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
ENO's production of La Boheme is a triumph,
Los Angeles hair metallers Steel Panthers' fan base grows every time they visit Britain.
After starting off as an opening act for ZZ Top, Motley Crue and Def Leppard they went on to headline their own shows at Brixton Academy and have now played their biggest gig to date at the Hammersmith Apollo.
In their early career Panther were a parody band highlighting the excesses of the Sunset Strip metal groups of the US 1980s.
But these days they seem to be having too much fun themselves and ironically they are professedly great friends with the groups they set out to parody.
And the crowd tonight seem to reflect that contrariness, with hardcore rockers mixing with fans dressed in full lycra and wigs.
As the lights go down the rammed hall sings Iron Maiden's Number Of The Beast in unison and a live feed from the group's dressing room shows then leaving some strippers behind as they make their way to the stage.
They open with Supersonic Sex Machine which sets the tone for the rest of the show.
With the Panther you know what you're going to get - fun songs about sex and, er, some more songs about sex.
A sensitive indie band churning out tunes on a ukulele they most definitely are not.
The interaction with the audience is a key part of what make the shows so enjoyable. Although the Panthers' songs will never make radio playlists that hasn't stopped some of them becoming classics with the crowd.
They know every word as they sing along to Fat Girl and Just Like Tiger Woods, a "tribute" to the golf master's extra-curricular activities.
Special guest Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell performs a classic tune from his time in the metal band Dio then plays one song with the Panther, reaffirming the group's new-found status in the rock world.
The show ends with the obligatory encore and an acoustic version of Community Property, a song that details how hard it is to stay faithful while touring.
Steel Panther are a fun night out and if you're open-minded, get along to their next gig - you might just enjoy yourself.