Andy Fraser, bass guitarist and songwriter in Free, the co-writer of international number one hit All Right Now, leaves behind a much-praised musical legacy.
Fraser’s autobiography, All Right Now: Life, Death and Life Again, was completed shortly before his death earlier this year. It gives a candid account of both a personal and a rock n’ roll history: from joining Free as a teenager, to massive musical success, to personal conflict and ultimate acceptance of his homosexuality, to his later diagnosis with AIDS and cancer.
Fraser’s opening page of his autobiography exemplifies the depth of his diagnosis and his inspiration for the book’s name:
I used to be very ill. Back in the early 90s I had a viral load of 3.4 million and was down to one T-cell. Any doctor will tell you they are insane numbers.
Thankfully for Fraser and other HIV+ individuals, drugs and treatments have developed significantly since the 1980s. Fraser was able to regain a level of health which allowed him to live a normal live and continue his work in music. Fraser’s memoir is an inspirational story of his voyage of self-discovery, and its pages spark with the electricity of rock n’ roll. As his book asks: “How many seventeen-year olds have stood on stage at Madison Square Gardens, looked down on a riotous crowd of 20,000?”
Andy Fraser joined the group Free at the age of 15. A precocious talent, he was still a teenager when he co-wrote the band’s biggest hit record, All Right Now. The record was a number one smash in over 20 countries worldwide and has been recognised by official industry bodies for radio plays in the millions. The song is widely regarded as a rock classic.
Away from the stage, Fraser’s autobiography paints the picture of a loving husband and father. but one under the shadow of a secret. He publically addressed his sexuality after false rumours of his death in the early 2000s. By this time, comfortable in his sexuality, Fraser used the opportunity to inspire a new album and to challenge discrimination.
Co-written with author Mark Hughes, and featuring contributions from Island Records’ Chris Blackwell, All Right Now: Life, Death and Life Again serves as a tribute to, and celebration of, a rock n’ roll great.
Fraser died at the age of 62 in March of this year, following a battle with AIDS and cancer.
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