1985

Spring - As I.R.S. Records is uninterested in making another Skafish record, Skafish and his band play several west coast dates, with the hopes of manifesting a new record contract.  It is looked upon as the last chance to keep the band project together.  The three-week tour features drummer Larry Mysliwiec, guitarist Ken Bronowski, keyboardist Javier Cruz, and California bassist Share Howe filling in for Lee Gatlin.  Barbie Goodrich does not join the band for the dates.

Skafish Bald
The "Bald" look
Photo by Paul Natkin

For the performances, Skafish’s head is shaved bald, and for the first time he begins designing his own costumes.  Besides older Skafish material, a great deal of the set is new, untested compositions that Skafish has been writing.

While the act receives some press coverage and decent audience reactions, ultimately, the three-week tour fails to manifest a new recording contract.  Feeling that they had exhausted all avenues, Skafish, band, and manager Scott Cameron decide to part company harmoniously.

 

Fall - With the break up of the Skafish band and no other highly developed musicians available who are capable of playing Skafish’s intricate compositions, Skafish begins performing a solo show around the Chicago area.  Once again singular and ahead of his time, the show foreshadows the trend of artists performing live vocals to pre-recorded backing tracks by several years.  Recording all the backing tracks himself, Skafish always sings live with a cordless microphone, allowing him complete freedom of movement.  Being the only performer, Skafish works harder on stage, developing more physical stamina than ever before.  

The material performed is a combination of new and old Skafish material, plus cover songs.  Since Skafish's work has always been "in your face," he takes this quality from the compositions and literally makes the entire audience his stage. He sings, dances and acts out each song's storyline right in people's faces.  This becomes a signature quality of the Skafish solo show.  With no business team, Skafish takes whatever bookings he can get. Over the next 8 years, Skafish books the show into every venue possible, including some of the worst and most dangerous dives imaginable in the Chicago area.

Winter - Skafish begins playing solo piano at restaurants and for local and national political figures, performing virtuoso piano styles of any and all genres, frequently sight-reading anything thrown at him and improvising immediate arrangements.

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