The Byrds in 1970. (L–R) Roger McGuinn, Skip Battin, Clarence White, Gene Parsons.
|Birth name||Clyde Battin|
February 18, 1934|
Gallipolis, Ohio, US
July 6, 2003 69) (aged|
Salem, Oregon US
|Genres||Rock, Country rock, Folk rock|
|Instruments||Vocals, bass guitar|
|Associated acts||The 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 is best remembered as a member of the Byrds, the New Riders of the Purple Sage, and the Flying Burrito Brothers. While considered to be a great bass player, songwriter and vocalist, he generally joined bands after their most successful periods.
Battin was born Clyde Battin in Gallipolis, Ohio. His early musical career began in 1956 when he collaborated with Gary Paxton and formed the Pledges, the same duo later successfully recording under the appellation Skip & Flip, enjoying some success with "It Was I", and their cover of "Cherry Pie". After a few years out of the music industry, he led the short-lived folk-rock group Evergreen Blueshoes, starting in 1967. Their one album appeared on the Amos label.
As a musician, Battin is probably best known for his position as bass guitarist and songwriter with the Byrds from 1970 to 1973. He was—by eight years—the oldest member of the Byrds, with whom he recorded three albums and toured extensively. Many of his songwriting contributions were co-written with longtime collaborator and famous producer/songwriter Kim Fowley. After the breakup of the Columbia Byrds, Battin recorded a solo album, Skip. After his dismissal from the group in February 1973, he began work on his Topanga Skyline album (that later saw a release over 40 years later in 2012). The album was shelved, and he was invited to join the country-rock group the New Riders of the Purple Sage, with whom he recorded three albums from 1974 to 1976, whereupon he left to join his ex-Byrd cohort Gene Parsons in the "re-fried" Flying Burrito Brothers.
Battin's career continued successfully and included stints with the Flying Burrito Brothers, collaborations with notable country rock musicians, and numerous solo projects. From 1989 to 1991, he toured occasionally with Michael Clarke's Byrds, a version which was somewhat controversial but mostly well received.
Skip Battin died on the evening of July 6, 2003, of complications from Alzheimer's disease in a care facility in Salem, Oregon. A solo album recorded by Skip, Topanga Skyline, was released in February 2012. This album was originally recorded in 1973 but was shelved indefinitely until its eventual 2012 release on Sierra records, a company which features works from Skip and his early '70s country-rock contemporaries.
- Wanted Dead or Alive – Warren Zevon – 1969
- (Untitled) – The Byrds – 1970
- Byrdmaniax – The Byrds – 1971
- Farther Along – The Byrds – 1971
- Skip – Skip Battin – 1972
- Brujo – New Riders of the Purple Sage – 1974
- Oh, What a Mighty Time – New Riders of the Purple Sage – 1975
- New Riders – New Riders of the Purple Sage – 1976
- Airborne – Flying Burrito Brothers – 1976
- Close Encounters to the West Coast – Flying Burrito Brothers – 1978
- Live from Tokyo – Flying Burrito Brothers – 1979
- Sneaky Pete – Sneaky Pete Kleinow – 1979
- Hearts on the Line – Flying Burrito Brothers – 1981
- Hollywood Nights 1979–82 – Flying Burrito Brothers – 1983
- Cabin Fever – Flying Burrito Brothers – 1985
- Live from Europe – Flying Burrito Brothers – 1986
- Live on Stage – New Riders of the Purple Sage – 1993
- Armadillo World Headquarters, Austin, TX, 6/13/75 – New Riders of the Purple Sage – 2005
- Topanga Skyline – Skip Battin – 2012 (recorded in 1973)
- Skip Battin at AllMusic
- Skip Battin obituary in the Los Angeles Times, July 10, 2003
- Skip Battin discography at Byrds Flyght
- Skip Battin interview at American Music Belgium