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 How did you get into the Stray Cats??

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Slim Jon Phantom

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PostSubject: How did you get into the Stray Cats??   Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:26 pm

Hey guys, I've just had this brilliant idea... hahaha, no, I suppose this one was already discussed ages ago, but it would be great to bring it back again... "how did you get into the Stray Cats?" - what's your stoy??

Shall I begin? Of course, Jon! ;-)

I was like 7-8 and my eldest brother, who is a musician in Spain, was 17-18 at that time. Some guy at the secondary school lent him Rant N Rave and also, a couple of cassette compilations... I remember my brother trying to pick out Rock This Town and Stray Cat Strut. In fact, when doing acoustic shows with his glam rock band, they would play Stray Cat Strut. It was like, WTF? These guys know Stray Cats?? Great!!

So, I asked him one day... "Who is this band?" - Stray Cats, Jon... the same as yesterday,

I didnt like them at first, but one morning my brother was watching Rock Tokyo... I just flipped!! Who's this band?? - Stray Cats, remember the ones you didn't like last week?? - That show completely blew my mind. I got my brother playing that video many times, I also got him writing me the names of the band members... I even portrayed myself as Slim Jim during my school days, wearing that tee with the confederate flag and the sideburns in red....

However, we kind of lost track of them for a while, almost until Brian Setzer released The Dirty Boogie and from that point, we become more and more interested... when we got Guitar Slinger, just a mere TDK copied tape, we couldn't believe it.. "hey, we got Guitar Slinger".

Fast forward: BS announces the tour of Europe 2001 with the 68 CBS.... 1st time in Spain in 9-10 years for Brian.... we didn't miss it. We bought the tickets well in advance, first row at the show.... and from that moment until today!!

What's your story guys?
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gretschoholic

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PostSubject: Re: How did you get into the Stray Cats??   Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:48 pm

....and we're back to being a ghost town again.... Neutral

OK, here's my Stray Cats story: in the early eighties, I remember seeing photos of what must have been Brian, Lee and Jim in some magazines. I thought they looked kinda cool, with the stand up bass and the orange guitar, however I didn't have any idea what these guys sounded like.

Now, in the mid-seventies I'd inherited my parents' old stereo and their old 45's, and I loved Elvis, the Beatles, Little Richard, and most of the other rockin stuff that was on my "new" singles, so the Stray Cats should've been right up my alley so to speak. I just didn't know it yet... Wink

Norwegian TV (we had ONE channel at the time) started showing what they called "night rock", which was usually stuff from Rockpalast, and some beautiful night in 1983, they aired the Stray Cats from Lorelei. That's when I realized I liked this band. However, it wasn't untill two years later (when I started working weekends in my uncle's record store) that I actually got around to buying the albums. But then I bought all three at once. And I eventually started dressing rockabilly, and combing my hair into a quiff. My buddy Bjørn and I actually took the train to Oslo just to buy Rock Therapy, which was only available as import, and not in any of our local stores. And when Blast Off came, and they actually got back together, I could kick myself for not going to Denmark to see them at Roskilde. I think I had a gig, besides I didn't know they'd played there untill it was too late anyway...

But in 1992 they finally played Oslo, and I was there! Fantastic gig, although they were a little "harder" than I'd hoped (no surprise, given that their latest albums were Let's Go Faster and Choo Choo Hot Fish). I saw them again in Long Island in 2007 (lucky coincidence - or was it? - during a summer vacation in the US) and in Stockholm the following year. Also caught both of Brian's Oslo gigs (2001 and '05), and supported Slim Jim's Norway gig with Darrel Higham a few years ago. Haven't seen any of Lee's solo gigs yet, but maybe one day...


Ok, who's next? bounce
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Brett

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PostSubject: Re: How did you get into the Stray Cats??   Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:20 am

Didn`t like SC very much in the 80ies. (what i regret meanwhile)
I was more a SRV, Hendrix, ACDC guy.
I bought "Ignition" when it came out and like it.
But the my ignition was the BSO DVD "Live in japan".
That blew my mind.
From that day i became a die hard BS Fan.
I bought a Gretsch guitar 6120 and change my way of playing music

Now i know everything about the Stray Cats, saw them live, even Lee Rocker and his Band, etc.

