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Skip Battin, 69; Musician Was Member of Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers

July 10, 2003|From Staff and Wire Reports

Skip Battin, 69, a bass guitarist, singer and songwriter, died Sunday of complications from Alzheimer's disease in Silverton, Ore.

Battin was a member of the Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers and New Riders of the Purple Sage.

Clyde Skip Battin was born in Ohio and attended college in Tucson, Ariz., where he began his musical partnership with Gary Paxton, who used the nickname "Flip" when they recorded the pop hits "It Was I" and "Cherry Pie" as Skip & Flip. Both records peaked at No. 11 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart.

None of Battin's three solo albums released from 1971 to 1983 cracked Billboard's album chart, but his first, titled "Flip," was reissued recently.

During the 1980s and into the '90s, he participated in various Byrds-New Riders-Burritos reunions. He also worked frequently in Europe and lived for a time in Italy, recording and performing with other Southern California country-rock veterans.

"He was professional, nice guy," said songwriter-producer and singer Kim Fowley, who met Battin in 1959 and wrote songs with him for two decades. "Skip was a diplomat, a real gentleman, a good loyal friend, and as a musician he was the ultimate sideman and group member."

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