Chicago/Northwest Indiana-May 5, 2012: Jim Skafish announces a Kickstarter project for the release of the first-ever live Skafish CD set. The recording is a bootleg of a concert performed for Skafish’s 21st birthday at Ratso’s in Chicago on August 29, 1977.
Skafish’s proto-punk, avant-garde performances started shaking up the Chicago music scene in February 1976. By the time of the Ratso’s concert, the band had already created a buzz in the local and national media and had developed a devoted underground following. Skafish later went on to tour America and Europe with groups such as The Police, XTC, and Iggy Pop, and was featured in the cult classic film, “Urgh, a Music War!”
The recording features 27 songs, including 15 Skafish compositions that have never been released in any form prior. The planned two CD set will be a numbered, limited edition of only 2000 copies.
According to Skafish, he had no idea that there was a bootleg recording made of the show until he finally got the tapes a few years ago. “What’s so exciting about this,” says Skafish, “is that I can take my project directly to the people, and let my fans participate in the process.”
Fans are encouraged to visit the Kickstarter project page at http://kck.st/JabAwc. The campaign lasts through June 24th. The anticipated official release date of the bootleg is on its 35th anniversary, on August 29, 2012.
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If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Skafish, please email Glinda Harrison at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Skafish is a genre-defining and defying international pioneer who was the first American artist (and second worldwide) to ever be signed to one of the most groundbreaking independent record labels of all time, the now legendary IRS Records, for which he released two albums. He has toured with such acts as The Police, XTC, Iggy Pop, Ramones, Stranglers, U-2, Ultravox, Squeeze, and UB-40, to name a few. In 1980, Skafish was filmed in front of approximately 20,000 people in the south of France for inclusion in the cult classic film “Urgh! A Music War,” performing the first blatantly sacrilegious rock song in history, “Sign Of The Cross, which he composed in the spring of 1976.
As a heavily trained classical and jazz musician, Skafish first began piano lessons at the age of 6, and was regarded as a child prodigy/genius. He is months away from celebrating being a dedicated musician for 50 years, which includes his pioneering days in Chicago as the city’s Punk/New Wave Godfather, which started with he and his band’s debut there in February, 1976.
Artists such as Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, and Stan Kenton (none of whom were rock-genre performers) have heralded Skafish, with Waters begin quoted by United Press International in December of 1981 as saying, “When Jim Skafish walks into the room, I could swear it was Mick Jagger.” Dixon referred to Skafish as “The best musician I know,” and Stan Kenton called him a genius after hearing an August 1976 Skafish rock demo tape.
International rock legends Cheap Trick (who attended many of Skafish’s earliest Chicago performances) wrote in the liner notes for the April 1, 2008 Skafish release, “What’s This? 1976-1979”: “Unpredictable, over the top, with life or death conviction and reckless abandon, Skafish created punk, new wave, and alternative rock in Chicago.”
In recent years, Skafish launched La Befana Records and 829 Records, with the mission of releasing the complete output of his past, current, and future catalogue.