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Slim Jim Phantom has secured his place as a true rock-n-roll icon. As the legendary drummer for the Stray Cats, Phantom, alongside band mates Brian Setzer and Lee Rocker, spearheaded the neo-rockabilly movement of the early 80s. With a love for 50s rock-n-roll the Stray Cats took inspiration from that bygone era and mixed with their youthful energy and aggression produced 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 the Brooklyn Borough of New York City, Jim grew up listening to his parents’ jazz records and by the age of ten took up the drums. Immersing himself in the art of drumming and the world of music, Jim 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 70s Jim was playing in bands with school friend and bassist Lee Rocker and they soon 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” is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s list of “The Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.”