Thursday, March 19, 2015

Free Bassist Andy Fraser R.I.P.

Andy Fraser, who was the bassist for the rock band Free, died on March 16 2015 at the age of 62.  He had been diagnosed with AIDS and Kaposi's Sarcoma in the past.

Andy Fraser was born on July 3 1952 in Paddington, London. He was only five years old when he began playing piano. He was twelve years old when he began playing guitar. It was while he was attending Hammersmith F.E. College that a fellow student, Sappho Korner, introduced him to her father, legendary British blues musician Alex Korner. Alex Korner was impressed with Andy Fraser enough that he introduced him to fellow blues musician John Mayall. For a time Andy Fraser played with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers.

Not much later Alex Korner introduced Andy Fraser to vocalist Paul Rodgers, guitarist Paul Kossoff, and drummer Simon Kirke. Together they formed the band Free. Free released two albums in 1969, Tons of Sobs and Free. They would not see a good deal of success until their third album, Fire and Water, in 1970. The album contained the hit song "All Right Now", which went to #2 on the United Kingdom's single charts and #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States. The song was co-written by Andy Fraser with Paul Rodgers.

Free would have no more hit singles in the United States following "All Right Now", although they had three more hits in the United Kingdom ("My Brother Jake", "A Little Bit of Love", and "Wishing Well"). Free released three more albums (Highway in 1970, Free at Last in 1972, and Heartbreaker in 1973) before breaking up.

Following the break up of Free, Andy Fraser formed the band Sharks, but only remained with them for their first album. He released the solo albums Healing Hands in 1974 and  In Your Eyes, in 1975. He had success as a songwriter and wrote Robert Palmer's first hit in the United States, "Every Kinda People".  His last solo album, Naked...and finally free was released in 2005.

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