Friday, February 10, 2006

Tagged

Okay, I' ve been tagged by Teddy. Here you go:

Four Jobs I've Had:

1. Web Developer
2. Computer-based Training Developer
3. Music Critic
4. Orderly at OSU Hospitals Dodd Hall for treatment of quadriplegics

Four Movies I Could Watch Over and Over:

1. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
2. The Godfather (I & II)
3. Lost in Translation
4. The Lord of the Rings trilogy

Four Places I've Lived:

1. Westerville, OH
2. Park Forest, IL
3. Athens, OH
4. Ely, England

Four Television Shows I Enjoy:

Hmm.

1. The Amazing Race
2. Twin Peaks (that was a long time ago, but I'd watch the re-runs)
3. Old Warner Brothers cartoons featuring Bugs, Road Runner, etc.
4. Whatever is on ESPN as long as it involves a ball of some sort and doesn't involve ice skating, gymnastics, dogs, pool, or poker

Four Places I've Vacationed:

1. Germany and Switzerland
2. All over California
3. Breckinridge, Colorado
4. New York City

Four Favorite Foods:

1. Kate's chimichangas (better than any Mexican restaurant I've encountered)
2. Gyros from Yanni's
3. Fish and Chips from Old Bag of Nails
4. Fajitas from El Vacquero

Four Websites I Visit Daily:

1. cnn.com
2. pastemagazine.com
3. all the CV bloggers
4. artsandfaith.com

Four Albums I Adore:

1. Sonny Rollins, "Saxophone Colossus"
2. Tonio K., "Life in the Foodchain"
3. Joni Mitchell, "Blue"
4. Van Morrison, "St. Dominic's Preview"

Four Other Albums I Adore:

1. Miles Davis, "Kind of Blue"
2. Steve Earle, "El Corazon"
3. Bob Dylan, "Highway 61 Revisited"
4. Sigur Ros, "Takk"

Four Other Other Albums ...

Man, it's so hard to stop.

Four Most Fabulous Concerts:

1. Bruce Springsteen, Athens, Ohio, April, 1976
2. Muddy Waters, Columbus, Ohio, November, 1981
3. Sam Phillips/Bruce Cockburn, Cincinnati, Ohio, May 1992
4. Bob Dylan, Akron, Ohio, 1980

Four More Fabulous Concerts:

1) Ronald Koal and the Trillionaires, various OSU dive bars, multiple times throughout 1980 - 1982
2) Old 97's, Cleveland, Ohio, January, 2004
3) The Ramones, Columbus, Ohio, July, 1981
4) Sigur Ros, Columbus, Ohio, 2/13/06? I don't know. I'll find out.

39 comments:

bd said...

I've seen the poster for the Springsteen show at OU so many times. That must have been a great show.

gw said...

"1) Ronald Koal and the Trillionaires, various OSU dive bars..."

Ahh! I've heard many tales, but it was sadly all before my time. Did he ever put out a record before his demise?

Andy Whitman said...

Grant, there are a couple of EPs, and one album called, appropriately enough, Ronald Koal and the Trillionaires. I have them all on vinyl, and you're welcome to borrow them if you're interested.

Unfortunately, none of them really do justice to the music. I seriously thought that Ronald Koal was one of the best live performers I've ever seen. Kate and I spent most of the weekends during our courtship and early marriage at his gigs. He was incredibly charismatic and a terrific songwriter. The band was great as well.

He had the goods to be a great one. I honestly think he was as talented as any of the bands/performers who came out of the New Wave scene. Unfortunately, drug use led to an erratic work ethic, and he waited too long to try to break out of the fairly narrow strictures of the Columbus music world.

It's a sad story. Ronald moved to Germany in the late '80s, married a Berlin fraulein, got divorced, and committed suicide at the ripe old age of 34. He recorded his first and only album in his early twenties for a local Columbus label called "No Other Records." It turned out to be prophetic.

teddy dellesky said...

was that early 80s dylan show at the rubber bowl? (w/ petty and the dead in the lineup). just curious.

Andy Whitman said...

Teddy, I remember that show, but I wasn't there for that one.

The show I referred to was at the State Theater in downtown Akron. It seated maybe 1,500 people. Dylan was at that phase of his career where he only performed "Christian" music. In between these songs, most of which slammed his listeners over the head, he preached to the audience, and said things "A lot of you people are goin' to hell and you don't even know it." Very smooth, Bob.

