Remembering Scatman John Larkin

This page has been put online for anyone who wishes to share their memories or feelings about John. If you care to add your memories or comments, send your message to judith.kuster@mnsu.edu and I will post it.

scatman1.gif (10696 bytes)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 (see http://www.mnsu.edu/comdis/kuster/Creativeexpression/larkin.html). 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. Some of his work is still available through http://www.mnsu.edu/comdis/kuster/Bookstore/Bookstore.html

Scatman John Facebook Page the official fan page run by Scatman's wife, Judy.
Contains many never-before published pictures!!

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 was Eddie Cantor's grand-daughter. Judy 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:

  • Let's get the Scatman back on the charts - a Facebook page created by Gareth Williams.

    Comments

  • Chatting with John - Judy Kuster 12/6/99
  • From the Belgium Selfhelp Organization vzw BeSt - Gert Reunes 12/6/99
  • True creative artistry is immortal Paul the Poundin' Piano Player 12/6/99
  • He's the Scatman... Elson Trinidad 12/7/99
  • Remembering a friend Gina Waggott 12/9/99
  • A truly unique guy John C. Harrison 12/14/99
  • Memorial Celebration Annie Bradberry 12/14/99
  • Memories NEVER fade . . . especially pleasant ones!
  • I'll Miss John - Marty Leisner 12/18/99
  • Hey John - Dave Carless, Tucson Chapter, N.S.A. 12/27/99
  • Speaking the truth, and only the truth. Nora O'Connor 12/30/99
  • Scatman John - Peter Hawkes 1/4/00
  • NSA Stutterers Hall of Fame - Ira Zimmerman 7/5/00
  • Im giving in, not giving up - Kiran. 1/10/01
  • Missed by All Big Ad 11/9/01
  • Music From The Soul A Starving Artist 11/13/01
  • Missing John Torben 11/14/01
  • Steve 11/23/01
  • he will be remembered AL Z. 11/25/01
  • charlie chaplin Gaz 12/8/01
  • He was the greatest musician for me Frusti_51 12/10/01
  • From Spain Alce 1/9/02
  • Octavio Alcober Spain remembers you! 1/13/02
  • Great men UVNET 1/22/02
  • scatman john Norwegian fan 1/30/02
  • Come back Mateo Garcia 2/6/02
  • Cool John D. 2/6/02
  • You will be missed Scatman! Rachel Zodinpuii 2/9/02
  • Scatman John sean/18/london 2/14/02
  • Rachel Zodinpuii, 2/9/02
  • sean/18/london - 2/14/02
  • A great guy Adam Sime 2/15/02
  • Volmar Correa Vieira - 3/17/02
  • Yates - 3/18/02
  • Mr. Dj Beatsanov - 3/27/02
  • whalebacklover - 3/30/02
  • Mark Hart from England - 4/2/02
  • Bill in Austria - 4/25/02
  • Antti From Finland - 4/29/02
  • a un gran artista - from Francisco, 5/5/02
  • A fan - 5/6/02
  • beatzmasta2001@yahoo.co.uk - 5/6/02
  • Davy Vandousselaere - 5/8/02
  • Bram from Belgium - 5/8/02
  • Dutch - 5/11/02
  • ben lewis - 5/12/02
  • Scattin' K - 5/12/02
  • B-Linda. Norway - 5/23/02
  • From Falcidia in Italy, June 2, 2002
  • Alejandro Rosales etan_ho@yahoo.com - 6/2/02
  • From Giles Towler, June 18, 2002
  • Francis, in Brazil. - 6/28/02
  • VicChiri - 7/3/02
  • Enrique Pineda - 7/8/02
  • MDB, Pretoria, South Africa - 7/18/02
  • Dom - 8/19/02
  • Andrew Sanders, Australia - 15 October 2002
  • Damian Lappin, UK - 31 October 2002
  • Stephen Dixon, England, 2 November 2002
  • Brent De Young, Attorney at Law , Seattle, Washington - 27 November 2002
  • -Sid Crowe, Canada - January 14, 2003
  • Edson Harada from Brazil - 14 January 2003
  • Ross from Australia - 29, 2003
  • Mateo Garcia, USA-California, March 5, 2003
  • Darren Teale, UK, March 13, 2003
  • Courage, Wisconsin, USA, March 13, 2003
  • Jeffery Nigel, UK, March 27, 2003
  • 19 year old boy from Norway, April 19, 2003
  • Gar and Brian, Ireland, April 20, 2003
  • Marcus Gasslander, April 28, 2003
  • Kristian from Sweden, April 28, 2003
  • Latvia, May 22, 2003
  • Ren Panelo from Phillipines, May 27, 2003
  • Ty, May 31, 2003
  • Alex Freeman, London, England, June 30, 2003
  • Gareth Carpenter , SA, AUSTRALIA, August 5, 2003
  • James David Reyome, Tennessee, USA, August 23, 2003
