Begin at the beginning ....
Klaus was born in 1949 in Detroit Michigan.
At the age of 2 he got his first record player (a little acoustic snare drum thing that would play little 78's). By the time he was 4 he'd graduated to listening to his parents record player. He was always fascinated by records and the music hidden in their grooves. He watched the records spin and heard the big sound come out of the big Zenith Console record player. These were all 78 RPM big 10" singles The music was mostly swing and jazz from the 20's to the 40's. Louis Prima, Cab Calloway, Bix Biderbeck, Ella Fitzgerald.... His dad had spent some time from right before the depression kicked in, in '29 thru the early 30's playing Saxophone and Banjo in New Orleans speakeasys, So the record collection was wide ranging and exciting.
In the mid 50's his older brother and sister started feeding him some of the stuff they were listening to in middle school and high school. Then the family made a decision to buy a record player that would handle lp's and 45's. Klaus was introduced to Little Richard by his sister and Elvis by his brother and jerry Lee Lewis by both of them. He was sort of their little experiment. Getting the player that would crank out all of this demon music was a decision his father regretted for a bit as it opened the floodgates for rock and roll to pour into the house. He was afraid his son's brain would turn into cheese.
At age 8 after seeing Buddy Holly on the Sullivan Show Klaus begged his folks for a guitar (hoping for a Strat). They got him a Stella acoustic. Klaus learned to read music but the guitar was unmanageable for small hands. The frustrated guitar teacher told his parents he'll never play guitar.
At 13 he picked up the guitar again, traded it in with his parent's unsure blessings for a Gibson and started to learn for real. At 14 he got a Silvertone electric (very cool) and started to play in his first band, The Woodsmen (a surf group), followed by the "Soche (pronounced as a slang word for socialite) Stompers".
The list of bands for the next few years is rather long.
The Liberators, The Motor City Malibus, The Spyders. Hook Nose and the Mutations to name a few.
In '68 off we go to Boston where Klaus switched to bass to play in a power trio called Thursday Parade. While playing a gig with them he met Billy Squier who was in a group called Tom Swift and his Electric Band. They decide to do a project with friends of Billy's. That became the immortal "Magic Terry and the Universe", which moved to NYC and gained notoriety in the Warhol/Max's Kansas City/St. Adrians scene. The group moved back to Boston in '69. Played one show at the Boston Teaparty and were banned from ever playing there again. A good start. But of course that band imploded. So living between Boston and New York until '77 Klaus played everything from solo acoustic gigs to blues and R&B bands …such as Holiday Rugg, Scratch which morphed into Moon Over Miami, Airline and bass for singer songwriter Joel Zoss and various in house blues backing bands ad infinitum.
In '77 he moved to San Francisco and bummed around for a year figuring out what to do next. He was taken to happy places listening to bands like The Ramones and Devo and the Sex Pistols and started hanging out at the Mabuhay Gardens, San Francisco's equivalent to CBGB's. He was totally knocked over by the Zero's and decided to try to go back to what made him want to play guitar in the first place. Hard, loud, crazy rock'n'roll rising up again as punk rock.
He answered an ad in a local music magazine from a guy named Ray in the east bay, Oakland to be exact. They met and decided to try playing what else but a Buddy Holly song, so Klaus knew he could handle the tryout. Jello Biafra had tried out already and Ray got them together and they all decided they wanted something else rather than straight Sex Pistol, Ramones sounding music. They wanted to keep the humor of that with music drawn from all of their backgrounds informing them.
As much as people say to us that DK's have changed their lives (always good to hear) suffice it to say that neither Mr. Flouride nor any of the DK's life has been the same since the band started.
During the time the band was together for the first go round, Klaus released solo works "Shortnin' Bread" b/w "The Drowning Cowboy" 12"single, followed by the "Cha-Cha-Cha with Mr. Flouride" 12" ep. Klaus also started producing other bands. Angst, Whipping Boy, Tragic Mulatto, The Dicks, Bad Posture among others.
During the bands performing hiatus Klaus recorded 2 more solo efforts "Because I Say So" and "The Light is Flickering" as well as playing with The Nimrods, The Muskrats and The Five Year Plan and forming Jumbo Shrimp, sort of a return to his first band's surf style instrumental group. Production and recording work also continued producing Blue Movie, as well as recording The Hi-Fives, Ed Haynes, The Manglers, Sloe Gin Joes, Frank Novicki, Ape, The Neanderdolls and The Legendary Stardust Cowboy among others and performing on Duckmandu's "Fresh Duck for Rotting Accordionists".
Klaus is currently performing with The Go-Going–Gone Girls, Gravy's Drop and The Legendary Stardust Cowboy, and has done a Link Wray tribute band (a one-off show when Link passed away).
He also, of course continues to work on solo projects, and various collaborations as well as producing artists, when time and inspiration allows. (Most recently released - The Rock'n'Roll Adventure Kids and Terese Taylor - "At Your Mercy Circuit").
Klaus believes in the power of music. Plain and simple.
All Dead Kennedys records
Bass, Clarinet, Backing vocals, Voice Overs
Shortnin' Bread/Drowning Cowboy
Cha-Cha-Cha with Mr. Flouride
Because I Say So
The Light is Flickering
Fresh Duck for Rotting Accordionists
With The Muskrats:
Acoustic Music Project (Compilation lp)
Devouring Our Roots (Compilation lp)
With The Five Year Plan and David Brian
With Jumbo Shrimp:
With The Legendary Stardust Cowboy:
The Legendary Stardust Cowboy Live in Chicago (cd)
Hot Tub Teddy (split 45)
All Dead Kennedys Videos as well as:
Keep On Walking
Begin at the beginning ....