06 May 2009

Here I Am, Stuck In The Middle With You

2052.I'm a fan of Gerry Rafferty. This is a little tougher to do than you might think.

Not that GR's music is hard to follow or uneven in quality (it isn't, and it sure as hell isn't!). Gerry Rafferty has been one of the smartest singer-songwriters in music history. Most people know him from his days in Stealer's Wheel ("Stuck In The Middle With You"), or his work beforehand with The Humblebums (which was him and then-musician, now-comic-and-TV-star Billy Connolly), or of course the AM radio classic "Baker Street" (you know, the one with That Sax Solo™) from his huge album City To City (the 1977 chart monster that was the number one album in America for about two and a half weeks in July of that year).

After two more well-recieved albums (Night Owl and Snakes and Ladders), he dropped off the popular radar (this usually credited with his reluctance to tour), leaving the impression of a one-hit wonder to those not completely familiar with his output. But the music continued and continued to be good. His last album, Another World, released in 2003, was a gem that you probably didn't hear about.

During the AW time, I grew involved with a group of Gerry fans that congregated around the message board run by Icon Music, the label under which that album was released. After straying for a while (I am easily distracted, remember), I went back there to find the site discontinued, which was sad. The Gerry fans are a quirky, quietly generous bunch (much like the singer/songwriter) and they connected reconnected me with a bunch of great music and rare recordings.

Just on a whim, recently, I cruised the Wikipedia entry on Gerry Rafferty and found a link to the Moonlight and Gold message board, established by Iconian refugees. It's quirky and interesting, just like the Icon message board was, with great discussions and scary discussions and people just having fun being Gerry fans. I've registered. It's great to be back home.

There are odd rumors about how Gerry's been recently. They seem to be just that, rumors. Gerry is famously private, which is kind of refreshing, and appears to have simply dropped out of sight for a while – as seems typical for brilliant performers, they get tired of fighting The Man just to produce great work and back off for a while. The most reliable rumor has him hanging out in Florence, Italy and coming up with great music again for a hoped-for future album, which I will get, without a doubt.

Oh, by the way, he has a MySpace page, and I don't really like MySpace at all, but knowing Gerry has a MySpace page is enough to get me to log back in after a long, long absence. It's here, and there's a nifty updated version of "Stuck In The Middle With You" that is really worth a listen to.

Nice to know Gerry Rafferty is still going strong. He's one of the most underrated singers of the radio age, and chances are you like him ... you just don't know it yet.

Did you dig that song in Reservoir Dogs?

Yeah, that's Gerry.

You like him. Just accept it.

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-carywd said...

omg, love baker street! it takes me back to sitting in my room with my little am clock radio to my ear- i'm going to itunes to download it now (somehow that just doesn't right though...)

Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

Well, it may not be right, but I'm convinced it's better, especially the sound...

Now you can have GR back any time you want. What's not to like?? B-)

(I used to put my clock radio in the shelf of my headboard and put my head in the headboard after it, because I got the best bass that way ...)