Those of you who were at our show at Off Broadway (or our Riverfront Times show last year, or one of the bigger Cicero's shows) know that we have been pretty vocal about our issues with Beatle Bob. It seems like the right time to address it as publically as we can, because it's Christmas and that's what the baby Jesus would want us to do.
So who is Beatle Bob? Anybody from St. Louis probably knows but outsiders do not. He's a goofy looking dude in his late 40's with a mop top who wears a suit and attends at least one (1) rock show every day in town. You can see him dancing in this otherwise unfortunate video from the RFT fest in 2006. People generally like him, because he comes and dances at these shows and usually he's at whatever the biggest show happening in St. Louis is. There's a saying that "if Beatle Bob is there, you're at the right show."
So what's the problem? Well, he always gets into shows free, always shows up late, and always pushes his way past everybody to get to the front right by the stage. This is extra annoying because we always try to make our shows as comfortable as possible for us and for the people that like our band. Sometimes we're fortunate enough to draw larger crowds at our shows and i've seen people get to the front a band or two early to ensure a good spot. This is especially unfair to them, not to mention people that are shorter and can't see over his 6'2" frame.
The other issue is that I have personally seen him steal things from show patrons and from bands. Once, i went to a show, saw him walk to the back of the venue where some kid had set his jacket, drape it over his arm, and walk out. I told people about it and they didn't believe me, until the victim was looking for his coat after the show. At our show at Off Broadway last week, there was a coat on the stage right in front of where i was setting up my pedals. Beetle Bob picked it up from the stage, despite walking in without a coat. He left a few songs into our set and walked out, big puffy jacket in hand.
He also has claimed to work at KDHX (he doesn't) and has talked bands into letting him have a promo copy of their CD for radio airplay. I've seen him do it to Koufax and Bullet Train to Vegas, and attempt it on us and Bring Back the Guns.
This got under my skin for years until I realized how uncomfortable he makes other people and got up the nerve to call him out as much as possible from the stage. I guess this rant is fairly immature and would fall under the category of attempted libel, or at least bad journalism. The only reason I don't care is this: i feel like it needs to be said.
In fact, I've said all of this to his face, not into a microphone from a stage, but face to face at a show (specifically, Robyn Hitchcock and Sean Nelson at Blueberry Hill). His response? Act like he has no idea what I was talking about, and then just walk away unfazed and cheerily talk to somebody else. It was incredible, to be honest. If he was in any way shocked at what I was saying, he would have tried to defend himself, but he didn't because I'm sure this has happened before and his reaction was flawless.
So Beatle Bob is an enigma, and I'm not trying to rally the troops to ostracize him from anything. I just want to explain, in full detail, what our issues are and why we said what we said at that show and will most likely continue saying whenever we see him at shows. Considering he didn't dance at all during our set at Off Broadway and left after 3 songs, this probably won't be a problem in the future.