Remembering Ross (Roscoe) Shoemaker

Ross Shoemaker, known by his friends as Roscoe, was killed in a car accident in Broken Arrow, OK last night.

Roscoe was the manager of the Bowery in Oklahoma City in November 1984 and he taped the now infamous show that became “The Shit Hits the Fans”. From Rolling Stone, which place TSHF as #50 on its list of the 50 Greatest Live Albums of All Time:

A pre-sobriety Paul Westerberg, Chris Mars and Bob and Tommy Stinson alternate between the best and worst bar band of all time on Twin/Tone’s cassette-only The Shit Hits the Fans. Recorded with two hanging mics at Oklahoma City’s converted church venue the Bowery in 1984, these 24 songs (19 of which are covers) are a lubricated mix of blues, metal, soul and spilled-beer wankery. “I asked Paul or somebody if he minded that I record the show,” Bowery manager and DJ Roscoe Shoemaker recalled in the Replacements oral history All Over But the Shouting. “‘Why? We suck.’ Typical Westy response.”

This is a lovely piece by Michael Corcoran called “RIP Roscoe: Death of a Fan” that celebrates Roscoe and his love of music.

If you can live a life like Ross Shoemaker did, so full of love and enthusiasm, you will have a great one. It will be a real life of ups and downs, deep sorrows and bursts of euphoria. A life that touches many.

“Alex Chilton” is a song about being a fan. I’m playing it for Roscoe now and it’s never sounded sadder. This is gonna take some time.

Deepest sympathy to Roscoe’s friends and family on their loss.