The U-Men cover is from the Dig It A Hole single released in 1987. The Napalm beach cover is from their album, Liquid Love, the first album they put out with Jan Celt at Flying Heart records, in 1988. Artist/writer Joe Sacco made the Liquid Love cover. I doubt that Chris, who wasn’t a record collector, had any idea of the similarity between the two album covers.
There is a whole thing with Flying Heart and album art, and contracts in general. It’s a lot of theft and fraud. There was an earlier album cover that Chris did not approve and asked (in my presence) to be destroyed, but it seems that around the time Chris got sick, Celt started to distribute that version of the record. That version has a bunch of unflattering photos of the band, with flames drawn on them in red. The symbolism seems like it should be obvious.
With regards to these two album covers, there’s likely another reference going on, and it has to do with Seattle’s Bumbershoot festival, 1985. By 1985 Napalm Beach was a mature band, trying to get somewhere. They had recorded Rock and Roll Hell with Greg Sage in 1983 and released it on cassette, and in 1985 they self-recorded Pugsley, also releasing it on cassette, and also recorded their self-titled album, which would later be called Teen Dream and self-released on vinyl.
Both Napalm Beach an U-Men played Bumbershoot in 1985.
There’s a lot of strategy employed to bury Chris’ music and his intent. U-Men seem to have achieved this at Bumbershoot 1985 by pouring lighter fluid into a water feature and lighting the whole thing on fire. I’m guessing if you read about Bumbershoot 1985 in any “grunge” book, this is what you’ll hear about, and this is what you’ll remember. “They lit the moat on fire.” It’s not about the music, it’s about the flames. It is a mind control tactic – control of focus – the “cool kids” tell you where to focus, and who (and what) to pay attention to, and who and what to ignore.
Again, this is research done by threebandsthreebucks.blogspot.com Based on what I see here, the clubs in Seattle linked most closely to the Sub Pop bands were the Vogue and Central Tavern.
August 6 – John Cale, Memory, Napalm Beach
November 26 – D.O.A. Fastbacks, Spluii Numa, Richard Peterson (This is the lineup on the flyer. The Rocket has Napalm Beach on the bill but not Spluii Numa or Richard Peterson)
(Nov 25 and Nov 30 both feature Minneapolis bands – Bohemia and The Replacements)
February 11 – Napalm Beach (PDX), Los Mexicans, Idle Worship, DSML
March 6 – LAST SHOW – Alien Sex Fiend (London), Red Masque, 3 Squirrels From Hell
Golden Crown (1985)
August 2-3 – Napalm Beach, The Icons
August 31 – Napalm Beach, Baba Yaga
Gorilla Gardens (1985)
June 7 – Napalm Beach, Young Pioneers, Noon Moon, Bundle Of Hiss, 69 Ways
Closed down at the end of 1985 after a “riot” and underage drinking at 11/26/85 Circle Jerks show
Graven Image Gallery (1984)
July 14 – Pell Mell, Napalm Beach
Ditto Tavern (1985-87)
December 13 – Napalm Beach
February 10 – Napalm Beach June 6 – Napalm Beach
3bands3$ says “I chose to start my research in 1986, the year when the Central became much more than just a typical Pioneer Square club, thanks to the efforts of booking gods Jan Gregor, Terry Lee Hale, and others.” The club changed owners, and changed direction in booking, in 1990.
January 3-4 – Jackals, Napalm Beach (Jackals played this club a lot.) September 16 – Napalm Beach October 4 – Dayglow Abortions, Napalm Beach, Cheatin’ Death October 18 – Saccharine Trust, Napalm Beach, Skin Yard November 6 – Napalm Beach, No Tomorrow
March 27 – Napalm Beach, F-Holes August 14 – MIA, Napalm Beach December 18 – Snow Bud & The Flower People, F-Holes, Dead Moon Note: site states that Green River broke up in November 1987
December 16 – Napalm Beach, Big Tube Squeezer, Terry Lee Hale
July 19 – Napalm Beach November 27 – Napalm Beach
April 15 – Napalm Beach, White Boys August 25 – H-Hour, Napalm Beach, Bundy Creature (Claudia Gehrke’s birthday party)
February 28 – Sub Pop Sunday w/ Snow Bud & The Flower People June 29 – Napalm Beach (PDX), Coffin Break
August 26 Snowbud & The Flower People, Girl Trouble, Bundy Creature (Claudia Gehrke’s birthday party)
I can parse the series of music-related set ups in Chris’ life going back to 1967. However, right now I’m focused on the 1980s, especially the Sub Pop era.
I’ve been trying to think of Pacific northwest punk bands who were touring early before 1987. The only ones I can think of are Wipers, Beat Happening, Go Team, D.O.A. – and Pell Mell? Green River toured beginning in 1985.
