Written by Ashton Snyder on
 July 10, 2024

Joe Egan, Stealers Wheel Co-Founder, Dies at 77

Joe Egan, co-founder of the Scottish rock band Stealers Wheel and co-writer of their hit song "Stuck In The Middle With You," has died at the age of 77.

According to Daily Mail, Joe Egan passed away peacefully surrounded by loved ones. The news was announced on Sunday by Martha Rafferty, daughter of Gerry Rafferty, through Gerry’s official Facebook page.

Joe Egan's Musical Legacy

Egan was born in 1946 in Paisley, Scotland. He and Gerry Rafferty, who later became his bandmate, were childhood friends and attended St Mirin's Academy together. Their shared love of music led them to form Stealers Wheel in 1972.

Their debut single, "Stuck In The Middle With You," became a significant hit, reaching number six on the Billboard Hot 100 and number eight on the UK Singles Chart in 1973. The song's success was amplified years later when featured in Quentin Tarantino's 1992 film Reservoir Dogs.

Despite their early success, Stealers Wheel disbanded in 1975 due to creative differences. Egan and Rafferty continued their musical careers separately, with Egan releasing solo albums "Out Of Nowhere" in 1979 and "Maps" in 1981.

Post-Stealers Wheel Career

After his solo ventures, Joe Egan eventually retired from the music industry and chose to stay in Scotland. His music continued to resonate, particularly "Stuck In The Middle With You," which gained renewed popularity thanks to its inclusion in Reservoir Dogs.

Reflecting on his musical journey, Egan once said, "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." His love for music ultimately prevailed, leading to his successful partnership with Rafferty.

Gerry Rafferty died in 2011 from liver failure caused by alcoholism. Egan spoke fondly of their friendship and collaboration, saying, "Gerry’s death has already left a huge gap in my life. We lived in each other’s pockets for so long and, latterly, would speak regularly on the phone."

Martha Rafferty's Tribute

Martha Rafferty’s announcement of Egan’s passing included heartfelt words describing him as a "sweet and gentle soul." She noted that he passed away peacefully, surrounded by those closest to him.

Egan's reflections on his time with Rafferty revealed a deep respect and admiration for his friend’s talent. "Gerry was a supremely talented musician, and that was apparent from early on. Probably his finest quality was this amazing sense of melody he possessed," Egan said in an interview after Rafferty’s death.

Their relationship, like many close partnerships, had its ups and downs. Egan mentioned, "We had our fallouts because we spent so much time living in each others’ pockets. But we were still in touch until very recently."

Remembering Joe Egan

Joe Egan, co-founder of Stealers Wheel and the musician behind "Stuck In The Middle With You," has passed away at 77, leaving a significant legacy in music that spans generations. His impact is particularly felt through the song's revival in popular culture, notably in the film Reservoir Dogs, which introduced his work to new audiences.

Egan's collaborations with Gerry Rafferty and his gentle persona have been fondly remembered by many, including Martha Rafferty, who highlighted his kind and gentle soul. Despite Stealers Wheel disbanding in 1975, Egan's influence in music endures, and he is remembered for his contributions and the lasting connections he fostered through his art.

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About Ashton Snyder

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