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Stealers Wheel’s Joe Egan Dies at 77

Stealers Wheel’s Joe Egan Dies at 77

Joe Egan, known for his creative partnership with Gerry Rafferty in the band Stealers Wheel, passed away on July 6 at the age of 77. Egan played a key role in co-writing the band’s most successful song, “Stuck in the Middle With You.” This track became a major hit in 1973, reaching No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the U.S. and also securing a spot in the top 10 in the U.K. Its popularity surged yet again when it was featured in the 1992 film Reservoir Dogs.

“Very sad news that the other half of Stealers Wheel, Joe Egan, passed away peacefully yesterday afternoon with his nearest and dearest around him,” stated a post on Rafferty’s official Facebook page, managed by his daughter, Martha. “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. By the time their debut album was released within the same year, Rafferty had already left the band. The success of “Stuck in the Middle” was instrumental in bringing him back. Despite receiving critical acclaim, the band struggled to maintain commercial success. They disbanded after producing two more albums: Ferguslie Park in 1973 and Right or Wrong in 1975. There was a brief reunion in 2008, but neither Egan nor Rafferty, who passed away in 2011, participated.

Egan continued his musical journey by releasing two solo albums, Out of Nowhere in 1979 and Map in 1981. Eventually, he departed from the music industry in the ’90s. Reports indicated that he was later involved in running a publishing business from his home near Paisley.

After Rafferty’s death, Egan shared his thoughts with the Paisley Daily Express, saying, “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.”

Egan also revealed his initial aspirations to become a soccer player before realizing that his musical talents were far more promising. “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 managed to maintain their friendship despite having their share of disagreements. “Like everyone else, I suppose we had our fallouts because we spent so much time living in each others’ pockets,” Egan remarked, reflecting on the nature of their relationship.

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

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Gallery Credit: Allison Rapp

Source: Paisley Daily Express