Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Folkobit: Gerry Rafferty

Two years after he was reported both lost and found, Gerry Rafferty has been lost again, this time for good.

Rafferty was a late-joining member of Billy Connolly's Humblebums, but Gerry told Billy he'd be better off concentrating on his between songs humour. As a consequence, both men found themselves touring under their own names.

The demands of parenthood saw Rafferty rejoin long-term collaborator and former schoolfriend Joe Egan as Stealer's Wheel. However, a promising band was nearly smothered by a ridiculous contract at A&M. Rafferty walked; persuaded back to work as a two-piece the band fell apart again when it turned out they'd had their earnings pinched.

After a long period of legal dealing, Rafferty returned to solo work in 1978. The album he released first saw him not working with Bob Holness on Baker Street, the song which literally made his fortune.

It allowed him to become more relaxed about work and so he was able to refuse tours of America and only do things that really interested him - including producing The Proclaimers Letter From America.

Sadly, a stuttering series of albums saw a decline in quality matched by a decline in Rafferty's mental state. Blighted by a dependency on alcohol, Rafferty lost his wife and his health.

Rafferty had been on life support since November, following kidney failure. His fiancee, Enzina Fischini, had been told to expect the worst but initially his condition had been improving. Sadly, it turned out to be a false dawn.


Delhi said...

very shocked and sad news.... RIP..

Mikey said...

Never seen this clip before. It seems to be yet another candidate for 'first ever pop video' along with the Beatles & Queen efforts.

Anonymous said...

Sad to hear about Rafferty. Baker Street is in fact about my ex, Iain Campbell, who had played with the Humblebums and Stealers Wheel. Iain lived in a mews off Baker Street prior to going to the US in the 1970s to marry and live on a farm, hence 'giving up the booze and the one night stands' and' buying some land'. He is now living in London

Anonymous said...

Apparently Bob Holness is playing sax at his funeral..

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