Courtesy of Michael SkillFounding Romantics lead guitarist Mike Skill has just released his first solo single, “’67 Riot,” which can be purchased now at major digital music sellers. The hard-rocking song will appear on Skill’s upcoming debut solo album.

“’67 Riot” was inspired by the violent five-day racially charged conflict that took place in Skill’s hometown of Detroit in the summer of 1967 that left 43 people dead, more than 1,000 injured and thousands of buildings destroyed.

“I remember the National Guard right down the street from my house,” recalls the veteran rocker, who has co-written all of The Romantics’ best-known songs. “People watching the riots on TV were afraid that rioters would come into our neighborhood. People were freaked out.”

Skill maintains that his tune’s theme remains timely because of the current strained state of race relations in the U.S.

“I wrote the song from a sense of frustration that people never came together after the riots to really address what happened,” he explains, “to look each other in the eye and say, ‘How can we repair this? How can we move forward?'”

Musically, “’67 Riot” displays the influences of guitar legends Jimi Hendrix and Link Wray, as well as Skill’s fellow Motown rockers The MC5. Mike contributed lead vocals, guitar and bass to the track.

You can check out an official video for the song, featuring footage of Skill playing guitar intercut with archival footage and photos of the riot, at Mike’s official YouTube channel.

Skill also continues to perform and record with The Romantics. The band has a new album in the works and a variety of 2017 concerts scheduled. Check out their itinerary at RomanticsDetroit.com.

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