2/6/18: Gerry Rafferty “Baker Street”

I woke up this morning hearing the music of Gerry Rafferty. He was a Scottish musician, who grew up listening to Scottish folk songs. His mother taught him to play and sing, both of which he enjoyed tremendously as a child, and when Bob Dylan and the Beatles came along and hit it big, I guess that’s when he figured he’d better get into the music scene himself. After all, that’s what you do when you’ve got something to say!

You might know Rafferty from a group called “Stealers Wheel,” which became famous for “Stuck In The Middle With You.” He later went solo and had some fairly big hits, such as “Baker Street” and “Right Down The Line.” In 1978, he released an album called “City to City” with both those songs on it, and I always loved “Baker Street.” It sounded dark and mysterious, in its own way, and when I hear it I’m almost always taken back to a time in my live when I had been here in Chapel Hill for close to a year.

I was wild and free, and oddly enough I was test-driving a car. It was a bright red sports car – a convertible, actually – and I test drove it out into the country, going out Jones Ferry road and onto the country roads of Chatham County.

I was driving down those roads in that hot car when “Baker Street” came on the radio. I cranked it up loud, had the wind blowing through my hair, and was just having a great time listening to that song. I thought it was awesome then, and I still do.

I didn’t buy that car, by the way. It would have been one the dumbest things I could have done, looking back on it. It was too old, and would have required some pretty heavy maintenance. Since I’m not a mechanic and couldn’t have done any of the work myself, it would have taken all my money just to keep it running! This song always reminds me of that experience, and also of William Riggsbee, our incredibly nice and thoughtful WCHL custodian, who once told me it was his favorite song. I loved that man.