Chris Butler (musician)

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Chris Butler
Born (1949-05-22) May 22, 1949 (age 73)
OriginOhio, U.S.
GenresNew wave
Years active1978–1996

Christopher Butler (born May 22, 1949) is an American musician, writer, and artist who is best known for leading the 1980s new wave band The Waitresses. His notable songs include "I Know What Boys Like", "No Guilt", "Christmas Wrapping"[1] and the theme song for the TV sitcom Square Pegs.[2]

Early life and career[edit]

Butler, who is of Italian and Hungarian ancestry,[3] grew up in Akron, Moreland Hills, and Chagrin Falls, Ohio,[4][5] and majored in sociology at Kent State University. He was among a crowd of students fired on by the Ohio National Guard on May 4, 1970,[6] and was a friend of Jeffrey Miller.[7]

Butler was active in the Kent, Ohio, music and art scene that also spawned The James Gang, Devo, and Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders. He appeared in several films by KSU film professor Richard Myers and played guitar in the blues band City Lights with Jack Kidney. He followed Kidney into The Numbers Band, aka 15-60-75, founded by Jack's brother Robert Kidney, and played bass with them from 1975 to 1978. Butler was fired from the band for skipping a rehearsal to attend a photo session for his Waitresses band project, which were to be part of Stiff Records' "Akron: Shine On, America" compilation, which also included tracks by Tin Huey, Jane Aire & The Belvederes, Rachel Sweet, The Rubber City Rebels, The Bizarros and Chi-Pig.


In 1983, Butler went to Denmark and produced the second album by the punk/art band Sort Sol.[citation needed]

Starting to get work as a producer, Butler had two cars break down on the Long Island Expressway commuting daily to Water Music Studios in Hoboken, New Jersey, during the recording of Scruffy The Cat's "Tiny Days" album (1987), and Joan Osborne's "Relish" EP.

To help songwriter Freedy Johnston get a contract with Bar None Records, Butler played drums with bassist Rich Grula. Butler later produced Johnston's 1989 album The Trouble Tree and played guitar on some of the album's tracks.[8]

1990s and after[edit]

In 1995, Butler was hired by former Tin Huey keyboardist Harvey Gold, now a TV producer in New York City, as drummer and bandleader for "Two Drink Minimum", a stand-up showcase program for Comedy Central.[citation needed]

He holds the 1997 Guinness Book of World Records for the longest pop song recording in history, a 69-minute song titled "The Devil Glitch”.[9] The project was expanded online as "The Major Glitch", and accepted additions to the song in the hopes that it would play for days.[10] The song reached 3:13:32.

In 1997, Butler started Future Fossil Records, and released his first full-length album "I Feel A Bit Normal Today". In 2001, he released Kilopop!'s "Un Petit Goûter", a fictional European band's "Best Of". "I've always been a songwriter, and over the years I've been asked to write Waitress-y type tunes for other singers...but none of them were ever used. I had quite a pile of these, plus some fun co-writes lying around gathering I invented a fake European band that supposedly had had 'hits' with these tunes. I wanted to be a success in Europe, and since this didn't happen in reality, I decided to make it so in fantasy."[citation needed]

In 1987, Butler sold his musical gear, including "Bebe Blue", the Vox Teardrop electric guitar he used to record "Christmas Wrapping", to a Manhattan music store. More than 20 years later, the store's owners told him that the guitar's latest owner, a woman in Belgium, wanted to sell it to someone who could appreciate its significance. Butler hopped on a plane and repurchased it, though he could not convince himself that the guitar was in fact the one he owned before.[11]

Bands that involved Chris Butler[edit]



Tin Huey[edit]

The Waitresses[edit]

Non-Compilation albums[edit]

Compilation albums[edit]


  • The Devil Glitch (1996)
  • I Feel A Bit Normal Today (1997)
  • Easy Life (2002)
  • (2002)
  • The Museum Of Me Vol. 1 (2002)
  • Songs For Unsung Holidays (2018)
  • Got It Togehter! (2018)[16]


  • Un Petit Goûter (2001)


  1. ^ Urycki, Mark. "Couldn't Miss This One: Behind 'Christmas Wrapping'". NPR. Retrieved 2014-12-24.
  2. ^ "Meet the Rock Star Who Lives Happily in the House Where Jeffrey Dahmer First Killed". The Observer. 27 February 2018.
  3. ^ "Couldn't miss this one this year: The surprisingly complex legacy of the Waitresses' 'Christmas Wrapping'". Retrieved 2021-12-29.
  4. ^ "Chris Butler". IMDb.
  5. ^ "WKSU News: Vietnam's lasting impact on the arts".
  6. ^ "Chris Butler: Biography".
  7. ^ "WKSU News: Vietnam's lasting impact on the arts". WKSU. Retrieved 2021-12-24.
  8. ^ Warlow, John. "The Waitresses - Chris Butler".
  9. ^ Writing the longest pop song
  10. ^ help Butler write song
  11. ^ "My Guitar, My Past: A Man's Search for His Vox".
  12. ^ “SpiritMusicGroup:" Chris Butler”
  13. ^ "Don Ralph interview on working with Chris Butler and Ralph Carney in Life in a Blender". Outsight Radio Hours. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  14. ^ "Chris Butler". Discogs. Retrieved 2021-03-20.
  15. ^ "CHRIS BUTLER". CHRIS BUTLER. Retrieved 2021-03-20.
  16. ^ "GOT IT TOGEHTER!, by CHRIS BUTLER". CHRIS BUTLER. Retrieved 2021-12-24.

External links[edit]