At any rate, many people in the audience didn't like it. They booed Dylan. They heckled him. Some people walked out. People kept calling out, "Play something from the sixties."

Finally, at the end of the concert, Dylan said, "Do you want to hear something from the sixties?" The crowd cheered. So Dylan played:

I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes
And just for that one moment I could be you
Yes, I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes
You'd know what a drag it is to see you

Amazing. It wasn't a great concert. But it was like being in the middle of a firefight. It was intense, and very memorable.

Anonymous said...

I was fairly close to the Trillionaires scene in the early '80s. Went to most of their gigs at Ruby Tuesday's, Mr. Brown's, Staches, Agora, etc.... Ronald Koal was one of the best performers I have ever seen in my life to date. I was a professional musician/singer myself at the time, and hosted and attended many after hour parties with them as well. Ronald was a pretty insecure guy off-stage. He used to say he was afraid of success. He was afraid people in the "big time" would somehow make him compromise his act. On stage, however, you never saw a more confident, magnetic, delicious creature. Every guy wanted to be/look like him, and every girl wanted to fuck and suck him all night. Better than Elvis, really!

One big reason in my opinion that he didn't make it far in the music world (in addition to his self-destructive behaviors) was
because he had a total dick for a manager named Gabor Klein. The guy was a total poser, and Ronald didn't have the resources to find anyone better. We are talking over 25 years ago. We didn't have the hi-tech communication resources we have today. MTV was brand new and promoting all sorts of techno/hairdo/one-hit-wonder bands that were totally lame and made the "legitimate" music scene look like a vacuum bag full of shit.
Cell phones were bigger than the average toaster and cost about fifty dollars a minute. Computers were like - something they had at NASA, and nobody had ever heard of the internet. Klein spent all the money on his telephone bill,
getting nowhere because he wasn't connected and had no real vision for anyone other than himself.
If Ronald would have told Klein to fuck off, taken the band and moved to NYC, he'd have become legendary WAY beyond the borders of Ohio.

BTW, the original band members were FABULOUS musicians, namely, Pete Linzell on sax, Jimmy Casto on drums, Matt Newman on guitar, and Ben Pritchard who was a really
hot bass player for a white guy.

Crazy T said...

The second bassist in the Trillionaires last name was actually Pridgeon. Ben Pridgeon that is. The first bassist was Mike Valentine. The second guitarist was (me) Todd Novak. I think the original line-up of the Trillionaires (before me) could have taken over the world. That would have been Ronald, Matt, Mike V., James, and Pete. A great band. Everynight I front my band here or europe or wherever I think of Ronald, and how great a frontman he was. BTW Ronald NEVER missed a show that I can think of. Find the ep and lp and enjoy. Not as good as the live shows but still awesome compared to the competition. It's great to see people are still discovering Ronald!

Andy Whitman said...

Hey, Todd. Nice to hear from you. I don't know you, but I saw you perform with Ronald many times.

I write for a few music magazines, one of which is Paste Magazine. The September issue, which should be out any day now, features a story I wrote about, you guessed it, Ronald Koal and the Trillionaires. Don't know where you're located these days, but places like Borders Bookstore and Barnes and Noble should have copies.

I hope you're well.

curt schieber said...

I just heard about the Paste article two days ago (9/20) and haven't been able to read it yet. It's ironic, since I'm the magazine guy at the Columbus Ohio's Lennox Barnes & Noble and dumped the old issues without knowing about the piece.
Ironic, too, because I'm the guy who released the records. With a partner, I owned Schoolkids Records at the time, the label No Other and the concert promotion wing No Other Presents.
For the "record," there were three releases on my label: a four-song EP recorded at Chillicothe's Recording Workshop by Bruce Helmink, a single from the album with a non-LP instrumental surf track on the B and the album. That stuff was recorded in the now toast Fifth Floor Studio in Cincy with Gary Platt at the helm and yours truly, Mark Moormann and the band credited as producers.
Maybe on accounta' too many cooks, I never felt we got it quite right, though I'm terrifically proud of the album we released, the package and the pressing.
Ronald and the boys released a coupla' tapes and Ronald and his later bands released a couple of CDs, as well.
Todd was wrong in his judgement that the band could have gone far with the original guitarist. He was terrific, as well, a worthy successor if ever there was one. If I never told you in person, Todd, you were a true warrior.
Andy, I feel like I must know you, though I apologize for forgetting your name if I do.
Plus, I remain nearly as curious as grateful about the inspiration that prompted your article.
Curt Schieber,
Schoolkids, No Other

Todd Novak said...

