This page, part of the original StutteringHomePage, is online as a tribute to John Scatman Larkin. Many people from around the world have recorded their memories and feelings here. The site is no longer accepting new tributes. The memory of Scatman will continue to live among his fans and admirers.
Musician John "Scatman" Larkin passed away December 3, 1999, at his home in California. John, a person who stuttered, was known for his "scatsinging" and wrote that is was an example of how his "greatest problem has become my greatest asset." Professionally he was best known for his successful recordings in Europe on the BMG/RCA label. His first single, "Scatman" was recorded September 1994 and released in Germany December 1994. John wrote that two of the four verses of this song dealt directly with his stuttering.
John received "Best New International Artist of the Year" in Japan and the German "ECHO" award for foreign artists. He also received awards from Italy, France, Poland, Hong Kong and elsewhere. His love for and work with the international community of people who stutter is a major part of John's legacy.
John is survived by his wife, Judy, who attended the National Stuttering Association convention with John in Buffalo, NY. Judy is Eddie Cantor's grand-daughter. She has sent three large pictures of Scatman that fans are invited to download.
People have asked me where Scatman John is buried. John's wife, Judy, informed me (personal correspondence, January 9, 2008) that it was his wish to not be buried, but instead to be cremated with burial at sea. This took place on a yacht off the coast of Malibu, California two years after his death with his many friends and a jazz trio.
Those who are interested in learning more about Scatman John, seeing pictures and even hearing audio and seeing a video of some of his work are directed to:
A few strong videos
I must say he himself made me aware about people who stutter, that it's not a serious mental condition or anything. I remember when we talked on the phone, at times he'd apologize for his stuttering, but it didn't bother me at all...I seemed to see right through that...all I thought was, "Hey, I'm talkin to the Scatman!"
John was a rare celebrity, one who didn't have to hide behind pretense or superficiality. Sure he had a lot of money, but he lived rather modestly for a pop star and it was quite clear that the material things in life didn't really matter that much to him. Everything about him was real and down-to-earth. I don't think there's anyone who can say anything bad about him. and John never said anything bad about anybody. He sung about a "Scatman's World," which some may scoff and think of as childish or idyllic, but John gave us a vision, a vision of what could be if we opened our hearts and minds. John may not be around anymore, but there will always be a "Scatman's World." Or at least we should all be working towards one.
John Larkin never stuttered. Because every word he said was worth repeating.
It's funny how life goes. One minute you're riding the train in France, listening to the radio and suddenly you hear, "SCA-BA-BIBBLY-O-BOP....I'M THE SCATMAN!" The next minute you're mourning the loss of a friend.
Goodbye, Scatman. Have fun up there scatting with Satchmo. Everybody jam.
Elson Trinidad http://www.westworld.com/~elson/scatman
Sunday was the memorial celebration for John. Also attending was Ira Zimmerman, Vanna Sivilay, Peter Nicks, Peter Lew, Ralph Kessler, Linnea Eades and all the way from Germany, ISA president Thomas Krall. Thomas called me on Thursday and expressed his desire to come. He and John had the chance to form a friendship during many of John's trips to Europe. I told him my home was open and on Friday he confirmed that he was coming. I was soon filled with mix feelings of sadness and happiness that I would have the opportunity to get to know Thomas better, but I wish in difference circumstances. He in fact felt the same. His fax to me confirming the trip had a smiley face with a half smile and half frown.
Thomas came in Saturday evening and together with my family we went to the memorial celebration on Sunday.
Sunday was one of the most wonderful days of my life. There were tables set up outside and there were scheduled speakers. After that there was an open mike where others shared their memories. The man who ran the ceremonies began with John's favorite story which was a stuttering joke...it went ........
John went into a bar (in his drinking days) and said to the bartender. I would l-l-like a s-s-scotch please. The bartender responded with c-c-coming r-r-right up. John said - hey are you making fun of me? The bartender said no, I stutter too! Then another man walked up to the bar and ordered a beer without any stuttering. The bartender responded with - coming right up. John said, hey, you were making fun of me! The bartender responded by saying....no...I was making fun of him!
It was a beautiful way of beginning the day. We all laughed and smiled in rememberence of John. When I had my turn to speak I said to the group... "There are not many places that I feel proud to be a stutterer. Today is one of those days. As I have been walking around introducing myself to all of you and I stutterered I felt a part of that very special part of John who I know all of you love".
I wish you could have seen the expression in their eyes when I stuttered. It was not compassion or anything like that. It was love and admiration. I wish you were there.
I have always felt at home in the Larkin home, but Sunday was more than that.
That house was filled with so much love that people came together and I truly didn't want the day to end. Over 100 people came and went.
It truly was a mixed day of emotions.
-IF YOU WANT TO BREAK FREE YOU BETTER LISTEN TO ME YOUVE GOT TO LEARN HOW TO IF YOUR FANTASY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IM CALLING OUT FROM SCAT LAND! IM CALLING OUT FROM SCAT MANS WORLD!
-keep on scatting wherever you are forever -i will always try to spread his music and ideas to others. Dreams never die nor does music.
"We've got to believe in love - That's all there ever will be That's all there's ever been - For you and me. This is a brand new day know what I say, Love is understanding. Believe me believe me believe me. We've got to believe in love..." (Song of Scatland by Scatman John)
A música de Scatman é muito legal ..
Nunca ouvi um som como esse..!! As músicas de Scatman fazem eu me sentir "mais vivo". Somente hoje fiquei sabendo da morte de Scatman aqui neste 'website'. Pena que Scatman não esteja mais entre nós, mas sorte nossa que a sua música permanecerá para sempre. Muito obrigado, John Larkin.
Thanks Scatman for your great songs and for the fond memories of those times, you had my respect then and you have it now.
Grazie John per aver regalato un po' di Gioia al mondo intero.Ciao 'Zio John'!!!
I know you can read this 'Scat',
so I will write this message with Pride!
You Are, Forever Will Be... One Of The Worlds Greatest Champions!
You have inspired many, with many more to follow!
