Stuck In The Middle With You by Stealers Wheel (A&M, 1973)

Never has a joke made someone so rich. Stuck In the Middle With You was conceived as a Dylan parody of sorts, by Joe Egan & Gerry Rafferty. But the tune is so catchy and it’s sung so straightforward, no one got the joke. Instead it sold over million copies and hit the Top 10 in 1973. It also would have haunted Gerry for his entire life, had it been his only hit. (Instead Baker Street make him rich & depressed.)

Gerry does a great Dylan interpretation, especially when he sing lines like, fall off my chaaair. You can almost visualize Bob’s sneer as he would strain for those high notes. And how did anyone miss the clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right line as Dylanesque? Rafferty & Egan may have just ripped Dylan off and when the song became a big hit, covered their tracks by saying it was a joke.

Lyrically I can’t tell if it’s a song about a drunk that’s wondering how he’ll get down the stairs or if it’s a guy who’s hanging out with his newly successful but insufferable friend. Maybe he’s playing a raucous game of Mahjong. Either way I don’t think Dylan wrote anything this good in the 70s. Hey put down that knife…I’m entitled to my opinion.

Leave a comment


  1. Porky

     /  November 1, 2011

    First time I heard Sheryl Crow’s “All I Wanna Do” I was sure this song was its template. Right down to the steel guitar. Stealer’s “Star” should be as well-known as “Stuck in the Middle With You.” Produced by Lieber (sic) and Stoller? How the mighty……

    • If Gerry Rafferty wasn’t in a drunken stupor in 1994, he might have said the same thing. But then he was recycling Dylan, so…. At least Crow paid Wyn Cooper, the poet whose lyrics are used in the song. Eventually.

  2. Mike Millwood

     /  November 20, 2014

    Does anyone notice that in one of the videos of “stuck in the middle” that it’s Joe Egan pretending to sing the lead vocal and not Gerry Rafferty, who doesn’t seem to be in the video’ unless he’s the briefly shown lap steel player. Why? I can’t believe no one else notices this!

    • W.B.

       /  March 15, 2021

      From my understanding, either Rafferty temporarily left the band when the video was made, or he was too soused to be in any shape to do the vocals onscreen (Rafferty had a lifelong drinking problem).

  3. I missed the joke completely, because I originally thought that Paul McCartney sang the song

  1. Hocus Pocus by Focus (Sire, 1973) « 7 Inches of 70s Pop

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