Skip Battin

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Skip Battin
The Byrds in 1970. (L–R) Roger McGuinn, Skip Battin, Clarence White, Gene Parsons
The Byrds in 1970. (L–R) Roger McGuinn, Skip Battin, Clarence White, Gene Parsons
Background information
Birth nameClyde Battin
Born(1934-02-18)February 18, 1934
Gallipolis, Ohio, US
DiedJuly 6, 2003(2003-07-06) (aged 69)
Silverton, Marion County, Oregon, United States[1]
GenresRock; country rock; folk rock
Occupation(s)Musician; songwriter
InstrumentsVocals, bass guitar
Years active1956–1991
LabelsColumbia; Sierra
Associated actsThe Byrds; New Riders of the Purple Sage; The Flying Burrito Brothers; Skip & Flip

Clyde "Skip" Battin (February 18, 1934 – July 6, 2003) was an American singer-songwriter, bassist, performer, and recording artist. He was a member of the Byrds, the New Riders of the Purple Sage, and the Flying Burrito Brothers.

Εarly life[edit]

Clyde Raybould Battin was born in Gallipolis, Ohio, USA, attending local schools.[2] He discovered the electric bass when he was 17 years old.

Two years later, he moved to Tucson to attend physical education classes at the University of Arizona. With fellow student Gary Paxton, he formed a college band, the Pledges. As Gary and Clyde, they recorded the single "Why Not Confess" (with "Johnny Risk" on the flipside) for Rev Records, a local label.[3] In 1959, they went into the Desert Palm Studios in Phoenix, Arizona, the home of guitarist Duane Eddy, and recorded some Paxton compositions.[4]

Entrepreneur Bob Shad issued the demo of the duo's song "It Was I" on his Brent label, and renamed the act as "Skip & Flip". Their song eventually made No 11 in the American charts. The follow-up, "Fancy Nancy", was a minor hit, but they charted again in 1960 with a cover of the Marvin and Johnny ballad "Cherry Pie". The novelty number "Hully Gully Cha Cha Cha", written by Paxton and Battin, garnered airplay but did not make the charts. A short time later, the pair disbanded.[4]

In 1961, Battin moved to California, where he got small acting parts in films and on television.[4] In 1966, after a few years out of the music industry, he formed the short-lived folk-rock group Evergreen Blueshoes, whose one album appeared on the Amos label. After the album failed to sell, Battin concentrated instead on session work for many musicians, such as Gene Vincent, Warren Zevon, and others.[5]


Battin is probably best known as bass guitarist and songwriter with the Byrds from 1970 to 1973. He was—by eight years—the oldest member of the Byrds. He recorded three albums with them and toured extensively. Many of his songwriting contributions were co-written with Kim Fowley.[4] After the breakup of the Columbia Byrds, Battin recorded a solo album, Skip.[2]

In February 1973, he began work on his Topanga Skyline solo album. After it was completed, it was shelved for unclear reasons.[6] Battin was invited to join the country-rock group New Riders of the Purple Sage, with whom he recorded three albums from 1974 to 1976.

He left the group to join his ex-Byrd cohort Gene Parsons in a new line up of the Flying Burrito Brothers. Meanwhile, he was replaced in the New Riders within the year by Stephen A. Love.

In 1984, Battin got into a fight with Roger McGuinn after a live performance in London, UK, when McGuinn failed to pay wages to a line-up called the Peace Seekers.[4]

From 1989 to 1991, Battin toured occasionally with Michael Clarke's Byrds, named "The Byrds featuring Michael Clarke." After Clarke's death, the band continued as The Byrds Celebration, with Battin the sole ex-Byrds member. He stopped touring and recording after his Alzheimer's disease had reached an advanced state.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Battin married and had a son, Brent.[6] In the 1980s he remarried, had a son, John-Clyde and daughter, Susanna, while pursuing his dream of farming with his wife Patricia in the agricultural Willamette valley of Oregon. Battin died on July 6, 2003, of complications from Alzheimer's disease[5] in a care facility in Salem, Oregon.

In 2012, following negotiations undertaken by his son Brent with the record company, the 1973 solo album Topanga Skyline was released on Sierra records in celebration of the 40th anniversary of Skip Battin's first appearance with the Byrds.[6]


Solo albums[edit]

  • 1972: Skip (Signpost)[8][2]
  • 1981: Navigator (Appaloosa)
  • 1984: Don't Go Crazy (Appaloosa)
  • 2012: Topanga Skyline (Sierra) (recorded July 17–30, 1973 in Hollywood CA)
  • 2017: Skip Battin's Italian Dream (Appaloosa Records)


With The Byrds[edit]

With The Flying Burrito Brothers[edit]

With New Riders of the Purple Sage[edit]

Also appears on[edit]


  1. ^ "Skip Battin". Find-a-grave. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Skip Battin, Skip". Rising Storm. November 23, 2009. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
  3. ^ "Gary Paxton: 'Terminally weird' record producer of The Monster Mash who was once arrested with an elephant". The Times. London. July 12, 2013. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e Perrone, Pierre (July 12, 2003). "Skip Battin: Bassist and singer in the Byrds' most stable line-up". The Independent. London. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Skip Battin: Bassist who helped the Byrds sustain greatness into the Seventies". The Times. London. July 15, 2003. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c "Skip Battin, Topanga Skyline". Rising Storm. May 16, 2012. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  7. ^ Ramakers, Johan (December 9, 2016). "Skip Battin 7/2003". Rock 'n' Roll Paradise. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  8. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "Skip Battin: Skip". AllMusic. Retrieved March 21, 2018.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]