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Setzerado

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PostSubject: Re: How did you get into the Stray Cats??   Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:07 am


I left Burkina for France in 1987. First movie seen in Paris was... La Bamba !! I was in love !! Then i bought all Brian's records from Stray 1 to The Knife.
In 1989, Stray Cats were back and came to Paris and this was my first one ("Rock Paris") and it was simply uncredible. I knew that night that it was "for ever".
I saw an other Stray Cats gig in 1990 still in Paris and I remember having this strange feeling that Brian was "too high" and that he will probably leave the band soon...
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Patrick

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PostSubject: Re: How did you get into the Stray Cats??   Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:14 pm

Well being in Holland I had a head start on the US!
Somewhere in '81 we had this pop tv show (Toppop?) or Veronica Countdown.
And there they were.
Runaway Boys! Big hair, big bass, orange guitar almost a parody.
But man that sound, fantastic.
All the kids in school talked about it, some liked it and some didn't.
I was floored by them since that night in front of the tv.
I could hear Brian play the guitar like a grown man (I was 16 myself), but he was about 20 years old himself.
How could that be?
A kid from my class said, the guitar playing must be done by another guitar player haha!
Their debut album I played a million times.
My folks always played country music and Cliff, Everly's, Elvis, Jim Reeves etc.
The Cats music sounded so familiar.
When they broke up I got scared! I never hear from Setzer again. No internet yet.
I was happy to get his solo album which I dig too.
Chains around your heart is the best Setzer song to me.
Played it a million times too on cassette in my first car!
Setzer is the man!


Last edited by Patrick on Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:56 am; edited 1 time in total
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Scatman

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PostSubject: Re: How did you get into the Stray Cats??   Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:22 am

Summer of 1981, I'm working my first job in a mailroom and Rock This Town comes on over the airwaves and knocks me out. (I remember it clearly because in my life this has happened only a handful of times) . New Wave music is just starting to hit, and KROQ 106.7 FM was THE station to hear this stuff. Didn't know much about "rockabilly" as a style of music, but I had been listening to it as an "oldies" type of music for years.

Soon after, I hit the import section at Tower Records(ahhh, remember them?) and that is when I first saw what they looked like. I bought everything I could find and finally saw them at the Hollywood Palladium in 1982. At some point I found the vinyl bootleg recorded at the Roxy in 81, and the collecting bug hit me hard. Haven't looked back since!
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k2green



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PostSubject: Re: How did you get into the Stray Cats??   Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:09 pm

I always liked rock this town and stray cat strut growing up in the early 80's but never bought an album. In the 90's I read an article in a guitar magazine about setzer starting a big band, mixing jazz with rockabilly. I decided to get the first BRO album and enjoyed it. Then I bought a stray cats retrospective cd and loved it. From there I got into additional stray cats records and started listening to gene vincent, johnny cash, buddy holly, elvis, and eddie cochrane.
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Twenty Flight Rick

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PostSubject: Re: How did you get into the Stray Cats??   Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:01 pm

My path was similar, except I didn't really know of BSO until the Jump Jive 'n Wail single hit MTV/VH1 and radio in '98. Then I bought Dirty Boogie, then the two previous BSO records. I chewed on those for a couple of years until Vavoom was released. Sometime that same year, Y2K, I bought a Stray Cats compilation and also started to delve into other music from the '50s.
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Jess

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PostSubject: Re: How did you get into the Stray Cats??   Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:23 am

well I was 13 in 1981 and this band came on TV, being into the whole 50's thing + Shakin Stevens, Matchbox ect, it was not hard to love this band. Saw them the first time in Hamburg 1989 and 2 days later on the danish Roskilde Festival, and many times after that.
I was lucky to support both the Cats and Setzer twice with my band Taggy Tones.
Nobody are even close to this band (thinkin' of the 80's period), not in the 50's, not after....
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Tele295

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PostSubject: Re: How did you get into the Stray Cats??   Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:48 pm

DJ at a high school dance played Rock This Town and Stray Cat Strut. I went out and bought Built For Speed cassette the next day!
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christopher

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PostSubject: Re: How did you get into the Stray Cats??   Tue Feb 26, 2013 2:17 am