Hey Kurt. Thanks for the kind words about my days in The Trillionaires. I hope you're doing well. My current band The Cowlicks still does some trillionaires type stuff/surf/twang etc. and on the cover of our new cd "Psychedelic Service Station" is the white and sparkle blue Trillionaires Fender Jazzmaster guitars. We recorded both of our Cowlicks cds at Gary Platts recording school out here in Cali called the Expression Center for Digital Arts. Gary and I were thrilled to meet again after 25 years. He was very helpful in our winning the California Music Awards for our first cd "CWA" in 2004. Great guy and he's now left that school as well. Small world. Kurt please contact me at Todd@thecowlicks.com.

Crazy Todd said...

If anyone needs/wants any Ronald Koal and the Trillionaires info I pretty much remember it all. If I was not in the band at the time I was probably at the shows even out of town running the spotlight for Ronald & hangin' with the sound guy Rook. Then of course I was in the band for 3 years and have back stage stories from our shows with Billy Idol, Thompson Twins, Joan Jett etc. I can be reached through my bands web site www.thecowlicks.com Ronald Koal quote: "When I'm surfin' on the coast. All the girls say Ronald yer the most. I tell em' hey I'm a beach Bum man..." Or do you remember "On the Bus"? I'm stoked to find out folks are still thinking of Ronald. I have many great photos, so he's still here with me in a way. We were pretty close in the early days. I miss him. We used to try and out do each other with our hair. Check out the photos of us on ID Flux. Andy the article in Paste is great!! Did you know that Ronald's background was actually in bluegrass? Wild. Should we have a Trillionaires reunion? Pete, Matt, James, Mike Valentine, and mice elf? Hmm? I can still play all of those tunes. Todd

Anonymous said...

Hey Todd, Andy-
Wow, I literally just stumbled across this page... I used to teach at the Recording Wkshp, and when I moved to NYC in the late 80s my band at the time rehearsed at a place that Todd used to manage...Coincidence, I think not. I, [(Abigail) athens ou grad] dated/laughed/fucked/smoked/sucked/sang/hung out/lived and made music with Ronald in the mid 80s. In fact, Todd I believe it was you, not Pete who called me when he did the deed(I was in LI w/my guitar plr. He was the ultimate mix of Bowie/Iggy and for all the Gabor haters, at the time I think he did what he could, remember this was pre-internet. truly. I still have at least 6 compilations that we did from 85-87 in chillicothe, perhaps i'll xfr them to digital. I hope u guys are doing well, any word from Pete? I saw Ben within the last 10 yrs, last he was in OH, I think of you all often-

These days I'm on a performance hiatus, but i still write. I own a motorcycle shop in downtown SF and spend my time taking care of customers, dogs, and kids... will be at the NY Dolls show in Nov'06.
Best
abigail@subcycles.com

Crazy T said...

Hey there Abigail. I just emailed ya. It seems like a million years since my days of managing Context Studios in NYC. You guys were great. Ya didn't burn the carpet or blow up any of my amps. The PA in room 3 was purchesed by myself in Ohio when I was 13 years old. We never had to replace a speaker in those cabs! Pretty fun stuff that you are also in the Bay Area.
Anymore Ronald Koal & The Trillionaires friends out there? Andy , thanks for providing this blog.
Todd

Andy Whitman said...

No problem, Todd. And thanks for your comments, Abigail. This is better than e-Harmony. :-)

robtdg said...

