Facts

The page where all kinds of facts that don't have a place in any of the other pages. If you know of anymore, please don't hesitate to mail the_Anchorman and it will be added here.
If you don't agree with a certain fact, well then I guess it isn't a fact. Please inform me on that one as well.


 

Brian Setzer and the Tom Cats


Brian Setzer had a rockabilly band with his younger brother Gary Setzer on drums and Bob Beecher on bass. This band was called Brian and the Tomcats. All three of them together with Ken Kinnally also formed the band Bloodless Pharaohs. At first George Ellert was on bass, but he left and Bob Beecher replaced him. The music was more new-wave oriented or, as Ken Kinnally called it, "art rock".
Brian Setzer decided he wanted to go more the rockabilly way. Bob Beecher and Gary Setzer stayed with the Bloodless Pharaohs.
Brian Setzer teamed up with Lee Rocker and Slim Jim Phantom, who were already rehearsing bass and drums and writing songs together. They were all at the same high school although Brian was one year up.

 

Stray Cats name


In the USA Brian, Lee and Slim Jim played as Brian and the Tom Cats. But they also used other names like just The Tomcats, the Teds and The Wildcats. They used different names to make sure they got more gigs. Club owners didn't want the same band too much. So they used different names to mislead club owners in believing they booked a different band.
According to the book My Life As A Rockabilly Rebel by Slim Jim, they were asked in England what the name of the band was and decided they needed a different name. Apparently Lee came up with the name Stray Cats.
Quote from the aforementioned book: We were cats like Elvis, we had nowhere to live - the logic was undeniable.

Stray Cats Logo

The first logo

The first logo was designed by Bruno Blum. Brian, Lee and Slim Jim stayed with him on their first trip to the UK in a squatted house. After they took on the name Stray Cats (see above) they needed a logo for a photo session on the bass drum. Bruno Blum, being a designer and maker of cartoons, designed it for them and painted it on the drums.

Bruno Blum said this on Facebook about the logo:
My original Stray Cats logo was drawn in June, 1980 in the Electric Chairs squat at 8, Queensgate Place, London, where the Cats had slept on their very first night in London after an evening in my room chatting and listening to my rock and roll records collection. I had a quiff then and a double bass. They asked me to draw the logo for their drum set a couple of weeks later. Jim also asked me to design the drum set art he used for his left arm tattoo. I still have the original drawing. My logo was put up on the drum set, which was used on all of their early English shows including the Dingwall's one, where I was present and where some early live photographs were taken. One of these photographs was used on the cover of their first Arista single 'Runaway Boys,' where the drum set logo can be seen. Many of their early press pictures feature the drum set with my logo. Arista Records made me an offer for the use of the logo but my lawyer told me to demand points, which Arista Records refused to give me and choosed one of Brian's tattoos as a logo instead. Although many feel the original logo better captured the Cats' spirit and prefer it to the more famous one, it was only used on the drum set from July until late 1980, for about six months. I later found out that my lawyer was also the Stray Cats manager's, and that he had not given me good advice. As it turned out, I recently realized my girlfriend at the time moved in with that same lawyer shortly after this!

Click the pic to make it big.

The main logo

In 2007 this story about the logo was posted on the official Stray Cats website:"Slim Jim Phantom's first tattoo in 1980 was the Teddy Boy Stray Cat which he has on his left forearm.
Slim Jim and Brian Setzer went the same day to tattoo artist Bob Roberts, and between them they drew up the cat's head design. Brian had just the head tattooed on his upperarm but Jim wanted a whole body. The cat's head design became the official logo of the Stray Cats."

So the tattoos were already there before they went to the UK. At the backside of their first single "Runaway Boys" you can see Slim Jims' forearm with the tattoo on it.
So actually this logo was already there when they came to the UK. It was later decided to continue with this logo instead of the Bruno Blum logo. The reason for that is as told by Brian Blum stated above.

 

The arms on the Runaway Boys single


On the backside of the first single we can see three arms. The arm on the left is easily recognized by the full cat head body; it belongs to Slim Jim Phantom. The arm is the middle is also easily recognized and belongs to Brian Setzer.
Lee Rocker doesn't have any tattoos so the third arm can't be his. The third arm belongs to Tony Bidgood the first manager of the Stray Cats.