The shipyard painter, political activist and razor-sharp cartoonist Bob Starrett has just written a new book The Way I See It on his eventful life and times. Below we reprint one of his stories and review an essential read
"This is my Indian summer... I learnt that fame is an illusion and everything about it is just a joke.
"I'm far more dangerous now, because I don't care at all," confessed Joe Strummer in 2000 a year before the first of these two albums was released.
Perhaps it was a premonition. A month before his death in November 2002 he and the Mescaleros played a memorable support gig for striking firefighters in Acton town hall.
The Mescaleros were cultured and consummate musicians who unerringly weaved an impressively rich sound around Strummer's spellbinding, inimitable voice.
These 39 great songs on two CDs range from the haunting Minstrel Boy - somewhat incomprehensibly lent to the discredited pro-imperialist paean Black Hawk Down - the melancholy of Shaktar Donetsk, the topical Burning Streets to the punk vigour of Johnny Appleseed and Coma Girl. Exquisite.