ALL RIGHT NOW

Andy Fraser

I used to be very ill. Back in the early ‘90s I had viral load of 3.4 million and was down to one t-cell. Any doctor will tell you they are insane numbers. There are pictures of me from that time where I look like I’m about to become the next AIDS death. There were even rumours on the internet that I had died. But now I’m healthy. It’s all right now.
There was a time – a long time – I struggled with my sexuality. In Free, I’d been part of a very macho scene and had not even allowed the question into my head – of course I was hetro; I was having sex with a different girl each night. Then after Free I got married and we had two beautiful girls. But something was nagging away and it was only after Ri and I split that I even started coming to terms with the fact that I might be gay. I couldn’t be; I fought the very idea. But you can’t – and it took me many desperate years to realise this, years when I even meticulously planned my suicide. But today I’m completely at ease with it – I’m a gay man. It’s all right now.
All Right Now. I was 17 when I created that song, with a little bit of help from Paul Rodgers. It was a throwaway song, took just a few minutes. The chorus came into my head as a sort of soothing mantra after we’d walked off stage to the sound of our own footsteps and everyone was down. In the dressing room afterwards I just wanted to pull us all out of it, just started this little chant ‘All Right Now’ like you might calm a child that’s upset. It grew from a little sound in the back of my head to something bigger, more insistent, louder and in no time at all I was up, grooving. Some time later Paul put a few teenage fantasy lyrics to it – and there it was, the song that set the four of us up for life.

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