The Stray Cats, schoolmates
from New York City, are the most popular and the best-known revival band
in the world. They were young, lovable hoodlums offering carefree fun,
singing about teenage frustrations and release, playing intensely, and
goofing off, too, riding the bass and playing shirtless to show their
skin and their tattoos. As befitted the recessionary times, the Stray
Cats were simple: their stage setup was one amplifier and two drums (using
wireless technology, the bass went straight into the PA system). Despite
their youth, they were polished, professional, and steeped in 1950s music,
favoring the harder side: Gene Vincent, Eddie
Cochran and the Rock'n'Roll Trio. Their stated
goal was to bring recognition for rockabilly as British bands such as
the Rolling Stones had for blues in the 1960s.
Rocker and Phantom had been a team since they were
- Summer 1979 Long Island town of Massapeaqua, NY,
they have founded the Stray Cats together with their schoolfriend Brian
19th June 1980 the Stray Cats moved
to London. After scuffling and sleeping in parks, they found acclaim.
Their music was approved by Jeff Beck, Robert Plant and the Rolling
Stones, and a recording contract came within three months. Dave Edmunds
produced their recordings.
1st Single: Runaway Boys (No.9
in the UK charts)
Breakthrough with “Rock this town”
(No.9 in the UK charts)
From 1982 they toured Europe and
Japan and opened dates on the Rolling Stones 1982 U.S. tour.
1982 The Stray Cats' second album,
Gonna Ball, recorded in the West Indies, was mostly
Summer 1982 their first North American
album, Built for Speed, was released. Aside from
including the newly redorded title track, it was compiled from tracks
off both U.K. albums. An U.S. tour was following (04.July 82 - 16.Sept.
- 1982 With their videos on MTV and a fifty-five city
tour, sales steadily continued, and 'Rock This Town'
and 'Stray Cat Strut' both made the American top ten.
The media gave them lots of coverage, including the covers of Rolling
Stone, New Musical Express and Guitar Player.
- 1983 their 1.Album was allready soled about 3,5 Mio
- August 1983 the release of their next album 'Ran't and Rave'
- the songs 'Stray Cat Strut' and 'Sexy
+ 17' hit the charts
- 1984 the band splintered. Setzer went for a solo
carrer, exploring songwriting on an album. Phantom and Rocker teamed
with Earl Slick (Guitarplayer of David Bowie). Phantom played
a full drum kit and Rocker played electric bass.
- 1986 the Stray Cats got back together and put out
the album Rock Therapy.
- 1987 The Stray Cats did an U.S. tour.
- 1988 Reunion
- 1989 The Stray Cats reiterated their rockabilly stance
with the self-produced Blast Off
, singing about the music in 'Gene and Eddie' and 'Rockabilly
- 1992 they were touring again in the United Kingdom
and released ChooChoo Hot Fish, with Dave Edmunds
again as producer.
- 05th July 2003 the Stray Cats are back - for one
the first joint concert since 10 years
- July 2004 the cats are back again - Stray Cats Europe