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Obit: Gerry Rafferty (1947 - 2011)

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alanabit 04 Jan 11 - 02:32 PM
Geoff the Duck 04 Jan 11 - 02:48 PM
andrew e 04 Jan 11 - 03:09 PM
alex s 04 Jan 11 - 03:29 PM
katlaughing 04 Jan 11 - 03:32 PM
fat B****rd 04 Jan 11 - 03:34 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 04 Jan 11 - 04:36 PM
Pulseroom 04 Jan 11 - 04:48 PM
gnu 04 Jan 11 - 05:11 PM
SPB-Cooperator 04 Jan 11 - 05:33 PM
George Papavgeris 04 Jan 11 - 05:34 PM
GUEST,john james 04 Jan 11 - 05:44 PM
jacqui.c 04 Jan 11 - 06:05 PM
buddhuu 04 Jan 11 - 07:40 PM
alanabit 04 Jan 11 - 10:35 PM
Acme 05 Jan 11 - 12:10 AM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 05 Jan 11 - 12:24 AM
Gurney 05 Jan 11 - 01:52 AM
VirginiaTam 05 Jan 11 - 02:22 AM
GUEST,Rene 05 Jan 11 - 02:56 AM
theleveller 05 Jan 11 - 03:13 AM
GMT 05 Jan 11 - 03:56 AM
Stu 05 Jan 11 - 04:33 AM
Richie Black (misused acct, bad email) 05 Jan 11 - 04:49 AM
GUEST,Patsy 05 Jan 11 - 05:03 AM
Will Fly 05 Jan 11 - 05:11 AM
GUEST 05 Jan 11 - 05:30 AM
Zen 05 Jan 11 - 05:33 AM
GUEST,Clive Pownceby 05 Jan 11 - 05:34 AM
andrew e 05 Jan 11 - 05:36 AM
GUEST,Dani 05 Jan 11 - 06:52 AM
GUEST,TwickFolk 05 Jan 11 - 07:08 AM
autoharpbob 05 Jan 11 - 07:13 AM
goatfell 05 Jan 11 - 01:13 PM
akenaton 05 Jan 11 - 04:56 PM
Richie Black (misused acct, bad email) 05 Jan 11 - 06:51 PM
Nick 05 Jan 11 - 07:41 PM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 06 Jan 11 - 07:12 AM
Richie Black (misused acct, bad email) 06 Jan 11 - 07:21 AM
GUEST,John McCutchan II 08 Jan 11 - 03:04 PM
Beer 08 Jan 11 - 09:38 PM
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Subject: Obit: Gerry Rafferty
From: alanabit
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 02:32 PM

A sad end to a talented man.


Gerry Rafferty obituary
Singer and songwriter known for Stuck in the Middle With You and Baker Street

Michael Gray
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 4 January 2011 14.01 EST

The Scottish singer-songwriter Gerry Rafferty, who has died aged 63 after a long illness, wrote the multimillion-selling hit Baker Street, which more than 30 years after its 1978 release still netted him an annual £80,000. At the end of the 1970s he did his best work, a series of richly resonant albums that gave no hint of their creator's inner troubles.

Rafferty was born in Paisley, near Glasgow, an unwanted third son. His father, Joseph, was an Irish-born miner. His mother, Mary Skeffington, whose name would provide a Rafferty song title, dragged young Gerry round the streets on Saturday nights so that they would not be at home when his father came back drunk. They would wait outside, in all weathers, until he had fallen asleep, to avoid a beating. "If it wasn't for you, I'd leave," Mary told Gerry. Joseph died in 1963, when Gerry was 16.

That year, Gerry left St Mirin's academy and worked in a butcher's shop and at the tax office. At weekends, he and a schoolfriend, Joe Egan, played in a local group, the Mavericks. At a dancehall in 1965, Gerry met his future wife, apprentice hairdresser Carla Ventilla. She was 15, from an Italian Clydebank family. They married in 1970, after courting at the bohemian bungalow of the artist and future playwright John "Patrick" Byrne and his wife, Alice. Byrne, also educated at St Mirin's, had long been Gerry's mentor, and had first interested Gerry in playing the guitar. Billy Connolly was also in Clydebank, and after Gerry's song Benjamin Day failed as a Mavericks single, Gerry and Egan quit the group and Gerry joined Connolly's outfit, the Humblebums, a Clydeside folk act.

