|Tiny and Skafish
New Years Day - Skafish’s most fanatical fan, Tiny,
dies. With only $20 to his name, Skafish collects donations from his small,
devoted solo show following, and arranges a one-night wake as a tribute to Tiny.
Skafish’s fan base has nicknamed themselves “Fishheads,”
as they obsessively attend show after show.
“Fishheads” are as diverse as Skafish’s art.
From rough factory workers, gang members, to transvestites,
“Fishheads” often protect Skafish from physical attack by hostile audience
One of the most interesting aspects of the solo show is
in watching people’s reactions to Skafish.
Besides his core following, most audience members only happen to be
hanging out in the room before the show starts. With Skafish literally in people’s faces, and on their
laps, using his cordless microphone as a mock vibrator, he forces people to
react. On any given night, anything
can, and does happen, with the tone of every single show being unpredictable.
On the negative side, certain audience members walk out, others throw
things, some seemed dumfounded, others get physically violent, while there are
those who totally ignore the affair, as if the performer wasn’t even present.
the other hand, some dance cathartically as though they are releasing a
lifetime’s worth of pent up demons; others scream, certain audience members
pensively focus on Skafish’s musical virtuosity, especially his dazzling piano
solos, while others relish and participate in the theatrical outrage of it all.
Skafish has to and often does win people over solely on his talent, which
is one of the most challenging tasks for any artist.
Most of Skafish’s following start off as innocent bystanders at his
shows, then become excited, taken aback, and overwhelmed by his performance,
which is unlike any other, with many fans coming back year after year. One fan,
a well to do antique dealer named Big Red, frequently gives Skafish money to
Photo by Rita Hale
||January - Skafish teaches a “History Of Rock Music”
class at Calumet College Of St. Joseph in Whiting, Indiana.
Skafish’s unique experiences as a part of rock history make the class
exciting and interesting. His appearance changes weekly as he costumes in every
rock music style presented in class—from rockabilly to glam to punk.
The class is quite well received by students and faculty.
- “Best Kept Secrets,” a cassette of 12 new
Skafish tracks is released locally. Playing
all instruments, Skafish is more diverse than ever, blending everything from
avant-garde piano, light pop, rap, and country gospel to punk.
Once again too eclectic for the commercial marketplace, the work sells to
solo show fanatics. The performance to celebrate the release of “Best Kept
Secrets” is taped by a Chicago area cable channel, shelved, and then later
|Skafish and Christy
- Skafish plays an outdoor festival outside
of Chicago. Before the show, a
female audience member tells Skafish that her relative, a guitarist in the
groupL7, had learned to play guitar listening to his song “Disgracing The
Family Name.” During the show,
Skafish performs the song "Christy," a number about telephone
sex lines. Skafish uses a blow up doll as a stage prop in sexually
explicit ways. When he shoves the crotch of the blow up doll into the face of a mother
in the audience, authorities immediately pull the plug, stopping the show.
Some audience members protest the decision, but to no avail.
- MTV award winning director John Anderson, a Skafish fan since the 1970’s,
and a brilliant director who has worked extensively in the television industry,
begins taping the solo show at length along with colleague
|With Barbie at her
|Dec. - The Skafish band reunites for the only time to
perform a benefit to raise money for former vocalist Barbie Goodrich, who is
battling cancer. Goodrich gives her
final performance with Skafish, guitarist Ken Bronowski, keyboardist Javier
Cruz, drummer Larry Mysliwiec, and Aleata Holloway, who fills in as the
band’s bassist. The group
explosively blows through a variety of 1st and 2nd Skafish album selections.
to Next Year
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