Your messages have touched the hearts of many, leaving them to ask one question....
I would pay $1000's of Dollars to see you perform!
You want to hear the greatest story ever told
The Story is about a man, who cared for others over himself and telling his story through song. This Story is About Scatman John!
My friend and I, today during music, listened to "I'm A Scatman" and were enveloped with in awe, and have nothing out of it, except the Utmost respect of what you have left society with, Messages!
You have prevented the Lie! ( In our lives anyway )
We have our minds set on spreading your words, 'Scat'
Remember your own words...
We are gonna revive you 'Scat!'
Already I have ideas for the first song for..
" The Children From Scatland "
We might even get to have a bit of a jam in the distant future
Have a good one 'Scat' ,
May you look down upon me with blessing
( Jazz Gangster )
I realised my ability to scat along (and sing along) had dropped, and decided to refresh my memory of the lyrics.
I have many fond memories associated with his songs of some very good times in my life, and prior to finding out he is no longer with us was looking at a few pictures of him, a sharp dressed jazz singer who delved into many genre's of music and wondered how awesome it would have been to see him in concert.
I continued to read on about how popular his hits were, and wondered why there was only a small amount of information about him on the internet, but ignored that and went on to wonder how cool it would be to see this guy live. The contrast of a rather old-school jazz singer look and modern equipment with electronic vibes and pulses intertwined with his uniquely toned voice would be breath taking and entertaining to no end.
I was a tad concerned when I noticed what I thought was an error on the page when they listed "Who was Scatman John" as a subject header, and then noted the print up the top of the page stipulating his passing. Although my dream of seeing him live was destroyed, but he will live on in my generation, and hopefully a fair many others.
Yeah, Scatman John will never die as long people listen to his brilliant music and remember him! I know I will never forget him! You were and still are the best!
Who knows, I relive the past in the future when I'm dead. I hope i'll hear you singing again?!
Scatman John will allways be on our minds! Respect and rest in peace!
Scatman John-Thankyou for everything. I will always treasure your music and "philosophy".
In his memory I dedicate this petty offering at his feet. i hope, by this, people will understand my respect and feelings for him.
Rest in peace, Mr John Larkin. You will be missed.
Scatman's world was an incredible song, one memory it brings is me and my cousin in our living room, playing the tape over and over, trying to jot down the words of his songs (we hadnt even heard of the internet in '95!) but even though we played that tape about ten times in a row we never tired of it. It is one single I refused to get rid of. I read the lyrics now, and they mean a lot more than when I was seven, I never knew about his stammering, all I knew was that he was an incredibly tallented man, and I think I speak for all of us when I say that he and his music will be greatly missed. He always seemed so caring, the lyrics to scatman's world prove this, and I would have loved to have met him- on that subject, reading the people's messages, it is incredible how many people met him in person, this proves he didnt let his hits get to his head and shut his fans out, he was there to talk to anyone. I'll end this by saying that when I die, Scatman John is one man I would really love to meet up there, I have a skin condition that always had people talking about me, but I realised the best thing to do was to take advantage of this, and laugh with them, and through that I have made many friends, by being light hearted about any problem, and it seems that was the Scatman's approach.
Rest in peace Scatman, I will never forget your music, you are an inspiration to the human spirit, and made so many comfortable with their disabilities. Keep scatting up there!
After a Google search on the lyrics, I found the name of the song to be "Scatman". I searched the song on Kazaa and downloaded it. I then, downloaded a few other songs. The one to have touched me the most is "Scatman's World".
After searching around more, I wanted to learn about the author of this music. Google once again led me to some short autobiographies, but soon enough I realized John the Scatman was no longer with us. I can only say that his legacy now lives on in just one more soul, mine. Having read the page http://www.mnsu.edu/comdis/kuster/pioneers/scatman.html, I felt that it would only be appropriate to say that his music touches the inside of my heart in that rare way which I cannot describe.
Up in heaven, he must be proud to see that his music has touched such a vast array of people in the world. Spanning cultures, and ages. Not limited by the imagined boundries of race, his music goes on. A late thankyou, and kudos, John.
P.S. As soon as the money is mine, I'm buying a CD of the Scatman's. I can't steal work of an artist driven to help others, nor that of a man so great.
Live the dream John!!
The scatman, man, rest in peace.
I have just found out of your passing through my buying your album Scatman's World again as my brother annoyingly nicked it off me and lost it somewhere as he is just as bigger fan as I am of your music, we always fight over who gets to listen to it when we are not together!!! We regularly blast your music out at our homes and when driving still after all these years. Music that is so inspiring and with such words of wisdom that in any situation the words ring true, your music has helped me get through more than you can imagine. You helped people see the beauty in life through music and always stayed true to yourself and also to help people see that people who stutter can acheive everything people who don't stutter can. Promoting happiness and equality in society.
If only more people would have your heart and wisdom, taking time out to concentrate on the lyrics of your songs. You said it best:
If you're wondering where this magical place is
You don't have to look too far
You'll find it between your deepest dreams and warmest wishes
The society of Scatland is composed of
Very loving caring people who have
Never even heard of political corruption
Class distinction, war and all the
Other stuff that goes on in the world of earth people.
Everyone is equal in Scatland.
Everyone is equal. Everyone is equal.
We've got to believe in love - That's all there ever will be
That's all there's ever been - For you and me.
I wonder if you're wondering where Scatland is?
It isn't far away. I'll take you there now.
Just close your eyes, make a wish, give yourself a hug.
You're half-way there, just love yourself - love yourself
And a dream will come true. You'll find yourslf in Scatland
And suddenly discover that the person from Scatland is you
The people of Scatland speak in Scatish
Scatish is a language not quite like a leprechaun
It sounds like a language of the people of earth
Who speak in a tongue of their own.
You're all from Scatland. Hatred and resentment?
Well that's unheard of. It's unheard of.
We've got to believe in love...
We've got to believe in love...
This is a brand new day know what I say,
Love is understanding.
Believe me believe me believe me.
