Originally posted by The Guardian (guardian.co.uk)Gerry Rafferty dies aged 63
Singer-songwriter behind Stuck in the Middle with You and Baker Street endured battles with music industry and alcohol
James Meikle guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 4 January 2011 20.14 GMT
The singer-songwriter Gerry Rafferty, whose songs such as Stuck in the Middle with You, Baker Street and Get it Right Next Time soundtracked the 1970s, has died aged 63 after a long illness.
His family said he died at home peacefully with his daughter Martha this morning.
The Scot was born in Paisley, near Glasgow, played with Billy Connolly's folk outfit the Humblebums, and co-founded the soft-rock group Stealer's Wheel, before enjoying a successful solo career. Baker Street, released in 1978, was still netting him £80,000 a year more than 30 years later.
Rafferty endured battles with the music industry – once taking three years to disentangle contracts – and a problem with alcohol. When he was a child his mother would drag him round the streets of Glasgow, rather than risk his suffering violence at the hands of his Irish-born father, who would often come home drunk.
Although sure of his own abilities, Rafferty was fearful of working with stars such as Eric Clapton and Paul McCartney. On occasion his drinking would lead him to smashing cases of expensive wine.
He divorced from his wife Carla – who he met at a dancehall when she was 15 and married five years later – in 1990. She said: "There was no hope. I would never have left him if there'd been a glimmer of a chance of him recovering."
Rafferty, having once owned a Kent farm and a home in Hampstead, moved to California to be near Martha, before moving to Ireland in 2008 and later Dorset.
In recent years, he was better known for alcohol-fuelled incidents, apparent disappearances and poor health than for his music. His last album, Another World, was released in 2000.
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