Howling Three-Way: Stray Cats – “Stray Cat Strut”
Stray Cats – Built For Speed is available on iTunes.
by Walter Price
Was it 1981 or perhaps 1982? Yes! Weird man, our beloved heroes for this article broke into the American market by making it overseas. What?! How dare they. But times were different and these cats knew they had to find their way by any means possible.
In the early 1980’s disco was dead-ish and you were happy to have your ears satisfied with the sounds The Police, Soft Cell, Men At Work, and Bow Wow Wow even. Then suddenly that newfangled MTV caught the feline Casanova heatwave and the Stray Cats were rockin’ their way into the 80’s mythos. And you weren’t far behind. Now, you knew the names of those before mentioned Long Island rockers and the song that made you swoon and shimmy like Elvis was “Stray Cat Strut”.
I don’t bother chasing mice around
I slink down the alleyway looking for a fight
Howling to the moonlight on a hot summer night
Singin’ the blues while the lady cats cry
“Wild stray cat, you’re a real gone guy”
I wish I could be as carefree and wild
But I got cat class and I got cat style
Vocalist Brian Setzer, drummer Slim Jim Phantom, and bassist Lee Rocker had that retro rockabilly sex appeal with a splash of the color of their pop surroundings. But was that the thing that attracted you to this classic hillbilly sounds is now trio? Probably, but for this fan, it was that and the fact these cats were real musicians and phenomenal songwriters. Things that still resonate today.
But it isn’t just you and I that have been transfixed and smitten with our East Coast idols. Many artists have fallen for the band and notably “Stray Cat Strut”. And I, being what I am, have decided to find three cover versions of the track that will make even the hardest of alley felines swoon. I did the digging so you can just, dig!
Reel Big Fish
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