Drums/Percussion (April 1976-Spring 1985)
Photo by Bill Sosin
Larry Mysliwiec grew up only a few short blocks away from Skafish. The two even attended the same Catholic high school, Bishop Noll Institute, but didn’t become friends until April of 1976 when Larry joined the Skafish band. The 1st drummer, Roger Jones, a more jazz based player, left the band after the group’s debut performance in February of the same year.
When Skafish, in need of a new drummer, starting asking everyone “Who’s the best drummer around,” Mysliwiec’s name kept popping up, and Skafish soon invited him over to audition. Skafish was impressed to learn that Larry had just earned a B.A. degree in percussion from De Paul University. At De Paul, Mysliwiec had studied music theory, composition, orchestral percussion, mallet percussion, and drum set, and had the technical expertise to handle the complex music of Skafish.
A big added bonus was Mysliwiec’s love of rock music. After he saw The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 at the age of 11, he picked up his first set of drumsticks and was hooked ever since. He then immediately began taking music lessons with school instructors and studied privately before attending De Paul.
After joining Skafish’s band, Larry immersed himself in bodybuilding, quickly developing an iron rock hard physique, giving him the physical prowess to propel the Skafish live shows to an explosive energy level that has rarely been seen. The combination of virtuosity and primal manic energy made Mysliwiec one of the greatest drummers ever in rock music. His dazzling drum performance on the live recording of “Sign Of The Cross” from the film “Urgh! A Music War” ranks as one of the stellar rock drum showcases in history. In all of his years playing for Skafish, Larry Mysliwiec never gave a tepid performance; his power alone could carry the entire band.
After the Skafish band finished their 1980 tour schedule, Mysliwiec decided to move to Los Angeles, and in 1981, made the trek west, yet officially still remained the Skafish drummer. Living in Los Angeles brought Larry into contact with Iggy Pop, who immediately hired him as his drummer, based on a demo tape of Larry’s work with Skafish. Throughout 1982 and 1983, Mysliwiec pounded it out for Iggy in the United States, Canada, Japan, Europe, and Australia while continuing with various Skafish projects. After touring with Iggy Pop, Mysliwiec did session work in Los Angeles.
With the disbanding of the Skafish group after the Spring 1985 west coast tour, Larry co-founded the band Temper Temper with Skafish guitarist Ken Bronowski, who moved to California at the time. E.M.I. Records came close to signing Temper Temper, but after two years and still struggling, the group broke up in 1987, and Larry to relocated back to the Chicago area.
With his musical career stagnant, Mysliwiec decided to try a new direction, and became a police officer in 1989. Working as a policeman ever since, Mysliwiec attained the rank of sergeant in 1998. But back in 1992, it was apparent to everyone present that Mysliwiec hadn’t lost his touch when the Skafish band reunited to raise money for the medical expenses of Barbie Goodrich-still battling cancer at the time. Since then, Mysliwiec occasionally plays locally, and says he’s “open if anything comes up.”
All photographs copyright by the respective photographers