(2017-Big Muddy Records/BDR Records) (BMR034/BDR #8)
Dinosaurs were a garage-punk band that formed in St. Louis in 1978.
Made up of misfits and outsiders, they existed alongside but apart from
the emerging punk rock movement. To record collectors, the Dinosaurs are
the creators of the sought after “Rock & Roll Moron” 45, which the
band self-released in 1979. But to most patrons of underground culture
around the Midwest, the Dinosaurs are known as the starting point in the
musical history of Bob Reuter, St. Louis’ D.I.Y. “Renaissance Man” who
gained regional success as a songwriter, radio DJ (“Bob’s Scratchy
Records”), lo-fi photographer, and late-in-life author.
by the new wave counterculture as much as the pop sensibilities it
rebelled against, the Dinosaurs played a mix of proto-punk and classic
rock, delighting some while offending others. Consisting of four
ne’er-do-well city boys, the Dinosaurs were defiantly uncouth and had an
explosive energy that mirrored the raw aggression of the forgotten,
post-industrial Midwest city they called home. Alongside the catchy and
compulsive songwriting of the band’s founder, Bob Reuter, the Dinosaurs
became oddities in St. Louis’ growing punk scene. They made an initial
splash as the weekend house band in a neighborhood dive bar playing for
four hours a night. Their sets attracted a mixed crowd of factory
workers, freaks and oddballs who fell in love with the wild musicians
and the unruly atmosphere their music created. After a few months and
one too many violent incidents, the band was asked to move on. The
Dinosaurs drifted from venue to venue around the St. Louis metropolitan
area, bringing their small but rowdy and loyal following with them
wherever they went. At times they were celebrated, but at other times
their brazen attitudes brought them into conflict with the rest of the
scene. After a year and a half and one self-released 45, the band
imploded on stage and went their separate ways.
the break up, the Dinosaurs were all but forgotten until Reuter came to
local prominence as the founder of Kamikaze Cowboy, an alt-country band
who gigged alongside contemporaries like Uncle Tupelo. With his new
spotlight and a penchant for story telling, Reuter spun the legend of
the Dinosaurs, claiming that they were St. Louis’ first and only punk
band in the 70s. During this time, Reuter also gained significant
notoriety for his vinyl only radio show and his lo-fi black & white
photography that documented the desperation and ruin of life in St.
Louis as well as the bohemian rock & roll culture that thrived in
spite of the desolation. In the 2010s, Reuter fell in with a young group
of musicians at Big Muddy Records and formed the band Bob Reuter’s
Alley Ghost, who performed some of the Dinosaurs songs and recaptured
the energy of their proto-punk sound while introducing the music to a
new generation. Reuter toured regionally with Alley Ghost and released a
critically acclaimed album, “Born There” before his death in 2013. He
gathered a small cult following throughout the States and his admirers
grew to include noteworthy rock & roll figures such as Kim Fowley
and ? of the Mysterians.
Now for the first time ever, twelve of the Dinosaurs finest homemade
recordings from 1978 are presented side by side on vinyl. The tracks
have been remastered from the original audio tapes and packed with
expansive liner notes and photography on a 12" x 24" insert. The package
also includes an additional ten tracks for download including two
essential live recordings.
Audio sample: "Rock & Roll Moron"