Paul Rodgers, the world's best guy at going "Whoa-yeaah!", plays Richmond tonight
If you polled all the classic-rock fans in the world and asked them to name their fave party tune of all time, you can bet that there’d be plenty of votes for Free’s “All Right Now”.
That ultimate ode to chasing chicks has garnered more than a million radio plays in the U.S. alone. There's a damn good chance it will make the setlist tonight when Rodgers plays the River Rock Show Theatre.
Tickets are still available, and you can find them here.
While Free guitarist Paul Kossoff’s chunky power chords on “All Right Now” have launched a million air-guitar gestures, the song wasn’t built around them. Rodgers was just searching for a catchy phrase that would instantly connect with his blues-loving fan base.
“We started out as a blues band and then phased in our own material,” he told me when I covered him for the now-defunct Experience Hendrix magazine, “but some of the blues survived, one of which was 'The Hunter’ by Albert King. We could never get off the stage up in the northeast of England without playing this song. And we loved it anyway, but it ticked me off a little bit that it was our biggest song and we hadn’t written it, you know.
"So I said to [bassist] Andy [Fraser], 'We’ve gotta write something that can top that. Maybe if we had something that everybody could sing along to, like, say, [sings] "All right now, baby it’s a..." and I picked up a guitar and I went, 'Well maybe that could be the chorus,’ and worked the chords out for that.
"Then Andy went off and he came back a coupla days later with the whole, 'Pow, bo-pow bom.’ So I sort of wrote backwards from the chorus, you know. It was really a very easy song to write once I’d written 'There she stood in the street’. The whole thing just went dodalewdelewdelew—done, you know.”
After Free, Rodgers—who became a Canadian citizen at a ceremony in Surrey three years back—went on to more success with Bad Company, the Firm, and Queen, who he played with in Vancouver eight years ago.
He's still rocking at the age of 64, but it's not as if he has to. He could no doubt sit back and live comfortably just on the royalties from “All Right Now” alone.
“I probably could, at that,” concurs the singer who is probably the world's best guy at going "Whoa-yeaah", “but then what would be the point, you know. Making music has always been my life, and it always will be, actually.”