Slim Jim Phantom of Stray Cats fame to play DLWP gig in February

Slim Jim
Slim Jim

Slim Jim Phantom, that quirky and cool rockabilly drummer for the Stray Cats, is set to be special guest on The Damned tour of the UK next year.

Jim’s band will include long-term friends from The Pretenders James Walbourne on guitar and Nick Wilkinson on double bass.

They will play live at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill on February 14.

This year Jim released his autobiography A Stray Cat Struts – My Life As A Rockabilly Rebel which was published by St Martin’s Press.

A veteran of London and LA music scenes, Slim Jim recounts in his memoir not just the Stray Cats’ rise, but a different type of life spent as a rock’n’roll celebrity.

With a love for 50s rock-n-roll the Stray Cats took inspiration from that era and, mixing it with youthful energy and aggression, produced the updated hard-edged rockabilly sound that saw them conquer the UK, Europe and the US, gaining friends and fans like Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, The Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Damned and Robert Plant along the way.

He writes about his ten year marriage to actress Britt Ekland, his move down the Hollywood Hills to Sunset Strip, where his son was raised and he started his own happening rock’n’roll bar Cat Club.

In June 1980, 19 year old James McDonnell boarded a plane from New York City to London with his childhood friends and bandmates Brian Setzer and Lee Rocker. In less than a year, they went from being homeless, hungry, and living in squats to the toast of the London music scene, spearheading the neo-rockabilly movement of the early 80s. The Stray Cats had numerous hit singles; their classic album Built for Speed went double platinum, and their song Rock This Town is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s list of The Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.

In the last few years, Slim Jim has continued to work with many musicians including Sex Pistol Glen Matlock and longtime David Bowie guitarist Earl Slick. He’s also partnered with British guitar ace Darrel Higham under the band name Katmen; the pair released an acclaimed rockabilly record on Decca, toured extensively and appeared on TV show Later...with Jools Holland.