Friday, 20 March 2015

andy fraser RIP

At just the age of 17 Andy Fraser had co-written with Paul Rodgers one of the most recognised songs of the 70's and what became one of rock's ever lasting anthems in Free's "All Right Now". A hit throughout the world and has to this day been used almost relentlessly in films, television and adverts. The song had somehow captured not only the zeitgeist of a generation but also the free spirit that rock and roll represented with it's catchy blues riff and simple lyrics. It was a rock song just waiting to happen in 1970.
Andy Fraser and Free had a successful album alongside that single but by 1971 things were most certainly not all right now with Fraser and Rodgers falling out and their prodigious and much admired lead guitarist Paul Kossoff going the way of many a young gun of the time and failing to get to grips with an ever mounting drug problem.
Free even briefly reformed in 1972 and released an album 'Free At Last' in an attempt to rehabilitate the ailing Kossoff but all amounted to little when he couldn't maintain his health to be able to tour with the group. Kossoff's sad demise came 3 years later with a heart attack for obvious reasons.
Andy Fraser did go on to attempt his own freedom with Sharks and The Andy Fraser Band to little effect so by 1975 had packed his bass for California where his song writing muse returned and in later years had success with songs covered by Joe Cocker, Rod Stewart, Robert Palmer and Chaka Khan.
He toured and recorded occasionally with his last recording made in 2005, but it'll always be the unforgettable hook of a song he co-wrote as a teenager that will always link him to rock and roll. "All right now, baby it's all right now".
So long Andy. (July 3rd 1952 - March 16 2015)

Here is Free at their peak at The Isle Wight Festival in 1970