1973: Many of the sensibilities, styles, aesthetics and compositions introduced by Skafish precede the use of words like Punk, New Wave, Alternative and Indie by the music culture
1974-1975: Skafish begins composing the vocal songs that would be credited with the birth of Chicago punk.
February 1976: After forming his band that January, Skafish’s shocking debut performance is considered the birth of Chicago Punk, New Wave, Alternative, and Indie Rock.
Spring 1976: Based on twelve years of hardcore daily Catholic school and Catholic Church abuse, Skafish writes the first blatantly sacrilegious and blasphemous Rock song in history, Sign Of The Cross.
August 1976: Skafish records the first Punk, New Wave, Alternative, Indie and experimental Rock recordings by a Chicago artist.
November - December 1976: Skafish is the first Chicago Punk artist to perform a Chicago area club tour. Audience reactions range from shock, bewilderment, cynicism to violence. A hired bodyguard quits after only a few shows.
February 4, 1977: Skafish is the first Chicago punk artist to cause a riot. While opening for Sha Na Na at Chicago’s Arie Crown Theater to an audience of 6,000, police forcibly stop the show. The filmmaker filming the event recalls an audience member pointing a gun directly at Skafish seconds before police halted the artist's set.
February 26, 1977: Skafish is the first Chicago Punk artist to receive national media attention with an article in Billboard Magazine.
April 12 and 13, 1977: Skafish is the first Chicago artist to play CBGB’S in New York. Here, Skafish first meets the Ramones who are in attendance for both nights of Skafish’s performances.
(After May of 1977 when La Mere Vipere converted from being a gay bar to Chicago’s Punk dance club, other Chicago Punk bands began emerging.)
Summer 1977: Skafish is the first Chicago artist to perform with The Ramones, followed again with another performance in the summer of 1978.
Summer 1977: As kids are lining up around the block for Skafish Chicago performances, Skafish is the first Punk artist to cause pandemonium. Just one of many examples: a large group of kids come dressed as nuns and priests, rush the stage, and engage in a mock orgy during Sign of the Cross. So much Holy Water is flying that Skafish band members fear electrocution.
February 1978: Skafish is the first Chicago Punk artist to play Los Angeles at The Whisky A Go Go. It is at this show that Doug Fieger, a member of the opening band, takes notice of beautiful Skafish drum roadie Tara. After forming The Knack shortly afterwards, Fieger writes the song Oh Tara about her, which appears on the first Knack LP.
April 22, 1978: Skafish is the first Chicago punk artist to receive international press coverage beginning with a feature story in England’s New Musical Express by legendary Punk writer Mykel Board, entitled, New Messiah Scores With Deviants.
February 1979: Skafish is the first American artist ever signed by Miles Copeland to the now legendary I.R.S. Records. It was Copeland’s brother Ian who first saw Skafish perform at Hurrah’s in New York in December 1978. It was at this same show that a famous brawl involving Sex Pistol Sid Vicious occurred, which has been inaccurately reported through the years.
Fall 1979: Skafish is the first Chicago Punk artist to tour with Iggy Pop, performing multiple Midwestern concerts.
July 1980: Skafish is the first Chicago Punk artist to play London at the very first Milton Keynes festival in front of 45,000 people alongside The Police, UB-40, Sector 27 and Squeeze.
September 1980: Skafish is the first Chicago Punk / Alternative artist to play Liverpool England. (New Order opens the show, confiding to Skafish backstage that this is their first-ever performance).
SKAFISH: ONE OF THE FIRST...
January 1976 to Current: Skafish is one of the first artists ever to combine classical level virtuosity and disciplines with Punk, New Wave, Alternative and Indie Rock.
February 1976 to Current: Long before reality television, Skafish is perhaps the first artist to make his entire life and all of its issues an "open book" - exposing his family's dysfunction and his personal pain, confusion, misery and alienation through lyrics, music, performance and appearance. Not only is this presented on-stage; it is acted-out in the streets along with the "Skafish posse," the group of openly weird friends who grew up with Skafish. Many in the Punk community acknowledge that Skafish and his friends are the strangest people they've ever met.
February 1976: Not only was Skafish quite early in utilizing performance art techniques; he is one of the first artists ever to combine performance art in a live musical context.
February 1976 - Current: Skafish is perhaps the first performer to deliberately present an anti-glamorous, anti-star image: non-flattering, deliberately unattractive, offensive and purposely non-relatable to most people on all levels, including gender. As the antithesis of the conventional self-promoting Rock star, Skafish preceded this anti-Rock star trend of the 1990's and beyond by decades.
February 1976 - Current: Skafish is perhaps the first performer to use composing and performing as a direct form of psychotherapy. He pioneers the current “confront all demons openly” aesthetic along with the sensibility of purging one’s deepest psychological / pain through music and performance. With lyrics one would only confess to their therapist, an appearance that drew violent reactions and an emotional intensity rarely seen on stage, performance becomes analogous to primal scream therapy. In today’s popular culture, it is expected for performers to expose their “naked truth.” Confronting their demons openly in songs, interviews, video and acting out in public, this form of aesthetic is pioneered by Skafish. Now a mainstream phenomenon, such titles as “Confession” and “Uncensored” featuring behind-the-scenes “reality” exposes are commonplace.
1976-1986: Skafish is one of the first artists to refuse any and all press interviews.
November 1983: Skafish is one of the first artists to have a video banned on MTV. After one airing, the video clip to Wild Night Tonight, which features someone getting shot and killed in the very first scenes, is banned after one play. Reediting the video is not considered an option.
1985-1993: With his controversial solo show, Skafish is one of the first artists ever to perform live to prerecorded backing tracks, a practice now commonplace, especially by hip hop, techno and dance artists.
November 2005/May 2006: Skafish is one of the first Punk artists to record and release a traditional jazz album: Tidings of Comfort and Joy: A Jazz Piano Trio Christmas.
November 2006: Skafish is one of the only artists ever to record and include his own spoken commentary in a musical CD project.
April 2007: Skafish is one of the only artists ever to have a more famous artist than himself/herself (Cheap Trick) write liner notes for an album release.