Bad Boy Troy starts charity for sick children

By Larissa Gula

Troy Tipton might use the stage name Bad Boy Troy, but he’s not all bad.

Recently, the… Troy Tipton might use the stage name Bad Boy Troy, but he’s not all bad.

Recently, the Pittsburgh-based guitarist who has opened for bands such as Cheap Trick, has been using his career as a way to support charities. He’s begun taking part in a long-term series of benefit concerts for  the oncology patients at Children’s Hospital of Pittbsurgh, as well as donating song revenue to the same cause.

Rockin’ D’s Entertainment — an agency that arranges concerts for charities — had the initial idea to promote and coordinate several performances in Pittsburgh.

But Tipton felt he could go one step further and raise money for patients on a regular basis. With the aid of Rockin’ D’s, he very recently started his own charity, Troy’s Angels Foundation. He has also released a song completely dedicated to charity, his first time doing something like that.

Dorey Duncan, the president and promoter of Rockin’ D’s, “wanted me to do a couple concerts for [the children], and I said it just isn’t enough,” Tipton said. “I wanted to do something else. Overnight, I decided I would write a song [“You’re An Angel”]. I donated all the proceeds, which will benefit Children’s Hospital and fund things they do there for the kids.”

Tipton and Duncan aim to work with the idea for the Foundation, to which Tipton has donated the rights for his song. Each download requires a minimum $1 payment, and all proceeds go to the Foundation.

Work for the nonprofit beyond this, though, is very new. As a result, no ideas have really been finalized for the project — for example,  whether the financial support it provides will restrict itself to only oncology patients or expand and encompass general patients, according to Duncan. The hope, though, is to make performances through the Foundation annual.

“Troy [Tipton] will probably always be involved somewhere,” Duncan said. “But we hope to get other artists to join us in these concerts and grow larger.”

Tipton, who says he “has a big heart for children,” hopes this example of giving all revenue to a charity rather than into his pocket will set a trend for other artists to follow.

“Hopefully, over the years this will bring them a lot of money,” he said. “I just wanted to do something that was ongoing for the kids, and I hope other musicians will see what I’m doing is good and do the same thing. It could turn out to be huge.”

Tipton began playing drums after seeing The Beatles’ first performance on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” He started playing guitar as a teenager and, by age 17, was playing in nightclubs. He’s been in and out of bands ever since, opening and touring during the 1970s and 1980s with big names like Cheap Trick and Black Sabbath.

Though he temporarily stopped playing during the early 1990s, Tipton returned to the music life with a new album in 1995. He now helps local artists begin their musical careers and produces albums. He also still performs himself, with his current focus on charities.

Duncan says that Tipton’s sound has continued to evolve over the decades, from his ’80s sensibility to one “molded to sound more like 3 Doors Down.”

Tipton hopes to work on projects besides performances, such as producing music videos and continuing to record.

“It’s my true talent, performing for people, writing and recording,” Tipton said. “I try to help upcoming artists as well. I just get a joy out of it. Nothing else makes me feel that same way.”

The overall focus, though, remains on one group of people.

“This is about the kids,” Tipton said. “This is what we’re doing. Anybody with a heart, I urge them to come out, because it’s a benefit for them. All proceeds go to the Foundation to help the children.”

A listing of upcoming performances can be found at