(In alphabetical order)
Skafish was, by far, the most innovative, entertaining, and powerful band of it's time. Led by musical genius, Jim Skafish, and staffed with some of the most unique and talented musicians in the country, the band's stage presence and performance was unparalleled. Surreal, theatrical, and yet, cathartic, Skafish touched people on a conscious as well as subconscious level by infiltrating all the senses.
Jim Skafish: In-your-face, over-the-top, on-the-edge, splendidly talented, flamboyant -- a musical entertainment typhoon. Using as innovative mixture of his own taped backup music along with live vocals, keyboards and guitar he was a band smashed into one performance artist. On stage or in the middle of the audience, he could shock, entertain or mesmerize -- the choice was yours. Some audiences were put off by songs that attacked church and school; others embraced his iconoclasm and his entertainment -- rock, disco, punk and even Mozart. I photographed his solo shows to record and to become part of the crafted chaos of a Skafish show. And I also have the good fortune to know this very gifted, talented and hard-working musical genius as a caring and thoughtful friend.
During the solo shows, it was a great experience for me learning to dance better and setting myself free. Photographing Jim was terrific as he had so many looks. What a tremendously unappreciated talent he is.
Barbara V. Kotlowski
Musically, itís difficult to believe Jim has only two hands and one set of vocal cords. You would think that there were a dozen of him if you closed your eyes and listened. From a visual artistís standpoint, Jim is a man of a thousand faces, all spellbinding.
Jim Skafish was, and will always be, one of the most innovative and charismatic performers of the modern rock era. He combined theater, music and religion?? and an amazing stage presence into performances that will never be forgotten.
When I first saw Skafish in 1977, I thought Chicago was in for a big and talented surprise. His tits were bigger than mine, but I was never jealous. My experience at the ďa go-goĒ (Javier Cruzís home) with Javier and Jimmy were some of the best experiences Iíve had and thank God we all survived and prospered. When Jimmy performed with Life, it was an on-going party that I wished would have never ended. Itís great that weíre still friends today.
Skafish is the tops and the cream of the crop. His music is the best for listening and dancing. . . specially for the Joan Fan Club.
Recalling the February 4, 1977 concert that Skafish opened for Sha-Na-Na in Chicago.
Within the first minute of the band's opening number, an uneasiness settled upon the audience. The immense crowd had come, after all, to see Sha-Na-Na and were not prepared for Jimís act which grew increasingly more outrageous and sacrilegious with every song. I was filming, far off to one side and above the crowd and because I was familiar with Jimís music I knew the appropriate time to come down and position myself right in front of the stage. Although at the time Jim had had little experience in front of a movie camera, he seemed to instinctively know when and how to position himself before the lens. Through the lens and in the peripheral view of my free eye I could see objects hurled onto the stage. At the point when Jim stripped to reveal himself in a womanís bathing suit (breasts and crotch amply displayed) there was a riotous uproar behind me among the crowd which was so intense that I started to shake. I soon ran out of film and for the first time I could observe the audience which by now was in a state of pandemonium. Some of them were dressed in the ridiculous get-ups as the ďgreaserĒ band they had come to see and one of them was holding a gun pointing directly at Jim.