  • Fatih Bayrak Istanbul, TURKEY, 29 August 2003
  • MD, BELGIUM, October 15, 2003
  • Joshua Derke, United States, October 15, 2003
  • Roberto Natareno del Valle, Guatemala, Central America, October 15, 2003
  • Amrit, age 14 from India, October 31, 2003
  • C.J. Neethling, South Africa, November 4, 2003
  • David, Australia, November 17, 2003
  • Keith H, March 12, 2004
  • "Cowled_Wolfe", U.S. Age 15. March 5, 2004
  • Agustin Miranda, Quito - Ecuador. May 10, 2004
  • Michael Colbeck, UK. May 13, 2004
  • James, age 16, Australia, August 7, 2004
  • Arch & Ady Shaw - September 1, 2004
  • Robert Anderson, Hale Village, Liverpool, UK - .September 1, 2004
  • Antonio M Sopena, SPAIN, Seville - December 28, 2004
  • Brennain Garber, California - February 16, 2005
  • BAlvaro Maharg, Madrid, Spain - February 16, 2005
  • Kirill Alferov aka Louigi Verona, Russia - February 20, 2005
  • Fredrik Hulbekkmo, Norway - March 30, 2005
  • Damion Brown, Australia, April 7, 2005
  • Corey S., Florida, United States - April 14, 2005
  • Blair Crewther, Australia - April 22, 2005
  • Anya (Washington, USA) - April 22, 2005
  • Brian H. - May 1, 2005
  • Fuad Mammadov (Baku, Azerbaijan) - May 23, 2005
  • Rob (United Kingdom) - May 26, 2005
  • Carl E. (Scotland) - June 5, 2005
  • Stu F - 6/19/2005
  • T Ali (UK) - 6/19/2005
  • Bitiusca George - Romania (6/18/2005)
  • Lutz.H. - (6/19/2005)
  • Florentino del Campo - Spain (6/24/2005
  • Neil - Dublin, Ireland (June 12, 2005
  • Keely Jolliffe (June 26, 2005)
  • Paul England, England (June 30, 2005)
  • Michael Totten (June 30, 2005)
  • Oscar Takahashi - Peru, (July 7, 2005)
  • Andy Bolton - UK, (August 6, 2005)
  • George - (July 4, 2005)
  • Valan - UK, (August 2005)
  • Alex - Australia, (August 20, 2005)
  • Stefan, Castellón, - Spain, (August 15, 2005)
  • Andy G, (August 8, 2005)
  • emily - UK (September 1, 2005)
  • Sami S. Berjaoui, (Lebanon) September 1, 2005)
  • John (September 3, 2005)
  • Iker Sanchez - Basque Country (Sept 14, 2005)
  • Jonathan H - Vanuatu (September 5, 2005)
  • Salvador Alejandro - Mexico (October 3, 2005)
  • David - Sweden (October 1, 2005)
  • Scott Olin - (October 1, 2005)
  • Laurie Blake - England (October 7, 2005)
  • Pres - Japan (October 6, 2005)
  • Cedric - Monoco (October 21, 2005)
  • Roberto Mancilla, Monterrey, Mexico (October 6, 2005
    Knut, Norway (November 5, 2005
    James B (Australia) - November 26, 2005
  • Jack Chandler (UK) - November 27, 2005
  • Barbara (Mexico) - December 1, 2005
  • Daniel C (India) - December 10, 2005
  • Drew Dube (Amesbury, Massachusetts) - 12/16/2005
  • Marelz Jurits (Latvia) - December 18, 2005
  • Randy C. (Canada) - 12/ 27/2005
  • Rich (USA) - Jan. 2, 2006
  • bohicjio (France) -Jan. 13, 2006
  • Anthony Barnardo (stationed in Lemoore, CA. originally from Dudley, MA.) - Jan.16, 2006
  • Cristian (Chile.) - Jan.26, 2006
  • Clint (Australia) - Feb. 11, 2006
  • Anonymous - February 15, 2006
  • Gareth Bramley - Sheffield, England, 2/16/2006
  • Doug L. - New Jersey, USA, 2/21/2006
  • Mario, Mexico City - March 1, 2006 '
  • Hans Albrecht, Peru - March 4th , 2006
  • Michael Chira - Vancouver, Canada - 3/4/2006
  • Tom Barker and Chloe Williams (South Wales, UK) - added March 15, 2006
  • A.D. (unknown) - added March 15, 2006
  • Fabian Wittke (Germany) - added March 15, 2006
  • Dawid S. (Poland) - added March 19, 2006
  • Davide Rapallini (Spain) - added April 30, 2006
  • Donavan Purdum (Alabama, USA) - added April 30, 2006
  • anonymous - added April 30, 2006
  • Yves Schelpe (Belgium) - added April 30, 2006
  • Dave Stutton - added April 30, 2006
  • Avelino Santos Junior - added April 30, 2006
  • Giovanni De Leon (Mexico) - added April 30, 2006
  • Jimmy Schmidt (Canada) - added June 7, 2006
  • Ivan Diaz - added June 7, 2006
  • Mikael Karlsson "Deejay Molle" (Sweden) - added June 7, 2006
  • Glen Bosiwang, (Sabah, Malaysia) - added June 7, 2006
  • Jhon (Sweden) - added June 7, 2006


