If there is such a thing as the test of time in the ephemeral world of rock 'n roll,
then the recordings made by Chris Newman will surely stand that test, and he will be given his due credit for being
one of the
seminal artists (along with Greg Sage of the Wipers and Fred Cole of the Rats) who formed the Portland sound which ultimately
got to be known as "grunge."
Napalm Beach: Dave Dillinger, Sam Henry and Chris Newman. 1989 Photo by Jan Celt
This prodigious musician not only led the truly legendary band Napalm Beach,
he also released several albums with his pothead cult band Snow Bud & the Flower People , which was named one of
the top five bands of all time in the November 1996 issue of High Times . Click here for The Snow Bud Connexion
to find out more about Snow Bud and the Flower People.
Furthermore, there are two CDs Chris Recorded for Flying Heart under his own name,
Volunteer and Tarp Town Years , an underground comic classic called Snow
Bud Comics (Volumes 1 & 2), and even
a children's coloring book entitled Phillip's Dream World. These are all vintage original products that have never been reprinted.
See Napalm Beach perform their signature song, "Monster," for the last time in Napalm's Last Monster.
Chris's blazing guitar playing has wowed critics and wannabees alike, and his songs are full of meaning.
His song, "Sorry for Myself," appears exclusively on the Flying Heart blues compilation A Taste of the Blue Rose -- and he
tells it like it is: homeless and strung out. Of course, that was then, and he's not in that predicament now.
Click on the "You Tube" still to watch a clip of "Monster" from a Napalm Beach show at Dante's on January 11th, 2008.
A picture of Chris, Sam and Dave taken at Portland's Ash Street Saloon can be seen right here in the Foto Gallerie.
Chris moved back to the Portland area over ten years ago.
After years living in "Tarp Town" (i.e. sleeping under a tarp) on the streets of San Francisco, Chris went and recorded a complete album for Flying Heart,
telling gripping stories of hard times and what not.
It's a full-length project with fifteen songs, we finished mixing it on May 10th and released it July 17th, 2004 -- more than fifteen years after "Liquid Love." The photograph
above was taken during those sessions. I lent him my shirt, right off my back. The CD is available
by mail order (see the catalogue ),
in some stores (notably at Music Millennium in Portland), and online at amazon.com
and can also be bought or downloaded from CD Baby .
As usual, S. P. Clarke of Two Louies was first to review it, with an enthusiastic write-up in the September 2004 issue.
Click here to take a look at the album credits and lyrics to the songs on the new "Tarp Town Years" CD by
Chris Newman. And for a special treat click here to look at Valarie's poem, The House Inside of Me, written in jail in San Francisco
while Chris was up here working on his new CD.
He also recorded a new Snow Bud CD during the month of April 2002, called "Holy Smoke" and released on the
Melliferous Records label. It's a little hard to find, but it rocks!
Look for Chris's song, "Sorry for Myself," on the Flying Heart compilation,"A Taste of the Blue Rose". And
Snow Bud's Biggest Hits -- Authentic Masters is available on CD!
Chris Newman's discography spans the 1970s through the 2010s, and he is on a number of different labels. On the Flying Heart label, he gave us
two Napalm Beach albums, two Snow Bud albums, two Snow Bud Comics, two solo albums and a colouring book for children, but here is an atempt at a discography:
the famous Trap Sampler, on Trap Records, contained three songs by Napalm Beach. It is a complete rarity and is worth money. I just saw one fetch a pretty price on eBay.
There was also an album on vinyl on Here/After Records called "Teen Dream" -- that's produced by Doug Reed and is actually the first Napalm Beach album -- and another one called "Rock & Roll Hell"
-- good luck finding one. Once again: eBay sometimes has something.
Greg Sage's Zeno records has reissued a CD of Rock & Roll Hell by Napalm Beach.
Chris released several of his projects himself on cassette. The original Snow Bud material was released on two separate cassettes, "Snow Bud and the Flower People" and "Vegetable Matter."
There was also a self-released cassette by Chris Newman called "Moving To and Fro" which is extremely rare. These are items of which a few hundred were ever pressed.
There is a hodge-podge of Snow Bud and Napalm songs on a full-length vinyl
LP released on the German label Love's Simple Dreams (LSD) out of Berlin. It too was called "Moving To And Fro."
"Liquid Love" LP and CD by Napalm Beach on Flying Heart Records, 1988
"Fire Air and Water" LP and CD by Napalm Beach on Flying Heart Records/Satyricon Records, 1989
"Thunder Lizard" LP and CD on Satyricon Records, 1990
"Green Thing" CD by Snow Bud and the Flower People, on Flying Heart Records
"Volunteer" CD by Chris Newman on Flying Heart Records
"Snow Bud's Biggest Hits" CD by Snow Bud and the Flower People on Flying Heart Records
Another German label still, Heartbeat, released a "live" album by Snow Bud ... supposedly. And there's a boxed set of two 10-inch records, of which only
800 were ever pressed ... I see those sometimes on eBay for around twenty or thirty bucks.
Portland's own Tim/Kerr Records released the CDs "Curiosities"
by Napalm Beach (which is heavily linked thematically to the novel Geek Love by Katherine Dunn);
and a fabulous album by Snow Bud and the Flower People called "Ripped van Stinkle," which might arguably be Chris's very finest work. Tim/Kerr Records also
released a 7-inch vinyl single version of "Bong Hit," as well as a 7-inch single with
Napalm Beach doing "Potential Suicide" on one side and M99 doing "Astro Cloud" on the other (T/K 917010) and a Tribute to Johnny Thunders double 7-inch EP on which Napalm Beach does "Letterbox." (That's T/K 917008).
Then there's the C/M Records connection,
which somehow also is connected with Shinola Records. There's a solo album called "Stoned and Alone" and a Napalm Beach album called "In My Tree." They were both released as CDs in the 1990s.
There is a Snow Bud single on the Sub Pop Singles of the Month, it has "Third Shelf" on it.
You had to be a member of the Sub Pop Single of the Month Club to get it ... but you can send about twenty bucks to Flying Heart for one if you need it that bad.
There's a Snow Bud and the Flower People CD called Holy Smoke produced by Nathan Jorg on the Melliferous Records label. Look for it!
You may actually find it. If not, you can order one from Flying Heart for the same 15 dollars as any other CD in our catalogue.
Latest Chris Newman CDs:
Boo Frog by Boo Frog (2009), and a second Boo Frog CD released in 2010
La Rose Noire by The Chris Newman Experiment (2008)
Songs in the Key of H by the Divining Rods (2007)
Love Letters to the Dead by The Divining Rods (2006)
Tarp Town Years by Chris Newman (2004)
Holy Smoke by Snow Bud and the Flower People (2002)