Andy Fraser, bassist and songwriter of the much loved classic rock band Free, died yesterday at the age of 62
ormer Free songwriter and bassist Andy Fraser died yesterday (March 16) at the age of 62, with the cause of death yet to be announced. Fraser had battled both cancer and AIDS and died at his California home.
Having cut his teeth as a member of John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Fraser went on to co-form Free at the age of just 15, co-writing the bands enduring mega hit All Right Now. In 1972 he left Free and formed Sharks with guitarist Chris Spedding, before moving to California and forming the Andy Fraser band. Fraser went on to write for such musical luminaries as Rod Stewart, Robert Palmer and Joe Cocker.
Tributes were paid to Fraser, with Joe Bonamassa remarking “I am extraordinarily sad to hear of the passing of Andy Fraser. He was one of the greatest and I was proud to call him my friend.”
An official statement said “Andrew McLan Fraser passed away on Monday at his home in California. 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. A survivor of both cancer and AIDS, Andy was a strong social activist and defender of individual human rights.”
It was this keen social conscious that meant it was not only his work as a songwriter for which Fraser was renowned. Last December he told Glide magazine about his work for the non-profit organisation Rock Against Trafficking, saying, “It’s one of those things that has to be done. It’s like a mission that you can’t dismiss. Once you know about it, you can’t pretend you don’t know about it and just go on like it’s Disneyland. That is a major, major project that we’re all involved in and I believe it’s going to prove to be very fruitful. We’re going to get governments involved. We’re going to push it in your face, you know.”
Songwriting offer our condolences to Fraser’s family and friends.