  • Olav (Norway) - added June 27, 2006


  • Elixis (Ontario, Canada) - added June 28, 2006


  • Thomas M - added June 29, 2006
  • Alexandru Trutia (Romania) - added July 8, 2006
  • Paul (Fareham, UK) - added July 11, 2006
  • sean (gosport, uk ) - added July 15, 2006
  • kate ( gosport, uk) - added July 15, 2006
  • Ace67 - added August 12, 2006
  • Ross (Crawley, UK) - added August 12, 2006
  • Alex ( Spain) - added August 13, 2006
  • Jaco De Klerk (South Africa) - added August 17, 2006
  • David Blunden - added August 17, 2006
  • jamie buckley (leeds, england) - added September 9, 2006
  • Gerard (Tokyo) - added September 9, 2006
  • anonymous (France) - added September 25, 2006
  • Hayyan Deeb - added October 25, 2006
  • David Ritchie (New Zealand) - added October 25, 2006
  • Randy Clattenburg (Canada) (added October 29, 2006)
  • anonymous (added October 29, 2006)
  • Daniel, The Netherlands (added October 29, 2006) DJT, Corpus Christi, TX (added November 9, 2006)
  • FA, Hungary (added November 15, 2006)
  • Anita Blom, Sweden (added November 22, 2006)
    I'd like to share something I kept for myself for many years (I only read it to the Youth Meeting delegates). I corresponded with John Larkin for several years and I asked him once to write something to the young people at the Youth Meetings. He wrote the following.

    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."

    Scatman John


    Ryan Keddy, Nova Scotia, Canada (added January 29, 2007)
      I reciently came across Scatman John's other songs aside from "Scatman". And I am listening to "Scatman's World" right now. I love it, I will be listening to this for a while.

      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.


