Robin Williams RIP




Windin’ your way down on Baker Street

Baker Street | Gerry Rafferty
"Baker Street," 1978

Scottish singer-songwriter Gerry Rafferty died this week, and I’ve been hearing his hit song “Baker Street” play on the radio with an extra twinge of nostalgia.

The song accompanied the big fight scene in Good Will Hunting that sends Will to jail, therapy, and onto his personal journey — and I played it pretty much every other week on my college radio show.

The song’s Wikipedia entry describes:

Rafferty wrote the song during a period when he was trying to extricate himself from his Stealers Wheel contracts, and was regularly travelling between his family home near Glasgow and London, where he often stayed at a friend’s flat in Baker Street. The resolution of his legal and financial frustrations accounted for the exhilaration of the song’s last verse: “When you wake up it’s a new morning/ The sun is shining, it’s a new morning/ You’re going, you’re going home.”

Good Will Hunting fight

According to the original screenplay for Good Will Hunting, Matt and Ben originally intended “Let’s Get it On” to accompany the fight scene.

“Baker Street” kicks ass though; it was a much better choice.

Windin’ your way down on Baker Street
Light in your head and dead on your feet
Well another crazy day
You’ll drink the night away
And forget about everything.

You used to think that it was so easy
You used to say that it was so easy
But you’re tryin’
You’re tryin’ now.
Another year and then you’ll be happy
Just one more year and then you’ll be happy
But you’re cryin’
You’re cryin’ now.

Though it’s the most heartbreaking ass-kicking fight song you’ll ever hear.

Howard Zinn, 1922-2010

Howard Zinn died today, and how astounding is it that the Associated Press couldn’t get through the obituary of the legendary historian without mentioning Good Will Hunting?

Howard Zinn
Howard Zinn (1922-2010)

Howard Zinn, an author, teacher and political activist whose book “A People’s History of the United States” became a million-selling leftist alternative to mainstream texts, died Wednesday in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 87 and lived in Auburndale, Mass.

… “A People’s History” had some famous admirers, including the actors Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. The two grew up near Professor Zinn, were family friends and gave the book a plug in their Academy Award-winning screenplay for “Good Will Hunting.”

As a math genius once said about Zinn’s People’s History of the United States, that book “will knock you on your ass.”