Everyone loves going to concerts, but one man took it to a whole new level! Robert Matonis—better known as Beatle Bob—is infamous for attending 9,439 consecutive concerts over the last 26 years, but unfortunately, that streak has come to an end.
Matonis started his concert streak on December 25, 1996 and has been to a show every night since, barring 85 days during the COVID-19 lockdowns. So, what caused Matonis to give up his nightly concert routine?
He explained it all in a recent Instagram post, telling fans he has been reflecting on the last year. “For myself, it was the worst year of my life ever as in February of last year I was diagnosed with ALS, Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” Matonis revealed.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly referred to as ALS, is a neurodegenerative disease that leads to a loss of control in the muscles. Some people who are affected by the disease experience stiff muscles and weakness, while others experience difficulty speaking and eating.
Matonis explained that weakened muscles in his neck have made it hard for him to lift his head, talk, and even swallow. This difficulty with eating caused Matonis to lose around 25 pounds, which has left him in “a weakened condition.”
Beatle Bob isn’t the only person who has had to end a long-running streak due to ALS. The disease is also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, named after the baseball star who had to end his sports career after the disease seriously affected his motor skills. His retirement ended his own streak; Gehrig played a whopping 2,130 consecutive major league games during his baseball career.
Matonis’ condition has left him unable to dance, or even stand, during concerts and he has undergone some medical treatments to help him recover his strength. “It was a good concert run while it lasted,” Matonis concluded. “And hopefully my weight will return fast enough to put me back on the dance floor.” Beatle Bob fans are disappointed that he won’t be out and about at shows for the foreseeable future but are eagerly rooting for his health and return to the St. Louis concert scene!