Badges!? We need those stinkin’ badges!! Last weekend I was in Atlanta and though bereft of cash, I did have a modest stipend set aside for musical purchases. After spending $29 of the $30 I had budgeted on actual music at several locations, at Fantasyland Records, there was a small bin of vintage buttons that caught me eye. When I began rifling through them, I saw a distinctive logo that immediately caught my eye. I would have to purchase this button! And when I searched further, I saw another that was unquestionably a must-have. The likelihood that these were actual vintage I.R.S. promo items and not of recent vintage was confirmed by the flyspecks that I had to clean off before scanning them. And besides, who [besides myself] in 2012 would make a Skafish button?
This was the original Klark Kent logo, before the ignominy of having to change his name to Klerk Kant to appease National Periodical Publications [a.k.a. DC Comics, a.k.a. The Man]. I first saw the video for “Away From Home” on Rockworld in 1979 and was immediately drawn to the zesty, kinetic music. It quickly transpired that this was the alter ego of Stewart Copeland, the fun member of the Police, and he made the Klark Kent records as a goof. Perhaps they were demos that His Highness, Sting, cast a jaundiced eye upon, but instead of throwing them out, Copeland simply released them under a nom-du-disque. The resulting records are wonderful! Everything the stodgy Police records soon weren’t! I have most of the Klark Kent releases, but lack the legit CD that I.R.S. Records dropped in the 90s since I already had the Japanese 1st issue of his eight track EP from the late 80s.
Jim Skafish is a magnificent misfit who wears his outsider status like a badge of honor. I remember seeing his debut album on occasion but never having heard anything from it. Still, a nose like that can’t be easily dismissed. By 1983, I saw a video from his second album, “Conversation.” The single “Wild Night Tonight” was a super-catchy riff-rocker that seemed far less left-field than the sort of music I’d imagined after reading intriguing reviews of the debut several years earlier. By 1985, I finally saw “Urgh! A Music War” which featured his highly memorable performance of “Sign Of The Cross,” and I thought to myself, “one of these days I should get both of his albums.” That finally happened by 2011, and they await me in the Record Cell for eventual remastering, since the likelihood of them ever getting a legit release, unless our Japanese friends embark upon a very complete I.R.S. Records reissue program, are nil.
– 30 –