Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Freeobit: Andy Fraser

Andy Fraser, bassist with Free, has died.

There's an official statement:

Andrew McLan Fraser passed away on Monday at his home in California. He leaves behind his daughters Hannah and Jasmine Fraser, and their mother Ri, his sister Gail, brothers Gavin and Alex, and many friends and associates in the industry.

“A survivor of both cancer and AIDS, Andy was a strong social activist and defender of individual human rights.
Fraser was diagnosed HIV+ in the 1980s; his illness with Sarcoma followed soon after.

On his personal website, Fraser wrote frankly about his struggle with his sexuality. Conflicted between feelings and image, he went as far as planning a suicide - talking with a reporter who had helped her terminally ill mother die; arranging how he'd do it; putting his affairs in order. Amazingly, it was the detailed planning of his death that helped him past it:
[I planned] until, in my mind, the event had already happened, and I thought 'what the bloody hell did that solve?' Nothing. So finally, I had to come around to acceptance.
Fraser didn't find coming out easy; being wracked with pain didn't help, either. He says he had to find new reasons not to kill himself every day for three years. But he got through it, finally finding a place where, in his words, he could say:
fuck you, everybody; I'm not hiding any more

A lot of his obituaries will record his victories over cancer and AIDS. His survival as a gay man in an era when that brought a mountain of struggles, and over suicidal depression, should also be celebrated.

Fraser was 62. He co-wrote a song that actually lives up to the accolade iconic: