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Artist Spotlight: Mike Skill, founding member of the Romantics

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

A weekly feature showcasing local artists

Mike Skill of the Romantics will release "67 RiOT," featuring guitarist Wayne Kramer, on vinyl Saturday for Record Store Day.

Name: Mike Skill

History: Not just a local artist (although he is born and raised in Detroit), Skill is best known as a founding member of rock band the Romantics, in which he sang, played guitar and bass and co-wrote the hit songs "What I Like About You" and "Talking in Your Sleep." They were most active in the early 1980s and still play live today. 

Current: Skill recently released a digital copy of his single "67 RiOT," which features MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer. Up now on all streaming platforms, the single pays homage to Detroit's alternative rock scene of the 1960s. "New Detroit bands were breaking out of Detroit just as the country was in anti-war and racial turmoill," he said in a press release about the song. "This piece of music and subject had been in my head since early 2000. Worked up, as a home demo half-finished and re-recording it to complete this version.”

Next: "67 RiOT will be released on vinyl Saturday for Record Store Day, which moved from the spring this year because of the coronavirus. The 7-inch record's B-side is "My Bad Pretty," a previously released track. Skill recorded both songs himself, Grammy Award-winning Chuck Alkazian (known for working with Soundgarden and Eminem) produced it and it was pressed at Third Man Records. Purchase "67 RiOT" at your local record store or at mikeskill.com

Melody Baetens

Mike Skill will release "67 RiOT," featuring guitarist Wayne Kramer, on vinyl Saturday for Record Store Day.