Interview by Scott Preston
Lee Rocker (from The Stray Cats) took some time to answer a few questions about his career with the Stray Cats and about his upcoming tour supporting his latest solo release "Black Cat Bone".
Cincy Groove: How did the Stray Cats reunion tour go?
Lee Rocker: That was a blast. It was a lot of fun. I mean the three of us grew up together and have been through so much. It was like going back to a high school reunion.
Cincy Groove: Are there any plans for a new Stray Cats release?
Lee Rocker: We talked about a couple things, but I don't see anything in the near future. I'm busy right now with the new record and the touring behind it. Everyone has their own thing, Brian just finished his Christmas tour. Its defintely not out of the question at any rate.
Cincy Groove: Back in the late 1970's, what made the three of you move to England?
Lee Rocker: Well, we were 18-19 years old. We were playing out around New York and we saw some British rock magazines and it looked like there was a cool scene going on. Once summer hit , we said hell lets go and see what happens and we never looked back. Things just took off for us. But it wasn't like we had anything setup.
Cincy Groove: It seems as soon as you stepped foot in England that things really started to roll for you guys.
Lee Rocker: We got their in June of 78, and had a single out that was a top 10 record in 6 months maybe less. Things happened very quickly.
Cincy Groove: Over the last 20 - 25 years is there one performance that really sticks out in your mind?
Lee Rocker: We did a Willie Nelson Family Picnic at the Atlanta Speedway for about 80-90,000 people and we walked out on stage and went to play the first note and there was a sea of cowboy hats looking at us. Somehow the power blew so we were standing there not able to make a sound.
Cincy Groove: Who was one of the first British musicians to come up to you after a show?
Lee Rocker: Steve Edmunds, who became our record producer, was one of the first people we met. He came down to a show, came back to our dressing rooms, drinking a few pints, talking to us. We were big fans of his, he is a great record producer. He went on to produce with the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Elvis Costello, The Stray Cats early records, Everly Brothers. He was one of the first people to come down. He really wanted to produce the band and said he really knew what this is all about.
The Rolling Stones were there as early supporters as well. They came to a lot of shows and hung out and we eventually went out and did a bunch of tour dates with them.
Cincy Groove: Is there somebody that you haven't had a chance to play with yet that you wold really like to?
Lee Rocker: I have been fortunate enough to work with a lot of my heroes. From Willie Nelson, John Fogerty, George Harrison. I would love to play with Bob Dylan if he is ever looking for a bass player lol. Thats the call I'm still waiting for.
Cincy Groove: Did you have any special collaborations on "Black Cat Bone" or did you just use your band?
Lee Rocker: I used my band. I have the greatest band together now, we have been together for 10 years. Brophy Dale on guitar, Buzz Campbell on guitar and Jimmy Sage on drums. The band has really hit a point now where I couldn't be happier. Its a well oiled machine and they really know what I'm looking for.
Cincy Groove: I see that you are going to be playing the Wood Songs Radio Hour on 1/28/08.
Lee Rocker: Yeah I have done that show before and they do a great job at the theater there. I did the show a year or two ago and knew I had to come back. I really enjoyed myself.
Cincy Groove: You also have your own line of upright bass', how did that come about?
Lee Rocker: Thats with a company, King DoubleBass. They have been building bass's for me for the last couple years and I have been consulting with them on the electric pickups. Yeah so they do a Lee Rocker model bass. I will have 2 or 3 on the road with me.
Lee Rocker will be making 2 appearances in the northern Kentucky area:
1.28.2008 - Woodsongs Radio Hour, Lexington, KY
2.1.2008 - Southgate House, Newport, KY
more Lee Rocker Tour Dates can be found at Lee's Website: http://www.leerocker.com