Friday, November 10, 2006

Searching for Ron Klaus

Ron Klaus is something of an enigma. Let's review what is known about Ron Klaus: We know he had a party, we know he had a band, we know he had a thousand loving friends, and most importantly we know Ron Klaus, he wrecked his house. We know these things because of Big Dipper's 1988 college radio smash "Ron Klaus, He Wrecked His House" written by Ron's former Embarrassment band mate Bill Goffrier. But there is much we don't know. We don't know why he wrecked his house, we're only told "he had his reasons." We don't know what he did after he wrecked his house. Did his insurance cover any of the damage? Where did he live after wrecking his house? Was the house salvageable, or was it a total loss? Where is he now? Does he regret wrecking his house, or would he do it all over again if he had the chance? I was determined to find answers to these questions and more.

So I went searching for Ron Klaus. I had heard a rumor that he was now a captain of a whale watching ship on Cape Cod. So I started making some phone calls. After four wrong numbers I hit paydirt.

Me: Hello, Is this Ron Klaus?
RK: Yeah.
Me: Are you the Ron Klaus who wrecked his house?
RK: I guess so, yeah. What's it to you?
Me: Well, I was just curious about it, you know?
RK: It's really none of your f****'n beeswax. What do you care? Who are you?
Me: Well, it's just that, you know, there's the song "Ron Klaus, He Wrecked His House."
RK: What the f***k are you talking about? Are you a cop?
Me: No, It's just that your former band mate, Bill Goffrier wrote the song about you and...
RK: I've never been in a band, are you some kind of Moonie or something?
Me: Isn't this Ron Klaus, former bass player for the Embarrassment?
RK: Did you say Ron "Klaus"? This is Ron Kraus, K-R-A-U-S.
Me: Oh, uh sorry, I think I've got the wrong guy.
RK: Yeah, I think so dips**t.
Me: But you said you wrecked your house, what happened?
RK: I fell asleep smoking in bed and the house burned down. Then my wife left me and took the cat with her.
Me: I'm sorry to hear that.
RK: Don't ever call me again.

So that didn't work out too well, but I was undaunted. I decided to Google Ron Klaus to get some more information. I found a couple Ron Klauses, and I figured one of them had to be my guy.

First I called a Ron Klaus who is a helicopter pilot. I figured that someone got mixed up with the whale watch rumor, and Ron was really a helicopter pilot now.

Me: Hello, Is this Ron Klaus?
RK: Yeah.
Me: Ron Klaus, K-L-A-U-S?
RK: Yeah.
Me: Are you the Ron Klaus who wrecked his house?
RK: (Laughing) I get that a lot. No.
Me: Have you heard the song?
RK: Yeah, one of my buddies gave me the CD as gag. That song sucks.
Me: Oh, okay, well thanks.

So next, I tried a Ron Klaus who is an engineer and pastor. Could it be that after burning down his house that Ron Klaus went back to school, got a PhD in Engineering, then found God and became a pastor and a missionary? This was exciting! My mind was racing! Maybe Ron decided to study Engineering in order to design a house that couldn't be wrecked. And maybe he started preaching to warn young people about the evils of wrecking their house. There was a screenplay in this! Maybe a book too. This could be the next Beautiful Mind. But before I started writing my Oscar acceptance speech, I figured I should call Ron and get the skinny.

Me: (excited) Hello, is this the Ron Klaus who wrecked his house?
RK: No. (click)
Me: Hello? Hello?

Another dead end. I'm out of leads now, and Ron Klaus is perhaps even more of an enigma than when I started my search. If you have any information about the Ron Klaus who wrecked his house please let me know. I have questions that need to be answered, I have a screenplay to write. Hollywood needs me.


dan said...

"Ron Klaus spent the intervening years in Phoenix, Arizona. Despite reports to the contrary, he is not either the Captain of a Whale Watching boat nor preparing to sail around the world. He splits his time pursuing business interests in Phoenix and with family in Costa Rica."

Pete Bilderback said...

That just sounds like more fanciful Ron Klaus mythologizing to me, but who knows, maybe it's true. Anyway, I don't recommend taking the kids on a whale watching tour with Ron Kraus (K-R-A-U-S), the guy curses like the captain of a whale watching ship.

Anonymous said...

Which reminds me - has anybody heard from Ron Klaus, recently?

Pete Bilderback said...

Actually, it is my understanding that the Embarrassment played some reunion gigs this year, and I believe Klaus was involved. I'm not completely, guess they must have done it during the off-season for whale watching.

Dave Pye said...

Hiya... Toilet... I am writing a piece on the Big Dipper Reunion today and I found your post. "Klaus" is probably my favorite dipper song, and I salute your valiant efforts here. Great read, great story, well done.

Ryan said...

I share a cubicle wall with Klaus at an engineering firm in Phoenix Arizona. He's an ornery old cuss these days, but what else to expect from an ex-rocker who doesn't have a VH1 special? About once a day I play the wrecked his house song in my cube and we have a good laugh. I guess it's true what they say, only the good die young!

Anonymous said...

This was a really funny article (I found it five years later while looking for a decent-quality "Craps" pic for my iTunes). I almost feel like I should not shed any light on the origin of the song, and let it remain a mystery, but oh well... Here's what I read somewhere: So Ron Klaus was renting this house in Lawrence, KS or thereabouts. His lease was nearing expiration, and he had been told, apparently, that the house had been condemned or something. Whatever the case, the house was to be torn down after Ron moved out. So he got the idea to throw a big party at the end of his lease, and encouraged everyone to totally trash the house as part of the festivities. The party was a huge success (as far as the house-trashing aspect, anyway). Unfortunately, he soon learned that he had been misinformed about the house being slated for demolition. I'm guessing he didn't get his security deposit back.