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Friday Night Videos

May 17th, 2013 - 9:58 pm

Day camp. Nine years old. Armed only with an incredible amount of sort-of blond hair and an avocado green handheld AM crystal radio. So sensitive it could pick up clear-channel stations in neighboring ZIP codes. So powerful you could very nearly hear it when pressed firmly to the side of your head. Maybe I should have changed the nine-volt more often.

Anyway.

The camp councilors (stoned college kids who somehow weren’t getting dismembered by masked killers) had boom boxes. I was on a Friday overnight stay there, when Gerry Rafferty’s “Baker Street” played for me for the first time.

Played. For me. I was certain of it.

My small self spent the rest of the summer calling the KSDK disc jockeys and asking, “Could you play ‘Baker Street’ by Gerry Rafferty?” Eventually, they stopped picking up the phone during certain hours. Jox will do that. As a recovering one myself, I can tell you that for a fact.

Anyway, I’m not even sure I knew what a saxophone really was. But I knew that whatever that was, I had to hear it again and again.

Rafferty was an odd cat and amazingly talented, but didn’t record very much. He didn’t want fame, he didn’t want to tour, he didn’t even want his real face on the album covers. Eventually it killed him — he drank himself to death.

You should pick up the whole album, because City To City is filled with great tracks — this just being the first of many. It’s the opening percussion and guitar that lure you in, but it’s the sax that keeps you coming back for more — even after almost exactly 35 years.

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All Comments   (10)
All Comments   (10)
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1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Wow, that is an awesome version!

He’s also the guy that sang “Stuck in the Middle with You”, which I’ve used many times in political discussions.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
One of those rare songs where I HAVE to stop and listen whenever i hear it.
Just Magical.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
placed a call to the radio station and the new version is by the Foo Fighters. Good band, just don't like their politics. hence i won't buy there stuff or see their shows.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The Foo Fighters are awesome! Kurt Cobain was lucky he hooked up with those dudes.

Their Born On the Bayou is an awesome remake of a great CCR song too!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yes, I'm still listening to this! The hook is in my brain.

Here's the Foo Fighters version.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BO1qcWa6blQ

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Right there with you, been hooked on this tune since i first heard it. recently it has been covered. local rock radio in hartford ct has been playing it. have not caught the name of the band doing it, but they stayed true to the original. so much so my wife thought it was the original.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
At the time I didn't care for it. It's grown on me since.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
i, too, am usually at variance with your musical tastes. when i listened to this just now i knew i had heard it, but couldn't remember where or when. i turns out it i was in my fourth year of a surgical residency when this was popular. it is part of the soundtrack of the coming up for air portion of that phase of my life. not summer camp memories, but memories of a sort.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'm often at variance with your taste in music.

Not this time. It's been so long that I'd forgotten about this song entirely, but it holds up pretty well for me too. The singing style and verse instrumentation is still pretty recognizably 70s, which does bug me a little, but the sax...

...boy, is that sax riff ever an ear-worm. Well remembered, Steve.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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