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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Hamilton Music Promotor Jim Skarratt Passes


It is with sadness that we announce the passing of musician and music promotor Jim Skarratt. Our condolences to his family and friends.

Below is his obituary:

James Anthony SKARRATT passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family on November 25, at the age of 76. Predeceased by his wife Lois (Doel) and his son David. He will be missed by his family and his extended Lazy Flamingo family. Jim was active in the community for decades starting as Program Director at his Alma Matter, McMaster University and then with Skarratt Promotions which brought concerts and entertainment to Hamilton for five decades. He was also an accomplished musician, playing tenor sax with Bobby Washington and the Soul Society. In the 90's his promotion office evolved into the Lazy Flamingo, which continues to serve and entertain the community of Hamilton. The family wishes to extend a heartfelt thank you to the PSWs and support staff for their care. Cremation has taken place. A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, December 11, at 11 a.m. the MARLATT FUNERAL HOME "Swackhamer Chapel", 195 King Street West, Dundas. For those who wish, the service will be live streamed at www.marlattfhdundas.com

Proof of full vaccination, along with government issued ID, are mandatory to attend indoor funeral services for those age 12 and older. Masks are required.

Here are a some social media reactions:

Carl Jennings (Freedom Train)

How cool was Jim Skarratt? Super cool.

When I was a teenager in the 80’s I was fanatical about knowing all about the music scene, including knowing who’s who in the Hamilton area.

It was a no-brainer that I knew who Jim Skarratt was.

Jim headed his own record label, and he was one of Canada’s top concert promoters, bringing in acts like Frank Zappa, The Bee Gees, Cat Stevens, Neil Young, Chicago, The Turtles, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Tony Bennett, Billy Connolly and so many more - and Jim lived right here in Hamilton!

I was admittedly nervous when I first met Jim back in 1992. 

I managed to arrange a meeting in his office located on the top floor above his new business venture: a pub he owned in Hess Village called The Lazy Flamingo.

My group Speck Jennings was trying keep our head above water with our original music. 

To keep working, we decided on a plan to play covers under the name Freedom Train to try to break into corporate events and cool venues, hopefully managing to keep performing as full time musicians.

Jim suggested that we play at his pub every Tuesday night, practice the tunes and build an audience. 

The Lazy Flamingo only had acoustic single and duo acts at that time. 

Because we would be the first full rock band with drums playing in a pub in Hess Village, Jim said if people inside or outside complain that it’s too loud we’ll just stop the arrangement.

That meeting changed my life as we ended up playing The Lazy Flamingo every Tuesday night, year round, for 13 years!

So many relationships were built during those years, musicians coming together, staff, music lovers, it was a magical time. 

Jim was there for most of our Tuesday shows, drink in hand, welcoming the guest musicians and customers with his warmth and charm.

Jim helped us by breaking Freedom Train into corporate shows, special events, and in 2000 he was solely responsible for booking us to play Massey Hall, one of our top musical moments ever.

Meeting Jim, knowing Jim and his family, our Tuesdays at the Flamingo, was a catalyst for our CAREER.

So THANK YOU Jim, for helping so many, especially all of us musicians, and for being super cool!

RIP

Cadillac Bill

Jim Skarratt helped to make Hess Village what it was - and still is. Him and his son Jay Skarratt kept live music going in the village when most other bars didn't. He helped the music scene in Hamilton and should be remembered and honoured for helping to make this city the music capital of Canada. You did great things Jim; you'll be missed. Cheers to the Skarratt family. Condolences. 

Tomi Swick

As so many friends have posted  the Skarratt family have been an institution for musicians in Hamilton for decades.  The Lazy Flamingo gave so many musicians a chance to cut their teeth, to hone their craft and to play their best for appreciative music loving people.  Jim Skarratt was a friend and supporter to and for me from the day I met him, he let me know he cared every single time I ever saw him.  He and his family gave us all an unconditional home all these years.  No matter how messed up any of us were or got once you were family you had a place .  For a family that has been through so much Jay Skarratt,Steve Skarratt 😞 I’m so sorry for the loss.  I love you guys.  As you know you have a massive extended family of brothers and sisters in your corner.  RIP JIM thank you for everything 

Click here for more Jim Skarrat Stories 


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