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