I load Ronald Koal's name into a search engine once in a while, and I was pleased to find this blog exchange with so many nice comments about him and the Trillionaires. One of the all-time great names for a band, and a great one it was.
I came later in the history, and was one of many musicians who played with him, but I was pretty close with Ronald when I was in his band (1987-89). The best version of our band included Ed Shuttleworth (guitar), myself (Robert Gardner, bass), and Jeff Robert (drums).
Of course, some folks will say that nothing tops the Trillionaires, but I know Ronald really enjoyed the creative freedom of fronting his "own" bands. We also did recordings, but sadly never put them together into an album. "Back to Innocence" and "Memory" were two of his strongest tunes that I got to record with him. I do think Gabor held him back, mainly by being inept, but his heart was in the right place. But many people encouraged Ronald to try other agents over the years, so I don't know how much you can blame Gabor.
I was really affected by his death. I was a young music major at OSU when I joined his band, and I probably learned as much from Ronald about being professional and being a performing musician as I did from all my classes and professors. Although maybe not the most creative song writer, I've still never met anyone who could capture an audience's attention as well as Ronald could.
Ed Shuttleworth still lives in the Columbus area, and was always a meticulous archivist, so if anyone was looking for any Ronald recordings, he'd be the guy to talk to. Thanks for sharing and bringing back a lot of great rocking memories.

Anonymous said...

I just used Ronalds old gig/make-up case on my tour to Belgium and Holland with the Cowlicks. I had to check the little suitcase on the way back from Paris on Monday Nov. 6 and was worried for the poor little thing because of the sentimental value it holds for me. Ronald's little suit case made it back to Cali safe and sound and lives on. Yeah!!!The little Ronald case did 15 shows in 11 days including Antwerp State Prison in Belgium. Nice job case!. Todd Trillionaire

Anonymous said...

I was not in Columbus during the Trillionaires days (though I do have the record), but I was a HUGE RK fan from 1986 on. My most prized possession is a tape I made with a hidden hand-held tape recorder of a show at Staches in November 1988, I think. It takes up both sides of the tape - oh, the old days, when bands played two sets.... Anyway, finally getting that baby onto cd was quite a relief - I was worried for almost 20 years that something would happen to it. White Light just does not do justice to the live Ronald expeience...
I was so happy to see Robert Gardner post a comment; I totally agree with your assessment that your version of the PKB, including Ed Shuttleworth, was the best.
Gabor is still skulking around, looking for good bands to try to catch a ride on.
I hear Ed Shuttleworth is playing with a local band named Vena Cava. Got to check them I'm. I'm so old - he must be ancient. :)

Pridgeon said...

Hey, c'mon Toddio - let's do the reunion with 2 bassplayers - like Gang of Four! Goofball. Hi Curt!

Crazy struck by a car at 4 said...

Ben, where are you and how are you? I've done google searches for your name til my fingers were raw. Dude, I miss ya! I'm still rockin Ben. I retired for 4 years, but like Pacino they keep pullin me back in. I'm having a blast having just returned from a successful tour of europe. Next we're going to the UK and we're getting played on the BBC. Living in California is great, and I've lived here for almost 9 years. I hope you're happy healthy and successful. The new Zappa instro cd kicks ass. Can you believe that Ozzy listens to my music? Life is strange. I work in a high end violin shop doing repairs and restorations. I learned luthiery years ago and built a bunch of ukuleles!Love ya. Todd@thecowlicks.com

Robert Gardner said...

Hey, Anonymous! Thanks for the response to my post. It's so cool you remember those shows from the late 80s. I would love to hear that recording you made of the live show in '88 at Staches - any chance I could get a copy? Email me at robtdg@hotmail.com if possible. Thanks a ton, and for sharing the memories!

BrianChristgau said...

I was living in Manhattan in the early 90's, where I had a friend from Ohio who turned me on to Koal's music. I was instantly captivated, just floored by this guy. That friend of mine knew RK personally and was looking forward to introducing me to him once he made the move to New York. Of course, that move and our meeting never happened.

I have to say, I think it's an absolute tragedy that virtually none of his music is available on CD and that he has been pretty much forgotten, a mere footnote in music history. My Google searches turn up the occasional mention in Blogs such as this, and little more. And the sad thing is, I don't think it has to be that way. I truly believe that a new generation of Ronald Koal fans are out there, waiting to discover him.

I dearly wish his unreleased studio recordings (including an amazing cover of the Stones' "Paint it Black") would become available in some form, even if it's just in mp3 format. This stuff is OUT there, waiting from someone to release it. I think Koal deserves nothing less.

Michelle said...