Infinity thank yous for the influence you've had on my life. You are an irreplaceable legend, you really are.
Rest in peace
I'm out of the business these days, but I will never forget Mr. Larkin's kind-heartedness and cheerful spirit and how much he loved playing our 9-foot Kawai!! I wasn't surprised browsing the internet discovering how successful he'd become after our little session in Hollywood. John Larkin is THE Scatman John?! I knew he would go far!!! Nice to see you again, John.
Thru the high school years they were very close and loved to get silly and John could get Bobby busting up with anything he did. Bobby always considered John the most talented person he ever knew, and bobby knew a lot of people in the industry. Mid 60" John would come over our house and play our piano and I'd jump in with my acoustic. When John left my wife would say "That piano will never be the same." I lost them both within a year. John just before my brother and we all felt that losing John took a lot out of Bobby. The last time Bobby saw John was just before we lost him. Judy was so kind to let Bobby come over and be with him for a short while.
I'll tell you what kind of guy John was, even though John was ill he made the time to come to my mom's service. We hugged and I said "John how are you doing?" I knew he was not well and he said "today's not about me it's about your mom."
The many early years I knew him as only John, never knew "Scatman' a short story-sure every day we spent together was a story. His picture hangs in our house next to Bobby's.
Now when I think of John I think of Bobby and vise versa, only now I think of Judy too.
When i found out just last year about John passing away i felt really sad but i felt that i had been touched in a rare kind of way, he would do the singing, but it was also like he was listening and understanding and trying to help me out with his words. Something that means alot to me and i will never forget.
This might sound strange but im a really die hard Heavy Metal fan, i dont like pop music of any kind at all. I think the Scatmans music and words were able to pass by any genre of music because of the genuine honesty of the lyrics and the intelligent compositions.
Your a legend Scatman! Its amazing to see people posting still, if more people could find this site im sure alot of people would have storys to tell as well!!
Im getting married to a wonderfull girl next month and im gonna make sure Scatman gets played at some point during the night, me and this girl have been together since '96 so you could say its only right that he should make a special musical guest appearance. Thanks! keep the scatland faith people
Que decir...., estabamos en 1994-95 cuando mi hermano llego de holanda de lo que fue el viaje de fin de curso. En cuanto se puso a sacar toda la ropa de la maleta saco un cd de musica, yo le pregunte a ver que era y que lo pusiera....y entonces fue cuando escuche junto con el por primera vez a Scatman. Tenia 15 años y desde entonces no he parado de escuchar sus canciones...., TUS canciones ya que estoy seguro que desde donde estes puedes leernos y oirnos. Mi hermano y yo te deseamos lo mejor estes donde estes, y darte las gracias desde lo mas profundo de nuestros corazones por dejar las joyas que dejaste en tierra, tus canciones.
Un fuertisimo abrazo y entre todos intenemos hacer realidad lo que decia la cancion de Scatman`s World.
Even to this day, Scatman John has accompanied me pretty much everywhere I go. Be it the mall, school or work, he was with me in my trusty CD player or my stereo system... and no matter what, every single time his song loaded up, I couldn't help but smile and remember what he told us all: "If the Scatman can do it, so can you".
To this day, he is a living example of what can be achieved if you really believe... and I thank everything and everyone who made it able for me to have him with me all this time. It's thanks to him that, whenever I seem to have gloom over my soul, I can smile and try to scat along into the Scatman's World.
Thank you, Mr. Larkin, for the lessons you have given me. May you live on forever in our hearts.
Thx John 4 everything and catch you later in Scatland
Thank You, Happy Birthday Johnny, Love, Scott
My spirits were soon lifted slightly when I saw how many people had posted in memory of him. I hope his spirit has also lifted, taking him to where he richly deserves. Whenever I am feeling down or upset I put Scatman on and very soon I feel a lot better. I still spread his music throughout the world in all sorts of ways; MSN, email, word of mouth, I've even made a few CD's for some of my friends. I hope this continues and his music is spread throughout the world and he is remembered always.
Rest in Peace Scatman, We will all always remember you and your wonderful music.
Laurie Blake, yet another huge fan.
Rest In Peace John, you can be proud of what you've done. I hope from where you are now you can feel the love and the gratitude of the many people you delighted and still delight with your wonderful songs and lyrics.
"While you're still sleeping the saints are still weeping cause, things you call dead haven't yet had the chance to be born." .
please if you know email me at email@example.com
Rest in Peace, Scatman.. and even though I am not a Christian, and I don't believe in God, I bet you're blasting Heaven's speakers now! Because you're the man! *round of applause for Scatman*
I'm from India...and I first listened to Scatman John in 1995 - the time when 'Informer' - .Real McCoy - Haddaway - Culture Beat - .Rednex etc - interested us kids.... well conventional 'Dance' music.....this guy was awesome & DIFFERENT...
Now, almost 10 years later I just chanced upon this set of mp3s which I borrowed from a friend....it had the Scatman John song 'Scatman' and it brought a rush of memories in high school.... those blue and white uniforms...the friends....almost everything....a common thread...'Scatman John'...and a big SMILE... I remember one thing though..is that he dedicated the album 'Scatman's World' to his wife... hmmm
I think the tracks Scatman & Scatman's World were heard over and over... but the songs I really loved were,. Only You, Mambo Jambo, Everybody Jam, and most of all, POPSTAR....GREAT LYRICS!
Check this out:
I wish some of these kiddy "popstars" spend time listening to stuff...music in our times...with a voice of a previous generation....SUCH GREAT TALENT...
And even though I'm grown up (26 years) today...I've spent almost seven hours listening to Scatman World's track listening. ....well... you guessed....
I've heard of this rock musician called the 'The Great Kat', well... Mr John Larkin, for me you'll always be the one and only 'The Great SKat'...
Thanks for the great music...
If anyone has any information about his location of burial please notify me at Ryusaki3030@Yahoo.com.
