Christopher "Chris" Ballew (born May 28, 1965) is a member of the alternative rock group The Presidents of the United States of America and performs as a children's artist under the pseudonym Caspar Babypants.
Ballew grew up in Seattle and attended middle and high school at The Bush School, where he met David Dederer, with whom he would form The Presidents of the United States of America many years later. In the late 1980s and early 90s Ballew lived in Boston, where he performed as a street musician in a duo called Egg with Phil Franklin (later of Caroliner Rainbow and Sunburned Hand of the Man). Many of Ballew's songs with Egg would become well-known Presidents songs, most notably Naked and Famous, which is performed by Egg as a bonus track on a 2005 reissue of the Presidents' eponymous debut album. While in Boston, Ballew played briefly with Mary Lou Lord, and also with Mark Sandman of Treat Her Right and Morphine in a duo called Supergroup, in which they developed the oddly stringed instruments that would become a staple of both the Presidents' and Morphine's sound.
Ballew is endorsed by Epiphone Guitars and Orange amplifiers, utilising an Epiphone SG-400 guitar (converted into a two-string "basitar") as well as an AD200B MK 3 200-Watt Bass Head from Orange. No distortion pedals are used live, just the natural distortion of the amp is heard. Regarding his two-string "basitar", Ballew admits: "I’m technically not really a bass player, although, I play as if I’m playing bass lines, a lot of times I strum like (on a) guitar and make chords.
In 2009, Ballew launched a project targeted toward toddlers called Caspar Babypants. Ballew uses a three-string acoustic guitar when performing Caspar Babypants songs. To date, Caspar Babypants has released seven full-length albums; Here I Am!, More Please!, This Is Fun!, Sing Along!, Hot Dog!, I Found You!, and Baby Beatles!
Ballew also was a member of Beck's live band for a period of time in the early 90s, stating the gig "was the beginning of my professional career as a guy getting paid to make music."
Ballew is married to collage artist Kate Endle.Continue reading at Wikipedia... Wikipedia content provided under the terms of the Creative Commons BY-SA license