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Oct 22, 2014 1:36 PM

Sax player behind 'Baker Street' solo dies at 60

The Associated Press

LONDON (AP) Musician Raphael Ravenscroft, who played one of the most famous saxophone solos of all time on Gerry Rafferty's "Baker Street," has died. He was 60.

Ravenscroft's family says he died Sunday after being taken to a hospital near his home in Exeter, southwest England. The BBC said a heart attack was the suspected cause of death.

The bluesy eight-bar sax riff helped make "Baker Street" a soft-rock hit. It reached No. 3 in Britain and No. 2 in the U.S in 1978, and still receives considerable airplay.

But in a 2011 radio interview, Ravenscroft said "Baker Street" irritated him because his solo was flat.

Ravenscroft received a flat fee often reported to be 27 pounds (around $43 today) for his work on the song, which made Rafferty a fortune. But the hit kick-started Ravenscroft's career, and he went on to work with big names including Pink Floyd, ABBA and Marvin Gaye.

In 1979 he released a solo album, "Her Father Didn't Like Me Anyway." He also wrote a successful instruction manual, "The Complete Saxophone Player."

His daughter, artist Scarlett Raven, told the BBC her father was actually "very proud of 'Baker Street' and that it made people feel good."

"I'm sure a lot of people will put on 'Baker Street' and smile today," she said.

Funeral details weren't immediately available.


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