Home Entertainment ‘Stuck In The Middle With You’ Co-Writer Of Stealers Wheel Was 77

‘Stuck In The Middle With You’ Co-Writer Of Stealers Wheel Was 77


Joe Egan, who co-founded Stealers Wheel with Gerry Rafferty and co-wrote and sang on the enduring hit “Stuck in the Middle with You,” died July 6. He was 77. The news was shared on the late Rafferty’s official Facebook page, but no details were provided.

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

Egan — who originally dreamed of soccer stardom — and Rafferty met as teenagers at St. Mirin’s Academy in their hometown of Paisley, Scotland, and formed Stealers Wheel in the early 1970s. Their first two singles stiffed, but the third would become a rock and pop standard.

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The pair co-wrote and both sang lead parts on “Stuck in the Middle with You,” which soared to the Top 10 in the U.S. and UK and eventually sold more than 2 million copies. Its success pushed the group’s eponymous A&M Records debut album to No. 50 on the Billboard 200. Listen to the track here:

The song had a resurgence when it was featured in a key scene of Quentin Tarantino’s debut feature, Reservoir Dogs. The bouncy “Stuck in the Middle with You” played as Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen) gleefully tortures a cop and sings and dances to the track. Some years later, the cut found its way onto countless “cowbell” playlists in the wake of the Saturday Night Live “More Cowbell” sketch.

“Stuck in the Middle with You” also turned up in dozens of films and TV shows over the ensuing decades, including The Guilt Trip, ER, Gilmore Girls, That 70’s Show, Malcolm in the Middle, Raising Hope, Cold Case, Top Gear and The Simpsons.

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A follow-up single, “Everything Will Turn Out Fine,” dented the Billboard Top 50, and “Star,” an Egan-penned single from the group’s second LP, 1973’s Fergusile Park, made the Top 30 and later was featured in an episode of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. But that disc and Stealers Wheel’s third album, 1975’s Right or Wrong, failed to chart, and the group split soon afterward.

Born on October 18, 1946, Egan went to release a pair of solo albums, Out of Nowhere (1979) and Map (1981), but neither charted.


Rafferty had left shortly after the group’s first album to focus on a solo career. He went on to have a multiplatinum album with 1978’s City to City, which featured the international smash “Baker Street” along with hits “Right Down the Line” and “Home and Dry.” His 1979 follow-up, Night Owl, also sold well and spawned a minor hit in “Get It Right Next Time.”

Rafferty and Egan remained in contact for decades despite never reuniting. Rafferty died in 2011.

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