Slim Jim Phantom At The Redwood Bar, Friday September 14th 2018
Sometimes rockstars just want to have fun, sometimes they don’t have an album to promote, sometimes they don’t have a tour to announce or even a book/documentary to sell, sometimes they just want a good time with old friends, and sometimes they even want to share the stage with their rock heroes.
On Friday night, Slim Jim Phantom, of Stray Cats fame, treated the Redwood bar crowd with a very intimate show, completed by some famous special guests he had invited. The idea was to play old-school rock songs, the rockabilly classics and beyond, I am obviously talking about Stray Cats but also the Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley, David Bowie, Eddie Cochran…
Slim Jim is a drummer, so he obviously needed a band to play these songs, and The Shelters’ guitarist Josh Jové, Eagles of Death Metal’s bassist Jennie Vee became his backup band for the night, but there were more surprises on the way, as Michael Des Barres joined the joyous band for a few songs like the Rolling Stones’ ‘Honky Tonk Women’ and Elvis Presley’s ‘Hound Dog’… no less. How do these two know each other? Apparently through Steve Jones, as they explained…
I can assure you that, in 2018, you can still have fun with these oldies, there’s no doubt about it, and the laid-back ambiance made the show a very enjoyable one, with one more from Eddie Cochran (‘Summertime Blues’) and one more from the Stray Cats… There was a lot of love for the pure rock ‘n’ roll pioneers, while a somewhat nervous and a bit starstruck Jesse Hughes (this is what he said after the show) joined them on stage for more from the masters, The Stones’ ‘Jumping Jack Flash’, and David Bowie’s ‘Moonage Daydream’.
Slim Jim has always drummed a very unique way, with no full drum kit, standing up the whole time with his signature bass drum-snare drum-hi-hat-crash cymbal combination – and this is partly what made the Stray Cats stand out in the ‘80s. He never stopped kicking his stand-up drums with a restless energy while Josh Jove provided amazing guitars chops for every song they played, going from Eddie Cochran’s ‘C’mon Everybody’or Buddy Holly’s ‘Not Fade Away’ to David Bowie’s Moonage Daydream’ and obviously several hits of the Stray Cats ‘Runaway Boys, Rumble in Brighton, and of course the song that was nº1 in the world, ‘Rock This Town’…
But one of the best parts of the show was this real chemistry between Jennie Vee and Slim Jim, she was following each one of his drum moves, eating him with her eyes… they joked about getting married with a benediction by Jesse Hughes, but at the end, I don’t think it was a joke based on the way they were looking at each other.
Slim Jim Phantom currently hosts the Rockabilly Rave Up show on the SiriusXM channel Little Steven’s Underground Garage, when he is not DJing or playing a few shows with Jennie. Friday night was an unpretentious night of music for rockabilly lovers, a fun and unexpected party for the cool cats who still care about this rock ‘n’ roll thing.
Setlist (more or less accurate)
Honky Tonk Woman
All Over Now
Jumping Jack Flash
Rumble in Brighton
Rock This Town
Not Fade Away
That’s Alright Mama