Today brings the sad news that Andy Fraser, a founder member of the briefly brilliant band Free, has gone to join the ever-growing jam session in the sky, at the age of just 62. His name will live on as co-author (with Paul Rodgers) of Free's mighty rock anthem All Right Now. This phrase, 'All Right' (or, alas, 'Alright') expresses the very essence of rock 'n' roll in its feelgood aspect. Indeed rock 'n' roll began with it, when young Elvis Presley belted out Arthur 'Big Boy' Crudup's That's All Right during that epoch-making session at Sun Studios in Memphis. 'All right' was in the DNA from the start - from Bob Dylan (Don't Think Twice It's All Right) to The Who's The Kids Are Alright, BobMarley's Everything's Gonna Be All Right, Supergrass's teen anthem Alright, even Paul Simon's American Tune ('ah but I'm all right...') and the glorious belting refrain of Lou Reed's Rock 'n' Roll - 'Despite all the amputation, You could dance to a rock 'n' roll station And it was all right, It was all right, All right...'
Anyone who's been young and foolish, high on loud music, drink and/or drugs, love and/or friendship will know what that feeling of Everything being 'all right' is like. On a more exalted level, it's not that far from (though much less securely based than) Julian of Norwich's 'All shall be well and all manner of things shall be well' - or Romain Rolland's 'oceanic feeling'. It is, most definitely, All Right.
And Andy Fraser is surely all right now.