Hola. Soy Cristian, y les escribo desde Chile. Hace un tiempo que me re-encontré con Scatman, y para mí ha sido una experiencia excepcional. Recuerdo que cerca del año 95 o 96, los dos temas de Scatman llegaron a mi país, "Scatman" y "Scatmanworld". Fue hace unos meses que lo recordé, pues yo era un niño en aquel entonces y tenía unos pocos recuerdos solamente. Pero de casualidad me encontré una página donde estaba su hit "Scatman", y quede fascinado. Realmente es una gran canción. Luego busque en la red otros temas y apareció el "Scatman world", después busqué información de John Larkin, biografía y lo que pudiera. Encontré valiosa información e incluso una entrevista que le hicieron, de allí que el hombre me haya caído tan bien. Desafortunadamente todo el material que tengo lo he bajado por la computadora, pues vivo en una de las ciudades aisladas de Chile, y aquí no se pueden conseguir discos, ni originales ni copias. Tengo solamente cuatro canciones: "Scatman", "ScatmanWorld" "Mambo Jambo" y "Welcome To Scatland" (que es presentación). Así que agradecería mucho si alguno de ustedes pudiera enviarme a mi correo lo que tenga de Scatman, mp3, fotos, videos, etc. Ah! y si alguien quiere los temas que tengo, sólo tiene que pedírmelos a mi correo y con gusto se los envío, también tengo el video-clip de "Scatman" en MPG, así igual puedo compartirlo con alguno si quiere. Yo me sorprendí mucho cuando lo vi por primera vez, estaba muy emocionado, y al comienzo, como primera impresión, me decepcionó un poco, pero luego comprendí la idea de John, y su objetivo de hacer un mundo igual y mejor para todos. Si alguien tiene el video-clip de "ScatmanWorld" le agradecería mucho que me dijera, o que por último me lo contara.
Saludos a todos, y en especial uno muy grande a Scatman John, que estará siempre que lo escuchemos y comentemos de él y su gran música. firstname.lastname@example.org
(In English - sent by Cristian, probably using an online translation service). Greetings to all: Hello. I am Cristian, and I write to them from Chile. A time ago I eeted again myself with Scatman, and for me has been an exceptional experience. Memory that near year 95 or 96, both subjects of Scatman arrived at my country, "Scatman" and "Scatmanworld". It was months ago that I remembered it, because I was a boy at that time and only had few memories. But by chance I was a page where hit "Scatman" was his, and is fascinated. It is really a great song. Soon it looks for in the network other subjects and appeared the "Scatman world", later I looked for information of John Larkin, biography and what could. I even found valuable information and an interview that did to him, from which the man has fallen to me so well. Unfortunately all the material that I have I have lowered it by the computer, because alive in one of the isolated cities of Chile, and here to discs, neither original nor copies can be obtained. I have only four songs: "Scatman", "ScatmanWorld" "Mambo Thief" and "Welcome To Scatland" (who is presentation). So it would thank for much if some of you could send me to my mail which has of Scatman, mp3, photos, videos, etc. Ah! and if somebody wants the subjects that I have, only has pedírmelos to my mail and with taste the shipment, also I have the video-paper clip of "Scatman" in MPG, thus equal I can share it with some if it wants. I was surprised much when I saw for the first time, very was moved, and in the beginning, like first impression, she disappointed a little to me, but soon I included/understood the idea of John, and its objective to make an equal and better world for all. If somebody has the video-paper clip of "ScatmanWorld" it would thank for much to him that said to me, or that finally me it counted it. Greetings to all, and in special one very great to Scatman John, who will be whenever we listen to it and we comment of him and his great music. email@example.com
I was deeply saddened to hear of his death. I only hope that his messages live on for many years to come. I, for one, would like to hear Scatman's music re-released in today's charts. I am sure that a number 1 single would be guaranteed.
I was never lucky enough to meet the man in person, but I think he is an icon to all those people with a stutter. I was actually lucky enough to meet Gareth Gates, the english pop idol runner up, after his concert once, and he specifically mentioned that the Scatman had helped him cope with his condition immesurably.
I sincerely offer my condolences to his family members, and only hope they get to read this comment, so they know people out there are still inspired and moved by him. John Larkin was one of a kind, there will never be another that will even come NEAR him in greatness. He is living on in my heart, and I hope one day to meet the man up in heaven.
Growing up in the early 90s meant for me a diet of early britpop and iconic pop boybands/girlbands. Despite this, the music that brings to back mind hot summers, with all the windows down in the car, and the congregation of all the kids on my street in my porch, drinking lemonade and trading spice girls post-cards, is Scatman's music.
I took music lessons from the age of 5, and my violin teacher frequently encouraged me to sing. My problem was that I was always too shy to sing. Despite this, Scatman was an exception; I was in awe of the rhythms and sca singing of Scatman, sort of tranzed, and would always encourage others to sing along too, and this was despite of the fact I had no idea of who this musician was.
So, I'm very sorry about the death of Scatman, but I am touched and excited at the fact that such a guy was subconsciously my first real inspiration.
"I hope that the kids, while they sing along to my songs or dance to it, feel that life is not that bad at all. Even for just a minute". E' vero, e mi succede ogni volta che la canto It's a scoobie oobie doobie scoobie doobie melody
I would have liked to see him live one day,
But well.. never had the chance, I was waaay too young that time
I guess the thing I want to say is that you have to deal in an optimistic way with your "problems"
But always stay down to earth, which I believe he was too..
Ciao, take care everybody!
Be John Scatman among us in our lives forever.
I my country Scatman John isn't very known, but I think he was a great artist, a true artist who express himself without inhibitions, singing wih the heart, and makin' us very happy.....He was...., no, no,no, he is even a great person.
I love many other groups and artists, but Scatman John has an special place in my heart and in my mind....
He taught us which the world that we have is wonderful, the life is great, the friends are our best company, and specially, that if we fight and we live happy, our problems are easy to overcome.
Scatman, thanks for your music, thanks for gave us the hapiness that we need in this, sometimes, hard and sad world. You gave us hope to live successfull with your songs, thank you.....the echoes of your voice will be stay on our hearts and our minds forever....
