He looked like Ringo Starr but played like Keith Moon of the Who. He was a hard-bashing, hard-partying, fun-loving drummer. Bobby Meide was one of the most beloved drummers in the Twin Cities music scene for four decades.
"He was mighty and he was fierce," said Flamin' Oh's frontman Robert Wilkinson, his bandmate for 40 years. "In his heyday, he rocked like no one else in town."
Meide, the drummer for the Flamin' Oh's, died Sunday morning at North Memorial Hospital from complications of Korsakoff's syndrome, a neurological disorder. He was 59.
"He was lovable, easy-going, liked to party, kinda goofy," said Wilkinson, who called himself and Meide "lads in arms. And as any brother can be, he was as annoying as hell. We loved each other deeply. He was a good-hearted person."
Meide liked being a rock star, Wilkinson said: "He was always kind of 'on' if he was out and about."
As a drummer, Meide was "bombastic," said Twin Cities rocker Curtiss A. "He liked to keep things rocking. People would say it all sounded the same, but they said that about Ringo, too."
In recent years, Meide worked as a limousine driver but was laid off during the recession. He last drummed with the Flamin' Oh's in January at Famous Dave's in Uptown. "I could tell then that he was in bad shape," Wilkinson recalled. "He was really tired after a few songs."
In early June, Wilkinson called Meide to see if he could handle another gig in late July. At first the drummer said he could, but later suggested that a substitute be enlisted, and said he'd sit in on a few songs.
Meide's medical condition was diagnosed in the past few weeks, Wilkinson said. "It happened pretty fast. He was lucid one moment and then it was like he had Alzheimer's the next. He didn't know who I was." The singer visited the drummer in the hospital a few times. "I gave him a kiss and a hug, and told him to keep rocking."
The Flamin' Oh's will perform July 31 at Famous Dave's. "We will rock the [bleep] out of the place in honor of Bobby. He wouldn't want us to sit on our asses. Bobby would want us to keep rocking."
Survivors include his daughter, Beth Vassar and grandson Isaac; his parents James and Beverly Meide; and his sisters Diane, Mary and Sue and brothers Rick and Paul, and his companion Jan Hennings.Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at Washburn-McReavy, 5125 W. Broadway, Crystal, with a luncheon to follow at the American Legion Post 600, 12450 Business Park Blvd., Champlin.
Jon Bream • 612-673-1719