Chinese Eyes
Recording Artist: Andy Fraser
Writers: Jim Vallance
Andy Fraser
Bob Marlette
Date Written: 1983 / Pasadena, California
Albums: Fine Fine Line (Island Records, 1984)
Andy Fraser: vocals, (bass?)
Bob Marlette: keyboards
Michael Thompson: guitar
Davey Faragher: (bass?)
Tony Braunagel: drums
Produced by Bob Marlette, John Eden and Andy Fraser. Recorded and mixed by John Eden.
In 1983, not long after I signed with publisher Almo-Irving, I was given an assignment to co-write with another Almo-Irving writer, Andy Fraser. This was an exciting opportunity for several reasons ...

First, I was anxious to prove to my new publisher that I could successfully collaborate with other writers.

Second, Andy Fraser was a founding member of the British group "Free". I was a huge fan of their 1970 song "Alright Now", which Andy had written!

I flew from Vancouver to L.A., rented a car at the airport, and drove out to Andy's house near Pasadena. He lived on top of a mountain in a ranch-style home with a spectacular view of the valley below.
Andy was a very pleasant fellow, and we spent an hour chatting and getting acquainted before we tackled the task at hand.

We talked about our musical influences, our philosophies on songwriting, and of course, I had lots of questions about Andy's work with "Free". 

But most of all, I couldn't keep my eyes off the television in the corner of the room.  Even though MTV had been broadcasting in the USA since August 1981, I lived in Canada and I'd never seen MTV! I was mesmerized.

Eventually we made our way out to Andy's studio, a separate building on the property.  He played me a number of songs in various stages of development, none of them complete. According to my publisher, Andy's songs had been in this state for months, and he'd been unable to finish any of them.
The 1984 Andy Fraser album "Fine, Fine Line" >
I spent three days writing with Andy. The extent of my participation varied from song to song -- in fact, my involvement was not extensive on any of the songs -- but this much I know ... at the end of three days there were four finished songs.

Before I left Andy's house on the last day, he asked me what songwriting percentages I wanted to claim on each of the songs. I was a newcomer to co-writing, and I was hesitant to suggest anything for fear of asking for too much. So I said -- (famous last words) ... "Just give me what you think is fair".

A week or two later my publisher sent me some forms to sign, confirming the percentages on the four Andy Fraser co-writes. To my utter amazement, on two of the songs Andy had only given me 5% credit.  Even worse, on one of the songs I was given a mere 1% share!
Andy was a nice guy, and I'm quite sure it wasn't intended as an insult.  Maybe he really believed that was the full extent of my participation!

Anyway, I was too shocked and embarrassed to complain to my publisher, although I did finally mention it to him over dinner one night, about 15 years later (he said "why didn't you tell me?!?").

It really doesn't matter -- it's "water under the bridge" -- but I did learn a valuable lesson, one that all songwriters, beginners or professional, should adhere to:

Always discuss percentages with your co-writer before you walk out the door!!
Andy's life and career have been remarkable, with highs and lows that would be un-survivable for most of us.  Andy has not only survived, he has triumphed.

Take the time to read his incredible on-line biography at