Scatman, gracias por tu música, gracias por habernos dado la felicidad que necesitamos en este, a veces, duro y triste mundo. Nos diste esperanzas para vivir más contentos con tus canciones, gracias....los ecos de tu voz estarán presentes en nuestros corazones y mentes por siempre.....
Rest In Peace: Descance en paz:
And though it seems like a long walk, right after I graduate from a particular university and decide to go on living with my newfound talent and creativity, I still never let his famous scat-singing rhythm off my mind, for most of his songs are the most prized assets within my nostalgic collections of DVD movies, songs and comic books. They are also the inspirations of who I really am, my capabilities and my believe in whatever crucial situation and destiny I am about to venture: into the Unknown where the Scatman had been in his lifetime.
When I first heard of his earlier songs, I was instantly mesmerized with its unusual amalgamation of techno music, scatting and jazz (quite a revolution in my taste). Ever since his debut, I constantly listen to it every time I listen to the radio and ignore the rest of the usual contemporary ones. At that time, Scatman's World and Ski-Ba-Bop-Ba-Dop-Bop are two of my all-time favs, which finally lightened up my life and propelled me to a higher level of imagination.
With my enthusiastic determination to get to know him better through his music, I'd bought the first cassette, the best-selling Scatman's World, which really includes the story of his own imaginary homeworld, Scatland. Then, the next year, I bought Everybody Jam!, which I personally think is richer, more colorful and hip-hopping than the previous one as we continue to dwell into the bizarre universe of Scatman he helped to create. I never think of any songs that are far more satisfying than Scatman's.
Long after that, I heard little or no news of Scatman's latest conquest in the music biz.
Two years. Three years. Then the inevitable happened. In 1999, Scatman John succumbed to lung cancer. The whole world mourned for the stutterer who would capture our hearts with his ability that served as both as boon and bane to his existence.
I sat down, mourning within my heart. I knew it would never be the same again.
Seven years thereafter, after all the struggle I had endured and survived, I once again sit on the bed, looking at two of the greatest gifts Scatman John has ever provided (both now out of print). I pop up the cases and put the cassettes into the player. Even if I lost some parts of my childhood, some are able to come back through the cherished memories of a man who speaks of friendship, love and peace in a language of his own. If you are bored with the conventional messages of sex, violence and other satanic nonsense, the Scatman will always be your man. And that's why he remains one of my all-time favorite singers.
All I can conclude is this: whenever the moon appears at night, always tune in to John's music and you can still imagining that he's singing throughout the streets when everything else takes a deep slumber. He'll always be with us, inside our hearts and minds, if you still believe in him. Someday, I may be able to repay his generous offerings, for as a filmmaker, I may be inserting him or his songs in some of my movies, for Scatman John remains an eternal icon.
His music and especially the first track "Scatman" is not only funny with a bit of irony that even a kid understands, but also very good from a musical and thone perspective. It gives joy, and altho you only was about 11 years only dancing to music, his text subconsiounessly reached you to understand his message...
I'm glad he fulfilled his will to make this songs for all of us to take part of...
Some years passed, I never thought about scatman again. Then, one day, I heard about the terrible passing of Scatman John.. I remember the day, I was sitting in the car and I felt sad. They told about the life of Scatman, how he turned his problem with stuttering, to his solution.
I just googled for Scatman, after I got the Scatman song on random (Winamp). As long as we have computers, mp3 and google, Scatman will carry on!
soon i was searching for the scatman, and found a few videos on youtube.com..... now he is all i listen to. His cover of Queen's 'the invisible man' is amazing.
R.I.P John Larkin. May you be at the gate of heaven when i come there.
As the great man himself says in Scatman's World - "Scatman, Fatman, Black and White and Brown man, tell me ''bout the colour of your soul."
From the moment I heard these words, things started to change. Where once I could not see anything but darkness and despair, light suddenly burst through to give me strength.
R.I.P Scatman. You gave so many people like myself the courage to achieve, because of you I am now training to be a speech therapist.
I can remember my first time listening to Scatman John, in what I can say the best time of my life!! His music wasn't just inspirational, but reminds me of my first true crush where we couldn't stop listening to the sounds of Scatman John! Still doing that today, I must say that I haven't stop shaking my hips to his music, reminding me of the best times in my life!!
I will always remember Scatman John as my Legend, helping me through bad times and reminding me where I came from! We do miss you John!!! May your Soul Rest In Peace and know that your name will carry through centuries to come!!!!
R.I.P John Larkin, and thank you.
Hello my friends,
My name is Scatman John. I am a person who stutters and I want to welcome you to the European Youth Meeting.
I think that you should all take a quiet moment and give yourselves congratulations just for having the courage to be here. If congratulating yourself makes you feel uncomfortable, it is totally understandable, because we all have suffered greatly because of our stuttering. Perhaps now is the time to realize how important it is that we learn to esteem ourselves by giving ourselves credit when credit is due. You all do have great courage. Just by being here, you have taken another major step towards honoring yourselves by confronting your stuttering.
For most of you the greatest problem in your life has been stuttering and it's consequences. For many of us, it has literally been a nightmare. There isn't one stutterer I know who hasn't spent most of their lives wishing they could be fluent. Our problem has made us angry. It has made us cry. It has made us afraid of life. It has made us afraid of people. It has made us afraid of situations that normal speakers would never think of being afraid of. Stuttering has seemed like a curse. We have all hurt as a result of it and most of us would certainly never dream that there could ever be anything good or positive about it. I want you all to know that I have experienced all the shame and low self worth that you all have experienced.
Now I am going to tell you all something positive. I began to sing and play piano at age 14, because I had to find an escape from stuttering. I didn't realize that it was the stuttering itself that had propelled me into music. I didn't realize till I was 45 years old that it was stuttering that had driven me to become the musician that I am today. The truth is, "I am a successful artist today because of my stuttering. I am Scatman John because I stutter."
