Rock legend gives a thumbs up to gallery

Founding member of Free, Andy Fraser visiting the Rock & Roll Icon in North Shields.

Founding member of Free, Andy Fraser visiting the Rock & Roll Icon in North Shields.

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Founding member and bass player of seminal blues-rock band Free was in North Shields to show his support for a new exhibition which has opened in the town.

Andy Fraser, who wrote and co-produced Free’s 1970s mega-hit All Right Now and penned Robert Palmer’s hit record Every Kinda People, was in the borough on Friday performing at the Free Convention at the Park Hotel in Tynemouth.

And ahead of the gig, he was invited to a special preview of Rock and Roll Icon, a new gallery at 26 Northumberland Square exhibiting the works of renowned photographer Gered Mankowitz.

Around 150 of Gered’s images are now on display with rock icons including Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Suzi Quatro, Kate Bush, Slade and many more.

And Andy, 61, whose songs have been recorded by Joe Cocker, Chaka Khan, Rod Stewart, Three Dog Night, Frankie Miller, Etta James and Bob Seger among others, was impressed with what the exhibition had to offer, including the portrait of his own band taken at Masons Yard by Gered in 1969.

“It’s a beautiful space,” Andy said.

“I have never seen so many great pictures of Jimi, who, for me, is the world’s greatest guitarist. He changed my life.

“I love the Stones.

“In their heyday I thought they wrote some incredible songs.

“Jagger is such a poet. He is a very smart guy.”

The exhibition, in association with Marshall Amplification and Showman Ltd, will run for a year and include monthly events.

For more information, visit www.rockandrollicon.com