The Humblebums' first LP, on the folk-oriented label Transatlantic, predated Gerry's involvement, but he and Connolly were the group for the albums The New Humblebums (1969, with cover art by Byrne, a partnership that later spanned the albums of Gerry's heyday) and Open Up the Door (1970). Despite US releases, singles written by Gerry (Shoeshine Boy and Saturday Round About Sunday) and John Peel sessions for the BBC, there was little reaction and tensions grew between these strong personalities. It was Gerry who urged Connolly to go it alone as a comic. He went solo too. Staying with Transatlantic, his characteristically titled first album – Can I Have My Money Back? – began his real career in 1971, establishing him as a singer-songwriter, bringing folk fans with him and promoting his songs.

Yet in 1972, now with a young daughter, Martha, Gerry rejoined Egan to form Stealers Wheel, a soft-rock group. Their eponymous debut album climbed the US charts and included the million-selling Stuck in the Middle With You, memorably resurrected for a key scene in Quentin Tarantino's film Reservoir Dogs (1992). But their A&M record contract tied them to huge touring and album commitments, and imposed musicians upon them. Gerry quit.

He was persuaded back, and he and Egan became the sole group members, using backing musicians in the studio and on tours. A now-forgotten single, Everyone's Agreed That Everything Will Turn Out Fine, preceded the minor hit Star and the 1974 album Ferguslie Park. But Rafferty learned that their royalties had been filched, Egan returned to Scotland, and Stealers Wheel collapsed before the release of the album Right Or Wrong in 1975.

Disentangling Gerry from his contracts took three years, but his second solo career, beginning with City to City, was constructed more cannily. Demos for the album were made in Carla's parents' old house, on a four-track machine. Gerry played every instrument, including lentil-jar percussion. Signed to United Artists, he and Hugh Murphy co-produced the album for £18,000 in 1978. Fuelled by the smash hit single Baker Street, it sold 5m copies and Gerry became a millionaire "overnight".

Refusing to tour America, he played a few British dates and recorded his successful follow-up, Night Owl (1979), which yielded further hits: Days Gone Down, Get It Right Next Time and the title track. These, plus the less popular Snakes and Ladders (1980, recorded in Montserrat), are the gorgeously produced works of Gerry's prime. The voice, redolent of both Lennon's and McCartney's, yet unmistakably his own; the music, a shimmering delta of sound; the songs, romantic yet pushily sardonic – all came to fruition thanks to Gerry's gift of perfect pitch and an obdurate determination to stick to his guns.

These were the years I worked for him. I was his personal manager – employee, not svengali – visiting the record company in LA, accompanying Gerry when he was working, and running the small office we set up for him in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. Sadly, my job was mostly to say "no" to people.

He did not want to have to out-platinum himself: he had money enough, and disliked being recognised. But behind an aggressive front, and a strong awareness of his own musical excellence, was fear. He turned down working with Eric Clapton, McCartney and others, telling Carla "nobody was good enough". In truth, he dared not sit down with superstars without a drink or five. So he sat at home – now 300 acres of Kent farmland and a Queen Anne house in Hampstead, north London – and convinced himself he could work alone with Murphy. Carla said later: "He was just stalling for time. Maybe some new project would suddenly happen, but I knew he'd crossed the line as far as the record business went."

His last successful foray was when, after contributing a vocal to the soundtrack of the film Local Hero (1983), he produced the Proclaimers' 1987 hit Letter from America. Gerry made two more albums that decade – Sleepwalking (1982) and North and South (1988). On a Wing and a Prayer followed in 1992, Over My Head in 1994 and Another World in 2000. They marked a decline in sales and standard.

He had always drunk too much, and now he spiralled into alcoholism, putting on weight, which made him unhappier. "He became dangerous at airports," said Carla, "and he'd scream across restaurant tables at me." In phases of renunciation, he smashed cases of superb wines into a stream on his land. Carla finally left in 1990: "There was no hope. I would never have left him if there'd been a glimmer of a chance of him recovering." She remained a source of dependable help, in contact until the end.

