Skip Battin

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.

Skip Battin
The Byrds (1970)
The Byrds in 1970. (L–R) Roger McGuinn, Skip Battin, Clarence White, Gene Parsons
Background information
Birth nameClyde Battin
BornFebruary 18, 1934
Gallipolis, Ohio, USA
DiedJuly 6, 2003 (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

Εarly life

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 Bobby Sand 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

Battin married and had a son Brent.[6] Pursuing his dream of farming, he moved to the agricultural Willamette valley in Oregon to grow berries. He remarried and had a son, John-Clyde and daughter, Susanna. Battin died on July 6, 2003, of complications from Alzheimer's disease[5] in a care facility in Silverton, 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

  • 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)


  • 1985: Live in Italy (Moondance) with Sneaky Pete Kleinow and Ricky Mantoan
  • 1998: Family Tree (Folkest Dischi) with John York, Ricky Mantoan, and Beppe D'Angelo

With The Byrds

With The Flying Burrito Brothers

With New Riders of the Purple Sage

Also appears on


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

Further reading

External links

Airborne (The Flying Burrito Brothers album)

Airborne is the fifth studio album by the country rock group The Flying Burrito Brothers, released in 1976.

After the release of Flying Again to abysmal reviews, bassist and founding member Chris Ethridge left the band and was replaced by former Byrds bassist Skip Battin. This left "Sneaky" Pete Kleinow as the only original member in the band. Airborne was the band's second and last album for Columbia Records, as the label would drop the Burritos due to the lack of commercial success just after this album's release.

Armadillo World Headquarters, Austin, TX, 6/13/75

Armadillo World Headquarters, Austin, TX, 6/13/75 is an album by the country rock band the New Riders of the Purple Sage. It was recorded live on June 13, 1975, at the Armadillo World Headquarters in Austin, Texas, and released on November 1, 2005. It was the fourth complete New Riders concert that was recorded in the 1970s and released in the 2000s as an album on the Kufala Recordings label.At the time of the concert at the Armadillo, Skip Battin was the New Riders' bass player. Battin wrote or co-wrote three songs that appear on the album. Previously a member of the Byrds, Battin had joined the New Riders in 1974 after Dave Torbert left to join Kingfish. Also in the NRPS lineup for this recording were band co-founders John "Marmaduke" Dawson and David Nelson, and long-time members Buddy Cage and Spencer Dryden.


Brujo is an album by the American country rock band New Riders of the Purple Sage. It is their fifth studio album, and their sixth album overall. It was recorded in 1974 and released that same year by Columbia Records.

Brujo was the first New Riders album to feature Skip Battin. Battin had replaced Dave Torbert as the New Riders' bass player after Torbert left to join Kingfish.

One single was released in conjunction with the album — "You Angel You" / "Parson Brown".

In 2004, a combined CD of Brujo and the New Riders' previous album, Home, Home on the Road, was released by BGO Records.

Cabin Fever (Flying Burrito Brothers album)

Cabin Fever is a live album by the country rock group The Flying Burrito Brothers, released in 1985.

After John Beland and Gib Guilbeau brought the Burritos to a close in 1984, original member "Sneaky" Pete Kleinow took the opportunity to use the band's name in an effort to secure overseas club work. He re-formed the band with Skip Battin, Greg Harris and Jim Goodall, all of whom had toured with Kleinow as The Peace Seekers. The new band toured as the Flying Burrito Brothers beginning in February 1985. Cabin Fever was recorded by this incarnation of the band in the spring of 1985 to less than excited reviews.

Cactus Juice

Cactus Juice is a two-CD album by the country rock band the New Riders of the Purple Sage. It was released by Arcadia Records in 2006. It is a repackaging of three complete New Riders albums from the 1970s — Home, Home on the Road; Brujo; and Oh, What a Mighty Time.

Farther Along (The Byrds album)

Farther Along is the eleventh album by the American rock band the Byrds and was released in November 1971 on Columbia Records (see 1971 in music). For the most part, the album was recorded and produced by the Byrds themselves in London, England, over the course of five work-intensive days in July 1971. It was quickly released as a reaction to the commercial failure of the Byrds' previous album, Byrdmaniax, and as an attempt to stem the criticism that album was receiving in the music press.Byrdmaniax had featured a large amount of orchestration, which producer Terry Melcher had applied to the album, allegedly without the band's consent. The band were unhappy with this and Farther Along was intended as their answer to what they perceived as Melcher's over-production, as well as an attempt to prove that they could produce an album that they regarded as superior to Byrdmaniax themselves. Band biographer Johnny Rogan has suggested that the rapidity with which the Byrds planned and recorded Farther Along resulted in an LP that the band themselves were unhappy with and that failed to undo the damage to their reputation inflicted by Byrdmaniax.Upon release, the album only managed to reach number 152 on the Billboard Top LPs chart and failed to break into the UK Albums Chart altogether. A single taken from the album, "America's Great National Pastime", was released on November 29, 1971, but failed to chart in the United States or in the United Kingdom. Farther Along has the dubious honor of tying with Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde as the Byrds' album to have spent the least amount of time on the Billboard album chart. In addition, it was almost the lowest charting album of The Byrds' career in America, being beaten only by Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde, which charted at number 153.

