Skeleton Crew® | The Band

William

William Pilipchuk: Lead vocalist, lyricist/songwriter and co-founder of Skeleton Crew®

Performed with Detroit pop/rock group Bitter Sweet Alley

Recorded with Grand Funk Railroad lead singer/guitarist Mark Farner

Lead vocalist & songwriter for the band Purple Gang which included Red Hot Chili Peppers’ drummer Chad Smith; recorded with Triumph lead singer and guitarist Rik Emmett

Formed Skeleton Crew with Scott Christy

 

 

Scott | Skeleton Crew®

Scott Christy: Lead & rhythm acoustic guitars, background vocals, songwriter and co-founder of Skeleton Crew®

Lead singer/songwriter for The Hearthrobs; recorded album for Electra Records in 1982

Radio DJ co-host “Damon” with Paul Christy on KISS-FM


Dan | Skeleton Crew®

Dan Hess: All keyboards, rhythm acoustic guitar, background vocals
, songwriter & vocal arranger

Former member of EMI recording artists “Second Self” 

Detroit session musician for local and national recording artists

Computer software developer and creator of sound effects for aircraft and tank simulators and instrument samples for various digital keyboard manufacturers

Composed & recorded soundtrack for Pilot Wings 64 video game

Chris (aka: Bogdon Vasquaf) | Skeleton Crew®

Chris Badynee: Fretless bass, bass, harmonica & background vocals
/songwriter


Co-founder and songwriter for Detroit punk band Cadillac Kidz; wrote the local hit single “Shoulder To Shoulder”


Invented the world's first and only cardboard electric bass; the Bogdon Bass

Also records and performs as Bogdon Vasquaf

Greg | Skeleton Crew®

 

Greg Tyler: Drums, percussion & background vocals/songwriter

Drummer for the Greg Stryker Band in the mid to late ’80s

Drummer for Bugs Beddow’s Blues Brigade in late '80s early ’90s

Session drummer for various artists

Solo project: Strawberry Alternative




Skeleton Crew® | pre-Historic...dig!
 
Skeleton Crew® | pre-historic...dig! Enhanced CD

The celebrated author, H.G. Wells once wrote: “The past is but a beginning of a beginning.” In pre-historic...dig!, the debut album by Skeleton Crew, Mr. Wells’ profundity becomes embodied in a musical testimonial that’s just that; original songs of far-reaching lyrical and musical depth, vivid panoramic imagery, and an arrangement strewn with the subtle haunting of a familiar friend.

“Most writers would tell you, if they’re honest with themselves, that you can’t help but be influenced by all those who have come before you,” said lead vocalist William Pilipchuk, who along with Scott Christy, Dan Hess, Chris Badynee and Greg Tyler make up the band Skeleton Crew. “And we’re no exception. Thus the title pre-historic...dig! It’s our allusion to the band’s pre-history; a compilation of what got us to this point in time; what makes up this collective group of writers and performers, and the influences we proudly lay on the table.”

Pre-historic...dig!, and its “power acoustic”-based sound bars any formal labeling and transcends musical typecasting. Songs such as: “callalili,” “in sympathy,” “kiss the world goodbye,” and “everything a man can bring” flirt with the band’s pop sensibilities. The country-tinged ballad “we ought to know better” takes a nod from Nashville, while “trumpeting soul” – aided by legendary trumpeter Johnny Trudell (Sinatra, Streisand, Motown) – pays homage to Louis Armstrong and New Orleans’ jazz. The ballad “sentimental” and the album’s epic finale “lost my way” round off the band’s eclectic leanings. “Our whole idea from the beginning, insofar as song writing was concerned, was to have no idea in mind,” said guitarist Scott Christy. “If the song was good, regardless of style, lyrical content or instrumentation, we’d try it. We really have to please ourselves first and write from the heart – if you don’t, the listener invariably will see right through you.”


The late great Detroit Free Press feature writer Bob Talbert noted in a past column that: “pre-historic...dig! is one of the best albums I’ve heard in years. The group’s terrific harmony and brilliant musicianship on original songs bring to mind both the Eagles and The Beatles.” No surprise since Skeleton Crew’s inclusion of John Lennon’s “I’am The Walrus” may have contributed in the comparison to the later. “Bill was of the opinion that Lennon sang the tune in the third person,” said keyboardist Dan Hess. “He thought, and we all agreed, that it might be interesting to interpret the song from the walrus’ point-of-view. From the sound of Bill’s performance, you can almost hear the walrus channeling through Bill’s vocal cords!”

Nationally recognized music writer and recording artist in his own right, Stewart Francke (Detroit News, CD Review, The Boston Phoenix, Minneapolis City Pages, Detroit Metro Times), writes: “pre-historic...dig! is arguably the best rock-related album to come from Detroit talent since Stranger In Town. It’s certainly the most melodically sophisticated and emotionally comprehensive statement in recent memory.” Francke goes on to say that: “Like other most capable pop miniaturists (Jimmy Webb, Roy Orbison, Paul McCartney), Skeleton Crew writes songs rich in both romantic possibility and quotidian detail.”

This not-so-stereotypical Detroit band has enjoyed a wealth of accolades bestowed on them by their hometown in recent years. The band garnering top honors at The Motor City Music Awards as “Band of The Year” and pre-historic...dig! was named “Best Pop/Rock Record.” “We’re looking to carry-over, on a worldwide scale, the success we’ve had in Detroit,” said drummer Greg Tyler.

Dick Bozzi, former president of A & R for the now defunct Intersound International says of the band that: “It amazes me that a band of this caliber hasn’t been signed to a label sooner. Their audience drawing power is a melting pot of old and young people; and people of different cultural backgrounds that include every possible musical taste currently popular in today’s music.”