After their divorce, farm and Hampstead home gone, Gerry eventually moved to California, near to Martha, who worked for him. In 2008 Gerry left America, helped from wheelchair to plane by a woman he met in a video store. They rented a house in Ireland, until taxis and doctors refused to attend him. That August, a five-day binge at a five-star London hotel ended when the management had him admitted to hospital. He vanished in the night.

Splashed across the Sun, this story was otherwise ignored until 2009, when the Daily Mail resurrected it. Rafferty, urged to issue a statement, announced that he was "extremely well", living in Tuscany and preparing a new album. He was relatively well, but in Dorset, not Tuscany. He never made another album. For two decades, alcohol had dominated this creative and intelligent man's life.

He is survived by Martha, his granddaughter, Celia, and brother, Jim.

• Gerald Rafferty, musician, born 16 April 1947; died 4 January 2011


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Subject: RE: Obit: Gerry Rafferty
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 02:48 PM

A sad story.
RIP.
GtD.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Gerry Rafferty
From: andrew e
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 03:09 PM

My favourite song is "The Ark".

For whatever reason, Gerry was following his path in this world.

Some great songs.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Gerry Rafferty
From: alex s
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 03:29 PM

Let's remember the great music.
Rest in peace, bonny lad.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Gerry Rafferty
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 03:32 PM

How very sad. Alcohol and creative genius seem so prevalent in the arts.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Gerry Rafferty
From: fat B****rd
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 03:34 PM

I was singing 'Can I Have Me Money Back' on my paper round testerday morning!
Very sad news
RIP Mr. Rafferty


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Subject: RE: Obit: Gerry Rafferty
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 04:36 PM

Sad news. I rated Gerry very highly. One of my favourites of his was " Her father didn't like me any way" which was a great idea for a song. The first time I saw Gerry was with Billy Connolly and they were supporting - I think -"Fotheringay".


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Subject: RE: Obit: Gerry Rafferty
From: Pulseroom
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 04:48 PM

He leaves us "as many musicians do" with fond memories.

It is very sad news

R.I.P


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Subject: RE: Obit: Gerry Rafferty
From: gnu
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 05:11 PM

Yes, fond appreciation indeed. RIP.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Gerry Rafferty
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 05:33 PM

I only knew of him through his superb music, and never knew anything about his demons....

A big loss
RIP


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Subject: RE: Obit: Gerry Rafferty
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 05:34 PM

A great songwriter and arranger. I will remember him fondly through his music.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Gerry Rafferty
From: GUEST,john james
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 05:44 PM

I knew Gerry in the 'Transatlantic Years'..we were both signed to the record label. He replaced Tam Harvey in the Humblebums..which Tam and Billy had formed. I played the acoustic guitar parts on Jim Rafferty's album...Jim, gerry's brother was affable,likeable...Gerry didnt chat much. Jim understandably was very upset about his brother's
drinking..I had a brother who died the same way..so I understand the anger when you want someone so close to you to stop killing themselves ..but they wont...they cant.
Nearly 40 years ago,in the Transatlantic offices, I was given a copy of Gerry and Bill's first album..i took it home and played it..and I'm still playing it !


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Subject: RE: Obit: Gerry Rafferty
From: jacqui.c
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 06:05 PM

Bugger. Another good one gone.

I loved 'Mary Skeffington' - didn't know that was his mother's name.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Gerry Rafferty
From: buddhuu
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 07:40 PM

Aw, feck. :-(

Well played that man. You've earned your rest.

My favourite Gerry song is 'Her Father Didn't Like Me Anyway'. Funnily, I prefer Finbar and Eddie Furey's version because of Finbar's unorthodox, soaring pipe accompaniment - but it was Gerry's song. My old band used to do 'Stuck in the Middle', and I loved the old Stealers' single 'One and One is One'.

I'm sorry he had such a hard time later on.

I'll raise a glass to him. I know there's a degree of irony in that gesture in light of Gerry's illness, but I'll mean it kindly. The drink is a big part of my life too. Maybe I'll go the same way.

Cheers, Gerry.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Gerry Rafferty
From: alanabit
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 10:35 PM

Sorry about the pedantry, but I believe "One and One is One" was by Medicine Head.

