And in the beginning…

Divine greetings to you and welcome to my first ever music blog, where, approximately once a week, in my own words, I will post a new entry.

First, I will share my perspectives and perceptions of the musical world from back in the day till now.  As I have devoted my entire life to my art since I was a child and have been in the music business since the 1970’s, I feel that I have a unique and original perspective to share about music/art, culture and the music business.

I also intend on setting the record straight.  So much of what has been reported as factual and truthful regarding both the Chicago scene as well as my own experiences as a performer has been stated in inaccurate terms.  As a lot of revisionist history has been going on of late, people deserve to know the truth — not the revised “truth” that feels good to the person dispersing the information, but simply what really happened.  Since I didn’t drink or get high back then, (and didn’t allow my band to do so either) they and I really do remember, LOL!

In this blog, you are welcome to get to know the real me as the being that I am, not the distortions of what have been propagated about me.  From my first day in kindergarten till today, it has been a rough and tumble ride as who I am authentically as both a person and an artist has caused many love / hate reactions.  The rejection, violent attempts against me and misrepresentations of who I am have all helped to make me a better person – one of deepened compassion and unconditional love for everyone.  The rejection of all tribes forces me into having no peer group whatsoever — therefore, it is only me who is accountable to me, which allows me to be nothing other than completely free.   I belong nowhere, therefore, I belong everywhere.

Even though I’m unattached as to how I’m perceived by anyone, I am attached to the fact that all people deserve to expect that what they’re reading, seeing or hearing is correct, especially when it is passed off as “history.”  I love Chicago and gave my heart, soul and body to put it on the map as a great world class forward thinking musical city.  Since the Chicago punk scene was not historically documented when it originally happened, much of what is being said now is incomplete and not told factually.

Since it is a historical fact that I was performing in Chicago since February 1976 before there was any Chicago punk scene at all and performed consistently both nationally and internationally from then till October 1, 1994, I can offer the absolutely unique and wonderful perspective of seeing Chicago transform from a very conservative music city before 1976 to becoming of one of the most progressive musical meccas in the world back then, alongside New York, Los Angeles and London!  Since I performed at CBGB’s in New York as early as April 1977, the Whisky A Go Go in Los Angeles in February 1978 and in London in front of an angry mob of 45,000 in July of 1980, I experienced these cities first hand, not only as a performer, but as someone who was a part of the collective.

In addition, I look forward to sharing behind the scenes stories with you that have never been told before.  It is thrilling for me to be able to hopefully put you there!  I am quite excited to be able to offer special tips to other musicians, on both an artistic and business level.  As so much of my career has been plagued by career altering business decisions outside of my control to life threatening occurrences, it is my sincerest hope to offer suggestions and tips to other artists to make their journey easier and more successful.  Since I began teaching music to children (many of whom have been handicapped) in the inner city of Chicago beginning in late 1983, early 1984, I have devoted virtually every day of my life to serving others and it gives me profound joy to see others grow and succeed!

Since I started classical piano with a brilliant blind piano teacher when I was six, to beginning to play professionally at age 9, to making my Chicago debut in February 1976 when I was 19, it has been a tremendously painful and difficult, yet ultimately transformational and enlightening journey; one of intense psychological healing and spiritual growth for over three decades.  I am now filled with bliss and gratitude for all that has happened and joyously unattached to whatever outcomes may or may not occur.  As this is still a work in progress, hopefully, there will be countless more installments of this story to come.  I wish to share this journey with you – as it actually happened and as it now unfolds.

Jim Skafish
© 2008 Skafish



16 Replies to “And in the beginning…”

  1. I love the songs from the new album, Jim. I’m so glad this is being released! I pre-ordered it today. Any chance you’ll tour at all?

  2. This is fantastic news! I don’t even want to listen to the song previews, I’d prefer to be surprised when I buy the CD. Congratulations – I’m sure this was a huge undertaking, one that I know will be appreciated by many, many people.

  3. Congratulations on the exciting new release. Your hard work is appreciated.
    I hope there will be a cd release party so your fans can show you their gratitude in person.

  4. Jim,
    I hope this is a cathartic and satisfying experience for you. I bought it as well, looking forward to the gift inside. I’ve never been to Chicago, and one day I hope our paths will cross. I cant wait for the next installment.

  5. How cool is this, thanks for the email and the exciting news about the new CD. I got Tidings of Comfort and Joy: A Jazz Piano Trio Christmas for me and my brother and I think it’s excellent. Needless to say, I am hoping for Skafish and Conversation to be released on disc. Rock on Jim.

  6. Jim – I am utterly thrilled over the release of your CD and for you telling the story like it deserves to be heard. Power to you!!!! I feel a toe curling sensation of liberation watching you express & expose to daylight the raw truth of a reality that the world should know. I feel so lucky to bear witness to this wondrous moment and to your intensely personal (& professional) experiences that are as precious as they are unique. I cannot wait to hear, feel & experience it all.

    I have of course pre-ordered the CD & tried out the pose on the cover, in the privacy of my home – (I do it no justice!!) LOL.
    Also I will not use my real family name here as it does disgrace my first name & the person that I am. LOL.

    Thank you for doing this Jim!! – For people like me (decent & honest but misunderstood) who have painful untold experiences, repressed & buried for circumstances, unwarranted shame & guilt, rejection, social pressure & fear, this blog & CD with the songs & emotions presented symbolises HOPE and a sense of freedom to express – And I feel it like a rush of fresh air in my face!! All the very BEST to you!!! Shine ON!!!! TY!!!

  7. Brent!
    I am fired up and ready to let audiences have it — right in their root chakras all the way to their crown chakras. I hope to do so.

    Thanks for your words,
    Jim Skafish

  8. Ewolf!
    I feel like I’ve been in labor giving birth to some alien baby for over thirty years, LOL! I am really happy to just have it done — I never thought it would see the light of day before.

    Thanks much,
    Jim Skafish

  9. Kimberly!
    It has been so very cathartic as the entire experience was and is emotionally riveting!
    Thanks for the emotional recognition!
    Jim Skafish

  10. Matt!
    I knew “Tidings” would appear to be such a departure, but I’ve been playing jazz since I was a young teenager. I’m honored that the record connected with you.
    Thanks and I highly intend on rocking on and hard!
    Jim Skafish

  11. Justin!
    Thanks for your supportive wishes — they are greatly appreciated> Smiles to you!

    Jim Skafish

  12. To Daksha!

    It means a lot to me to hear that you’ve connected viscerally and emotionally to the work. There was such emotion put into it. The feelings were like riding a tidal wave, then going underwater, then being swept over by it, then riding it again…

    Jim Skafish

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