A few weeks back, I interviewed St. Louis Renaissance man Bob Reuter, who - along with his band, Alley Ghost - was scheduled to open a show for James Leg, of the Black Diamond Heavies, at Off Broadway. I ended up sicker than a pukin' dog that night and didn't get to air the original interview, or make the concert.
But, now, Bob has a book signing tomorrow night (Friday, Jan. 6) at 7 p.m. at Subterranean Books on Delmar in St. Louis, to promote his new photography book, "Light Fuse and Run", so I have a new reason to share a bit of my interview with Bob...
First off, I always like folks to introduce themselves, in their own words...
Oh man…Well, I’m Bob Reuter. I write stories, I take pictures, sing songs, I’m on the radio. That’s it.
Let's talk about your music a little bit to start...
I’ve been playing since I was 14 years old and I’m now like 60. And I’ve been through a lot of stuff. I started doing garage rock back in ‘66. I’ve played all kinds of country-ish rock-and-roll for a while there after that. I played punk in ‘78. I went through a singer/songwriter thing and got so bored to tears with that that I just quit playing for a while.
I became friends with these kids who had Big Muddy Records. I’d been playing in a band called Thee Dirty South with a couple of guys my age. I kept getting a push from these kids that said they wanted me to do an album on their label and they wanted me to use a band they had to back me up. That was about 3-4 years ago and we started playing together on a regular basis. And it’s killer. These guys are like the most amazing musicians, you know. They’ve played in some other bands…the 7 Shot Screamers, the Griddle Kids, Sex Robots, the Pubes, the Rum Drum Ramblers. They remind me of Muddy Waters’ original band that was like really killer, that was referred to as the Headhunters. These guys are just cut-throat.
It ranges from, like, kinda country and, like, punk-ass blues to just everything, but it’s hard and it’s raw. Sometimes it’s not as hard.
But it’s always raw…
Shifting gears a little bit, you’ve got this new book out…
Yeah, it’s called “Light Fuse and Run”.
It’s all these different pictures of the South Side landscapes and this stuff that happened. The picture that I chose for the cover is a night shot and you can see something kind of in the side of the shot that looks like a little bright light with a silhouette of a kid running across the scene and the silhouettes of people standing there and it looks like he’s just, like, thrown a grenade or somethin’.
It’s my second book by myself. There are a few others that I was a contributor to, but this is my second book and I’m really proud of it. Its available most places in St. Louis and you can look it up online.
I do film photography and I do the pictures in the dark room.
The pictures kinda go along with that sound we talked about. It’s always raw and kinda gritty…
Yeah, it’s black and white. I use film, which makes the grain bigger. So, a lot of the time the pictures look like they’re about to maybe even crumble a little bit. Yeah, it’s the only story I’ve got to tell.
Speaking of stories, did I hear you have a book of stories coming out?
I do. It’s coming out in the spring. Well, I think actually, first of the year is what they were talking about….but that could wind up being spring. It’s gonna be a book and it’ll be the longest thing I’ve done. The stuff that I put out hasn’t been as many pages as this is gonna be.
Meet Bob and pick up a copy of his book Friday night, January 6th at 7 p.m. at Subterranean Books (6275 Delmar Blvd. in St. Louis).
To find out more about Bob and his music, photography, and stories, visit www.bobreuterstl.com.
You can catch his radio show, Bob's Scratchy Records, every Friday from 2 to 4 p.m. (central) on KDHX - 88.1 FM in St. Louis, or online at www.kdhx.org.