One of the first neo-Rockabilly bands started in 1978 and are still together for gigs.
The Rockats began after the breakup of Levi & the Rockats. Levi left to go solo and guitarist Stephen "Dibbs" Preston and stand-up bassist Smutty Smith decided to keep the band going. Preston moved to vocals and Barry Ryan and Tim Scott joined on guitars along with ex-New York Dolls and Heartbreakers drummer Jerry Nolan on drums.
The band played in and around New York for most of 1980, building a large following and opening shows for The Clash, The Pretenders, and even Kiss. They also released a single on their own Kat Tail Records, "Rockabilly Doll". At this point Nolan left to rejoin Johnny Thunders in The Heartbreakers and was replaced with Lewis King.
Chris Blackwell (owner of Island Records) signed the band after he saw Iggy Pop, Phil Lynott (Thin Lizzy), Frankie Infante (Blondie), and Johnny Thunders join the band on stage for a very long encore one night in New York. Island released "Live at The Ritz" in May 1981 to rave reviews and gained the band a nationwide following. The Rockats hit the road for the next year headlining their own shows as well as touring with or opening shows for acts such as Hall & Oats, The GoGo's, David Bowie, Dave Edmunds, The Cramps, Tina Turner, and more.
Tim Scott and Lewis King left in late '82 and were replaced with Danny B. Harvey and Mike Osborne. The band appeared in the movie "Where The Boys Are '84" and on Dick Clark's "American Bandstand". Soon after the group was signed to RCA and released the album "Make That Move" along with a video for MTV.
The Rockats took a break in 1985 and became involved in individual projects but always kept in close contact with each other. Dibbs,Smutty and Barry reformed in 1992 with drummer Ira Kay for a successful tour of Japan where the group was very popular. Subsequent tours of Europe and Japan also proved successful and the original ''Make that move ''era Rockats are up and rockin' into the 21st century.Headlining the''Gretch guitars'' sponsered ''Texas rockabilly revival'' was a particular triumph for the veteran rockers.They are currently performing at select events worldwide.