I just came across this blog about Ron Koal. I knew Ron quite well back in the early 80's. I shared a house with Ron and his then girlfriend Vickie. The three of us were like the three musketeers. We ran around together all over Columbus. The best part was being with Ron getting ready before gigs. He could really be one of the girls getting dressed with us and sharing makeup.
We had parted ways in the 80's and I honestly do not remember the last time I saw him. I loved Ron dearly and still think about him. I have seen him in a couple of dreams.
Miss you Ronnie.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to all who posted on Ronald Koal and the Trillionaires. Great memories. I was one of those drunken OSU semi-students at Ruby Tuesdays who alternately pogo'ed around the floor and stood mouth agape from the pure cool pumped out by the Trillionairs. Ronald was a real showman, operatic, almost, and the band was unbelievable. I worked with Jimmy Casto (drummer), waiting tables by day at One Nation Restaurant on the top floor of the Nationwide Bldg (not-so-fondly, "the Ponderosa in the Sky"). Jim was (and I hope still is) a fantastic drummer, with a rather sardonic wit, and fun to be around.

Somewhere in my basement I have the EP from the original lineup. If anybody has a copy of the LP in digital format and wouldn't mind... my email is
ctbuddecom@charter.net

Thanks.

PS - Andy - enjoyed your profile, we have a few things in common. Hope you are well.

bat said...

Hi Andy,
I was really excited to find this blog. If the Muddy Waters show in 1981 was at the Underground on High Steet, I was there. It was a milestone. I was at OSU from 1978 on (and on, and on). The band Ronald Koal and the Trillionaires was truly amazing. I'm thrilled to read the first-hand commentators listed here from the people/musicians directly involved, thank you! I mostly remember the shows at Mr. Brown's. I have an RK & T t-shirt, the EP with "Stoney Knows How," "Going, Going, Going," etc., the "Destination Zero" 45, and the 1982 studio album. I'd really like to hear the other recordings. I also have an article/interview on/with Ronald published in the OSU Lantern (found inside my album cover). In Dave Kraft's article it is stated "Frank Zappa, after seeing Koal perform gave him encouragement by saying his stage presence is superior to David Bowie's...Zappa recommended Koal and his band to go to New York." Kraft also quoted Ronald on the purpose of his music: "It's poking fun at society, but if a person listens to it, maybe they can do something about their own problems." What a loss of talent. The club scene was never the same for me. I'd love to read your article in Paste. I'm going to attempt to find it on the web.

Anonymous said...

Brian Dunning says:

Hello fellow, and former, Columbusites.

I too lived there in the early 80's and remember Ronald and band fondly. There was a great alternative music movement then with great bands, good people, and always lots of encouragement between musicians and local artists and creative folks. I used to work for George Brown at Biashara, a funky vintage clothing-collectables shop on High Street by 5th Avenue, just south of OSU. I remember when Ron came in, he was a local celebrity, but always humble, soft spoken, and approachable. And he encouraged me as a musician, although he had nothing to gain by it. I played bass with Ricky Barnes and the Hootowls, and Todd Novak was the guitarist for a while, post Johnny Go, and also Matt Newman sat in from time to time. I'll never forget spending time with the Trillionaires; Matt, James, Mike V, Todd, Ben P, Pete, and Ronald, as they were all HUGE influence on my life. I also need to give thanks to Curt Scheiber, as his passion for promoting the local arts community, I know of no equal. Tirelessly, and with blantant disregard of financial risk, Curt put himself out there.

I moved out of the area in '88, and these days live in the South Florida suburbs, design sound systems for a living, and still vividly remember that time and those people back in Columbus.

My best to all,

Brian Dunning
briandunning1@bellsouth.net

'the Wencher' said...

Letter from Wentz....Howdy Rob! Who is Jeff Roberts???? I am Jeff Wentz and played drums with the RKB from '85 or so till '88 or so. Kind of foggy. He approached me to play in his band when I was sitting in for a reggae band on High Street. We later picked up Ed Shuttleworth. This was Ronald's 'return' band. He told me that night that he had "just returned from Indian and was ready to start a new band." He then gave me Gabor's number.

Well, I have many many memories. We had sort of a love/hate relationship. Same with Gabor. The Koal,Wentz,Gardner,Shuttleworth clan did a lot of great shows and were good at writing music. I eventually quit because of Gabor and the fact that I couldn't trust him. I don't know if our sound was really commercial at that time, but it sounded good from where I was sitting. Many many new tunes. That group could write a song in one night. We practiced downtown deep in the bowls of some corporate office complex. Ah......I could go on and on.

