1988

June - “Limited Series Cassette,” a five-song work, is released locally.  It is a numbered pressing of 10,000 copies only.  A 3-piece group called Nadima provides the backing vocals on 2 tracks.  Two members of Nadima go on to sing back up for Aretha Franklin.  A four-piece horn section plays on one track, featuring well-known jazz trumpeter Orbert Davis and saxophonist Steve Eisen.  Eisen had been featured on LP’s by Styx, and Dennis DeYoung.  Drummer Jeff Ward, who performs on 2 tracks, later is a part of several noteworthy acts, including Lard, Ministry, and Nine Inch Nails.  

Skafish in oriental jacket with headband
Oriental lettered jacket & headband
Photo by Jeff Mathews
The project showcases Skafish’s skills as a multi-instrumentalist and producer as heard in the tracks “Telepathy” and “Where Is James Bond? (When You Really Need Him).” “Telepathy,” an orchestral-sounding 48-track piece, blends danceable/ pop/ Latin flavors with jazz fusion/classical highlights.  “Where Is James Bond? (When You Really Need Him)” - written from start to finish in 45 minutes, is an instantly memorable fun parody upon first listen, and becomes one of Skafish’s most memorable pieces of the solo show era.

 

 

Skafish in 45 RPM jacket with hand beret
45-RPM jacket with hand beret
Photo by Ken Coffey
Throughout the year Skafish's solo show continues to evolve.  Skafish, still retaining the sensibilities of his past, also blends unlikely styles such as progressive jazz tonalities/improvisation with house and/or punk, creating several new hybrids. Costuming and make-up are more flamboyant than ever, often expressing complete androgyny.  Costuming includes a one hundred year old hand embroidered, floor length flowered robe given to him by a fan.  Skafish creates the design of a knee length, red iridescent jacket featuring hand created oriental lettering, accented by a gold head band embroidered with his profile. 

 

On the less androgynous side, Skafish’s seamstress sews a huge oversized lavender 1940’s style suit jacket, featuring a print of old 45-RPM records, which he wears with a series of unusual hats.  Skafish deliberately presents a visual extreme, seemingly inappropriate and out of place, in caricatured contrast to the colorless, drab venues he often plays in. 

Other than a small fanatical following, most audiences are not even aware of who Skafish is, and certainly don’t expect such a spectacle.  Skafish often performs for those who repeatedly ridicule, ignore, mock, and attempt to do bodily harm to him.

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