Jess wrote:
Nobody are even close to this band (thinkin' of the 80's period), not in the 50's, not after....
How true.
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rockabillylaker



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PostSubject: Re: How did you get into the Stray Cats??   Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:39 pm

I couldn't stand Brian Setzer. In the 9th grade, he released "jump jive" and i thought it was one of the worst things in the world. Mind you, at the time, I was a dumb teenager who was only into Gangsta Rap. Fast forward a few months and I come across my brother watching his Behind the Music special on VH1. It cuts to a clip of Rock This Town and Stray Cat Strut

Wait a minute. THIS GUY did Stray Cat Strut?!! and Rock This Town?! Hey, maybe he's not so bad after all.

Lets go back a few years to when I was 5 years old. I owned an old tape of a Disney show called DTV's Doggon Hits where they would synch popular music at the time (80's) to Disney short cartoons and movies. They did Stray Cat Strut synced up to the Disney movie "The Aristocats". I knew I liked that song a lot when I was 5 but, hardly knowing how to read and of course, no internet, I never knew what the hell the name of the band or the song was until I saw that VH1 special 10 years later.

Alright, lets go a little further after 1998. I start playing guitar, getting into various forms of music specifically punk rock. Slowly start getting into the Rockabilly thing when I hear Tiger Army until finally, I find an old Stray Cats greatest CD that my wife (girlfriend at the time) had dumped in one of her storage tupperwares.

"Oh, that's right. Brian Setzer, I remember him. He's not so bad. Those 2 songs I like are on here, lemme take a listen."

And thus began my almost creepy obsession with Rockabilly music and Brian Setzer. That CD introduced me to Runaway Boys, Too Hip, 18 Miles and others. Now, I own about every song they've ever release. And on top of all that, I fell in love with his Orchestra work. To contribute to this madness, the wife gets me a Gretsch for Christmas.

"Ok honey. I gotta play Rockabilly with this now. It's complete. I got the clothes, the hair, the tattoo and thanks to you, THE GUITAR!. that CD you let me have, I'm gonna learn those songs because I know now what kind of music I was meant to play and listen to.

To this day, it's safe to say The Stray Cats will go down as my favorite group of all time.

Brian Setzer and the Stray Cats didn't just introduce me to a new form of music. They introduced me and a lot of us here to a lifestyle. A lifestyle that you can't find around very much but is slowly starting to grow (more people and celebrities are sporting a modernized pompsz and rolling up their jeans). It changed us.
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Patrick

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PostSubject: Re: How did you get into the Stray Cats??   Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:07 am

rockabillylaker, thank God you're saved!
lol
How about his solo stuff? You like that too?
To me the best Setzer song is Chains around your heart.
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rockabillylaker



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PostSubject: Re: How did you get into the Stray Cats??   Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:45 am

Patrick wrote:
rockabillylaker, thank God you're saved!
lol
How about his solo stuff? You like that too?
To me the best Setzer song is Chains around your heart.

LOL! I was saved. I always kick myself and wonder what life would've been like had I known about Setzer when I was little. Oh well.

To tell you the truth, his solo stuff doesn't interest me a whole lot. I tried to take a listen but I just never got into the whole Americano, John Mellencamp, Springstein sound that most are into. I don't know why. Anything can change though as evident from my hatred for BSO when I was in high school.

If it counts, I do enjoy some of the Cat's songs from their later albums like Cross of Love, Give It To Me, and Lust n Love. You can hear the transition to what would become Setzer's solo sound in those albums. Brian's voice is really featured in a lot of those tracks.
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Patrick

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PostSubject: Re: How did you get into the Stray Cats??   Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:26 am

rockabillylaker wrote:
Patrick wrote:
rockabillylaker, thank God you're saved!
lol
How about his solo stuff? You like that too?
To me the best Setzer song is Chains around your heart.

LOL! I was saved.