This is my message to all of you: we are not alone. Creation gave problems to every single human being on earth. Creation gave us all those problems for a purpose. Problems are a source of fuel and strength that can propel us to become full and vibrant human beings who can have wonderful lives. We can stop living with the idea that we are "victims or our stuttering" and we can become even greater human being BECAUSE we stutter. I am a more complete person today because of my stuttering.
It wasn't until I was 45 years old I even began to start looking at my stuttering from another perspective. I began to sing and play piano, because I stuttered. Has anyone of you ever thought that the time might come when your greatest problem could turn out to be your greatest asset? There have been many great people who, because of their problems, have had richer lives than they might have had without those problems. As you may know there have been many famous people who stuttered who have gone on to have wonderful lives.
Unfortunately I will not be able to attend the meeting. My touring schedule simply will not allow me to be with you today. But I hope that my words to you can inspire you in some way. Because everything I have told you is the truth, and I want to tell you all from my heart: "If the Scatman can do it........SO CAN YOU!!!"
Love to you all. Have a wonderful meeting and don't be afraid to hug each other. "A hug can be worth more than a thousand words."
The reason I am writing is to say how I feel after reading that he has passed away.
I heard some of his music earlier today and sent the link to the video on youtube to a friend. Then thought I would research about Scatman John and read that he had an issue with stuttering that he turned to an entertaining way to make music. I like this quote "greatest problem has become my greatest asset." And I must say I thought it was moving. Then as I read a little further I read that he passed away and I honestly was sad. I never met him but I would like to think that he is still touching people with his music even 8 years after his passing. And I hope more people will read his story and realize that he has helped many people. I thank him for the great music and I think many other people thank him for his help that he has provided. I hope his family and friends are doing well.
Scatman's music stands out from the normal pop that's out there, it's actually got great melodies and lyrics. To some they might be overly positive and cheesy but I feel that those people have lost too much of their inner child :) I'm actually always very positively surprised how good it still sounds. Not just because it takes me back to my childhood but because of how I connect with the moods and themes, musical and lyrical.
I had no idea that the man behind this great music had this stuttering problem until a few years ago when I rediscovered Scatman's World and Everybody Jam and went online and searched for stuff about him. Needless to say I was shocked when I found out what had happened... I felt saddened that this genuinely good man had left this world. He moved people through his message and music. He still does. In a way he never left. Not in my book. His passion will always be a part of me. Thank you John.
"If there's anything I wanna say or want you to do
Keep livin' in the moment" (sent 12/2/06)
Living my current life now as an music producer and dj has allowed me to be able to appreciate just how great a individual John was. I made a point of researching all of the artists that have ever inspired me during my complete lifespan on this earth. After gathering information on dozens of artists one person stood out above the rest, that person was John. Where other artists had been praised on all levels for only there artistic creativity it was only John Larkin that was praised as both an artist and a human being.
I know this is late in coming but I feel I couldn't leave this page without leaving a tribute to one of the most incredible individuals to ever grace this planet. (sent 3/28/2006)
His music was true innovation and I have never heard anything like it to date. As a 52 year old, he crossed age & cultural boundaries and won the hearts of a much discerning musical audience in their teens. I thought he was a pure jazz musician and I never knew that he actually used to stutter. It is heartening to read about the inspiration that he has been to the stuttering community. He will indeed be missed. I hope that someone, someday, will be able to match up to what he did.
He may be gone physically but he lives on in his fans' hearts.
I knew John Larkin before he became Scatman John.
I had not had a chance to speak to him since about 1995. I was looking for him on the Internet and hoping to find an email address for him.
I was shocked to find a memorial website. I was not surprised that he had become so successful and so well loved all over the world. He was a lovable man.
His brain would seem to short circuit at times. The words would not come. The sounds got stuck in the depths of his being and would ruminate there for long time. People would wait in respectful silence for him to complete the word or finish the sentence.
He had a message of love and faith to deliver and he never let his speech problems stop him. He would speak up in a group, address a crowd, and have dialogs with individuals.
There was a peaceful centeredness to his presence. It made the long delays in his delivery of ideas bearable to an impatient person like myself. It was a privilege and an honor just to be in his presence.
He was just plain John to me. We met in 1988. We were part of a large group of lost and alienated souls that formed a community. Six to twenty of us, at a time, would gather over coffee. About three days out of each week we would take up a few booths. The restaurant would move small tables to form one long table for holidays when almost everyone showed up.
He lived in a modest yet neat apartment in The Valley. I stopped by there once to pick up a copy of his vinyl album. He said I did not have to come to his shows to be his friend, but he wanted me to hear his music. He wanted to share what he did, his gift to the world.
He got me to try Spicy Thai Pan Fried Noodles at a restaurant in a mini-mall across the street from my North Hollywood apartment.
He made me laugh so hard that I sprayed Coca Cola Classic all over the dashboard of his car. He laughed at that too.
We went for a walk in the park next to Laurel Plaza in North Hollywood. It was half way between the Palomino Club and the best open microphone in town. A lot of half starved musicians and actors lived there.
I let him listen to David Zasloff's first cassette tape. John was impressed with the triads and his jazz style.
John and I would find humor in very serious matters and both agreed the laugher helped us to process the pain.
When I would be going absolutely crazy, John would say: Sit still and let the universe unravel around you.
We would take long rides. Once, we were on a dirt road in the middle of Angeles National Forest with no sense of direction, but I didn't feel lost because John was with me.
Once, we were on the way back from the dead whale beach where the condors feed and it started to rain. It was a light spring rain and we stopped for pizza in Ojai. We wandered down the street into an antique shop with a grand piano. The shopkeeper let John play it. The sound resonated off the beautiful objects and added to the interior warmth as the rain kept the backbeat through the open door.
John was a very serious jazz musician and singer. He gave me his demo tape for getting bar gigs in Los Angeles. It contains about 12 cover songs. I recognized most of them. They were romantic and sweet yet uniquely John Larkin. My favorites were Springtime and Miss Jones.
His rich voice and piano playing echoed in my car often. He was off in Germany. I had moved to Seattle. His music kept us connected.
John would complain that Judy wanted to get married. I would complain that David didn't.
