I was reminded after reading the entry in Dave White's very fine CLASSIC ROCK blog on About.com that on this date (March 19) in 1976 Paul Kossoff, former guitarist with Free, and at that time leading his own group, Back Street Crawler, died of drug induced heart failure. Kossoff was only 25 when he died.
Free had a brief but electrifying career, from April or May (conflicting sources) of 1968 to July, 1973, with a breakup of about six months from late 1971 to January of 1972.
The group consisted of (see photo, clockwise from left front); Paul Kossoff- lead guitar; Paul Rodgers- lead vocals; Simon Kirke- drums; and Andy Fraser- bass.
They had fair success early on, but their greatest work came in 1970 with their album Fire and Water and its internationally huge single, the classic Alright Now. After disappointing sales of their followup album Highway- and with internal clashes and a worsening drug problem with Kossoff, Free broke up in May 1971.
Kossoff and Kirke joined singer/keyboardist John "Rabbit" Bundrick and Japanese bassist Testsu Yamauchi to form Kossoff, Kirke, Tetsu, and Rabbit. Andy Fraser's new group was called Toby, and Rodgers formed a band called Peace. Only "KKTR" recorded any material available to the public, and soon Toby and Peace broke up.
Free got back together in early 1972, recorded a new record Free At Last, and then saw Fraser leave for good in July 1972. Tetsu and Rabbit were brought in as replacements, and this lineup stayed for the duration. But all wasn't well. Kossoff's drug problem was killing the band, and at one point he couldn't be counted on for tours or recording. Rodgers was forced to stand in on lead guitar, and on one tour Osibisa's Wendell Richardson filled in on lead. One more album followed, Heartbreaker (1973) with another classic single, Wishing Well. But by July, 1973, Free was no more, broken up for good.
Tetsu went on to replace Ronnie Lane in The Faces, Rabbit was a noted side man who recorded alot and toured with The Who. Andy Fraser became a solo act, and Simon Kirke and Paul Rodgers went on to form Bad Company with former Mott the Hoople guitarist Mick Ralphs and ex King Crimson bass player Boz Burrell.
Kossoff regained his health for awhile, and recorded two albums with Back Street Crawler, the second of which was released posthumously. He was a slasher and a progenitor of what would become known as HEAVY METAL. Bands like GREAT WHITE, DEF LEOPARD, BLACK CROWES, and PEARL JAM all covered songs recorded and composed by the members of Free, and their late, great guitarist, Paul Kossoff.
Here's a couple of vids. First Free performs Alright Now on TOP OF THE POPS, and following, before 600,000 at the ISLE of WIGHT FESTIVAL (1970) they do Mr. Big.
To those who said that this is a fad....guess again. It is a movement. Today, at 2:00PM, citizens who have had enough will march on the...
Eric LeGrand was paralyzed in the Rutgers- Army football game. To send Eric a "Get Well" message click his photo.
Eric LeGrand BELIEVE Fund
Click the picture for more information on the Eric LeGrand BELIEVE Fund, established for the longterm care and rehabilitation of this seriously injured Rutgers Football player. Thank You!
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Its called "Useless Trivia and Mindless Rants". That's because I adhere to the principle that you can't please everyone, nor should you try to please everyone....so before anyone else rips this blog for being a waste of time or having faulty logic, I thought I'd beat them to the punch, and zing just a bit of self deprecating humor into the title....hey, some people think that's an endearing quality.
Seriously....I hope to entertain and maybe inform, and even teach the reader about a few subjects. And don't be alarmed by the political trappings you may see here. I'm upfront about my political beliefs and affiliations, but I don't wear my politics on my sleeve, and have and always will refuse to be locked into a rigid dogma. This is not really a political blog; its just disguised as one.
My model is probably CBS SUNDAY MORNING, a magazine format. I'll talk about news, sports, TV and films, about music, literature and pop culture, and about the famous and the infamous....and about some people who are out there trying to make a difference in a world that seems to get just a little tougher everyday.
Oh yes...there will be some politics as well.
So pour a cup of coffee, cut a piece of cheesecake.....and stick around for a few minutes.
Occupation- If you believe my conservative friends, I'm a pinko commie socialist out to destroy the very fabric of America's core beliefs.
Liberals think I'm an old school moderate Democrat, and that a guy my age needs to get his hair cut more often.
Just put away that broad brush....
I'm just a "Blue Jersey Guy" who happens to "Bleed Scarlet".