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Snakefinger's Vestal Virgins

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Biography

Philip Charles Lithman (June 17, 1949 - July 1, 1987), who performed under the stage name Snakefinger, was an English musician, singer and songwriter. A multi-instrumentalist, he was best known for his guitar and violin work and his collaborations with The Residents.

In 1982 Lithman formed his backing band The Vestal Virgins with former Captain Beefheart sideman Eric Drew Feldman. Snakefinger and The 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.

Lithman performed with The Residents on their 13th Anniversary Tour in 1986. On July 1, 1987, Snakefinger and his band, The Vestal Virgins, were in Linz, Austria, on the European Night tour. During a performance at the Posthof Club Lithman suffered a fatal heart attack. On that same day his single, “There’s No Justice in Life”, was released.

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