Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Free Just Might Not Be "All Right Now"

Sometimes it's hard to find enough information to do a post on a One Hit Wonder. I am aware that unless the members of the band truly enjoy each other's company, or they have a massive concert following of the likes of Phish or the Grateful Dead, one hit wonder band members tend to go their separate ways early in their careers. The English group Free is no exception. Frankly, they might not have stayed together even if they were powerhouse hitmakers.

Formed in London in 1968 they were: Paul Rodgers, Lead singer age 18. Simon Kirke on drums also age 18. Lead Guitarist Paul Kossoff was 17, and bassist Andy Fraser was 15. Their first gig was played at The Nag's Head Pub in Battersea, London on April 19, 1968. They were given their name, Free, by British Blues Legend Alexis Korner.

Like most groups of the time, their problems were mainly drugs and egos. Lead guitarist Paul Kossoff's problem with drugs led to erratic behavior on his part. If he showed up at all there were times he wasn't capable of playing his instrument or contributing in any way that was positive to his bandmates He finally became clean and died of drug related heart problems at the age of 25. Paul Rodgers' and Andy Fraser's constant disagreements had led to the breaking up of the band before that happened.

Andy wrote their only hit song "All Right Now" while in school and Paul publically claimed credit for being it's writer. It became a number 1 hit in over 20 British territories, a number 4 hit in the US and was credited by ASCAP as having been played on the radio over 1,000,000 times since it's release in 1989. I guess some people's egos cloud their judgement.

Paul Rodgers and Simon Kirke went on to form the band Bad Company. After it's breakup he became a solo artist in the UK during the 80's and 90's and is presently singing with Queen as Queen + Paul Rodgers. At least with Queen, unlike Free and Bad Company, the only one his ego can hurt now is himself.


  1. I think this is one of your best one hit pieces yet. I really didn't know the whole story on these guys but I always heard that Rodgers was a handful...I can't imagine getting cleaned up only to die at 25. That's rugged living.....S

  2. It seems to me that these people have massive egos. Paul Rodgers is doing OK in his place with Queen. Quite possibly they remind him now and again that they made it when he couldn't. LOL