Gerry Rafferty's former childhood pal and STEALERS WHEEL bandmate JOE EGAN has added a touching tribute to the late star, who died on Tuesday (04Jan11).
The pair grew up together in Paisley, Scotland and formed the folk rock band in 1972, before going on to score a hit with Stuck in the Middle With You from the group's self-titled debut album.
Egan has paid his respects to Rafferty and saluted him as an extraordinary musician, hailing his melodies as "second to none".
He says, "I knew him from way back at St. Mary's Primary School and St. Mirin's Academy but we didn't really come into contact until the music thing came along...
"I always liked Gerry's stuff and thought we had a nice thing together in terms of songwriting and harmonies. His sense of melody was probably second to none."
Rafferty left the group in the mid-1970s but Egan insists there were no hard feelings after the split, adding: "We had many, many nights over the phone when we would talk for two, three hours at a time. We even had a few drinks together over the phone."
Egan struggled to watch his friend's long battle with alcoholism, and admits he was in "absolute shock" to learn Rafferty had died of liver failure.
He adds, "There's nothing anyone can really do. Gerry was his own man, he would do what he wanted to do. I am really saddened by the whole thing. As much as you know it's inevitable, it's an absolute shock when it comes."