I can already hear the complaints this will generate. I know that Joe doesn't play just like Kossoff - nobody does. However, I do have some genuine insight on just how much the young blues rocker reveres Kossoff, and his legacy. I have stood on a stage with Joe as he tested out a vintage Les Paul for the first time, and the sound he mentioned first, with a huge smile on his face, was Kossoff's. I also realize that you can't recreate history - and that is not even close to what I am suggesting. I do, however, think that given his regard for Free and Kossoff's history, his total love of the music, and his obvious talents, that Bonamassa would be the perfect guy for the gig. To those who think that Bonamassa would play in the exact same style as he would for his solo act as he might on a Free record, I disagree, and strongly.
Of course, this is all my fan's eyes dreaming here. None of the principles have embraced this idea - I had first mentioned it back in February on my Facebook page:
"Can anyone watch this (Bonamassa and Rodgers at The Beacon) and not come to the conclusion that the three surviving members of Free and Joe Bonamassa should book some time in 2013 and record an album? I have to think the prospect would make Paul Kossoff smile from ear to ear."One of the first people to 'like' my post was Andy Fraser's manager - we had a brief chat and it seemed to indicate that the Fraser camp not against the idea in principle. I certainly can't say more, or insinuate anything else, but even that was very heartening.
I smile broadly when I think what producer Kevin Shirley could do with Rodgers, Fraser, Kirke, and Bonamassa in the studio. Shirley is known to be a big fan of no-nonsense, get in and get it done tracking, and there is surely some magic to be yet mined out of this vein of rock.
Does the world even need a Free reunion?
Now, as I said earlier, this is all just a fan's dreamings. I would dearly love to again hear Paul Rodgers fronting a band that matched his incredible talents. Andy Fraser has carved out a completely different and engaging musical career since leaving Free, but his die-hard fans would give plenty to hear his bass playing and compositional skills in a hard rock setting once again.
I'm not like most fans, I think Bad Company was not just a great band, I think they were perfect for their time. Mick Ralphs joining up with Rodgers was an inspired musical marriage, and as much as I revered Mott The Hoople and Free, I also adored Bad Company. Just because a great band no longer exists, it does not mean that the remaining members shouldn't continue to ply their trade in the way it suits them. I don't see any blasphemy with a reunion (of sorts) that is done for the right reasons - and those reasons should only be the musicians desire to make music, and the fans desire to hear it.
One of my reasons for dreaming this dream is that I would dearly love to hear another great album from Paul Rodgers. He's had a stellar solo career, and he did heroic work with Queen - perhaps proving that this type of scenario can work. He didn't make a foolhearted attempt to become Freddie Mercury, he just did a great job at singing the Queen catalog in his own style and voice.
Rodgers will be the tough one to corner, I'm guessing. And, I respect that he has his reasons for any decision in his life. I know the situation is not simple, and there are many issues to which I am not privy that effect this scenario. But I think it would be great to hear him fronting that quality of band again. I like the possibility of magic. It's also a beautiful thing that Rodgers is still in great voice, and good shape. This thing could rock.
I'm not suggesting a long termed commitment, just an album, and maybe a short tour of very select cities. I am of the opinion that it would be great for the fans, great for the players, and great for the history of rock and roll.
I apologize to the musicians I am writing about in this story, especially Joe Bonamassa, who is already the busiest guitar player on the planet and a man who enjoys controlling his own destiny quite well without my help. If you're not interested, not able, or even just can't be bothered, I fully understand, and I sincerely regret any discomfort this could possibly cause. We fans are like that sometimes, only thinking for ourselves. I know that everyone is busy, has lives and careers of their own, and issues that I cannot possibly understand. As I've said - none of the principles have ever mentioned even the remote possibility of this lineup - it's just me, dreaming.
But if there's a way, there is a great possibility of some great music and music history to be made, don't you think?