Entertainment & Arts

Free bassist Andy Fraser dies at 62

Andy Fraser Image copyright Andyfraser.com
Image caption Fraser joined the rock band in 1968 aged just 15

Bassist Andy Fraser, who co-wrote Free's 1970 hit All Right Now, has died in California aged 62.

The musician died on Monday and he had been fighting cancer and Aids, according to an official statement regarding his death.

The Riverside County coroner said the cause of death was not yet known and remains under investigation.

The London-born musician became a founding member of the British group when he was just 15.

He wrote most of the his material with Free lead singer Paul Rodgers, who went on to front bands Bad Company and The Firm.

"A survivor of both cancer and Aids, Andy was a strong social activist and defender of individual human rights," the statement read.

"He leaves behind his daughters Hannah and Jasmine Fraser, and their mother Ri, his sister Gail, brothers Gavin and Alex, and many friends and associates in the industry."

Among those paying tributes to the bassist was Kiss's Paul Stanley, who said: "RIP Andy Fraser - Free's iconic bass player and writer of Alright Now and others. He battled cancer and AIDS. A loss."

British rock singer Michael Des Barres called him "one of RnR's most creative, soulful bass players. An activist and humanitarian. Rock in Peace".

BBC Radio 2 DJ Bob Harris tweeted: "More sad news. Too many are passing."

All Right Now was Free's biggest hit, peaking at number two in the UK singles chart and number four in the US.

The song was recognised by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers in 1990 for achieving over a million radio plays.

In 2006, Fraser and Free singer Paul Rodgers were honoured by the BMI in London to mark three million radio and television plays of All Right Now in the UK.

According to an interview with Free drummer Simon Kirke, the song was written "after a bad gig in Durham".

He said: "It was obvious that we needed a rocker to close our shows. All of a sudden the inspiration struck Fraser and he started bopping around singing All Right Now. He sat down and wrote it right there in the dressing room. It couldn't have taken more than 10 minutes."

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