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Slim Jim Phantom: "The Stray Cats saved rockabilly for another generation"

Slim Jim Phantom on the Stray Cats, burnout, Britt Ekland, Lemmy and being “the easiest guy in town to find”

James McDonnell formed the Stray Cats on Long Island, New York with school friends Brian Setzer (guitar) and Lee Rocker (upright bass). Having been entranced by rockabilly and lured into a lifestyle of pink peg slacks and bouffant quiffs, the trio gigged themselves watertight before relocating to London in 1980. Within a year their Dave Edmunds-produced self-titled debut album had netted three UK Top 10 hits and spearheaded a full-scale rockabilly revival.

Latterly forming the Head Cat with Lemmy and climbing Everest for Mike Peters’s Love Hope Strength Foundation, the six-foot-two drummer better known as Slim Jim recently published his autobiography, A Stray Cat Struts: My Life As A Rockabilly Rebel.


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