Groove Records

Groove Records was a subsidiary of RCA Victor records, founded by Billboard reporter Bob Rolontz (1921–2000) in 1953 as a rhythm and blues label. The label tried hard to break into the R&B market. Piano Red was its first hit but Mickey & Sylvia was its first big seller. The label also recorded King Curtis, Arthur Crudup, Brook Benton and little George Benson. Following Mickey & Sylvia's big hit "Love Is Strange" in 1957, Groove was deactivated and its remaining artists switched over to RCA's Vik subsidiary.

In 1961, Groove was revived with more of a country music bent, and some pop acts. It was given a full revival in 1963. Artists who recorded for the later incarnation of Groove included Sonny James, Justin Tubb, Marty Paich, Johnny Nash, Jack Scott, Johnnie Ray, Skip Battin (of Skip & Flip fame), and Charlie Rich. This version of the label lasted until 1965.

Hearts on the Line

Hearts on the Line is an album by the country rock group The Burrito Brothers, released in 1981.

After the Flying Burrito Brothers scored a minor country hit in 1979 with a live cover of Merle Haggard's "White Line Fever", the band was dropped from their record contract and hit yet again with personnel changes. By 1980, Greg Harris and Ed Ponder had left the group, leaving the Burritos as a trio of "Sneaky" Pete Kleinow, Gib Guilbeau and Skip Battin. In addition to commitments with the Flying Burrito Brothers, Guilbeau was also working as a songwriter for Criterion Music with John Beland, who Guilbeau knew from his time in the band Swampwater. Guilbeau and Beland wrote some songs and ultimately, Beland was invited to join the Burritos. Beland was reluctant to join the now nearly defunct band, as he was riding strong as lead guitarist with Ricky Nelson who (with Beland's help) was enjoying his own comeback of sorts.

However, after leaving Nelson in the hopes of producing the Burritos, Beland who took the Burritos to a more commercial direction, having written a number of country hits for other artists prior to his joining the FBB. In addition, the band's name was shortened to simply The Burrito Brothers, a suggestion by Curb Records.

Beland's song demos, which featured the Burritos on them, eventually made it to Dick Whitehouse at Curb records, who signed the band to a deal with Curb / Epic Records. By December 1980, the band's first single for Curb, "She's a Friend of a Friend" reached the US country top 70. Hearts on the Line followed in January 1981 and spawned two further singles, both of which made the US country top 20, "Does She Wish She Was Single Again?" and "She Belongs to Everyone But Me". More would follow.

That year, The Burrito Brothers received the number one "Crossover from pop to country" award from Billboard Magazine as well as best new vocal group award from Record World Magazine. Skip Battin was fired from the band after the photo shoot for the album cover of Hearts on the Line, and was replaced in the studio by Dennis Belfield on bass. Mickey McGee was also replaced on drums by Ron Krasinsky, for the recordings. The success of the Burrito Brothers marked the first time in the band's 11-year history of having any serious chart success. During their span as a country hit act, they scored nine hits for Curb Records. Despite this success, the album is currently unavailable.

History of The Byrds

History of The Byrds is a double album compilation by the American rock band the Byrds and was released on May 18, 1973 by CBS Records (see 1973 in music). The compilation was released exclusively in Europe and the UK, peaking at number 47 on the UK Albums Chart, but it was also available in the United States as an import.

Instant Armadillo Blues

Instant Armadillo Blues is a two-CD compilation album by the country rock band the New Riders of the Purple Sage. Subtitled Best of 1971 – 1975, it contains songs selected from the first seven New Riders albums. It was released in Australia on the Raven Records label on November 21, 2011.The songs on Instant Armadillo Blues were excerpted from New Riders of the Purple Sage (1971), Powerglide (1972), Gypsy Cowboy (1972), The Adventures of Panama Red (1973), Home, Home on the Road (1974), Brujo (1974), and Oh, What a Mighty Time (1975).Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead plays pedal steel guitar on the first nine tracks of the album. Guest musicians who contribute to individual songs include Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Donna Jean Godchaux, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Commander Cody, Nicky Hopkins, and Sly Stone.

The photo on the front cover of the album is from approximately 1975, and depicts, from left to right, David Nelson, John Dawson, Skip Battin, Buddy Cage, and Spencer Dryden.

Live from Europe

Live from Europe is a live album by the country rock group The Flying Burrito Brothers, released in 1986. It contains songs recorded live for a Dutch radio broadcast and features the same lineup as Cabin Fever. Skip Battin would leave the band mid-1986 and be replaced with David Vaught for some shows.

