Chris Newman, aka Snow Bud, aka Napalm Beach

solarised portrait of Chris Newman

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."

Portland rockers Napalm Beach in a 1989 photo by Jan Celt

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.

Chris Newman during recording sessions for Tarp Town Years

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 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: