What I've compiled below is recordings (of varying sound quality) of bands I've been in going as far back as 1975 - I love that I've finally got them all in one place! It's not the whole thing, but it's a nice chunk.

Please drop me a line if you have any questions or comments 'bout anything - I love getting e-mail!

        

In August of 2008 I was approached by Mat Wilson and Chris Baricevic, two young guys in their early twenties. They have a record label by the name of Big Muddy Records.  hey told me about this idea they had of putting out an album with me backed up by a bunch of them...said they wanted to introduce me to a younger audience and it sounded awfully damn good to me. 

I named the band Alley Ghost after some grafitti I'd seen on a dumpster in a southside alley. At first, the band consisted of myself on guitar and vocals, Mat "Doormat" Wilson on odd blues guitar, Ryan Koenig on harp, banjo-lin and percussion (Matt and Ryan have their own band called the Rum Drum Ramblers!) Chris Baricevic (formerly of Johnny O and the Jerks) on stand up snare drum and Chris Powers (formerly of the 7 Shot Screamers) on stand up bass.

We put out our first album "Bob Reuter's Alley Ghost" on Big Muddy.  And one result was my being named "Best Songwriter in St. Louis" for the first time ever (though I had been nominated 19 times previously). It was the high visibility of Alley Ghost that allowed me to be recognized.  I cant remember feeling so good playing in a band - this is maybe the best it gets!

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The Dinosaurs began in 1978 when i stumbled into a south side quarter beer joint at Sidney and California called the T&D Lounge. They had a lesbian country band called Janie Bach and the Blue Misties. The joint was half lesbians and half truck drivers. Janie Bach had been playing there for a while and this one night she announced it was their last night. I needed a gig so I told the owners I had a band and then threw one together.

I got two guys I'd played with as a kid in the Cough Medecine Company, Don Tomazi and Mike Downey. I still had my bass and they both played guitar. Mike knew this couple, Howard and Mickie. Howard was a drummer and Mickie sang back up. The first time we went to pick Howard up for practice he came to the door naked with Mickie's panties on his head. The second time he had split his own head open with an ax. So, Mike brought in a cat he'd played with in bands before, Ron Fernandez, to replace Howard. Mickie quit shortly afterwards. We wound up playing the T&D Lounge for about 23 weeks in a row.

The Dinosaurs were a bar band caught up in the spirit of punk rock which had just begun. We were the only such band in town that was playing out on a regular basis, doing the whole DIY thing. Kids with fake IDs started following us, young boys in black motorcycle jackets. We were pretty murderous.

Don was a relativley mild mannered cat and we figured he needed a kind of remake. We made him "Frankie" (which was his middle name) cause it sounded more bad assed and did a song I wrote in his honor called "Frankie Is a Killer." The young boys would go nuts and hurl their heavy ass motorcycle jackets at the stage - just missing our heads, if we were lucky - and knocking our drinks off the amp heads. We played four hour gigs. We drew crowds and had a following.

We released a four track 45 we made in Frankie's dining room and we made our money back. New York Rocker magazine hated it, but we hated New York so it was ok. Then New Wave got big and all these kids in spandex pants and skinny ties hated us for being uncouth. We wanted everybody to love us and for a minute we tried to win them over, but it was a losing battle cause all we really ever were was a rock and roll band. We wrote a whole lot of our own stuff - two hours worth easy - and did covers of sixties songs with punk energy.

After a year and a half we imploded live on stage at a club called 4th and Pine, opening for a band from England called Eddie and the Hot Rods. Me and Mike actually got in a fist fight cause he wouldnt stop lollygagging between songs and I just couldn't take it any more. We did part as friends, though. Mike and Ron went on to form a Ska/rockabilly band called the Felons who eventually became a reggae band called the Murder City Players.

Frankie and me kind of floundered for a few months then I went to Syracuse. When I got back a year and a half later, Frankie was back to being Don and playing in a bar cover band til he was shot and killed by his ex-wife.