A lot of times people don’t include D.O.A. with these other bands maybe because they were from Vancouver B.C. or because, generally speaking, artificial divisions are made in the northwest music scene where they shouldn’t be made, almost certainly to misdirect attention.
D.O.A. – like Black Flag, the LA band with whom they shared a member – was a popular hardcore punk band on the move.
Wipers, from Portland, was Greg Sage. Sage was linked to the all ages punk scene, to Pell Mell (Steve Fisk, Bruce Pavitt), and Napalm Beach. I don’t know, but I suspect Sage was linked more generally to K Records, Evergreen State College and the all ages punk scene. Wipers was one of the Portland bands who were liked in Olympia. (Dead Moon was another.)
There are things about Greg Sage that tell you he has some kind of background in, for lack of a better term, mind control activity (hypnosis, covert manipulations, etc). It’s in his sound (hypnotic drum loops, etc) and in the messaging he conveyed. This is true of a lot of people around Chris and me – especially those closest to us. How these people were trained to handle us, and who trained and/or handles them, I don’t know. The mind control activities do seem to be linked to bigger record labels and movie studios (I.E. the Hollywood entertainment business), and financial activity. Part of Greg Sage’s job was trapping Chris (thus the hidden in plain sight name of his first label – Trap Records) in the local scene. To this end, I suspect he coordinated with a number of other people and financial entities.
Beat Happening (Olympia) was of course linked to K Records, KAOS Radio/Evergreen, Pavitt/Sub Pop zine/label, and the all ages scene. Go Team (Olympia) was linked to Beat Happening, K Records, Bikini Kill zine/band, and the all ages scene. Part of the misdirecting used by bands like Beat Happening (and all of these bands, really) was an overt eschewing of anything corporate or “sell out.” That seems to have been a psychological technique to make it seem like being small and unknown and not standing out was “cooler” than being successful and “corporate”, and it was also a form of misdirection. I suspect all of these acts were involved in a number of subterranean financial transactions.
D.O.A. (Vancouver, B.C.) was linked to Black Flag (L.A.), the Dead Kennedys (S.F.) and the Seattle club scene. Chris remembered Joey Keithley from D.O.A. giving him a hard time because Untouchables formed in 1980 and therefore were latecomers to punk (D.O.A. were hardcore punk) – this is part of an ongoing pattern of psychological baiting that dogged Chris his whole life. Again with the arbitrary divisions – are you from Portland or are you from Olympia or are you from Seattle? Did your band form before or after 1979? Are you pre-grunge, proto-grunge, grunge, or post grunge? And so on.
It is not clear to me how Wipers, Beat Happening, etc managed, financially, to tour.
One thing about the situation around Chris and me is that it is highly controlled, and in fact our families have been highly controlled for generations. It’s done in such a way as to give people a modicum of power as long as they provide support to the system overall. The system works by tempting, enticing, entrapping, enslaving, threatening, coercing, baiting, lying, deceiving, changing the rules, etc – whatever it takes. There are layers of power/authority and layers of protection. One of the means of protection is financial connections. Another is getting as many people involved as possible in the various schemes, and then convincing them that the system is their only protection and salvation.
So our lives have been a series of set ups, usually involving lots of people in different roles (cut outs), with a bigger plan (world domination) at work in the background. In the early 1980s Chris was playing a lot in Portland and Seattle.
During 1983, when clubs were closing in Portland and Seattle, Sam and Chris moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, but my recollection is that they decided to move back to Portland after Satyricon opened. They’d come up for a visit and had so much fun in Portland Chris said “let’s move back.” I now think this was all set up ahead of time, that they (the architects of his life) wanted to introduce Chris to Valarie who, even though she was much younger, already had a drug habit, and they also were going to introduce him to heroin. Chris met Valerie through his drummer Sam Henry, and he was introduced to heroin by his bassist at the time, a former member of SF band The Cosmetics, who was at that time driving cab in San Francisco. Chris was actually the last member of that lineup of Napalm Beach to try heroin. That was 1983, the same year Napalm Beach made a record with Greg Sage (Rock and Roll Hell), and drummer Sam Henry’s first serious girlfriend died of a heroin overdose.
Valarie must have returned to Portland with Chris and Sam or followed after them.
In Seattle, both Golden Crown and Gorilla Room/Gorilla Gardens seem to have had issues with under age drinking on the premises. A co-owner of Golden Crown, John Loui was killed along with 12 others in the Wah Mee Massacre, February 19, 1983. The 3bands3bucks calendar for Golden Crown ends after December 1982. It’s a bit chilling that one of the last listed shows is Napalm Beach and Next Exit (12/17/82) and currently the last show listed is Visible Targets (12/31/82).
