitude.
But at no time when I was annoyed with him did I belittle his work.
He couldn’t be considered an expert at most things he did, but that wasn’t the point. The point was that he did it anyway. His photos, while frequently blurry and and technically imperfect, captured the vibrancy of St. Louis and its inhabitants. In my opinion, his radio show (Bob’s Scratchy Records) was the best on KDHX (88.1 FM). And his music was always great, but it became absolutely stellar when he hooked up with the geniuses at Big Muddy Records.
In one of my last private e-mail exchanges with Bob, I praised Big Muddy founder Chris Baricevic as the “biggest badass in St. Louis.” He concurred, writing, “He’s believed in me from the start and worked selflessly on my behalf. I owe him for a life turn-around.” I spoke with Baricevic on the evening that Bob died and was relieved to learn that Bob’s family, his bandmates, were all mourning together that night.
It’s this kind of stuff about Bob that I choose to remember. He said lots of nice things when nobody else was listening. He often sent encouraging words out of nowhere. He inspired the younger generation, and he made connections with scores of unlikely folks. He was difficult, but he was worth it. And his music, art and tireless documentation of the city and its people will be his legacy.
— to see tributes from others, including Randall Roberts of the Los Angeles Times, click here
The man who today fell to his death down an elevator shaft has been identified by numerous sources close to RFT Music as Bob Reuter, 61, a legendary St. Louis music elder and beloved photographer who spent the majority of his life documenting and creating in the ever-blooming south-city scene.
Reuter was strong supporter of St. Louis arts, a DJ at KDHX (88.1 FM) and host of its Bob’s Scratchy Records, and a mentor to many young local musicians. His bands the Dinosaurs, Kamikaze Cowboy and, most recently, Alley Ghost, were among the most revered acts in town.
Reuter was moving into a downtown loft when he fell to his death down an elevator shaft.
“I was his drummer, he was my best friend, we traveled the country together, played rock & roll,” bandmate Bass Amp, who was on the scene when the tragedy occurred, told KSDK. “I lost it. I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t believe it.”
Much more information on his big, loud life and lasting influence coming soon, including tributes from Reuter’s many friends and collaborators. Keep checking back at RFTMusic.com for updates.
“Pazz & Jop is an annual poll of musical releases compiled by American newspaper The Village Voice. The poll is tabulated from the submitted year-end top ten lists of hundreds of music critics. Pazz & Jop was introduced by The Village Voice in 1974 as an album-only poll, but was expanded to include votes for singles in 1979.”