Anyone wishing to BS can reach me at enzotemko (at) mac (dot)com. (have to watch out for the fucking web robots)

the Wencher said...

As a member of Ronald's band, I thought I would put up this brief recollection of his personality:


http://web.mac.com/enzotemko/iWeb/The%20Vampire%20Doom-Joy%20Blog/Vampire%20Doom%20Blog/Vampire%20Doom%20Blog.html

Anonymous said...

I lived on OSU Campus in 1980-81Patterson next door to Ron Koal and Vickie. They took me to Stache's at midnight on my 18th birthday. I used to lay in bed late at night listening to them practice next door. I later met Ron at a party and we spent a few weeks together...blah blah blah. You know the rest.

JonnyO said...

wow..very cool to come across this thread...was just checkin out Steve Patricks' wifes (Hey KEL!)MYSPACE and got curious as to what I could find on Kid Koal...

I opened for Ronald a bunch o' times with a shitty band named "Oh Yeah"...shitty name too...
and considered him a good friend.

I'll never forget the man on stage...majic...his eyes looked at each person in the crowd at the same time...it truly was amazing

just wanted to pop in and say I miss him...think about him often ...and tell people about him regularly...

ALSO...I've got a cool tape from the Ronald Tribute at Stache's...I'll get it online and post a link....

Hope all in Columbus are well...


JonnyO

Anonymous said...

Hi - Chris Fish here -

Ron went to Bexley high school in Columbus and he used to play harmonica and sing at backyard barbecue gigs. In high school he was heavily influence by Iggy Pop and David Bowie and really developed into quite a unique talent after his high school years. Later, we all lived in an old mansion in Old Towne East that my dad turned into an apartment building. That was when he was recording his only album. Gabor Klein was his manager. We used to watch "Little House on the Prarie" together. He was obsessed with the show. I only now realize it was because his mom died of cancer when he was a boy and his family went kaput. Before one particular gig at the Agora, I remember him and his entourage bragging that they had all spent hours "fucking their hair up....just right." I was very saddened to learn of Ron's death. He was immensely talented. I would love to get a bootleg copy of his LP. Mine long ago bit the dust.

Todd said...

I have the lp and a bunch of live stuff, recordind workshop etc. out in the ol' garage somewhere of Ronald and the the Todd period Trillionaires. I think about the guy all of the time, and he was a huge influence on me. Weird thing is there was a bunch of video stuff recorded by Cleveland channel ? of us a million years ago by the friggin' Ghoul, and videos that we recorded in Cleveland. Where are they? Gabor, what the hey?

Anonymous said...

This is about Ronald Koal, to me a close friend when I lived in Cleveland, Ohio with my daughter and
later to marry Bryan Gregory, The Cramps, Ronald came to my house with
a friend named Lauren from The Phantasy Club in Lakewood, we immediatly connected and stayed talking for 3 days non stop, everyone
left and he never left my life after that, he called me his sister and as such I was, one time the band stayed at my place in Lakewood, hello guys.
he was a vegetarian, and loved to
borrow my stuff to wear on stage,
earrings, belts, tops, but never
glitter..he had a new girlfriend
Leslie that worked for me, they became seriously involved.
His father was a High School principal named Gooselin, Ronald
was born in Brandenton, Florida,
he was estranged from his father,
especially after he re-married.
His late mother was very close to him.
We used to sing "I Feel Rich! Today" a song he wrote.
After I moved to Florida with Bryan
he always kept in touch, photos,
announcements, articles for me to
keep..skipping a huge chunk of time
here, he married a stripper and paid out all his money on a new
pair of breasts..(he said it was an investment in her career) I was dumb struck.
The pictures he sent looked bad, he had lost a lot of weight, I received phone calls that
were lonely, he wanted to come down and visit, I put him off
because I had a relative from Australia arriving and no room,
a decision I deeply regret.
Within days he was dead, his wife
called me, she didn't say to much,
I asked that she protect his music
please. Not to allow Gabor to take it..Ronald needed Gabor, he was
always broke; they both were.
Gabor was a fan who tried, he had
a family to support as well.
Ronald's last conversation
was not of a man about to kill himself at all, he was looking forward to going to New York with
his band, new opportunities had
come up. He was in love, taking
valium for an injured elbow that
became more addicting,he looked like a heroin addict from the pictures, gaunt, thin, and dark under the eyes. What happened to
my brother? he was deeply spiritual
and loved God.
I'm moving back to Australia;
I'm taking his memories with me,
my daughter and I loved him as family, he loved Kate Bush, Hounds
of Love, Iggy Pop, David Bowie,not
much else, he believed other
bands music might influence him
within his desire to be original.
I thought he would be a terrific
country rock singer myself.
He didn't like my suggestion much.
I thank him for his genuine love
and friendship.
I loved reading others stories,
he was no angel guys but you couldn't help but love him.

