ArtistInfo Logo  ArtistInfo

Artist Portrait

Philip Charles Lithman

stg, g, p, vn,
Singer of Rock
A.k.a. Snakefinger

Musician, singer and songwriter. Born in Tooting, South London 1949, died in Linz, Austria, on the European Night tour 1987. Snakefinger, a multi-instrumentalist, left the British Blues scene in 1971 and moved to California, he became a long time friend and collaborator with The Residents and his brilliant and distinctive guitar and violin work can be heard on many of their major releases. It is said he was given the name 'Snakefinger' by The Residents themselves when they saw his proficiency with the guitar during their first live performance together. Another explanation for the name comes from a story concerning a party in San Francisco, at The Residents' collective, wherein all in attendance watched Lithman's fingers dart snake-like at the neck of his violin. In 1972 Lithman returned to England and formed the pub rock band Chilli Willi And The Red Hot Peppers with Martin Stone (2), ex-member of Mighty Baby and a fellow ex-member of Junior's Blues Band. As a duo, they released the album 'Kings of Robot Rhythm'. In 1974, as a full band and popular live act in Britain, they released 'Bongos Over Balham'. By 1976 Lithman was back in the United States, this time in Los Angeles, seeking a recording contract, shopping his rock-style demos. After a few years, Lithman moved back to San Francisco reconnected with The Residents, performed and recorded with them. Lithman's first solo records, recorded under the name Snakefinger, were released by their record label Ralph Records, the second album 'Greener Postures', included his first solo compositions as Snakefinger. In 1982 Lithman formed his backing band The Vestal Virgins with former Captain Beefheart sideman Eric Drew Feldman. Snakefinger's Vestal Virgins released 'Manual of Errors' on Ralph in 1982. This was followed by the blues cover album 'Snakefinger's History of the Blues: Live in Europe' in 1984 and a new collection of largely original material in 1986 called 'Night of Desirable Objects'. Snakefinger died from a heart attack during a performance at the Posthof Club in Linz while touring Europe with his band The Vestal Virgins on the same day that a single was released from his "Night Of Desirable Objects" album. It was called "There's No Justice In Life". The Residents were unable to attend his funeral which was held in England and instead performed a wake in his honour. The UWEB CD "The Snakey Wake" contains a studio version of this performance.

  • Steel guitar
  • Guitar
  • Piano
  • Violin
  • Vocals
  • Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Folk
  • World

Band Members
External Links
Discogs Logo Discogs
ArtistInfo App
ArtistInfo for iOS and ArtistInfo for Mac are presenting musicians, composers and producers that are envolved in the musical work that you are listening to in Apple Music, iTunes, or Spotify. Discover new music via the network among artists. Manage your favorite musicians and albums via iCloud and share recommendations with your friends via email, AirDrop, or Social Media.

App Store Logo     Mac App Store Logo

To all the music fans that are contributing on Discogs, MusicBrainz and Wikipedia. Thanks to Franz Flückiger for providing Storygram used to visualize band membership.
ArtistInfo for Mac, iPad, and iPhone
ArtistInfo App
Universal Link:
ArtistInfo Community
Most seen topics within ArtistInfo:

Top 10 Artists    Top 20 Albums
What others are currently looking for:

Recent Artists    Recent Albums

ArtistInfo Logo ArtistInfo by Metason © 2015-2020 Metason Logo