After the conclusion of touring commitments in 1987, "Sneaky" Pete Kleinow and Gib Guilbeau reunited and recorded some songs for a new Flying Burrito Brothers album with Ray Tabia and Guilbeau's son Ronnie. These recordings remain unreleased. Nothing was heard from the Burritos in 1988, however Kleinow and Guilbeau reunited with John Beland and former colleagues Thad Maxwell and Jim Goodall for a few Burritos shows in Las Vegas and southern California.

Live on Stage (New Riders of the Purple Sage album)

Live on Stage is an album by the country rock band the New Riders of the Purple Sage. It was recorded live in 1975 at the Beacon Theatre in New York City and at the Keystone in Berkeley, California. It was released by Relix Records in 1993.

Never Before (album)

Never Before is a compilation album by the American rock band the Byrds, consisting of previously unreleased outtakes, alternate versions, and rarities. It was initially released by Re-Flyte Records in December 1987 and was subsequently reissued on CD in 1989, with an additional seven bonus tracks.Never Before consists of material recorded between 1965 and 1967 by the original line-up of the Byrds, featuring Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark, David Crosby, Chris Hillman, and Michael Clarke (although Gene Clark had left the group by early 1966). The songs on the album were all originally recorded for Columbia Records during the sessions for the band's first five studio albums: Mr. Tambourine Man, Turn! Turn! Turn!, Fifth Dimension, Younger Than Yesterday, and The Notorious Byrd Brothers. The album represented the first time that previously unreleased outtakes from the Byrds' tenure with Columbia Records had been officially released.

The Byrds (box set)

The Byrds is a four-CD box set by the American rock band the Byrds. It features music that had previously been released between the mid-1960s and early 1970s, along with a number of previously unreleased tracks and some new recordings from 1990. The box set was issued on October 19, 1990 by Columbia/Legacy and reached number 151 on the Billboard albums chart.

The Byrds Play Dylan

The Byrds Play Dylan is the name of two different compilation albums by the American rock band the Byrds, one released in 1979 and the other issued in 2002. As their titles suggest, each compilation consists of interpretations of Bob Dylan penned songs, which the Byrds recorded at different stages of their career.Neither version of the album reached the charts in the United States or the United Kingdom.

The Essential Byrds

The Essential Byrds is a comprehensive two-CD compilation album by the American rock band the Byrds. It was released in 2003 as part of Sony BMG's The Essential series. The Essential Byrds did not chart in the U.S. or the UK. A 3.0 edition of the compilation released in 2011 contains a third disc with six additional tracks: "Spanish Harlem Incident", "I Knew I'd Want You", "The World Turns All Around Her", "I See You", "Change Is Now", and "One Hundred Years from Now".

Untitled (The Byrds album)

(Untitled) is the ninth album by the American rock band the Byrds and was released in September 1970 on Columbia Records (see 1970 in music). It is a double album, with the first LP featuring live concert recordings from early 1970, and with the second disc consisting of new studio recordings. The album represented the first official release of any live recordings by the band, as well as the first appearance on a Byrds' record of new recruit Skip Battin, who had replaced the band's previous bass player, John York, in late 1969.The studio album mostly consisted of newly written, self-penned material, including a number of songs that had been composed by band leader Roger McGuinn and Broadway theatre director Jacques Levy for a planned country rock musical that the pair were developing. The production was to have been based on Henrik Ibsen's Peer Gynt and staged under the title of Gene Tryp (an anagram of Ibsen's play), but plans for the musical fell through. Five of the songs that had been intended for Gene Tryp were instead recorded by the Byrds for (Untitled)—although only four appeared in the album's final running order.The album peaked at number 40 on the Billboard Top LPs chart and reached number 11 on the UK Albums Chart. A single taken from the album, "Chestnut Mare" b/w "Just a Season", was released in the U.S. in October 1970, but missed the Billboard Hot 100 chart, bubbling under at number 121. The single was later released in the UK in January 1971, where it did considerably better, reaching number 19 on the UK Singles Chart. Upon release, (Untitled) was met with positive reviews and strong sales, with many critics and fans regarding the album as a return to form for the band. Likewise, the album is today generally regarded by critics as being the best that the latter-day line-up of the Byrds produced.

Who Are Those Guys?

Who Are Those Guys? is the eighth studio album and tenth album overall by the country rock band the New Riders of the Purple Sage. It was recorded at the Record Plant in Sausalito, California, in October and November 1976. It was produced by Bob Johnston, and released by MCA Records in 1977.Who Are Those Guys? was the first New Riders album to feature Stephen Love on bass guitar. The band's previous bass player, Skip Battin, had left to join the Flying Burrito Brothers. Love, a former member of Rick Nelson's Stone Canyon Band, wrote three of the songs on the album, and sings lead on six of the album's ten tracks. A fourth original song, "Home Grown", was written by drummer Spencer Dryden. The NRPS lineup for Who Are Those Guys? also included John "Marmaduke" Dawson, David Nelson, and Buddy Cage. Until Where I Come From was released in 2009, this was the only New Riders album that did not have any songs written by Dawson.

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Flying Burrito Brothers
studio albums
Burrito Brothers
studio albums
Burrito Deluxe
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