He married Judy and he was glad that he did. She helped him become successful. He said being successful was like walking through mud up to his neck. He did it for you, his fans. He did it for her, his true love.
His music is powerful and healing. Listen again with an open mind and receptive heart. He is sending you his love. He became Scatman so you could hear him and absorb his wisdom.
John became Scatman because he had important things to say. It was difficult for him to talk, so he sang.
In his lifetime, he was badly hurt. He overcame his demons and let in love. Listen, and you will learn to love too. Listen, if you love and you will learn about being more fully alive. Listen, and the sound will carry you through your own barriers.
R.I.P. John Larkin
It was in October 1999 at a shorttrack competition. After the individual races I was down with a terrible headache but still had to do the relay. The headache was an after effect from a nasty fall earlier that year at a training session. Almost unable to move I did go up on the ice to not let down my team. The song scatmans world started to play in the stadium and in no-time the headache was gone, and with my team we did a next to perfect race while the song was playing. And after the race the headache decided to stay away :)
John Scatman was a great man.
When rain falls, his song is sun
When hate rises, his song is freedom
Let me know where Scatland is...
"TERRA DEI SOGNI (In loving memory of Scatman John)" - play the song here!
I miss Scatman John very much and I've recorded a song and video entitled "CIAO, SCATMAN" in his honor (on YouTube in Italian). I loved his music, I liked the man and now I miss both. See you next time, John. Rest in Peace.
A "Never known" Friend from Italy.
I hope you rest in peace and i would never forget your musics and you.
However, one celebrity death still touches me to this day and I get emotional when I think about it. That is the death of Scatman John. Regardless of my current mood, his music always seems to be able to cheer me up. Regardless of my current mood, remembering his death always seems to make me sad. As I type this, I am both listening to his music and remembering his death. Washing through my mind are thoughts of both joy and sadness.
Scatman John was a man with many ideals I subscribe to. Also many that I did not. He was a good man, though. Although his heart was certainly able to produce anger, it is hard for me to imagine that he ever did. He brings such a message of hope in songs that, when you hear them, you just know everything will be okay.
You know, I plan to write books one of these days. There's so many people I want to dedicate my books to. My parents. My teachers. My friends. But one person that I absolutely must dedicate a book to is Scatman John.
He's in Scatland now...
That's where he belongs.
I discovered "Scatman's World" and all the other songs when I was 13 (or 14?). John was the first popstar I listened to - and I listened very often (my family still knows...). Soon I learned about the personal background of "Scatman John" - and I realized the message in the texts and between the lines. Especially the entire album "Everybody Jam!" made me think about humanity, life and so on. I heard about John's death when I was looking for a new Scatman CD in 1999 (and found "Take Your Time")... Until today Scatman John inspires me - also as a beginning evangelical pastor who needs to know about humanity, life and so on.
Rest in peace, Scatman!
It's very sad, that he's not with us any more. I'm watching his videos, I'm listening to his songs now - this man is (was...) full of LOVE and he tried to give his LOVE to this world!
Rest In Peace, John, I MISS YOU!!!
Thank You For Your LIFE and your MUSIC!!!
HY JUDI!!! I'M FROM BRAZIL!! I'M THE RAQUEL'S HUSBAND!! MY NAME IS PAULO AFONSO!!! I'LL LISTEN SCATMAN'S FOREVER!!! FOREVER!! I'D SAY THAT HE IS THE BEST MUSICIAN OF THIS CENTURY!!! HE IS !!! BECAUSE HE'S ALIVE FOR US!! IF I COULD SAY A ONLY WORD ABOUT HIM!! I WOULD SAY WONDERFULL!!! NO DOUBTS!!! JOHN PAUL LARKIN IS THE GUY!!! WE (ME AND RAQUEL) HAVE 2 BEATUTIFULL BOYS !!! AND THEY LOVE SCATMAN!! THEY LOVE JOHN!!! THEY LOVE ALL THAT'S COME FROM SCATMAN JOHN!! THANKS JUDI!!! AND A BIG FRIENDSHIPS HUG FOR YOU!!!
thanks scatmanjohn we all love and miss you
R.I.P scatman john
One of your greatest fans
I've been working on getting all of his cd's but they are hard to find. I love his music and i wish i could get a collection of all his songs.
His music is an inspiration to us all and i'll continue to share it with everybody i can.
-RIP John Larkin
The local clubs for kids played it and we truly loved it.
It also made my older brothers life easier, as he was a stutterer. He often refused to speak in public etc but John, though we/he never met him in person, gave my brother the courage to be who he was.
The day i heard of his death, even though i was only 9/10 years old, made a huge impression on me. We had lost a legend in music aswell in the struggle for stutterers to be accepted as who they are.
My hat off to this man, he was, is and will be a legend in modern music and Jazz.
Scatman John was the first Popstar I took seriously, because he genuinely looked like he was having fun and believed what he said. There was never any falseness or facade about him, he seemed very genuine. His music was fun, exciting, emotional and uplifting and he certainly had an X Factor about him which raised him far above his contemperaries.
John was a wonderful man, in the August before his death I spoke to him over the phone (Thanks to my friend Gina) he was as charming and as down to earth as you would expect, he even scat sung for me. It's one of my fondest memories and I'm gratefull I had a chance to interact with my hero in this way. I felt a very real sence of loss at his passing, that such a man who had been so inspirational and made such wonderful music could be taken from us didn't seem fair.
It's gratifying that since his death he has not been forgotten. Mark Oh released a cover/sample of Scatman last year and Internet character Gummi Bear included a cover on it's album. Thanks to YouTube and the footage I collected during his career I now have a 3 DVD set of videos, performances and interviews that will always remind me of what a special influence the man had on my life.
I will never forget John and whenever anybody asks me what my favourite music is, Scatman John is always the first name off my lips.
Where i live, all the kids in my high school are violent and mean, always trying to "rap" either hate and pain, or complete nonsense. There's nothing but greed in their voices and filth in their words, but when i hear that unforgettable voice and his famous scat I feel clean, clear headed, and as if maybe theres still a chance that my classmates will be introduced to the love of John and the beauty of Scatland.
