drummer Slim Jim PhantomAlthough Slim Jim Phantom’s former bandmate Brian Setzer has kept the Stray Cats name in gear since the band dissolved in the mid-1980s, the stand-up drummer best remembered for his simple two-piece kit in the “Rock This Town” video hasn’t kept out of the music scene. On the contrary, the father and club owner has a new assemblage of all-star rockers, called Colonel Parker, which includes former Guns n’ Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke.

“I’ve known Gilby for a little while,” Phantom says. “I was doing this thing at my club on Thursday nights – I own a club on Sunset Boulevard called The Cat Club – and I was doing a jam night. One week the regular guys couldn’t make it, so someone suggested I call Gilby. I called, he came, and it was fun’so much so that we decided to keep doing it. I found a kindred spirit with him.”

From there, Phantom’s newfound bond with Clarke turned into a band and, a little later down the line, an album on Icon Records. “Icon came down and took Gilby and me out to dinner – and you never pass on a free dinner in LA. They said they wanted to capture what we do live on record,” Slim Jim says. “We were like, ‘Basically we just kind of goof off.’ We just have fun up there. But they saw something in it that we didn’t see.”

Although it appears as if Phantom jumped on the idea, he admits there were plenty of reservations about forming another band. “Lee Rocker [former Stray Cat bassist] and I made a couple of records, and I’d been doing a lot of sessions, running my club, and raising my kid. But the last thing I was looking for was to be in a band and do the whole thing all over again. But I also never expected to get a record deal from playing at my own club on a Thursday night, ya know?”

Waleed Rashidi