  • Albert Smit (South Africa) (added February 4, 2007)
  • A.W., (added June 11, 2007)
  • Titus Tait. (UK - added July 16, 2007)
  • Daniel B. (added July 16, 2007)
  • Marcelo B. (Brazil, added July 19, 2007)
  • Unknown (Finland, added July 19, 2007)
  • Justin Tense (Australia, added July 19, 2007)
  • Reagan Creado (Mumbai, India; Currently in Dubai, added August 12, 2007)
  • Kari (Wisconsin, added August 12, 2007)
  • Joey ( added August 12, 2007)
  • Mason May (added August 12, 2007
  • Joachim Haas (from Germany, added August 12, 2007)
  • Simon (U.K., added August 12, 2007)
  • Sander Depecker (Belgium, added August 28, 2007)
  • JD (September 17, 2007)
  • Max (USA, added Oct 29, 2007)
  • Paul (Russia, November 27, 2007).
  • Florian (Germany November 27, 2007)
  • J. Phill (USA, January 16, 2008)
  • Bill (unknown, February 2, 2008)
  • Connie A. Carver (CSD student, added February 24, 2008)
  • Laurence Bolden (unknown, added March 1, 2008)
  • Gabe Leman (unknown, added March 1, 2008)

  • Shane Gordon (unknown, added March 3, 2008)
  • Richard Hudock (unknown, added March 25, 2008)
  • Sandra (Spain, added April 8, 2008)
  • Jack (added April 21, 2008)
  • Michael M. (added April 26, 2008)
  • Devon K. (from Canada, added April 26, 2008)
  • Jacob Lee (from Arizona, added May 14, 2008)
  • Sandra (from Spain, added May 25, 2008)
  • Julia K (added June 5, 2008)
  • anonymous (age 15, USA, June 8, 2008)
  • Patrick Roberts (Virginia, USA, June 8, 2008)
  • Alex Y (June 17, 2008)
  • Ted Sherwood (June 19, 2008)
  • Greg Shaw (June 19, 2008)
  • Cory Walker (June 20, 2008)
  • Kostas (29 June 2008)
  • Joshua Ehlke (June 30, 2008)

  • Steven Orford (July 28, 2008)
  • Don G. (July 28, 2008)
  • Amy Louise Allikas (August 6, 2008, Surf City, USA)
  • Joseph Butorac (August 22, 2008, Washington, USA)
  • KJ (August 12, 2008)
  • Alena Cadova, (Czech Republic 12/9/2008)
  • Tony and Carly, (Illinois, added December 11, 2008)
  • Christopher (California, added December 11, 2008)
  • Stephen B, (Ireland added December 31, 2008)
  • Ken (California, added December 31, 2008)
  • Alf (UK, added December 31, 2008)
  • Fenna (Netherlands added December 31, 2008)
  • Bera Dordoni (added December 31, 2008)
  • Hope (added December 31, 2008)
  • Jacques (France, February 9, 2009)
    Adam P - sent March 17, 2009, added July 25, 2010
  • "The One Man Gang" (Brandon) (added April 5, 2009)
  • Antonio Comune (Italy, added May 28, 2009)
  • Cooly Original (Portugal, added July 3, 2009)
  • Anonymous (USA, added July 25, 2009
  • Daniel Renz, Stuttgart (Germany) added November 15, 2009
  • Unknown - sent November 22, 2009, added July 25, 2010
  • Raquel Vieira Guimaraes (Brazil) - added December 19, 2009
  • unsigned (Italy) - sent December 25, 2009, added July 25, 2010
  • A French stutterer - sent February 23, 2010, added July 25, 2010
  • james horrocks (England) - sent April 13, 2010, added July 25, 2010
  • Josh Snyder - sent May 26, 2010, added July 25, 2010
  • Odd Carsten, Norway (July 30, 2010)


  • John Dolan, England (August 5, 2010)
  • Anthony Garcia (added September 20, 2010)


  • Dakotah A. (added September 20, 2010)


  • Chris Alcott (sent October 6, 2010)


  • Mikko K. from Finland (added November 28, 2010)


  • Alvaro Bayona from Lima, Peru (added November 28, 2010


  • Neil Cronk from Austin, Texas (added April 2, 2011)


  • Jakob Z. from New Jersey (sent April 16, 2011)


  • Cyrus A. (sent September 7, 2011)


  • Chris B. from New Zealand (sent October 3, 2011)


  • KS (sent October 11, 2011)


  • Anita Blom (Sweden, February 2, 2012)


  • Christopher Winnard (UK, December 11, 2012)


  • Awan (Indonesia, October 11, 2013)
    This tribute page is part of the Stuttering Home Page