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Tomcats was the name of Brian Setzer's first rockabilly group, before transforming to the widely known Stray Cats. With Brian Setzer on guitar and vocals, Gary Setzer on drums and Bob Beecher on bass, the trio began to play clubs at Long Island in 1979 . At the time Brian Setzer and Bob Beecher were also participating at another group, named the Bloodless Pharaohs, which played "art rock" music (as described by Gary Setzer).
While the Bloodless Pharaohs were playing in and out New York, the Tomcats were still holding forth out on Long Island developing the sound and style that would mark the Stray Cats.
The Bloodless Pharaohs were going in one direction, while Brian Setzer was more interested in rockabilly. This resulted in the break-up of the Tomcats. Afterwards, Brian Setzer began working with a couple of Long Island buddies, Jim McDonnell (later known as Slim Jim Phantom, playing drums) and Lee Drucker (later known as Lee Rocker, playing bass). In the summer of 1980, the trio sold their equipment and moved to London, taking the name Stray Cats.

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