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Slim Jim Phantom - A Stray Cat Struts book review

It’s cool for cats

Jim Phantom A Stray Cat Struts book cover

If you want to know any details about the Stray Cats’ albums and career, you’re better off just checking Wikipedia. Drummer Slim Jim Phantom frequently reminds you that the Stray Cats single-handedly saved rockabilly from oblivion. Apparently. But in this book, he spends more time name-checking everyone he’s ever hung out with.

It’s certainly an impressive list: Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Guns N’ Roses, the Rolling Stones, Lemmy (with whom he formed the Head Cat), Britt Ekland (to whom he was famously married) and hundreds more who are conveniently categorised into pals, true pals and tragic true pals (who are now dead).

His social skills are, as he would put it, cool. There are stories too – loads of them. But not one that you can remember afterwards.

Hugh Fielder has been writing about music for 47 years. Actually 58 if you include the essay he wrote about the Rolling Stones in exchange for taking time off school to see them at the Ipswich Gaumont in 1964. He was news editor of Sounds magazine from 1975 to 1992 and editor of Tower Records Top magazine from 1992 to 2001. Since then he has been freelance. He has interviewed the great, the good and the not so good and written books about some of them. His favourite possession is a piece of columnar basalt he brought back from Iceland.