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Skeleton Crew


Improvisational band, with both members playing stringed instruments and drums at the same time. Formed 1982, disbanded 1986.

  • Tom Cora -- Cello, bass guitar, casio, drums, contraptions, vocals
  • Fred Frith -- Guitar, six-string bass, violin, casio, home-made bass, piano, drums, singing

NameOccupationBirthDeathKnown for
Tom Cora
14-Sep-1953 9-Apr-1998 Avant-Garde cellist
Fred Frith
2-Feb-1949   Avant garde rock guitarist
Zeena Parkins
1956   Avant-garde harpist


Learn to Talk (1984, Rift (USA), RecRec (Switzerland))
1Que Viva
2Onwards and Upwards
3The Way Things Fall (Back Apart)
4Not My Shoes
5The Washington Post (John Philip Sousa cut-up)
6We're Still Free
8Los Colitos/Life At The Top
9Learn To Talk
10Factory Song
11It's Fine
12Zach's Flag

The Country of Blinds (1986, Rift (USA), RecRec (Switzerland))
1The Country Of Blinds
2Money Crack
3The Border
4The Hand That Bites
5Dead Sheep
7Man or Monkey
8Foot in Hole
9Hot Field
10The Birds of Japan
11You May Find a Bed

Both albums were reissued in 2005 as a two-disc set by ReR USA/Fred Records. The Learn to Talk disc includes the songs "Sick as a Parrot", "Automatic Pilot", "Hook", and "Killing Time". The Country of Blinds disc includes "Sparrow Song", "Safety in Numbers", "Howdywhoola Too", "Second Rate", "New Orleans Stomp", and "Hasta La Victoria".

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