John, I know you're up there in Heaven right now, maybe even singing for the Big Guy Himself and every angel among the clouds, but i want you to know that i will pass your message of love on too as many people as i can, so don't worry about your voice fading away and go give God a taste of Scatland, the OTHER eternal paradise.
Scatman John - An Amazing Person in our Hearts Forever. March 13th, 1942 - December 3, 1999. It has been almost 15 years since his depressing passing... Yet, that doesn't mean we'll forget about him, heck no! He was amazing and really helped people. I may not be a stutterer myself, but I know a few and his songs have really helped them. No wonder he got the American Speech Language Hearing Association Annie Glenn Award for outstanding service to the stuttering community and National Stuttering Association Hall of Fame! I wouldn't call myself a Scatman "fanatic", since I rely on online downloads for my music. So far, I have the complete 'Scatman's World' and 'Everybody Jam!' albums. And in my opinion, they're amazing. I love them! Everybody Jam, Scatman's World, U-Turn, Let it Go, (HAH! SCATMAN DID IT FIRST, TAKE THAT DISNEY!) Stop the Rain, Popstar, his Scatman remixes, his cover of The Invisible Man, and there's plenty more to mention! It's just sad to believe he's gone... You just don't realize what you lost until you lose it, and I can say that about musicians like Michael Jackson as well, Doggone... He seemed like an amazing and cool guy to hang out with. Always positive. Even while suffering, saying 'Whatever God wants is fine by me ... I've had the very best life. I have tasted beauty." Amazing indeed. Anyways, it's time to cut this off. Good Night, Take Care everybody. And, Rest in Peace, Scatman John. We miss you.
I prefer metal music, but I always go back to the Scatman; from his early 1986 John Larkin debut to his last hurrah, Take Your Time. His music is wonderful.
He never cared for being a pop star. He cared for getting a positive message out, and people are still impacted by it to this day, including me. I try my best to care for those around me, love everyone with all of my heart, and always keep an open mind and never commit violence. His music is a philosophy to live on, and I intend to carry it to my grave.
I partake in singing lessons... who knows, maybe one day I'll pick up the art of scat-singing myself. All I know is, no matter how old I get, I'll always be listening to John Paul Larkin and his amazing, uplifting message.
I'm so inspired by John, how he managed to take his challenge and turn it into one of his greatest strengths. He was brilliant at scat singing, a true master, and his message was so uplifting and encouraging for those of us with struggles that most people do not understand or have compassion for. I only hope I can follow in his footsteps and leave behind some art that will inspire, encourage, reassure, and recharge others.
I was hoping there might be a memorial I could visit someday, and yet this online memorial is at least as good if not better. My textual tribute will last longer than any flowers I might have placed on his grave, and be far more specific to why he matters to me and why I felt the need to leave a tribute.
I put together a little collage as a memorial a little while back and I think I finally found a place to hang it 😄 (anyone is welcome to use it freely, as I know most of his fans would agree with my statement).
The world lost something huge on the day your fire went out John. But I smile, knowing that regardless, it lit a fire in the souls of every single one of his fans and in that, John, you are eternal. Thank you for existing.
I have been listening to the music of Scatman John, a true inspiration since early childhood. Like most here, I am a music lover, and at one point in my life I was managing to listen to an album a day. Yet with all the music, obscure and popular, that I have heard over the years, Scatman John with his instantly recognizable voice, is my all-time favorite singer. Despite my admiration and love for The Scatman John Larkin and his music, I do not mourn his death. John Larkin was a man of faith.
("God does not make junk" he once said on the value of being human, showing the importance of self-acceptance)
On being quoted as saying what God wanted was fine with him, he seemed to have found peace before his passing. I truly believe the soul of Scatman John is in heaven now, where perhaps he can see just how long lasting his legacy has proven to be. He left this life a man finally fulfilled, leaving behind wonderful music that can be enjoyed forever. His music has achieved immortality. Fans to this day celebrate his birthday each year with a medley of his songs and whether it's an internet meme introducing Scatman to new generations or an old fan from across continents revisiting the songs of their past, the Scatman was never forgotten.
Though Eurodance is not nearly as prominent as it once was, the music of Scatman John never really feels dated, I believe a large part of that timeless quality was how unique his approach was to the music he made. There have been several Dance Pop artists, several Scat singers, and Jazz Pianists, but to this day we have never heard anything quite like Scatman John. With his one-of-a-kind sound combining several influences, he spread a message of hope and positivity wherever he went, encasing his sound with a feeling of pure joy. His messages of happiness for all, peace on earth and a brighter tomorrow, never once felt forced, generic, or disingenuous.
You could hear a man who believed in what he sang, reaching out to whoever wanted to listen. Despite an early life that reinforced a petrifying belief that he was worthless, his art is not filled with dark irony, existentialist rage and despair, but the idea that life has beauty somewhere for each of us, no matter our experiences. Having been discovered somewhat later in life, his career also stands as proof that it's never too late to realize one's dreams. He created Scatland, a fun filled paradise we could not only escape to but could make a reality if all tried our best to truly care for one another. Scatman John was not just a songwriter but a philosopher.
John Larkin eloquently showed the world a stutter was nothing to be ashamed of, both in his words and his lyrics, and in the process gave a message that no matter what affliction one may have or challenges they've faced, a happy life was closer than they could ever realize. Thank you Judith for keeping his songs alive, and for preserving this beautiful tribute page. Thank you to all his fans young and old, across the globe, blessings to all of you. John Larkin left us over twenty years ago, now here on earth one thing is left certain, Scatman John has become a legend.
I want to thank you all for joining me in celebration of the life of Scatman, good night.
Jake Fitzgerald, age twenty-one
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This tribute page was part of the Stuttering Home Page. Additions are no longer being made to this site. Scatman's legacy will continue through you and many others. Thank you all for your additions. Judy Kuster
Last updated February 17, 2022