Gerry Rafferty mp3 radio docu re Baker Street
- Most enjoyable for devotees of the song and all the better for daughter Martha's reminiscences
Cannot believe there is *no mention* that Raphael Ravenscroft played the famous saxophone riff on the track! Maybe that's down to controversy in the decades after the song became a world smash hit (see links below)
Also, nil re Gerry's ongoing music - but I've queried things before in this series and they do feature blinker-like on the one piece i.e. it's about the song more than the artist/their career. 28 minutes, zip file, incls. this write-up
Gerry Rafferty's glorious and instantly recognisable hit, Baker Street launches the new series of Soul Music.
Rafferty died just over a year ago (on January 4th 2011) at the age of 63, and to mark the anniversary we're celebrating his most popular hit.
His daughter Martha Rafferty recalls hearing her father develop the melody in the attic of their Glasgow home; the sound of him picking-out the tune on his acoustic guitar would drift through the push-up attic-door, filling the rest of the house with what would become his biggest hit. She describes the inspiration for the lyrics: a book called 'The Outsider' by Colin Wilson which Rafferty was reading at the time. It's about the sense of disconnection from the world that artists often feel. Martha regards Baker Street as the lyrical version of that book.
Other contributors include:
Musician and founder member of Stealer's Wheel, Rab Noakes. He describes how the legal wrangling which followed the break-up of Stealer's Wheel inspired the creation of Baker Street. "Winding your way down on Baker Street, light in your head and dead on your feet, well another crazy day, you'll drink the night away and forget about everything". Although Rafferty was living in Scotland at the time, he had to endure long meetings at his lawyers, and Baker Street was where he'd meet friends and drink, and sing, and talk the night away. The lyrics explore the conflicting thoughts and pressures Rafferty faced: he wanted to continue with his music, but - as Martha says - he had a young family to support and there was pressure to get a 'normal job'.
Singer-songwriter Betsy Cook whose former husband, the late Hugh Murphy, produced Baker Street, plays through the melody on her keyboard and describes what makes the song work musically. She also recalls the emotional impact of hearing it played at Hugh Murphy's funeral.
For poet, Ian McMillan, Baker Street provided the sound track to his student years; and busker Gavin Randle plays it often on Brighton pier with a backdrop of murmurating starlings, a setting sun, and passers-by dancing arm in arm.
Martha Rafferty's interview at the start of the programme is illustrated by an acoustic version of the track played especially for Soul Music by the guitarist Hugh Burns. He played on the original recording, and explains how he achieved the stirring guitar solo at the end of the record.
Also included in the programme is the original demo version of Baker Street, on which Gerry Rafferty plays the famous sax solo on guitar. It was released late last year on a Collector's Edition of the City to City album.
Producer: Karen Gregor (whose first decision when starting work on the programme was not to mention the Bob Holness/saxophone riff urban myth... so there is no word of it anywhere in the programme...!).
the Official Gerry Rafferty Website
This site is, and will always be, dedicated to the music and memory of Gerry Rafferty and the outstanding musical legacy which he created during his life. I hope that it will both introduce a new audience to the breadth and scope of his work and offer something new for the many fans already well acquainted with his music.
The site will be added to and expanded over the coming months with an online shop dedicated to offering music and other memorabilia. The full catalogue of songs will be available here as well as completely EXCLUSIVE and unheard material. So stay tuned for that!
This website is run and managed by me, Martha Rafferty, with love and gratitude......x
by Michael Gray, a contributor to the prog.
and not for the faint-hearted
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