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Joe Egan of Stealers Wheel Dies at 77

Joe Egan, the creative force alongside Gerry Rafferty in Stealers Wheel, passed away at the age of 77 on July 6. Egan played a significant role in co-writing the band’s iconic song, “Stuck in the Middle With You.” This tune soared to the Top 10 on both U.S. and U.K. charts in 1973, reaching number six on the Billboard Hot 100. It gained renewed popularity when it was featured in the 1992 movie Reservoir Dogs.

Rafferty’s official Facebook page, managed by his daughter Martha, made the announcement. “Very sad news that the other half of Stealers Wheel, Joe Egan, passed away peacefully yesterday afternoon with his nearest and dearest around him,” the post read. “I will always remember him as a sweet and gentle soul. May he rest in peace.”

Egan and Rafferty formed the folk-rock band Stealers Wheel in 1972 in their hometown of Paisley, Scotland. Their self-titled debut album came out that same year, although Rafferty left the band shortly after its release. The hit single “Stuck in the Middle With You” played a part in Rafferty’s return to the band. Despite receiving critical acclaim, the band struggled to achieve lasting commercial success and eventually dissolved after releasing two more albums: Ferguslie Park in 1973 and Right or Wrong in 1975. In 2008, the band experienced a brief reunion, but neither Egan nor Rafferty, who passed away in 2011, took part.

Following the dissolution of Stealers Wheel, Egan pursued a solo career. He released two albums, Out of Nowhere in 1979 and Map in 1981. By the ’90s, he had transitioned out of the music industry and was reported to be running a publishing business from his home near Paisley.

Speaking shortly after Rafferty’s death, Egan shared some memories in an interview with the Paisley Daily Express. He reminisced, “We lived in each other’s pockets for so long and, latterly, would speak regularly on the phone. Gerry was around six months older than me and was also a year above at school. I was always interested in music, like Gerry, but I was also into football in a big way and at one stage I’d hoped to make it as a player.

“But when it became clear that I thought I was better than I actually was, I threw myself headfirst into my music. That’s when Gerry and I first got together. … We [later] formed Stealers Wheel along with Rab Noakes and an American guy called Roger Brown, but the lineup changed over time and at the end it was just Gerry and I who recorded the last two albums.”

The duo maintained their friendship despite not working together again. Reflecting on their relationship, Egan noted, “Like everyone else, I suppose we had our fallouts because we spent so much time living in each others’ pockets.”

Watch Stealers Wheel perform ‘Stuck in the Middle With You’

Source: udiscovermusic, Ultimate Classic Rock