1991 Press

East Chicago’s Jim Skafish, who came to international fame during the punk boom of the late 1970’s, is back on the scene again.

In a 180-degeree turnaround from his former musical style, Skafish has taken to writing “house” and “hip house” dance songs for Chicago’s newly reactivated Smash Records label.  Skafish discusses the project at midnight Jan. 25, when he will be the featured musical guest on Z-95’s “Beat of Chicago” with Bill McCormick. 

-Tom Lounges – The Times – January 11, 1991

The classically trained Skafish is a musical Vincent Van Gogh - the tormented artist driven by inner demons to create works often too intense for unappreciative contemporary audiences....

...Although his own albums sold only minimal numbers, his outrageous persona (both on and off stage) made him a virtual media darling....

...His debut album sported a somewhat garish portrait of the very pale artist sans clothing and sporting a hair cut akin to Moe from the Three Stooges.

“It was shocking to some and disturbing to most,” he (Skafish) laughed.

“Sign of the Cross” in particular was pure and unadulterated Skafish, an exercise in mental therapy that found the artist purging himself of the Catholic guilt he felt was heaped upon him as a student at Bishop Noll.  Skafish was persecuted by his peers for daring to look and be different....

...Being the frequent subject of scorn and social denial, Skafish turned inward and pushed him further into his music, a situation he seems almost grateful for today....

...In recent weeks, Skafish has been the subject of two high profile interviews - WTTW - Channel 11’s “Wild Chicago” in late December and last Sunday on Z-95 radio’s “Beat of Chicago” program....”

- Tom Lounges – “East Chicago’s rock chameleon:  Skafish swims in strange waters” - The Times - Thursday, January 24, 1991

The avant-garde Jim Skafish - a mix of Boy George and David Bowie - relishes the idea of blurring the sexual demarcation line when he rocks on stage.

“My presentation is, hopefully, very androgynous…”

...And while he is most often remembered for the bald look, Skafish has been known to sport pink hair....

...Skafish is famous enough to market a line of his own promotional merchandise (T-shirts, posters, etc.).  In addition, Chicago’s public television station WTTW (Channel 11) thought he was off-center enough to feature him on their “Wild Chicago” show last year....

“...Also, I feel I’m performing better than I ever have before and a lot of that is just from hard work - I mean working constantly on the show from a physical aspect....

- Bob Kostanczuk – “Skafish hooked on doing his music his way” - Post Tribune - Friday, August 30, 1991

Jim is a classically trained pianist, and was considered a child prodigy.  Though most of his energies are directed to promoting himself as a rock artist, his classical origins have served him well....

...He also performed club dates in England, including the famous Cavern in Liverpool, where the Beatles careers were launched...

...Aside from his brilliant musicianship, his current show highlights Skafish’s flair for theatrics.  It is replete with costume changes, theatrical make-up and lighting.  However, these facets of his show never distract from his dazzling musical abilities.  He is a consummate performer as well as a musician’s musician....

...Skafish also teaches 20-30 private students a week at his home, and will be teaching a college course on the history of rock music at Calumet College in Whiting.  He’s also exploring several other possible opportunities to teach at the college level....

Jim also talked enthusiastically about another project for the future.  “I am also interested in the vibration of sound, and its physiological ramifications and affect on people.  I am currently starting to delve very deeply into the idea of the healing potential of people who are sick through vibration and sound.”

...Despite his sometimes outrageous on-stage persona, I found him to be an extremely accessible and down-to-earth person......He is an exciting performer, a phenomenal musician and an uncompromising artist....

- Jimm White – “Profiles: Jim Skafish - Panorama Magazine N.W.I. - October, 1991

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