“...Skafish launched into an academic dissertation on how blues is a hybrid of different influences, having slowly originated between 1850 and 1900, with African slaves playing a key role. Skafish also played lengthy recordings of pure and primitive African tribal music, along with key early 20th century country-blues artists.
Continuing with the discussion, he showed how to “bend” notes on the acoustic guitar for a twangy blues sound. Likewise, he demonstrated the basic “1,4,5” chord progression that is the foundation of blues and rock....
...Besides the importance of blues, another theme that will be hammered home during the 12-week course is how “cultural, social, economic and political trends” intertwine with rock music - and help to shape it.
Top that off with weekly quizzes, a midterm exam and final....
...Skafish approaches the course with a tremendous respect for black music. After all, he knew blues great Muddy Waters before he died and received some personal tips from the bastion of blues songwriting, Willie Dixon....”
- Bob Kostanczuk – “Professor Rock ‘ n’ Roll” - Post Tribune - Sunday, January 19, 1992
Jim Skafish is ravenous.
East Chicago’s outrageous rock’ n’ roll creature has been gobbling up the limelight recently—...
Recorded at Skafish’s Indianapolis Boulevard home, “Best Kept Secrets” dishes out a diverse assortment of self-produced offerings, from the neo-classicism of “Carnival Of Souls” (a piano piece), to the outer space / synthesizer antics of “Alien,” to the seductive techno-rap of the album’s leadoff track, “Animal.”
“I didn’t want to sound like any other rap artist whatsoever,” said Skafish who saved one of his signature tunes to close the recording - “I Survived Catholic School.”
It’s a autobiographical, it rocks and it’s angry:
I was beaten hard with a holy strap
I was beaten hard right across my back
In the name of God I was abused
Don’t be surprised to see Skafish performing the number in concert while dressed in ceremonial bishops robes and “blessing” the audience with incense and fake holy water.
And, oh yes, the cousin of WLUP-FM deejay Bobby Skafish also has been known to cart a life-sized, inflatable doll on stage during performances. Last Friday, the classically-trained pianist was shaking up Club Dimensions in Highland during a record-release party for “Best Kept Secrets,” which is probably his most cohesive recording to date.”
- Bob Kostanczuk – “Skafish reveals his‘ Best Kept Secrets’ - Post Tribune - Friday, June 5, 1992
“Club Dimensions will be the site for a party on May 29 to celebrate the release of “Best Kept Secrets,” the exciting new cassette project by eclectic pop artist, Jim Skafish.
The show (stage and audience segments) will be videotaped for June broadcast of the popular entertainment program “Nite Life,”...”
- East Chicago News - Friday, May 29, 1992
“Audiences who follow him and people who have always wanted to, will have a chance to see Jim Skafish in an appearance at the Lake County Fair on Tuesday, August 11 at 8 p.m. in the Big Top Showcase Tent.
...Regioners who have heard his strange mix of new wave rock keep coming back for more. And they keep bringing their friends who also come back. Then they bring friends, and so on. Needless to say, Skafish is now packing his fans in.…”
- “Local musician brings his world reknowned show back to the area”- Post Tribune - Thursday. August 6, 1992
“A member of the Park Forest Jaycees took it upon himself to pull the plug on an internationally known musician for allegedly lewd behavior during the organization’s Labor Day Festival last weekend....
...Bill Patterson, entertainment co-ordinator for the Jaycees, cited “community morals” as part of his reason for cutting off the sound and lights during Skafish’s performance.
“He will never play in Park Forest as long as the Jaycees are around” said Patterson…
...The song in question, “Christy,” is about a girl who makes a living working a fantasy telephone line…During the performance, Skafish uses an inflatable doll and moves it’s head in unison with his own…
Occasionally, Skafish will do some things with the doll that might be considered “sexually based…
...Patterson said that he was offended when Skafish pushed the doll’s crotch into the face of an adult in the audience.
“It’s not the type of thing we put on for a family audience,” Patterson said.
...Sharon Rogers, marketing director for the Park Forest Centre, said she supported Patterson’s action.
“I supported Bill Patterson 1,000 percent. My children were in the audience. It was very lewd,” she said. “I would have pulled the plug if I were closer....”
...Jaycees president Tim Prohaska argued that the performance was out of line for the audience. “It was something I wouldn’t want my daughter to see.”
...However, a Park Forest resident who was at the concert said she felt the performance was censored.
“He was under contract. He had every right to perform his act. He was censored,” said Judy Kozla. “He was censored with total lack of respect.”
“It showed incredibly poor taste,” Kozla said of the decision to pull the plug. She added that her children, ages 3 and 5. as well as her mother, enjoyed the performance....”
- Bill Schwingel – “Jaycee pulls plug on fest musician” - The Star - Thursday, September 10, 1992