1979

January – The Skafish band experiences a line-up revision, with Greg Sarchet, Mark and Karen Winner leaving the project, while Larry Mazalan switches from guitar to bass.  

February - Drummer Larry Mysliwiec brings in guitarist Ken Bronowski, and Javier Cruz joins on synthesizer and keyboards.  Barbie Goodrich and Gayle Crowder are added as backing vocalists.  Miles Copeland, the only record company president who “gets it,” offers Skafish a contract with I.R.S. Records

Summer - The debut LP is recorded in Chicago. With Skafish producing, and left completely to his own devices by the record company, the sessions produce a deliberately eclectic and contradictory variety of pieces that had been a part of the live Skafish show since 1976.  The concept for the LP and it’s cover are simple: to musically represent as many diverse aspects of the Skafish statement as possible in an honest fashion, while shooting a simple cover photo of Skafish and his band members.

Skafish at Chicagofest
At Chicagofest
With the newly revised band line-up, the Skafish sound is more multi layered and orchestral than ever.  Synthesizers add a tremendously evocative, almost visual dimension to the music by enhancing the “voice” of the composition, while foreshadowing the wailing techno synths of the 1990’s.  Vocal arrangements are more complex than ever, adding a surreal Broadway-esque flair to the project.  As the recording sessions evolve, the project begins to take on the form of a demented play-minus a linear story line.

August - At Chicagofest, Skafish is canned offstage while opening for The Scorpions.  Shortly after the Chicagofest performance, Gayle Crowder leaves the group.

Skafish on tour with Iggy Pop
On tour with Iggy Pop
Photo by Paul Natkin

November - The 1st single is released in England.  It is the 1978 recording of “Disgracing The Family Name,” which was recorded by Chicago’s WXRT Radio in Skafish’s basement. The U.K. and American press response to the record is extremely favorable and playfully cynical, obsessing over the size of his nose.  In its time, the single becomes the largest selling import of Chicago’s Wax Trax records.

The band tours several  Midwestern states opening for Iggy Pop with Skafish and Iggy bonding immediately.  In Chicago, blues legend Muddy Waters invites Skafish to join him on stage and jam with him and his group on keyboards.

December - As a Christmas promotion, the cover for the "Disgracing" single is made into a puzzle.

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