I fell in love with Gerry Rafferty’s “Baker Street” when my mom brought home the 45 and plopped it onto the record player in the living room. The song fit into a group of songs that from my fourth grade year that sounded almost magical to me–featuring the full symphonic sound with strong saxophone and flute parts. It reminded me almost of Jethro Tull mixed with Manfred Mann’s Earth Band. I continually “borrowed” Mom’s 45 to play on the old console record player in my bedroom.
I used the heck out of the console–so much so that my dad had to constantly repair it. It didn’t give up the ghost until I was in junior high when I downsized to a much smaller, cheaper record player. If I wanted crisper, better sound, I had to use the big stereo in the living room–which meant I was limited to when I could use it. But I loved listening to music so much that I never let the quality of sound get in my way. And Rafferty’s biggest hit was a regular on my youthful playlist.
Gerry Rafferty’s music playing on my console sparked my interest in woodwind instruments enough that I played clarinet for three years. I may not have known it at the time, but looking back, I see that the songs that I remember the most from my childhood are the ones that most deeply influence(d) my actions. They wove a fun soundtrack for my childhood experiences and influenced some of my adult choices. My son and I visited Baker Street in London this past summer to pay honor to my Mom, who in her life would have loved to visit the street of Rafferty’s song and Doyle’s detective.
When my mother passed away in 2013 not ever having fulfilled her dream of traveling abroad, my son and I took it upon ourselves to visit sites that would connect to her memory. Hence, Baker Street made our list.