Andy Fraser Sets The Record Straight About Free’s Breakup
For years, bassist Andy Fraser has been blamed for breaking up Free when he left in 1971. However, in a new interview, he suggests there was a little more to the story than that, saying that creative differences with singer Paul Rodgers had come to a head.
“Free had become unglued,” Fraser told It’s Psychedelic Baby. “Paul and myself were going in different directions. He thought I acted like an emperor, and decided he was now gonna run things. I think it was the beginning of him wanting to do a Bad Company-type thing. Get a manager that broke legs, and be a less subtle, striped down, stadium-ready version of Free. I wanted to keep moving forward creatively, not formulate a cash machine.”
To complicate matters, guitarist Paul Kossoff’s drug addiction had left the band in a state where they had “basically broken up,” according to Fraser. “As spokesman, it fell to me to announce it. I was viewed as the one leaving.” Kossoff died in 1976 from drug-related heart problems.