New Skafish CD “Whats This? 1976-1979”

A big wonderful divine hello to all of you punk and punkettes in cyberspace, your own space, here in Skafish Blog space and any space for that matter!

I wanted to let you know about my new CD What’s This? 1976-1979.  What a labor of loving childbirth it has been!  11 original studio recordings, 9 of which are previously unreleased dating back to August 1976, which are the first Chicago punk, new wave, alternative and indie recordings ever, a 6 panel digi pack with a 36 page booklet, complete lyrics, rare and previously unseen photos, plus liner notes by rock legends Cheap Trick.  Why Cheap Trick you might quizzically question?  Because they WERE there, at my very first Chicago shows, which date back to February 1976 and attended many of my shows throughout the 1970’s.  They saw it all and they tell it all – like it really was – and really is!

Also, I recorded 5 new commentary tracks myself in November 2006 to set the record straight and also, tell it like it really was – and really is.  You might like to hear the true story of Sid Vicious’ last public event, which happened at a performance of mine in New York, 12-78.  He came to see us play with a mutual female friend – which lead to a brawl.  As usual, it’s been inaccurately reported throughout the years and for the first time, you can hear about it exactly as it really happened.  Since I didn’t get drunk or high back in the day and it all took place a few feet away from me, I do remember, LOL!

Check out the new website just for this CD where you can pre-order it now.  The official release date is April 1, 2008, but it’s no April Fools joke.

I hope all is well for you in your space,

Jim Skafish


© 2008 Skafish

8 Replies to “New Skafish CD “Whats This? 1976-1979””

  1. I wanted to express that you & your works are welcomed not only by punks & punkettes but by us engineers, corporate managers & business folks in stuffy blue gray suits who protest the system that inhibits us by going as far as wearing mismatching socks to work, wearing a loud tie some days perhaps, putting a Dilbert calendar on our desks or getting brazen enough to write letters to editors of local papers, in a huff, when we feel really oppressed. Your courage and free spirit is much respected and admired, and will hopefully pave the way to an era where we‘re less afraid to speak what’s really on our minds honestly (with care not to hurt anyone) & that I think will be incredible progress for our society!!! Bring it on!!

  2. Daksha!
    You get it! This has been about liberation, not about a campy freak show. Skafish has always been about message and social commentary, often propelled from the template of my own experience — but it is for everyone.

    Jim Skafish

  3. If I may say (beyond the obvious musical genius that’s overdue recognition) – I would love to see human rights activists & organisations work along side you.
    Children’s rights (protections) activists go right along with several of your songs – Joan fan club; Knuckle sandwich – Anti-bullying, Anti-violence in school/college themes; Executive Exhibitionist – Movement against pedophilia.
    Disgracing the family name (protection against domestic, emotional abuse of children) – Kids help phone lines.
    Sign of the cross – Anti-religious oppression; protection from cults.
    Work song – Labour rights organisations.
    My favourites: No Liberation Here – There’s a world are excellent psychotherapy tools, helping recover and reconstruct trauma emotions; memories (as I personally know so well) and in Art therapy contexts to stimulate healing.
    Basically your work pervades the entire gamut of social reform; issues from hospital/psycho-therapy settings to women & children to blue collared workers!!!…and I understand there’s still all that unheard unreleased music you have stashed away!!! The world has waited much too long to be liberated!!!!!! Bring it on full throttle!!!!!

  4. Daksha!
    I’ve always envisioned a world where everyone is connected – not separated. As someone who experienced a lot of abuse in my life, I have been trying to sound the alarm for decades now!
    Jim Skafish

  5. Because I was one of the photographers on the project, I received an advance copy of the CD. I’ve had the opportunity to listen to Whats This? 1976-1979 several times now and it’s a thrill to hear these songs that I have not heard for many years. Memories of seeing Skafish perform at B’ginnings, Orphans and opening for the Dead Boys at Tut’s are brought back hearing songs like Knuckle Sandwich, You Invited Me and No Liberation Here with the great lyrics which differ from the 1st LP version. It is so great that these “lost” sessions have now seen the light of day, with the sound of Skafish and his band of young musicians exploring a very different musical direction for the time. The packaging of the cd is also excellent, but I must make a disclaimer that I have contributed to the booklet with a picture from the performance opening for the Ramones as noted in a commentary track. The photo that struck me was the one from Navy Pier, I immediately knew it to be Joan Fan Club because the telephone is in the hands of Skafish. How many times have I seen that song performed? Not Enough! I know that a lot of hard work was put into this release and wanted to thank Skafish for all his efforts and allowing me to contribute to this important historical document.

  6. Jim!
    Thanks for the holler — Your photo of us opening for the Ramones at B’ginnings in the summer of 1977 was priceless to be able to display in the 36 page booklet, as it documents a moment in time — and as all moments in time are unable to be repeated as the nature of the physical plane is that it is ever changing, thanks for having the prescene of mind to capture it with your photo lense.
    Jim Skafish

  7. I was so naive when I joined Skafish in 1976.

    When I was growing up, I’d had strict classical training on piano and organ; but, I’d never played any rock, pop, or jazz … I mean never! Fortunately for me, at the time Jim as putting together the band, I was feeling pretty lost about what to do with my life. I’d been going to Notre Dame for two years, and I hated it. I wasn’t a jock, and I wasn’t a scientific brainiac; I was an artsy-fartsy teenager looking for something, but not knowing what. ND was not the place for me.

    Then, in the summer of 1976, Jim invited me into the Skafish fold. I had no idea what I was in for. I’d known Jim since junior year in high school, but I never suspected what he had in mind for the band. (Jim and I had a religion class together. There’s a lot I could say about that, but it’ll have to wait for another time. Anyway, the two of us were the two best piano players in the school, so got lots of performing opportunities.)

    Being in the band was an outrageous experience for me. I was exposed to so much music and culture I’d never experienced before. Some of it was scary, some depressing, certainly some shocking, but it was all built on the capabilities of some very fine musicians, and Jim knew how to create interesting music … very interesting. I’m no talking about the lyrics so much, but the underlying structure, harmony, and texture of his creations.

    In listening to these great cuts 30 years later, I’m blown away by what we did, Jim especially, of course. I have no real recollection of being able to play some of that hard stuff. But regardless of who played it, the music is still relevant today, and it is still very vibrant. My new favorite (for which I don’t play on the CD) has to be “There’s a World.” When we started working on it in Jim’s basement, I didn’t find it all that interesting. But Jim would actually ‘build’ songs with the band, starting with a very simple version on which he would build some amazing music. It was fascinating to watch the creative process unfold and exciting to perform the ‘finished product.’

    The band members were all excellent musicians, and I learned a lot from them. I have to thank Jim for challenging me to go to unchartered musical regions. It was a huge adventure we took, one that I wouldn’t give up for the world. Seeing this material finally released is, to me, a very sweet acknowledgement of our collective efforts, efforts to say something totally new, musically and sociologically. Thanks for everything, Jim.—David Procházka

  8. David! You DID play all of those complex parts. As I wanted to acknowledge everyone’s great contributions to every track, I listed the musician credits after the printed lyrics of each song in the 36 page CD booklet!!

    We went through so much together, and I love you so dearly! From the pain and torture of high school, to taking the SKAFISH message throughout the USA! Knowing you has made my journey more enriched and I cannot thank you enough for all we’ve shared — from playing piano for the high school choirs and musicals to improvising together by ourselves, recording ambient tracks before there was ambient and ultimately, doing the band. To you and yours!

    Jim Skafish

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