Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Gerry Rafferty R.I.P.

“Gerry Rafferty, the Scottish singer-songwriter who had hits in the late '70s with the street life anthem "Baker Street" and mom favorite "Right Down the Line," passed away at the age of 63 following a long illness, the Guardian reports. Rafferty also left his mark with later generations, thanks to Quentin Tarantino: With the band Stealers Wheel, Rafferty co-wrote the song "Stuck in the Middle," a potent hit on its own that took legendary status thanks to its iconic and gruesome placement in "Reservoir Dogs."
The last few years had been difficult for Rafferty, as he struggled to stay out of the spotlight while shooting down false reports of his early demise. Rafferty was the product of a rough childhood and struggled with alcoholism throughout his life, which undoubtedly contributed to the liver failure Rafferty suffered in his last year. Even though he'd been out of the public eye, every time music fans hear "Baker Street" in a supermarket or classic rock station, they don't hesitate to think, "Damn, that sax solo is amazing. Check out the Guardian for a comprehensive look back at Rafferty's life, troubles and body of work.”
I remember as a kid playing my drums while Stealers Wheel and Rafferty belted out “Stuck in the Middle” from my parents’ stereo. Sixty-three seems younger and younger.
Onward. Raffertyless.
ADG II

17 comments:

Reggie Darling said...

Baker Street is one of the songs indelibly etched in my brain from a time and place when 63 seemed impossibly old, and which today--like you--does no longer. Thanks. RD

James said...

Reggie Darling nailed it didn't he? A time and place"long ago and far away". Oh man, time to crank up the Stones and pour a little Jack. "I know it's only Rock and Roll.........

ilovelimegreen said...

"Baker Street" was one of the songs I remember being played at Memorial Stadium during the summer of 1979, one of the Orioles' glory years. I especially remember that sax - I'd hear just a few notes and would know exactly what song was about to play.

When I lived in London, I often walked down Baker Street and I would always remember the wonderful summer of 1979, courtesy of Gerry Rafferty.

Anonymous said...

"Stuck In The Middle" - I bought the 45rpm record for that song.
Gold with an Orange "AM" Records and the black horn logo on the black vinyl.
I remember like it was yesterday, 'cept it was 1972 and I was 11.
Some of the most fantastic 3 minute & 23 second moments of my 11 year old preadolescent days.

Chuck Hatt said...

Funny how even the memory of those songs evoke the complex moods and emotions I was feeling at the time. Often driving around in the Maverick with buddies after having burned one. And I agree that 63 is starting to look damn young. There is so much good music being made these days but it seems to me that little heard on mainstream radio will be memorable. Love the fact that there are so many niches to find your particular taste attended to but I miss that feeling of community with a mass audience. Of course, I could just be an Old Fogey (not to be confused with any Young Fogey upstarts....)
CH

CeceliaMc said...

"Clowns to the left of me,
Jokers to the right, here I am,
Stuck in the middle with you."

If that doesn't sum up American politics,nothing does...

CeceliaMc said...

Hell, I'm TRULY an Old Fogey.

What more memorable to me is that "Baker Street" was an old LP of a musical that my younger brother and I used to relentlessly play when we were preteens.

We loved Sherlock Holmes, and the play was a fanciful bit about the relationship between Holmes and the actress Irene Adler.

He sang all the boy parts and I sang all the girl ones.

Believe it or not, the boy is straight...

Patsy said...

So sad. I can remember every line of Baker Street, brings me right back to high school.

Anonymous said...

I remember listening to Baker Street my senior year of high school. I frequently play it and Right down the line on my ipod. Like several have said, at the time 63 seemed so far away, so far I didn't even think about it, now it seems to be in my thoughts more and more.
RTS

RHW said...

The summer my family moved, Right Down The Line was a hit. That was a crummy time for us and I can remember sitting on the cream shag carpeting in my new room (wallpapered with this horrible herringbone bamboo print in white, green and blue) while this song played over the house's intercom system. Turned out to be a decent summer though because this was the advent of the "water park" era and the new one in town opened up that year.

RHW

Summer is a Verb said...

Is that Will Ferrell on the cowbell? :)

Cannonball said...

Spent many a night in 1978 cruising a desolate winter Rehoboth Beach with 'Baker Street' playingin my Dodge Dart with 4-count 'em, 4- speakers, 8 track & FM converter. RIP

Off topic: check out the shoe/sock combos- houndstooth loafer is you, my man.

http://www.unabashedlyprep.com/site/sock-it-to-em/

Scale Worm said...

Memories. I wish someone could form memory enhancing music for academic gain! Good music is past music more and more it seems, even so much "new" music is only reinterpreted old meanigful hits. I hope you survived your talk session. I am back at it now, with some friends in liquid and tablet form. Yeah Chemistry!

Susan said...

Just stumbled across your blog from someone elses...can't remember whose.
I wish I could say that "Baker Street" and "Stuck In The Middle" evoked some happy memories. They are, however, classics to be sure.
Love your blog, it's fabulous. I don't thik I've ever come across anyone who has such classic style. It's refreshing.

quintessence said...

I'm right there with you, Reggie and James. So sad and TRULY so young.

ADG said...

Amazing but when I think about it, not surprising that the Rafferty stuff is so evocative. As the youngest child of the youngest child of ten kids, I had a zillion older cousins. And my immersion into music that my older cousins revered was huge. That's just one of the great memories I have about being amongst so many first cousins during my formative years. And that phenomenon is rekindled as I read everyone's stories connected to Rafferty's voice. I'm also reminded (again) of how sartorially absurd the seventies were.

M.Lane said...

This is really sad. I love Baker Street and Stuck in the Middle. They are part of the fabric of my life. Upward, Gerry, Upward.

ML
mlanesepic.blogspot.com

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