In a crowd of 35,000, you're bound to get a few cunts. -- Sting
Sting was referring to the crowd reaction to Skafish
during a 1980 concert in Milton Keynes
, England. One of the hundreds of beer cans launched at the stage eventually found its mark and hit Jim Skafish
in the head, ending their set just 7 minutes into the show.
Skafish was a new-wave band based in East Chicago, Indiana and fronted by local music legend, Jim Skafish. Skafish was immortalized in the classic cult film, Urgh! A Music War, alongside such other fledgling new wave groups of the period as The Police, Ultravox, the Go-Gos, Devo, and Joan Jett. They played CBGB's, the Bottom Line, and the Whiskey A-Go-Go during their heyday.
In 1980 they reached #2 in the New Musical Express's Indie charts with their self-titled debut album, Skafish, but the eclectic, eccentric style they embodied was too far ahead of its time. From 50's sounding doo-wop to maniac-paced punk, Skafish's musical repertoire was too wide. They couldn't be easily labeled and pigeon-holed. This creates confusion for music industry execs; they like to keep things simple.
Skafish also released an ill-fated followup album, Conversations (1984). The record company's attempt to change their sound to that of a dance band was a failure. Dropped by I.R.S. following its release, the band briefly tried to get another label interested before breaking up in 1985.
Largely unknown and/or forgotten, Skafish opened the door for the punk, new-wave, and alternative acts in the Chicago area. Work Song, Disgracing the Family Name, Obsessions, and Guardian Angel -- all off their debut album -- are great songs and display a versatility and humor not often found in rock music.