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Lee Rocker Biography

Leon Drucker, 3 August 1961, Long Island, New York, USA. Rocker was raised on Long Island, New York, in a musical atmosphere; his father played clarinet with the New York Philharmonic. From the age of six Leon played cello but on taking an interest in rock ‘n’ roll he switched to electric bass, eventually moving on to upright acoustic bass in order to achieve the sound he wanted. It was also on Long Island that he got together with like-minded guitarist Brian Setzer and drummer Slim Jim Phantom, with whom he turned his mind to music of an earlier time. Thus it is that Rocker’s singing and playing looks back to the early years of rock ‘n’ roll and rockabilly, but he does so with a clear-eyed view that results in music that appears neither dated nor in any way diluted. With Setzer and McDonnell he worked in London, England, from 1980 as the Stray Cats, building a solid following and they had great success in the UK at the start of the 80s. Their US recording debut, Built For Speed, also attained number 2 spot on Billboard’s album chart.

Following the Stray Cats’ initial split in the mid-80s, Rocker teamed up with Phantom and guitarist Earl Slick to record an album as Phantom, Rocker And Slick. He launched a solo career in the early 90s after the Stray Cats finally fell apart. During this period he recorded two excellent albums for the Black Top Records label (Big Blue and Atomic Boogie Hour), and solidified his reputation as an exhilarating live performer. Further acclaim followed in the new millennium for Bulletproof (2003) and Racin’ The Devil (2006). Among musicians with whom Rocker has played and sometimes recorded are Dave Edmunds, Scotty Moore and Carl Perkins. His sidemen have included guitarists Buzz Campbell and Brophy Dale, and drummer Jimmy Sage. Rocker has also worked with Phantom in the Swing Cats and played in the occasional Stray Cats reunion.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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