As performers, Skeleton Crew has opened shows for such diverse acts as: The Rembrandts, the Smithereens, Robert Palmer, Todd Rundgren, Tesla, Kenny Loggins, Foreigner and Eddie Money. Venues have ranged from 2000 seaters, to the outdoor Pine Knob Music Theatre in Clarkston, Michigan, Tiger Stadium in Detroit and The Palace of Auburn Hills arena. “The band’s done pretty well playing in these situations,” said bassist Chris Badynee. “It’s a challenge to get up there and ‘deliver the goods,’ as we like to say, and win the crowd over with songs that have yet to become radio staples.”


 Skeleton Crew® | Milestones
 
Skeleton Crew®

Skeleton Crew® | Christmas in Detroit 32009 Recorded and released the new Skeleton Crew® song "Faith" for the Christmas in Detroit 3 benefit album. On 09|09|09 Skeleton Crew® got back to work making music. We had the honor of recording and contributing our song “Faith” to Harmony Park’s “Christmas in Detroit 3” project to benefit the homeless in Detroit. Proceeds from the sale of this tune-rich compilation go to Mitch Albom’s S.A.Y. Detroit charity organization.

Christmas in Detroit 3 is an incredible recording in both sound, song and spirit with contributions by some of Detroit’s finest recording artists. The songs are good to listen to year round,not just at Christmastime. That’s why we are drawing your attention now, in the blistering summer heat, that the situation remains the same as it did during the blistering winter cold: those less fortunate need our help now!

If you haven’t purchased Christmas in Detroit 3 yet, check it out and enjoy a little Christmas in July while helping those that need it most. Just click on the link to be directed to the Harmony Park Studios website where you can purchase Christmas in Detroit 3. Skeleton Crew® wishes all the SkelePeople a Happy Christmas in July! Njoy!

Skeleton Crew® | Under The Watersign EP1998 Released extended single "under the watersign...nikki's song."The extended single featured the 8-minute epic "under the watersign," which marked the first appearance of electric guitar on a Skeleton Crew recording, along with a radio edit, instrumental and acoustic versions. The song was also a commission by Pam Aguirre, daughter of the late Detroit Tigers pitcher, Hank Aguirre, for her daughter Nikki in honor of her eighteenth birthday and graduation.



1996 Nominee for Motor City Music Awards:
 “Outstanding National Album ‘pre-historic...dig!’”
 | “Outstanding National Single ‘callalili’”
  

1995 Winner Motor City Music Awards (3): “Outstanding Rock/Pop Group”

 | “Outstanding Local Pop/Rock Group” | “Outstanding Local Pop/Rock Recording: pre-historic...dig!”

1995 Detroit Live Music Awards (3): “Best Detroit Rock Band”  | “Best Recording-pre-historic... dig!” and “Best Keyboard Player-Dan Hess.”



1993 Motor City Music Awards

 “Outstanding Local Pop/Rock Group”

1993 Star Search semi-finalists. Famous for their “Four Star” performance in beating the all-girl group “Girl Tyme,” which later became world famous “Destiny’s Child!” The band can be seen regularly on MTV and VH-1 whenever they do a retrospective on Destiny’s Child…look out for the scary looking band of bad boys!



Roy Cicala | Recording Engineer/ProducerRecorded secret demo with famed John Lennon (“Imagine”) and Bruce Springsteen (“Born to Run”) engineer, Roy Cicala.



Detroit area performances include: Smithereens/The Ritz, Rembrandts/Saint Andrew’s Hall, Robert Palmer/Pine Knob, Foreigner/Pine Knob, Kenny Loggins/Pine Knob, Eddie Money/Palace of Auburn Hills, Tesla/The Ritz. Performed national anthem for The Detroit Piston and Detroit Tigers on numerous occassions.



Recorded first album entitled “pre-historic...dig!” produced by Gary Spaniola, whose credits include: Ready For The World’s second album and a song for the Beverly Hills 2 Soundtrack album.

Signed recording contract with Intersound International and re-released “pre-historic...dig!” nationally as first enhanced CD (video capabilities) from a Michigan artist. Album has recieved airplay all across the country and the Virgin Islands.
 


 

 Skeleton Crew® | Thank You Very Much...
 

We'd like to start a list of people we want to thank that helped us in one form or another over the years. We fully expect to keep updating this list over time as our memories are not quite as sharp as we think it once was...does that make sense? Anyway, here we go. Skeleton Crew® would like to extend our sincere gratitude and thanks to: Paul Christy, Lester Morales, Russ Epker, Gary Spaniola, Seller Sound Studios, Susan Murphy, Dick Williams, Dick Bozzi, Connie Marshall-Rautenberg, Bob Talbert, our families, Johnny Trudell, Steve Trudell, Vito Lafata, John Vitale, Al Osinski, John Wysk, Mike Lilley, Steve Schultz, Bob Miller, Tony Rapanotti, Mark Osinski, , John Sarver, Christopher Smith, Rich Nelson, Claire Edwards, Maria Cukr, Julio Pallone, Todd Skog, Lisa Spindler, Steve Galli, Dan Drotar, White Room Studios, Al Sutton, Larry Fratangelo, Joe Vaughn, Brian Pastoria, Mark Pastoria, Jimmy Romeo, Michael Fredericks, Al Canning, Stewart Francke, Marylin Fisher, Bobby Hankins, Roy Cicala, Ben Grosse, Pearl Sound Studio, Michael King, Danny Cox, Allan Einstein, Brad Shaw, Intersound, WRIF, WWWW, WDET, 89X, The River, Alan Tishk, Bugs Beddow...to be continued...

 

 

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