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Lost Monkey was a stop gap kind of group. Baldus had quit Thee Dirty South and I was looking to play with some different folks - ones that didnt work Professional type day jobs. The band featured myself singing lead and playing guitar, Adam Hessed on keyboards, Mark Stephens (formerly of the Highway Matrons and The Boo Rays) on lead "space" guitar leads, Anne Tkach on bass guitar, and Kevin on drums. We only played two gigs but also recorded half an album's worth of material. Looking back on it, I really like the way it sounds.

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Thee Dirty South featured myself on guitar and lead vocals and Marc Chechik on guitars, piano and  back up vocals. The drummers are either John Baldus or Mike Enderle. I'd been highly inspired by the Black Diamond Heavies who made me realize how deep of an influence the Blues had been on me and how southern St. Louis really is.

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The Black Diamond Heavies were a trio back then - John Wesely Meyer on keyboards, Van Campbell on Drums and Mark "Pork Chop" Holder on cut throat guitar and harp.  I kind of tricked them into backing me on this. They did it as a favor, having never heard what I do. I'd brought them into KDHX's studio to record a spot for my radio show and then asked whether they'd mind... It caught 'em off guard and they were happy with the result. To me these three cats are the real thing. I still love them each like brothers!

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Palookaville came about  when I was working on a book with Thomas Crone. One of the people we were interviewing was Jena Baur who ran a kids art project in Tower Grove Park. In passing Thomas mentioned that she also played stand up bass. As soon as I heard that, and I mean before I even heard her play, I was all hopped up to start a band with her. I picked up Mike Enderle who had played drums for Kamikaze Cowboy and then Kevin Buckley to play fiddle. Jenna was clasicly trained and played her upright with a bow. It made this sawing sound on the more punk stuff and then the combination of her and Kevin could also sound like a little string section.

The Name Palookaville came from this idea that had been bouncing around my head forever. Palookaville was this small midwestern city from like the forties or fifties. It was Dashell Hammet's "Poinsonville."  It was Julius Knipl: Real Estate Photographer's hometown. I'd done a photo show based on the concept and already written the song, so I figured, "why not?"

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Kamikaze Cowboy formed right after my wife and I split up in 1990. It was a kind of "state of mind." The band lasted seven years but I was really the only constant. There were 47 different members but it was always a great band. It featured first Robin Allen and then John Horton on lead guitar, Rick Nolte, Randy Potter and then Mike Martin on bass and back up vocals, Bob Trammel and then Mike Enderle on drums, and a ton of really good players scattered for much shorter periods of time. The last formation was the one that lasted the longest and the one I think of as the real band. They played on the three albums we did. Mike Martin (who also recorded us - the guy's amazing) on bass, Mike Enderle on drums and John Horton on lead.

The name was inspired by a book of the same name that I was reading right after my marriage fell apart. 

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This was actually phase one of the band. Robin Allen on lead guitar, Rick Nolte on bass and Bob Trammell on drums. We operated out of the basement of my house in Maplewood. The band leaned more towards rock and roll than the later Kamikaze Boys. The sessions here were recorded at Walt Whitney's place out in north County and feature a young Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, who was then in Uncle Tupelo, singing back-up on two of the songs. We gave him shit saying he sounded like a young Rod Stewart on "Oakie Girl"! 

Chris Bess of Southern Culture on the Skids is also featured playing accordian on "Dont Walk Away."

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Sometimes Kamikaze Cowboy went down side rodes. This one was for a compleation that never did really materialize. It was an idea that came about at the bar over at Mangia, a tone of local South Grand bands were asked to do an original "Bar Closing Time Song," so I wrote this one. It might help to know that St. Louis bars closed (by and large) at 12:30 AM but there were a few that stayed open till 3AM. One of these was the Rocket Bar. Everybody would show up there after the other bars closed down. You had was the sadest most desperate people from all the other local bars (and bar staff who needed to blow the end of the night off altogether).  It once struck me that if you could harness all the desperation in the Rocket Bar at three in the morning, you could probably power a city.