Anonymous said...

I knew Ronnie very very well, I knew all of the Trillionaires. . . . being from Bexley and an OSU student in the early 80's and what started as an "almost famous" groupie but actually turned into a very deep and loving relationsip with Matt N. (actually just talked to him on the phone last night after 15 years). . great to hear his voice . . . I'm not quite sure why I've been "jump started" again over this amazing man and band . . . .though I guess it has to do with my husband burning me a suprise CD of their awesome LP!!!! I also knew Ben P. fairly well when he joined the band after Matt left; the band dynamic changed just a tad . . . . though Ronnie was always the ultimate showman no matter what! I miss him and all of them but am so thankful for all of the incredible memories and that fabulous music!!!!!!

Keith A Henson said...

I still have my copy of Kid Koal's "I Don't Want to Die A Virgin" on disc. Reading this sure brings back lots of memories. I would love to hear from Linzeo (Pete Linzell).

"1) Ronald Koal and the Trillionaires, various OSU dive bars..."

Ahh! I've heard many tales, but it was sadly all before my time. Did he ever put out a record before his demise?

Andy Whitman said...

It amazes me that people are still commenting on this thread. Just goes to show the impact RK had on so many people.

Keith, as far as I know there were two albums -- Ronald Koal and the Trillionaires, from 1982, and White Light, from the early '90s. There was also a four-song EP (What a Bargain!), and at least one single ("Destination Zero," from the RK and the Trillionaires albums) backed with another track ("Little Piggie") that wasn't available anywhere else. If anybody else knows of any other released material, I'd love to hear about it.

I remember the 50 or so concerts I saw in the early '80s as among the best I've ever seen, although Ronald, like everybody else, had bad, okay, and great nights.

Linda said...

Holy Cats! I am so happy to see all these great memories. I was a RKB fan beginning in 1987. I may have had a giant crush on Robert Gardner.

Ed Shuttleworth said...

My name is Ed Shuttleworth and I played guitar/started Ronald Koal Band with Ronald '87-'89 Todd Novak was the 2nd guitarist in the Trillionaires (back in '83-'84).

Todd and I have created a myspace page dedicated to him (myspace.com/ronaldkoal. It has some great recordings and rare videos for all to enjoy. Please consider a visit and leave a comment/recollection of Ronald if you feel like it. Thanks, Ed

Kim said...

hey folks, i just picked up a RK cassette entitled "attention" and i cant find any info on it anywhere. if any of yous guys could shed some light on this release, i'd be delighted. thanks.

Anonymous said...

My sister was the wife of Ronald Koal at the time of his death. We have all his music stored, it stayed with her and her family. In response to one of the posts, he did not pay out all his money for her breast implants, he helped, but so did my family. It was not just about her stripping career, which was not a career at all. She suffered greatly when he died. We all did. He was my brother and I loved him as such. He had a lot of demons fighting for control and unfortunately they won. He was so in love with my sister. I have one of his last known recordings along with a karekoe version of Frank Sinatra's "My Life" that was done shortly before his death. His death was tragic for all of his fans, friends, and family. As his family, we had a very rough road to recovery and my sister had the worst of it. She lost her husband, and in turn spiraled downward for a long time. It is not something she likes to talk about, but her and I share a lot of fond talks about him. I spent a lot of time with them in Columbus. When they were planning their move to New York it was a joyous time for both of them. She ended up going, in memory of Ronald. He will be forever in her heart, as well as mine. He is greatly missed.