“The thing that kept messing up Koss was the outside world getting to him,” says Rabbit. Paul Kossoff was born on September 14, 1950 in London, England.
Kossoff had been prescribed Mogadon to help with his withdrawal. Tons Of Sobs was recorded and produced by Island’s in-house ‘mad professor’ Guy Stevens in a week. On one occasion, bassist Terry Wilson kicked Koss’ door in and physically removed a dealer from his hotel suite. Sandie shook Paul awake, and then he crawled on all fours – like a dog – pulled a cheque book out of the drawer, signed this cheque and handed it to the dealer.”.
“It was in a room not much bigger than my lounge,” says Free’s ex-manager John Glover now. Kossoff jammed with them at a blues club in Finsbury Park. But backstage there was a modesty about him. Everyone who talks about Kossoff says that had they known then what they know now, his story might have had a happier ending. “And I said, ‘You must be joking!’”. Taylor sat with Kossoff after take-off. Kossoff was not a prolific writer and had begun to feel excluded from the Rodgers/Fraser clique. “Paul had been playing every day, and they sounded great. “There was no going back now,” he admits, “so we had to keep Koss in as good a nick as we could.”, John Taylor was hired as Back Street Crawler’s tour manager and Kossoff’s occasional minder. As the only one with a licence, Kossoff drove the band’s Transit, clocking up hundreds of miles week after week.
Free reunited in January 1972. © The live album Free Live! Glover insists it was $150,000. “Then there was this dreadful doctor in Harley Street, who’d write him a prescription for whatever he wanted.” Before long, Koss was swallowing as many as 20 Mandrax a day. Kossoff, the pint-sized superstar with the lion’s mane hair-do, made an immediate impression: “He walked on, plugged in and just unleashed those solos. Then came the night in December 1965 when he saw Eric Clapton with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers in concert. “Kossoff’s solo in that very song rips my heart out,” says Rodgers now. In 2006, an unreleased guitar solo surfaced on the title track to the album All One by David Elliot, who recorded with Kossoff in the 1970s. During 1966 Kossoff worked as a junior salesman at Selmer's Music Shop in Charing Cross Road. But disaster had struck early in the tour after Kossoff attacked John Glover with a whiskey bottle. Paul Francis Kossoff (14 September 1950 – 19 March 1976) was an English blues rock guitarist.
Soon after the Nag’s Head jam session, the new band were backing Alexis Korner in blues clubs around London and the Home Counties. Paul’s sometimes disruptive behaviour and poor academic record meant he was expelled from school, and gave up his education for good aged 15.
, Aged nine Kossoff started classical guitar lessons with Blanche Monroe. “God bless Wendell, but he wasn’t Koss, and this wasn’t Free,” says Rabbit Bundrick. But the fact is nobody but Kossy could play that guitar through that amp.”.  The band played the Isle of Wight festival to both audience and critical acclaim, and sellout tours in the United Kingdom, Europe, and Japan followed. It kicked the stuffing out of him,” says Glover. Instead, Kossoff meandered between jam sessions and occasional pub gigs. Here he served the then-unknown Jimi Hendrix and watched spellbound as Hendrix flipped a guitar upside down and played it left-handed. I said, ‘Look, Koss has gone off the rails. In the 60s, his popular radio show heard him reworking traditional Bible stories for a modern audience. “Kossoff came round to the house,” recalls Rodgers now. The following day he was called into Blackwell’s office. Shortly after, his parents brought him his first guitar, and enrolled him for classical guitar lessons. Docherty moved Kossoff into his 12th-floor flat in a Wearside tower block, and began a cold turkey/boot camp regime. Both the album and the single Wishing Well went Top 10. “It started howling and feeding back.
Instead, he played like the old Paul Kossoff. “Then there was a knock at the door and a dealer outside. Recordings from one of the band's UK concerts in 1975 were first released in 1983 on the album Live at Croydon Fairfield Halls 15 June 1975. “The one time we actually sat down and talked,” said Walden, “Koss was a real gentleman. , Kossoff and Kirke teamed up with Texan keyboard player John "Rabbit" Bundrick and Japanese bass player Tetsu Yamauchi to release the 1971 album Kossoff, Kirke, Tetsu and Rabbit. Around this time, Geoff Docherty came back into Kossoff’s life. Kossoff sold the guitar to Mike Gooch and in May 1994 it was sold for £12,000 at Christie's. “Paul Rodgers said, ‘That’s it. I thought, ‘I’m onto a winner here’.”, But it wasn’t to be.
In the meantime Kossoff’s legacy endures. It was years before the rest of the group found out. What united these songs was a rawness, and a guitarist whom, to quote Alexis Korner, knew not to play too many notes and knew how “to use silence”. Island’s diverse roster included underground rock heroes Traffic and Spooky Tooth, and reggae acts Jimmy Cliff and Millie Small. Instead, Rabbit Bundrick’s Texas pal, Stray Dog guitarist Snuffy Walden, was brought in to play where necessary. But, for once, they did as he asked. After a few weeks, Kossoff was deemed well enough to visit Annabel’s nightclub on the tower block’s groundfloor. