One day twenty years ago, Bob Matonis went to a rock concert. He went to another one the next night, another the night after that, and still another the night after that. On February 24, 2016, he claims, he spent his 7,000th night in a row away from home and at a live music show. Even if he’s missed a few nights, it seems the man better known as Beatle Bob never stops. Figuring just about everybody who’s hit the club scene has seen hit, he’s been out a lot. “As long as there’s good bands out there, local or national, I’ll keep it going,” he said. Matonis maintains a Beatles moptop on his head, in honor of his all-time favorite foursome.
One night early in 2016, when he made his presence known at a concert in Blueberry Hill’s basement, the Duck Room. That night, he introduced a concert by singer and steel guitar player Roger Clyne. Thoughout the concert, Beatle Bob gyrated back and forth near the side of the stage.
Ron Stevens, a longtime local radio personality, said Matonis displays a passion for music in a town that loves music. “It’s very difficult to go out and appreciate live music without encountering Beatle Bob.” Stevens encountered Beatle Bob when he crashed a party at Stevens house. But Stevens didn’t mind. “When Beatle Bob crashes a party, it’s a compliment.”
The story of Beatle Bob is one of 80 in my book The Colorful Characters of St. Louis, which is coming out in mid-September. Join me at the book’s release party, from 2-5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2, at the Royale, 3132 South Kingshighway on the South Side.