Shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of Raphael “Raf” Ravenscroft at the daft age of 60. Famous for his work on “Baker Street” (and forever irritated by what he considered and out of tune sax!), he never really achieved much success in his own right. As a session musician however, he played on zillions of records, including Pink Floyd, Abba, Marvin Gaye, America, Daft Punk, Kim Carnes, Mike Oldfield, Chris Rea, Robert Plant, Brand X, Hazel O’Connor and Bonnie Tyler.
A perhaps less well-known credit for him was on Typhoon Saturday’s third (and final) single “I have Love“, on Polydor in the mid 80s. Our producer (the twat) decided the song didn’t need a guitar break, but a sax solo.
Obviously, the name he dropped from his book of contacts impressed us and we had visions of it propelling sales up to Rafferty proportions, so the call was made. He called by, cases under his arm, and proved not only to be an excellent musician, but a friendly and affable guy as well.
I mentioned that I played flute and he had a listen, offering a few tips. He fired off the solo on (I think) the second take, then added breaks to the fade out choruses, with 2 part harmonies. All played with the minimum of fuss and the maximum excitement. Less than an hour later, he was off to another job. Here is the latter half of the record
I did once get an email from him, thanking me for kind words I wrote about him on an early music website, but I didn’t keep it. I was surprised to read he was only 3 years older than me – his musicianship gave him a maturity we could only dream of.