As the legendary drummer for the Stray Cats, Slim Jim Phantom, alongside bandmates Brian Setzer and Lee Rocker, spearheaded the neo-rockabilly movement of the early 80s. With a love for 50’s Rock and Roll, the Stray Cats took inspiration from that bygone era and mixed with their youthful energy and aggression to produce the updated hard-edged rockabilly sound that saw them conquer London, Europe and later the U.S., gaining fans among the likes of Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, and Robert Plant along the way.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Jim grew up listening to his parents’ jazz records and, by the age of ten, took up the drums. He immersed himself in the art of drumming and the world of music and took lessons with Mousie Alexander (who played with Benny Goodman), which included the study of jazz and working through books by Jim Chapin and Ted Reed.
By the late 70’s Jim was playing in bands with his school friend and bassist Lee Rocker and then joined forces with guitarist Brian Setzer. The rest, as they say, is history. The Stray Cats had numerous hit singles in the early 1980s, their classic album Built for Speed went double platinum, and their song “Rock This Town” was cemented in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s list of “The Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.”
In the Summer of 2008, Jim and the Stray Cats reunited for an extensive tour of Europe. In February of 2009, the band headed to Australia and New Zealand for the first time in 18 years – a tour eagerly anticipated by Australasian fans.