Not quite yet.
You have to dig his solo stuff too haha!
When I got my first car "The Knife" was released.
It was the first thing I heard since the cats broke up. I was like, hell yeah, thank God he's not completely gone lol!
So I drove around town blasting "Chains around your heart" out of the speakers.
Memories!
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rockabilly guy

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PostSubject: Re: How did you get into the Stray Cats??   Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:08 am

For me,my fate was sealed when my sister bought me a little radio for my 14th birthday Jan '81.I was off school 'ill' one day when Rock This Town came on as an upcoming new release.I had missed Runaway Boys (pre radio) so was unaware of who these Stray Cats were.
I can only compare it to how Brian describes hearing Be Bop A Lula the first time.....'This song just grabbed me across the room'.I was hooked,it was the very first single I ever bought,soon added Runaway Boys and every damn thing since.

Thinking back before that I always liked Dave Edmunds,Darts,hey even Showaddywaddy but just as pop records.I always liked Elvis,how can you not? All of a sudden I had an identity, quiffed up,pink peg pants...the only Rockabilly in the village Smile

I felt absolutely devastated when the Cats broke up in '84,The Knife took some adjusting to I must admit but with the release of Live Nude Guitars Setzer was back on the Rockabilly track,despite the crazy mullet/quiff. The reunion tour of '89 gave me my first taste of the Cats live at Nottingham's Rock City,a great intimate venue.I was completely blown away how they achieved the seemingly impossible...they made the records sound even better.It was an incredible experience.I caught them in London or Manchester on all future tours and never felt they were sounding tired as has been documented before the split in '92.

I have always felt they haven't received the acknowledgement they deserve because this was a real band of immense talent,and again to quote Brian...They had the magic.Totally agree with Jess,the only contenders in this genre would have to be the Johnny Burnette Trio,whose sound was beyond wild for the time.

Cheers

Steve
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rockabillylaker



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PostSubject: Re: How did you get into the Stray Cats??   Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:33 pm

rockabilly guy wrote:


I have always felt they haven't received the acknowledgement they deserve because this was a real band of immense talent,and again to quote Brian...They had the magic.Totally agree with Jess,the only contenders in this genre would have to be the Johnny Burnette Trio,whose sound was beyond wild for the time.

Cheers

Steve

So true. The one thing that frustrates me as a Rockabilly fan. Brian didn't get the recognition because his sound went against everything that was popular. While everyone was trying their best to shed a label or be eclectic, Brian was playing good ol American Rock n Roll. People didn't know what that was anymore and were afraid of it. They still are. Where's my rock n roll? What's wrong with playing rock n roll?

So far, the one guy I've seen recently with THE BALLS to play this music is JD McPherson. Don't know if any of yous have heard him but if you haven't, you'd think you were listening to some black guy's record from the 50's. JD's got soul, he's got rawness. He's what's missing. I just hope more like him come into the scene.
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donpepe



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PostSubject: Re: How did you get into the Stray Cats??   Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:17 pm

SOT: JD McPherson is allright, I like his voice. But his music not "wild" if you compare it to likes of Nick Curran.
It's very well played, arranged, etc but to my ears, it lacks the "wild" core. Definitely a talent, never
seen him play live, maybe the wild edge come sout better on gigs?! Hope so!
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guitar_slinger_6120



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PostSubject: =)   Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:37 am

I uploaded this on Brian's Bday...
I bet this got lots of people into Setzer.


I recoreded this the first time it air on tv... thats why it says "sneak preview".



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Brett

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PostSubject: Re: How did you get into the Stray Cats??   Fri Apr 19, 2013 4:13 am

Guitar_slinger_6120,

thank you. Love that show.
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Twenty Flight Rick

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PostSubject: Re: How did you get into the Stray Cats??   Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:43 pm

Love that Behind the Music! Man I miss those days!
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gretschoholic

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PostSubject: Re: How did you get into the Stray Cats??   Sat Apr 20, 2013 2:15 am

guitar_slinger_6120 wrote:
I uploaded this on Brian's Bday...
I bet this got lots of people into Setzer.


I recoreded this the first time it air on tv... thats why it says "sneak preview".




Thanks for uploading, it was nice seeing it again. I have the program on a DVD somewhere, but I don't know where... Wink

Bummer that VH1 didn't manage to get interviews from Jim and Lee too, it would've been interesting.
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nickurso



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PostSubject: Re: How did you get into the Stray Cats??   Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:00 am

I was playing in bands in Chicago when the stray cats hot the scene in the 80's hard not to like them if you are a guitar player. Great music even had cool videos. I never saw setzer play live until last December in Houston for the Christmas show
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