Happy Birthday to Horace Panter – born Stephen Graham Panter, August 30, 1953
Panter was born in Croydon, Surrey and spent most of his formative years in Kettering, Northamptonshire starting a one-year art course at Northampton College in 1971. In 1972, he began studying fine art at Coventry’s Lanchester Polytechnic, now known as Coventry University.
In his second year at Lanchester Polytechnic he met Jerry Dammers and together they formed The Specials. The band started playing in Coventry bars and clubs before releasing their first single, ‘Gangsters’ on their own record label (2-Tone). Following the break-up of The Specials in 1981, Panter went on to play with General Public with Dave Wakeling and Rankin Roger from the original Beat, and then with the reformed Specials in the 1990s. Panter then joined forces with Neol Davies of The Selecter to form a Blues band, Box of Blues. Today, he is a full-time member of the redformed Specials and is also in a blues combo, called ‘Blues 2 Go’. He has also played with Malik & Pettite (formerly The Tones), and is in the process of getting together a ska orchestra called ‘The Uptown Ska Collective’ who will begin touring in 2014.