A good indication of the esteem in which Rafferty and Egan were held as songwriters, is that one of their albums was produced by Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Gerry Rafferty (1947 – 4 January 2011)
From: Acme
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 12:10 AM

I'll have to go back and listen to the lot. I always liked his songs, but I wasn't one for buying albums, so I didn't have any to look at. Thank goodness for YouTube.

Baker Street

General YouTube search.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Obit: Gerry Rafferty (1947 – 4 January 2011)
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 12:24 AM

Absolutely will be missed!!! 'Stuck In The Middle With You', which I have posted on Mudcat Forum, was one of the most brilliant songs to come out of the early 60's!!!
We'll see you later, Gerry!!!!

GfS


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Subject: RE: Obit: Gerry Rafferty (1947 – 4 January 2011)
From: Gurney
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 01:52 AM

I just digitised my Stealer's Wheel and two Humblebum LPs, which refreshed my admiration of the man. Never saw him at all. RIP.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Gerry Rafferty (1947 – 4 January 2011)
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 02:22 AM

I remember being a young teen bopping along to Stuck In The Middle playing on a mod orange AM radio with big flowers painted on it.

You are no longer "stuck" man. Not with anyone or anything. Fare you well, Gerry and thanks for the music.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Gerry Rafferty (1947 – 4 January 2011)
From: GUEST,Rene
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 02:56 AM

I have always been a big fan of Gerry Rafferty. His sound and melancholy lyrics were unique. I went to his City to City tour in Amsterdam. Musically it was the best concert I ever heard. He took his time soundchecking but after that Gerry and band sounded even better then on the album. I had the privilige of shaking hands with him a couple of hours before the concert because he and the band were dining in the same restaurant. Gerry struck me as a very friendly and approachable person. May he find rest.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Gerry Rafferty (1947 – 4 January 2011)
From: theleveller
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 03:13 AM

Very sad. A wonderful musician and songwriter. I still have severeal Humblebums LPs with the superb covers by Patrick. Baker Street is one of the most iconic songs of the 20th century


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Subject: RE: Obit: Gerry Rafferty (1947 – 4 January 2011)
From: GMT
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 03:56 AM

Such sad news.
Rest in peace Mr Rafferty; thank you for the music.
Gary


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Subject: RE: Obit: Gerry Rafferty (1947 – 4 January 2011)
From: Stu
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 04:33 AM

A massively underrated songwriter in my opinion. 'A Dangerous Age' is one certainly in my to five of all-time greats.

RIP.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Gerry Rafferty (1947 – 4 January 2011)
From: Richie Black (misused acct, bad email)
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 04:49 AM

Today we lost someone very special.

My deepest sympathies go to Jim, Martha and Carla and may Gerry rest in peace.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Gerry Rafferty (1947 – 4 January 2011)
From: GUEST,Patsy
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 05:03 AM

What a sad loss, a great muscician and writer, Stuck in the Middle with You and Baker Street are both all time favourites of mine.

RIP Gerry, why do the best ones go too soon?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Gerry Rafferty (1947 – 4 January 2011)
From: Will Fly
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 05:11 AM

So... The Ark floats away... RIP


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Subject: RE: Obit: Gerry Rafferty (1947 – 4 January 2011)
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 05:30 AM

Very sad news but not unexpected.

A great songwriter. Here's a couple of the best....

Can I Have My Money Back?

Everything Will Turn Out Fine


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Subject: RE: Obit: Gerry Rafferty (1947 – 4 January 2011)
From: Zen
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 05:33 AM

Very sad news. Rest in Peace Gerry.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Gerry Rafferty (1947 – 4 January 2011)
From: GUEST,Clive Pownceby
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 05:34 AM

I think it was acknowledged that the end was inevitable this time. As 'Steamboat Row' has it, we all must "walk along that dusty road" sometime and sensitive souls like Gerry make that journey far too soon. Thanks for all those classic songs - you can take it easy now mate.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Gerry Rafferty (1947 – 4 January 2011)
From: andrew e
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 05:36 AM

I was working at Transatlantic Records when "Can I Have My Money Back" LP was released.
I remember listening to it and thinking "this guy's going to be really big one day".
"Can I Have My Money Back" didn't sell too well, but Gerry had his time a few years later.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Gerry Rafferty (1947 – 4 January 2011)
From: GUEST,Dani
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 06:52 AM

So sad!

