Horace Panter aka Sir Horace Gentleman was the bass player with, and a founder member of, The Specials. Jerry Dammers lead the band and the Two Tone record label which, with its marvellous fusion of punk, reggae and ska, kickstarted the late 1970s ska revival in the UK.
Horace vividly describes his life before The Specials, the band's formation, their meteoric rise to the top of the charts, and their equally swift disintegration.
This clear-eyed recollection of life in The Specials is a marvellous read. It also operates as a cautionary tale for any would-be rock star. Horace's description of the band's first American tour sounds like hell on earth, despite playing some good shows. Overall it's hard to escape the conclusion that being in a successful band is not something anyone with a normal disposition should covet. That said, what Horace also conveys is the magic and exhilaration of playing live music, and of course playing in The Specials meant playing some of the finest music of their era.
A great band, and a very interesting and enjoyable book.