“What kind of fish is a Skafish? Within the Chicago rock clubs of the late 70’s, the band led by the man of the same name was almost as popular as it was strange. Jim Skafish bared his psyche, reveled in his eccentricities and flaunted his fleshy breasts for sexually-ambiguous effect. Through material such as “We’ll See A Psychiatrist,” “Disgracing the Family Name” and the notoriously blasphemous “Sign of the Cross” - his response to a parochial-school education - Skafish turned performance into an extreme form of psychotherapy.
Some fans thought his dramatics represented a brave, painfully honest form of self-revelation. Others thought he was a freak show - exploitive, nonmusical - debasing himself for personal gain. No one knew exactly what Skafish thought - he and his management refused all requests for interviews.
“All I can say is, everything I’ve ever portrayed has been a very, very real part of the way that I lived,” he explained by phone from his home in East Chicago. This was the first time he ever had talked for print, and he had a lot on his mind.
“Probably that’s why it freaked people out so much, because it’s very easy to dismiss somebody who looks like they’re putting on their green wig for Halloween. . . . People would realize, whether they could deal with me or not, that it took a lot of guts to do what I did. The pain that was there was real pain....”
...After the label’s success with the likes of the G0-GO’s and R.E.M., I.R.S. wasn’t nearly so interested in oddities like Skafish any more.... Whatever happens, he feels a lot happier than he did the first time through....”
- Don McLeese - "Skafish is happier this time around" - Chicago Sun-Times - Monday, October 27, 1986
“...Jim Skafish set the music world’s tongues wagging when he emerged on the scene in the mid-70’s.
His caustic and often offensive material pre-dated the British punk movement by several months and his glitzy penchant for cross-dressing pre-dated Boy George’s chic androgynous appeal by several years.
While the general public tended to shy away from a grown man with a shaved head who wore a little girl’s frilly yellow dress, Skafish developed a sizeable cult following on both sides of the Atlantic. Rolling Stone magazine referred to the Bishop Noll graduate as, “being years ahead of his time….”
...Even many celebrated new music figures were avowed Skafish fans - Iggy Pop, Sting, Cheap Trick, David Johansen and the infamous Sid Vicious....
...The fact that Skafish has learned to deal with his private demons is perhaps best revealed by his actions. He is presently coordinating a concert to benefit the widow and children of his childhood friend and musician, Danny “Peaches” Gonzales. Gonzales was the drummer for the local pop act, Free Verse, before being fatally shot last Easter Sunday....
...Skafish may finally capture the mass acceptance that evaded him the first time around.”
- Tom Lounges – “E.C. native Jim Skafish plans benefit concert” - The Times - Friday, November 21, 1986
“...The avant-garde artiste recently gave The Beat a private concert at his home of his latest compositions and they are - HOT!!!!”
- Ceil Lounges - The Beat - December, 1986