The Legacy of Bobby Rio

January 15, 2021 by John Gilhooley
The past year has been tough for all of us. We’ve lost so much to the coronavirus, including many friends and family. We have also lost loved ones to natural causes. Sadly, added to that list is local photographer Bobby Rio who was loved by so many in the local music community.
He was born Robert Ruelas and ask anyone who knew him… really knew him, and they’ll tell you, he was a genuine person with a heart of gold.

Known to all as Bobby Rio, the best way to describe his past is he moved between cliques, he was able to hang with anyone… punk rockers, gang members, hessians, skaters and surfers. It really didn’t matter because one theme ran true through all the stories we gathered, and that is Bobby was best known for helping people.


Its never too late to start a second act.”


“Bobby’s here” is one thing we heard describing his old school days showing up at a party or a gig and everyone knew what that meant.
Bobby’s recent years were filled with lots of live music shows. He worked road crew for D.I. and his venture “Redemption Images.”

He always had a camera around his neck and a smile that could light up a room. Whenever I saw him, he would say, “Verified!” Whenever he took a photo, he would exclaim, “See, I got it right here! A verified sighting!”
When I heard the news that we lost Bobby last week, I put friends to work to get a few words from people and their experiences with Bobby. We asked for “a line or two” from each. We quickly found that was impossible to do. If you knew Bobby, you understand why. What came back was story after story. Some long enough to fill several pages. Once we received them all, we could fill an entire book.

There are just so many incredible stories. Some happy, some sad, and all filled with love and affection for him. There was a common theme, Bobby was one of those guys that either liked you or he didn’t… he never beat around the bush. Once he welcomed you in, you were his friend and he had your back.
Saving people’s asses was another common story about the old days. That is why we’ve decided to run this story in OC Music News.

if you have a Bobby Rio story please share it in the comments on our Facebook page linked to this story as we don’t want to leave anyone out.

Survived by his mother Honey, children Brendon, Dee Dee, Angela, granddaughter Savannah and his beloved dog Blue.
There is a Go Fund Me run by his cousin Lysa Reynoso Davis for the family to help with burial expenses.

Much Respect and long live the legacy of Bobby Fk’n Rio


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