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Slim Jim Phantom
Slim Jim Phantom - Australia and New Zealand tour (2006)
|Slim Jim Phantom|
|Born||March 21, 1961|
Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.
James McDonnell (born March 21, 1961), known by the stage name Slim Jim Phantom, is the drummer for Stray Cats. Alongside band mates Brian Setzer and Lee Rocker, he spearheaded the neo-rockabilly movement of the early 1980s.
Born in Brooklyn and raised in Massapequa, New York, Phantom grew up listening to his parent's jazz records and began playing drums by the age of ten. He took lessons with Mousie Alexander, who played with Benny Goodman, studying jazz and working through books by Jim Chapin and Ted Reed.
By the late 1970s, he was playing in bands with his childhood friend, bassist Lee Rocker. They soon joined forces with guitarist Brian Setzer to form Stray Cats. When performing with Stray Cats, Phantom often eschewed the full drum kit in favor of the bass drum, snare drum, hi-hat, and crash cymbal.
During downtime from Stray Cats, Phantom played in swing, rockabilly, and jump blues combo The Swing Cats with Rocker and ex-Polecats guitarist Danny B. Harvey, as well as rockabilly and glam rock project Phantom, Rocker & Slick with Rocker and guitarist Earl Slick. Phantom also played with Jerry Lee Lewis.
Most recently, he has been involved in the eponymous roots-rock band Slim Jim's Phantom Trio; rock-and-roll supergroup Dead Men Walking with Kirk Brandon and Mike Peters, and Captain Sensible; and rockabilly supergroup The Head Cat with Danny B. Harvey and the late vocalist and bassist Lemmy.