The Waitresses : New Wave NEO Sound

For a few short years in the late 1970s, Akron, Ohio was known as the "Liverpool of the Midwest" -- The Waitresses and Chris Butler were part of that scene

The Waitresses Concert PosterRock & Roll Hall of Fame

The Waitresses Concert Poster

Punk music, as an aggressive reclaiming of the inner city, was a perfect outlet for young Northeast Ohioans trying to find and express themselves amidst the declining manufacturing centers and economic downturn of the 1970s that ultimately defined the "Rust Belt."

Unlike other music scenes in the U.S., Northeast Ohio punk and new wave primarily flew under the radar, allowing it to evolve into something more avant-garde and exploratory.

Chris Butler Interview (November 2019)Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Chris Butler Interview, November 2019

The Waitresses formed in 1978 as a fictional new wave band, created by Akron musician and songwriter, Chris Butler.

The Waitresses (1982) by PolyGram Records and ZE RecordsRock & Roll Hall of Fame

The Waitresses, 1982

The Waitresses became a full-fledged band in 1980 with the line-up of singer Patty Donahue, jazz saxophonist Mars Williams, bassist Tracy Wormworth, guitarist-songwriter Chris Butler, drummer Billy Ficca, and keyboardist Dan Klayman.

Handwritten lyrics to "Christmas Wrapping," page 1 (c.1981) by Chris ButlerRock & Roll Hall of Fame

Handwritten Lyrics to "Christmas Wrapping," page 1

The band is perhaps best known for singles "I Know What Boys Like" (1980), which became an underground hit, and "Christmas Wrapping" (1981).

Handwritten lyrics to "Christmas Wrapping," page 2 (c.1981) by Chris ButlerRock & Roll Hall of Fame

Handwritten Lyrics to "Christmas Wrapping," page 2

"Christmas Wrapping" was originally released on the ZE Records album A Christmas Record in 1981 and became a Number 45 hit in the United Kingdom in 1982.

Advertising Materials for The Waitresses (c.1983)Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Promotional Material for Bruiseology, c. 1983

The Waitresses recorded two albums, Wasn't Tomorrow Wonderful? and Bruiseology, before splitting in 1984.

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