There's a note on "Can I have my money back" that mentions his having been "somewhat of a recluse in recent years", and the obit fills in some sorry blanks.

I hope he found a measure of peace, for all the pleasure his music has given.

Dani


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Subject: RE: Obit: Gerry Rafferty (1947 – 4 January 2011)
From: GUEST,TwickFolk
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 07:08 AM

The photo Sky News have been using this morning is most definitely not one of Gerry...he'd become such an enigmatic recluse that people have forgotten what he looked like.

Not only that the YouTube video of Stealers Wheel singing 'Stuck In The Middle' has been atrracting a lot of obituary comments.....but Gerry doesn't even appear in it (Joe Egan is miming Gerry's lead vocal)

Begs the question.....whatever happened to Joe? He co-wrote many of Stealers Wheel's best songs with Gerry. They dovetailed so well together that it was hard to see the join sometimes. There was an element of Lennon/McCartney in their musical chemistry (they also reminded me of Ham/Evans from Badfinger)


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Subject: RE: Obit: Gerry Rafferty (1947 – 4 January 2011)
From: autoharpbob
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 07:13 AM

Sad loss. "Patrick" and "Whatever's written in your heart" are two of my favourites. Really soulful voice and he wrote a lot of good songs.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Gerry Rafferty (1947 – 4 January 2011)
From: goatfell
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 01:13 PM

so sad another one gone but not forgotten RIP


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Subject: RE: Obit: Gerry Rafferty (1947 – 4 January 2011)
From: akenaton
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 04:56 PM

Gerry's biggest albums were "City to City" and "Night Owl", but to me, his "Sleepwalking" LP was just as good and contained what I consider one of the most beautiful songs ever written "The Right Moment".

Gerry apparently considered this his best composition and the production is faultless.
I met Gerry just when he started performing with Billy Connolly and Tam Harvey and recognised his lyrical genius; inflexions of Scottish West Coast speech and thought always popped up in his songs.

I was surprised that he did not become a huge international star, I put that down to the way Gerry produced his music, the song always being more important to him than promotion of himself as an artist.
Gerry always wanted to create a certain sound, a certain mood, each song a musical canvas covered in wonderful patterns.

Whatever,we are unlikely to see his like again, we should all be so grateful for the musical legacy he has left behind.....Thank you Gerry.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Gerry Rafferty (1947 – 4 January 2011)
From: Richie Black (misused acct, bad email)
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 06:51 PM

TwickFolk, Joe Egan is doing well. He spent a lot of time with Gerry and Jim recently. He lives with his family in a beautiful home in Renfrewshire. He is publishing these days and prefers to work from home.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Gerry Rafferty (1947 – 4 January 2011)
From: Nick
Date: 05 Jan 11 - 07:41 PM

It's a lovely thing to write a wonderful song and support yourself forever on that.

Given the same personally I wouldn't have many organs still functioning


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Subject: RE: Obit: Gerry Rafferty (1947 – 4 January 2011)
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 07:12 AM

One of life's talents. Like many, he suffered for his art.

Somebody that good had to burn out I suppose, it's the way of the world. By that reckoning, he had a good innings. By any other measure, taken too early by far.

Sang Mary Skeffington at a folk club last night. Thought I would forget the words half way through, but didn't. Cracking song from a cracking man.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Gerry Rafferty (1947 – 4 January 2011)
From: Richie Black (misused acct, bad email)
Date: 06 Jan 11 - 07:21 AM

His funeral will be held in his home town of Paisley in two weeks time.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Gerry Rafferty (1947 – 4 January 2011)
From: GUEST,John McCutchan II
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 03:04 PM

RIP Gerry, I was so very fond of your songs, you will be missed.
--
A million stars shine in the darkest night
From across the universe there comes eternal light
From this blue world to a new world
Somewhere life goes on.

Life goes on...
Life goes on...


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Subject: RE: Obit: Gerry Rafferty (1947 – 4 January 2011)
From: Beer
Date: 08 Jan 11 - 09:38 PM

Loved all his music.
R.I.P.
Ad.


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