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When I left Syracuse and got back to St .Louis, I went through a period of having no band. For about three years, Gary Kouesterer would haul his eight track recorder over to my place for the week between Christmas and New Years. My wife at the time hated it. I played almost everything on these recordings. If didnt have this outlet I mighta just killed somebody. It has been my expierience that rock and roll and being married are two way different states.

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This was the last band I started to form with my best friend Frankie and it contains the last recorded song he played on. It was me, Frankie, Mike Franey, Huntley Barad on keyboards and an unknown drummer who smoked a pipe and only knew this one disco beat. Luckily, it worked with this song. This is my favorite recording of Frankie's guitar playing ever. The whole thing reminds me of the kind of phychodelic jams we'd go into back in North St. Louis. We called 'em "freak outs" and they were damn near orgasmic for me!

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In 1980 I followed a woman (who later became my wife and now my ex) up to Syracuse NY. To be honest, the fact that i had kind of burned every bridge back in St. Louis was a big part of what sent me packing. Anyway, there I was in this ice and snow packed college town, not knowing anyone including the woman I found myself living with. Somehow I was able to pull together three amazingly cool players to play with.

The first guy I hooked up with went by the name George Maichek. Years later when I ran into him and found out he had just come over on the boat from Eastern Europe shortly before we hooked up. He was an extreme right wing hippie who hated art and played ska'ish keyboard on an Ace-Tone organ. George was a total record freak. He introduced me to whole musical worlds beyond anything I'd known up to that point. Chief amongst them was Joy Division (and this was 1980 remember), though I'm not sure whether that influence comes through here...Next up was Paul Rose from New Jersey and Mike Bowman of Connecticut on drums - Paul was a George Thorogood influenced balls out guitar playin rocker and Mike, one of the best drummers I've ever played with, once told me he only answered our ad cause we said we were looking for a "percussionist" rather than a "drummer." He just showed up at the door one day barefoot with just a pair of sticks! We only played a couple of gigs but recorded three songs in a small eight track studio and then right at the end cut a whole albums worth of raw basement quality demos.

Featured here are two such numbers "Out on the Sidewalk" and "Metro Moon" George wrote the music, I wrote the words.

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The Syracrucians - two memebers of Serious Journalism, Mike Bowman and Paul Rose, formed a band called The Hungry Dutchmen when SJ broke up - They contacted me a couple of years later and offered to back me up on a recording of some of my new songs  - it was kind of an expieriment cuase I was dipping back into my country roots and these boys had never played a lick of country in their lives - it was fun though.

  They were based out of Nutley New Jersey which was a little mafia town - They had there own little four track reel to reel set up and we cut some sides there - it all kind of culminated on election day 1984 - the year Bush Sr. became president, so at least I was distracted from that.  I released it as a cassette in St. Louis and it sold like five copies (hee hee, oh well) under the name of the Syracrucians - "Still Hungry"

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I came home after band practice one very cold snowy Syracuse night. My girlfriend wasnt home so I cracked open one more beer and sat down with the tape deck and spewed out my memories of growing up in North St. Louis.  

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Myself on bass and vocals, Frankie on Lead guitar, Mark Sheradon on bass and background vocals and Kevin Griffin on drums. Unreleased.

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The version of Satisfaction here was recorded on a little condesor mic cassette player by some one in the crowd at a high school graduation party we played back in 1987. I was pretty fucking lost and exasperated and during a break I walked out back and sat alone on the railroad tracks and decided I was kinda done with playing covers. I went more acoustic for a while after this gig.

This second song I wrote after I moved away to Santa Fe, NM forever and then came back home three months later. I felt stupid coming back after I'd made a big deal about it all but my friends back home just told me not to trip on it. This version was recorded at a Benefit for Native Americans of the Big Mountain Reservation. Huntley Brad on accordian, Mike Long on drums, Mike Franey and Joan Bouise on back up vocals. Mike was walking with the help of braces. He'd contracted some disease that they thought was MS but reached it's conclusion way to fast for that to have been true. He sang here with a great deal of effort, and as he walked up to the stage on his braces he fell. He picked himself up and came up to sing some more. He died in less than a year. Joan died about seven years later of cancer. They were two of my closest friends ever.

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