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People & Music: Scatman John

Written by Levi Brown, Senior Columnist

“I hid behind the piano when I was performing because I was performing because I was scared of talking”. This quote is from famous music artist Scatman John (John Paul Larkin) in a 1996 interview. As a child, Scatman John suffered a stutter problem and it eventually led to an emotional childhood. He later turned his biggest problem, into his biggest asset. This column will detail his struggle and success with his stuttering problem.


Scatman John was born on March 13, 1942 in El Monte, California. As a child, he had severe strutting problems, and this lead to him having a very emotional childhood. In the 1970’s & 1980’s, John would begin his career as a professional jazz pianist, playing in the clubs of Los Angeles. He released his first album titled John Larkin in 1986. The album was released on Transitions record label. At this moment in life, John was dealing with alcohol problems and after the death of his fellow friend and musician Joe Farrell (B. 12-16-1937 – D. 1-10-1986) John kicked his habit, months later his wife Judy told him “You have talent; I’m going to make something out of you.”


Scatman made his debut single titled Scatman (Ski-Ba-Bop-Ba-Dop-Bop) on November 29, 1994. The song’s lyrics detail how he overcame his conflicts with stuttering and how he encourages children with strutting to never give up. The music video features Scatman and many other people singing, dancing, playing instruments, etc. The screen of the music video is black & white. The sales of the song started out slowly, but it spread to many radio stations and from there the song was known internationally. It was released from RCA Records. The song reached #1 in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Spain, and Switzerland. It received Gold certificates in Austria, Norway, and Switzerland, and Platinum in France and Germany.


Scatman’s last hit single would be titled Scatman’s World. The single was released on June 19th, 1995. The lyrics tell about the modern problems of the world like race (skin color), sex (gender), etc. The music video features Scatman using a green screen effect to travel to different parts of the world to see different kinds of people. The song samples the beat from German composer Johann Pachelbel’s “Pachelbel’s Canon” The song made #1 in Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, and Spain.

Scatman’s career would come to an end on December 3, 1999, where he died of lung cancer. He was buried and cremated at sea in Malibu, California.


One last note, when we listen to only one genre of music we limit ourselves to the world. When we listen to more than one type of music genre, we learn about different cultures of the world and what they mean to the people. Also, music is for entertainment purposes only, it should never be brought into reality.



In conclusion, Scatman was an inspiration to children and adults everywhere that strutted. He taught the world about problems it had and bought people together. He will remain a legend amongst people of the world that have strutting problems.



“Scatman John.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 20 Sept. 2012. Web. 22 Sept. 2012. <>.  


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Kaleigh’s Comics Are Back

Check out our resident cartoonist Kaleigh Macleod’s “ObamaNation” comic on the above tool bar. She’s back with a “September Comic” for you.


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Quick’s view: American and Iran must end feud

Written by Ean Quick, The Eagle Staff Columnist

The feud between America and Iran needs to stop.  The benefits for the U.S. far outweigh the consequences.

A good U.S.-Iran relationship helps America.  The U.S. would gain a stable ally in the Middle East, something that is hard to come by.  If America ever wants to maintain order in that region they need a solid Islamic ally.  Of all the countries in the Middle East, Iran has the best staying power.  Iraq has a new government, Syria is in revolution, Afghanistan is Afghanistan, and Pakistan is right next to Afghanistan.  There is not a solid government in the Middle East other than Iran.

We also would not have to worry for our own safety from a nuclear Iran.  A nuclear and non-friendly Iran is not good for us or our current Middle Eastern ally, Israel.  If there is one thing in the world that really scares me, it is a nuclear Iran who isn’t friends with us.

A second safety benefit for America if it were to ally itself with Iran, al Qaeda, Hezbollah, and other terrorist organizations would lose a major arms supplier and ally.  This only helps the American cause.  These groups also lose a safe haven.

With the Middle East being the current hot zone of conflict, the U.S. needs a strong Islamic regional ally, and Iran is the answer.