THE HEAD CAT, the rockabilly super-group featuring late MOTÖRHEAD main-man Lemmy Kilmister along with THE STRAY CATS drummer Slim Jim Phantom and rockabilly guitar-slinger Danny B. Harvey, will have its catalog reissued. The news came in a new interview with Phantom, who spoke to Eonmusic.
In 1999, Lemmy, Slim Jim and Danny teamed up to create a high-energy, take-no-prisoners combo to remind the world how rock ‘n’ roll was supposed to sound. For over sixteen years, HEADCAT (formerly THE HEAD CAT) continued doing just that to the accolades of fans worldwide. Since Lemmy‘s untimely passing in 2015, Slim Jim and Danny B. have put HEADCAT on hold out of respect for their fallen bandmate and have waited until the appropriate time to start performing, and recording again.
In 2017, along with new HEADCAT bassist and vocalist — former MORBID ANGEL front-man David Vincent — HEADCAT recorded a heartfelt and rockin’ tribute to Lemmy, appropriately titled “Born To Lose, Live To Win”.
Regarding how he first met Lemmy in the early ’80s, Slim Jim commented; “Lemmy I met in 1980. He was one of the original scenesters that came to see THE STRAY CATS play. We had an audience of twenty, and Lemmy was one of them. Joe Strummer was one; Chrissie Hynde was another one, [as was]Glen Matlock. It was a bit of a scene, and we were able to deliver. We’d been doing it for quite a while already, and Lemmy was one of my original friends, and he loved rockabilly. He was a rockabilly at heart.”
He continued: “The first night I met him, he asked about a particular Gene Vincent song, and I didn’t know it, and he was mortified. So, after a night at the clubs, we had to go back to his house and have him find a reel-to-reel tape that he had, on the microphone in front of the radio in the ’50s when he was a kid, taped the Gene Vincent radio BBC concert. And he found it, played it for me. We were friends really since 1980. I would see him every time I was in England, and I lived in London for a few years and then moved to L.A., so we were neighbors for the longest time.”
On the formation of THE HEAD CAT, he said: “Someone asked me to do a track for an Elvis Presley tribute record, and who better than Lemmy? So we finished the song in, like, ten minutes, and we had another four hours of studio time, so, ‘Let’s do this one’ and ‘let’s do this one.’ ‘Okay, let’s come back tomorrow and do a few more.’ So that was the birth of THE HEAD CAT, and that track led to the birth of a long kind of, side project for Lem and me.”
When asked if it was nice to help Lemmy realize that inner rock and roller that he always was, Phantom said: “Exactly right. He always wanted to play Carl Perkins, right? I got to play Carl Perkins for my job, and he wanted to have a hobby, like outside of your regular job, and he wanted to play rockabilly music, and he loved it, man. So we used to work a lot when he had the time off. They had a schedule, MOTÖRHEAD, so we always used to find holes in it, and that’s what he wanted to do. He didn’t want to have time off. ‘Fill that two weeks off.’ ‘All right. So we made two albums.”
On plans to reissue the catalog, he said: “There’s going to be a bunch of stuff coming out, because we recorded a lot of stuff properly, live shows, and a film that we did, a DVD concert video, so it’s all going to come out very soon.”