The Legacy of Joe Egan and Stealers Wheel

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On July 6, the music world lost a legendary figure when Joe Egan, co-founder of Stealers Wheel, passed away at the age of 77. The sad news was shared on Gerry Rafferty’s official Facebook page, with a heartfelt tribute to Egan’s memory. The post described him as a “sweet and gentle soul” who was surrounded by his nearest and dearest in his final moments.

Egan and Rafferty first crossed paths as teenagers at St. Mirin’s Academy in Paisley, Scotland. Little did they know that this meeting would mark the beginning of a musical partnership that would create enduring hits. Stealers Wheel was formed in the early 1970s, with their first two singles falling short of success. However, it was their third single that would change the course of their careers.

“Stuck in the Middle with You” became a rock and pop standard, propelling Stealers Wheel into the limelight. The song, which sold over 2 million copies, featured both Egan and Rafferty on lead vocals. Its success landed the group’s debut album on the Billboard 200 chart, reaching No. 50. The track saw a resurgence when it was prominently featured in Quentin Tarantino’s film “Reservoir Dogs,” adding to its cultural impact.

Beyond its initial success, “Stuck in the Middle with You” continued to be a staple in the entertainment industry. The song appeared in various films and TV shows, solidifying its place in pop culture. Additionally, a follow-up single and Egan’s solo work showcased his talent as a songwriter and musician. Despite the group disbanding after their third album, Stealers Wheel’s music left an indelible mark on the music landscape.

Joe Egan’s contributions to music will always be remembered by fans and fellow musicians alike. His unique voice and songwriting abilities continue to inspire new generations of artists. While his solo albums may not have achieved the same level of commercial success as his work with Stealers Wheel, they are a testament to his artistry. Gerry Rafferty’s departure and eventual passing marked the end of an era, but the music created by Egan and Rafferty lives on.

The loss of Joe Egan is a sad reminder of the fleeting nature of life. However, his music will forever remain a timeless treasure for all who appreciate quality songwriting and soulful performances. It is essential to honor and celebrate the legacies of artists like Egan, whose work continues to resonate with audiences even years after their passing. Rest in peace, Joe Egan, your music will live on.


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