The music world lost an icon when rock bassist Andy Fraser passed away on March 16 at the age of 62. Fraser, a native of London, was born with a wealth of musical talent. He began training in piano classically at the age of five, and subsequently switched to guitar when he turned twelve. He started playing in clubs in London’s East End after being expelled from school as a teen.
It was there that he gained the attention of English blues legend John Mayall, frontman of influential blues band John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. That group, which Fraser played with for a brief period of time, was a breeding ground for rock legends like Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Mick Fleetwood, and Mick Taylor. After playing bass with the Bluesbreakers, Fraser, then only 15, formed the blues rock band Free. Along with lead singer Paul Rodgers, lead guitarist Paul Kossoff, and drummer Simon Kirke, Fraser led Free to become one of the biggest-selling British blues rock groups. Fraser penned Free’s biggest hit, “All Right Now”, which charted at No. 2 in the UK and No. 4 in the US. In 1990, the single hit a million radio plays in the US, and surpassed the 2 million mark a decade later.
In his post-Free career, Fraser formed the band Sharks, and also spent time songwriting for artists such as Rod Stewart, Robert Palmer, and Joe Cocker. In his recent years, Fraser contributed a song to the presidential campaign of Barack Obama.
Fraser passed away at his home in California. He leaves two daughters, Hannah and Jasmine, who were both present at the time of his death.