In Portland, The Met, an all-ages club located where Dante’s is now, closed, I think also in 1983.
It sounds like the similarly named Seattle Metropolis (also sometimes called the Met) had been a favorite of Chris’. It was an all ages space run by Gordon Doucette, Hugo Piottin, and Susan Silver. Silver worked with Jonathan Poneman and later went on to manage Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, and Screaming Trees. She became co-owner of The Crocodile. According to 3bands the last show at Seattle’s Metropolis was March 6, 1984 and featured Alien Sex Fiend from London, with Red Masque and 3 Squirrels From Hell.
What I find interesting about this is it is just about exactly when Satyricon started. It’s actually not clear to me exactly when Satyricon made it’s debut as a rock club as I’ve heard a couple of different stories, and it probably depends on what you consider the first show to have been. Was it a Violent Femmes show at Mediterranean Tavern in May 1983? Or was it Theatre of Sheep? Or was it The Jackals? If I had to guess based on trying to remember the dates of reunion shows, I’d guess Satyricon marked their birth date as October 1983. Is it possible there was a link between the closing of Seattle’s Metropolis and the opening of Portland’s Satyricon?
In 2002 I made and updated a website for Satyricon and then around 2005 or 2006 I created a MySpace fan page for the club which had shut down after 20 years, in 2003. One of the things that several old-timers mentioned on that MySpace page was the song “I Walk The Line” by Alien Sex Fiend as being “the favorite song” on the Satyricon jukebox. I’d never heard of the band or the song before. In any case Satyricon soon became Chris’ new favorite haunt and place to play, and from what I can tell, for several years he headlined there twice a month, and drew calendars for Satyricon and advertisements for Taki’s Souvlakis next door. Chris played other clubs around Portland and Seattle as well, as well as the occasional festival and/or small town gig, but it looks to me like Chris was playing fewer shows in Seattle after the 1983 transition period, and especially after 1988, especially if you compare to how prolific he was in the early 1980s. Under normal circumstances, someone who was doing what Chris was doing as well as he was doing it would have caught the interest of a label somewhere. But there was already a plan for Chris, as there was for me, and both plans were basically a series of traps, along with, it appears, plans/intents/set ups intended to harm us and endanger our lives. I believe that Sub Pop took advantages of opportunities that presented themself within this context. Specifically, in order for them to be successful with their selected group of artists, they would have to help make sure Chris and I stayed put, stayed on track. In order to do that, it seems that everyone around us – friends, family, etc – was instructed/bribed/coerced to keep us in certain locations, and out of other locations – but not to be obvious about all of this. So there is tempting bait (Satyricon as sort of an ad hoc family and artists playground), enticing us to stay close to home, along with messaging warning us away from moves towards financial/professional success. It was a pattern of luring, honey traps, sabotage, psychological warfare. The idea was to make our failures seem like bad luck or our own fault. Meanwhile, terrible reports are sold in hopes that FBI/CIA black bag ops will retaliate with assassinations, because apparently, that’s what they do. It does seem like there are people in these communities who habitually and maybe even as a tradition pick out people (or offer up people) to be marked for death. Audacity is one way the crime hides – the idea being that the nature of the crime is so audacious, no one will believe your story.
So 1983 was a very transitional year, and it was a year in which a number of personalities who would appear later, associated with grunge, were becoming established.
One question would be, did the establishment of Club Satyricon in late 1983 have something to do with the origins of Sub Pop and possibly also K Records? And I think that the answer is yes, especially with regards to Sub Pop. What I think was happening is that Sub Pop was making deals specifically at Chris’ expense, and at my expense as well. And while following the money would be ideal, if you can’t see the money, you can see the flow of wealth in the form of material goods and other benefits, and even more so, you can see the matching of dates and movement of people in key positions at key moments. Generally speaking, I think Satyricon served both as a holding cell for Chris, and a transition point for Seattle bands making their moves down the coast and beyond.
I have now found a part of Chris’ draft memoir that claims that The Untouchables did play on the night of the Mt St Helens eruption, at the Long Goodbye. It was possibly their first show in Portland, but it’s hard to tell as Chris was writing stream of consciousness and he would veer off on tangents. So it is possible that May 18, 1980 was the date of The Goners/Untouchables first show with Longview band, ALOST. However, Chris was pretty clear that the show where he met Greg Sage was the following June with Fred and Toody’s The Rats and Tom Roberts’ Imperialist Pigs. (Chris would never call Roberts by the “Pigg” nickname which he found insulting.)
With regards to the Danielson biography, I’ve realized that what started out as a seemingly minor detail and/or – depending on what you’re willing to see – a red flag – in Chris’ story – deserves a bit more attention. (There are actually a number of these “minor detail red flags” but anyway – this is one.)
