Joe Egan, Stealers Wheel Musician, Dead at 77 ArticlePure

Joe Egan, Stealers Wheel Musician, Dead at 77 ArticlePure

Musician Joe Egan, who is best known for fronting the Scottish band Stealers Wheel and co-writing the band’s hit tune “Stuck in the Middle with You,” has died at age 77. 

News about Egan’s death was confirmed in a Facebook post shared on Egan’s former Stealer Wheels bandmate and songwriter Gerry Rafferty’s official page on Sunday, July 7. Rafferty died in 2011, but his page is now ran by his daughter, Martha.

“Very sad news that the other half of Stealers Wheel, Joe Egan, passed away peacefully yesterday afternoon with his nearest and dearest around him,” Martha wrote in her tribute post. “I will always remember him as a sweet and gentle soul. May he rest in peace.”

Joe Egan (left) and Gerry Rafferty.


Egan, who was born on Oct. 18, 1946, and Rafferty initially befriended each other while attending St. Mirin’s Academy in Paisley, Scotland, before going on to form Stealers Wheel in the 1970’s, according to Deadline. The pair eventually co-write the song “Stuck in the Middle with You,” which became their most successful hit.

The song reached the top ten on the UK Singles Chart and US Billboard Hot 100 and sold more than 2 million copies. The song was even featured in Quentin Tarantino‘s 1992 film Reservoir Dogs.

Tarantino previously discussed the inclusion of the song in the film — which comes during a scene in which the character Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen) tortures a cop while dancing to the track —  in a 2009 interview with Rolling Stone. He said that he thought the song “would work really well,” and several actors in the auditions thought so too.

“[The actors] could pick anything they wanted, they didn’t have to use that song,” he recalled. “And a couple of people picked another one, but almost everyone came in with ‘Stuck in the Middle With You,’ and they were saying that they tried to come up with something else, but that’s the one.” 

Gerry Rafferty (left) and Joe Egan in 1974.

Jorgen Angel/Redferns

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Egan and Rafferty went on to release a few more hits under their Stealers Wheel moniker including “Everything Will Turn Out Fine” and “Star,” written by Egan, which made it into the Billboard Top 30 and was featured in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

Stealers Wheel eventually split up in 1975 after their third album, Right or Wrong, failed to chart. Egan went on to release two more solo albums, 1979’s Out of Nowhere and 1981’s Map.

Although Egan and Rafferty never reunited onstage, the former bandmates stayed in touch for most of their lives. In a 2011 interview with Scotland’s Daily Record after Rafferty’s death, he said of their friendship, “Like everyone else I suppose we had our fallouts because we spent so much time living in each others’ pockets. But we were still in touch until very recently.”