Saturday, September 06, 2008

Baker Street

Marc Krebs writes a column in the Basler Zeitung every Wednesday subtitled "Yesterday's Pop on Today's iPod." This past Wednesday he wrote about Gerry Rafferty's "Baker Street," so that was the song going through my head all afternoon. Since I hardly ever listen to the radio, and I don't own the song on CD, the only place I have perhaps heard it in the past three decades, if at all, is the supermarket. ("New Kid on Town" by the Eagles is the one I always seem to hear there that I find at least listenable.) But I still have most of the song in my head.

Two other songs that came up in the course of Wednesday afternoon as Rafferty's song rambled through my brain were Al Stewart's "Year of the Cat" and Steely Dan's "Deacon Blues." Perhaps because of the saxophones, perhaps because they were all hits at approximately the same time. Of the three, "Deacon Blues" is the absolute masterpiece, but the other two are songs I'm always glad to hear (and I actually own both the Al Stewart and the Steely Dan).

I was trying hard to remember the name of Rafferty's previous band, and the name of their big hit, but I couldn't; I had to go to Wikipedia to find out. But the song is a good one: "Stuck in the Middle with You," by Stealers Wheel (Stealers ... Steely!). Like "Baker Street," it's one I have not heard for ages but that still comes to mind relatively often (how well one remembers songs from one's early teens!).


Kate Evans said...

I think Steeley Dans' AJA is one of the best all-time albums. Remember albums?!

Thanks for the blast from the past. :)

Andrew Shields said...

AJA is a true masterpiece indeed.

The danger on the rocks is surely past
still I remain tied to the mast
could it be I have found my home at last.

mrjumbo said...

Just can't get away from those Ulysses references.

Once when I was wandering, somewhere in the belly of the Rhine between Germany and France, I stopped in a little cookery in a farm town no tourist had heard of and had flammkuchen. It was the middle of nowhere; I was deep in foreign country. It was miles since the last intersection where anyone had spoken a word to us in English.

While the woman I was with excused herself before the meal, I sat and fingered the edge of my napkin, and realized that on the radio I was hearing a bubblegum song I hadn't heard since the last time I listened to AM radio: "Jeans On" by David Dundas. I marveled at how you can never really get away from what you know.

I left my hat in that restaurant. I'll have to go back sometime and see if it's still there.