Off his Rocker

Photo By David Robert

Hot on the heels of Brian Setzer’s appearance last month, another Stray Cat struts into town. Lee Rocker returns to Reno this weekend for another evening of high-energy Americana/rockabilly music (or “devil’s music” as the stand-up bass player likes to call it). Rocker first achieved international success in the early 1980s with the Cats, whose rock ’n’ roll sound and punk attitude made them darlings of the then-fledgling music video channel, MTV. The Cats’ 1982 album, Built for Speed, spawned the singles, “Rock This Town,” “Stray Cat Strut” and “(She’s) Sexy + 17” and also earned a Grammy nomination. After the band called it quits in 1984, Rocker and drummer Slim Jim Phantom formed the short-lived project Phantom, Rocker and Slick, featuring David Bowie guitarist Earl Slick. In the 1990s, Rocker embarked on a solo career and released rockabilly-influenced albums like 1994’s Lee Rocker’s Big Blue, 1995’s Atomic Boogie Hour and 1998’s No Cats. His new album, Bulletproof, has received good reviews from the Washington Post, Vintage Guitar and other publications. San Diego Union Tribune hailed it as “a thudding rockabilly masterpiece.” Rocker, who plans to regroup with the other Stray Cats later this year, hits the stage at 9 p.m. Jan. 10 at The Garage inside the Reno Hilton, 2500 E. Second St. The show is free. Call 789-2285 for details.—Kelley Lang