This is the issue of the Mt St Helens explosion on May 18, 1980, which, according to Eric Danielson, was the same date that Chris’ band The Untouchables played their first show in Portland (Rocky Road To Recovery, p 13). Unlike the date of Snow Bud’s first performance in 1986 coinciding with the Challenger disaster, I personally don’t recall Chris mentioning this date link (1/27/22 note – see here for update). Eric does not provide the source for this claim, and I can’t find any corroborating data online. This seems to be new information, as it does not appear in Danielson’s 2010 essay.
The more I dig into this assertion, the more threads of all different types seem to begin to untangle, some of these being significant to Chris’ life, others being significant to gaining insight on a number of other issues from the history of northwest music.
So let’s start with the assertion itself – something that, unless there is some other indisputable primary source that Danielson had access too – should ideally have been confirmed with Chris while he was alive. Was the Untouchable’s first gig in Portland on May 18, 1980? And did they play with The Rats at the Long Goodbye, with Greg Sage in the audience?
Based on Chris’ writings, the venue is correct – their first show was at the Long Goodbye – but I can’t confirm the date and the reported line up doesn’t match. Chris wrote in a draft memoir that The Untouchables first show was at the Long Goodbye, and that they opened for a Longview band called ALOST. Further examination, however, shows that in fact, Chris’ band was at that time, indeed called The Goners. However, according to what ALOST reported to Chris, the band was listed on the poster advertising the show as The Untouchables. In other words – for some reason – the club itself changed the band name on the poster, and Chris and the boys just rolled with it. They became The Untouchables.
Could this shine light on the March 31, 1989 poster for Pine Street Theatre swapping the band name Alcoholics Unanimous with Mudhoney? It remains a mystery.
In any case, this incident shows, from my perspective, how suggestible Chris could be, and how casually he could accept some things, like the changing of his band name, that others (such as myself) might take much more seriously.
Other than Chris’ narrative, I am unable to find any additional information on the band that was called ALOST – including when they played at Long Goodbye. If nothing else you can say that ALOST band lived up to their name.
According to Chris’ draft memoir, the show that Danielson is referring to – where The Untouchables played at the Long Goodbye with the Rats, and Greg Sage in the audience, was in June 1980. In his writings, Chris says on that night there were “Four awesome bands” and notes that The Rats were headlining – but he goes on to list only three bands in total. The line up he lists was The Imperialist Pigs – a proto-Poison Idea band fronted by Tom Roberts (who died in 2006, age 47); The Untouchables (specifically, Chris Newman, Mark Nelson, Dave Koenig, Chon Carter); and The Rats – Fred Cole, Toody Cole, and Sam Henry. Sam had recently left the Wipers. This was the show with Greg Sage in the audience.
If I had to guess – I’d suspect that Chris writing “four awesome bands” was an error – that he had the image of Greg Sage in his head which glitched his memory – but the Wipers didn’t actually play that night.
Did Chris know for a fact that this was June 1980 and not May 18? I don’t know, but the sense I get is that not only was this not the first show that he played at the Long Goodbye – that The Untouchables had already played a few shows, mostly at the Long Goodbye, and Chris seems to have felt that Sage may have been there specifically to see The Untouchables perform.
It seems that this given date of May 18, 1980 being a “first” for The Untouchables is not correct, and without any corroborating evidence it’s hard to know if The Untouchables even played on this date. If they did – where’s the source?
Why do I call this detail a “red flag”? For a couple of reasons. First, in terms of the history of the band – if Danielson cannot provide a source or any corroborating evidence for this claim – it means that it’s just something he heard or even something he made up. This, along with a refusal to acknowledge or correct false information when presented with conflicting evidence from primary sources – makes him a profoundly unreliable historian. And this is a bit remarkable, considering that, according to his Amazon author’s bio, he has a journalism degree (B.A. Western Washington University, Bellingham) and two history degrees (B.A. University of Washington, Seattle; M.A. George Washington University, Washington D.C.).
Mind you – this is just one of Danielson’s many problematic or demonstrably false claims. And with so many problems in this document, it’s hard to wonder if there’s a reason why this came after Chris’ death. It’s particularly important because when not much work has been published about an artist, every work that is published has greater weight, and false or misleading information can be carried from one document to the next. And if you don’t cite your sources, it can be near impossible to trace down where anything came from.
This, by the way, has been an ongoing issue between me and other historians of northwest music. Some are more problematic than others, but all seem to be actively hiding or altering certain bits of information.
The other reason I called this detail about the Mt St Helens eruption a “red flag” is that there does in fact seem to be some strange connections to Mt St Helens in terms of dates, names, locations, etc. Whether that’s something I want to get into – or at the risk of sounding a bit paranoid – whether it was a trap Danielson laid for me – I haven’t decided.