Posted by
• 01.16.13 10:04 am

Remember the ear-cutting scene in Reservoir Dogs? Steven Wright goes, “Joe Egan and Gerry Rafferty were a duo known as Stealers Wheel when they recorded this Dylanesque pop bubble gum favorite…” 

Then Mr. Blonde cuts the guy’s ear off. The song is “Stuck in the Middle” and it’s written by one of the most interesting and talented assholes in the history of music. Drunken Scotsman Gerry Rafferty started out as a grass roots man of the people who hated everything associated with the rich. He refused to ride in his manager’s Rolls Royce and wouldn’t even visit the guy’s office because it was in the stuffy West End.

He was always convinced that success is suicide and even after his first two albums Stuck in the Middle With You and Baker Street made him millions, he shunned collaborations with Eric Clapton and Paul McCartney. He turned down dozens of invitations to visit America because he was scared his popularity would suck him into the drug culture there.

Though regarded by many as a completely insane alcoholic, his predictions about success were pretty accurate. When he lost his fear of travel, he quickly went from coach to first class flight in concord jets where he’d visit the best hotels in the world decked out head to toe in Armani. His love of booze led to many outrageous incidents including the time he attacked a loud rich kid in first class who was trying to seduce a woman. As the flight attendants wrestled him away from the young man Gerry screamed, “You’re keeping me awake so either fuck her or shut the fuck up!” He was also prosecuted criticized for attacking the pilot of an air ambulance that saved his life.

After disappearing countless times for benders that would go on for years, he decided to record his own album as a fuck you to the record industry. It was called Another World and involved Gerry visiting various recording studios around the world and flying in dozens of international musicians to each one (again, first class). It lost a fortune and he died soon after in January of 2011. After his death, “Baker Street” got two million hits on YouTube and he was the third most talked about topic on Twitter. The moral of the story? You’re not paranoid if you’re right.

The book is called Renegade Heart and you can get it on Kindle here


  1. Eddie Rabbitt says:

    Right down the line, baby!

  2. shawn says:

    After he died I checked Billy’s website and he had recorded a cover of a Van Morrison song for him. I’ve always wanted to like Van Morrison more than I actually do but Billy’s version, with a chorus of bagpipes near the end, was beautiful and heartbreaking.

  3. Scottish lass says:

    Do you not realise people have feelings, I would say you’re an even BIGGER asshole.

  4. rrrick1000 says:

    The truth is never ugly.

  5. durka durka jihad says:

    Insane. we were just talking about him at work.

  6. Alec Leamas says:

    What is with the best known Scots actually being Irish? Here you have Gerry Rafferty, Billy Connolly, and Joe Egan (can’t confirm, but damn likely from the name), Gerard Butler, Susan Boyle, Sean Connery . . .

  7. Ginger says:

    I love him and I love his music. Every gifted artist has these difficulties. It doesn’t seem to me that the worst of his excesses would have occurred had his wife been able to stay by his side. With Catholics, there is no such thing as an ex-wife once a marriage takes place in the Church, as theirs was. And I realize that it is difficult living like that, but that is what for better or worse is all about, yeah? He simply could not cope alone.
    My dear friend was nanny for Gerry and Carla’s little daughter many years ago, and she said they were very devoted to each other, Carla very soft-spoken and ladylike and both of them very, very good to my friend.
    Alcoholism is a demon that sometimes is impossible to shake. Irish seem to be more subject to it than many races. American Indians also have this problem. I believe there is a strong physical genetic component to it.
    Anyway, there is nothing noble about publishing a good man’s failings. He paid, he lost his wife and had a very rough ending after many lonely years. Let’s pray for his soul, God love him. He had the face of an angel and I hope he is with them now, singing in that unbelievable choir before the throne of God. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him. May his and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen!

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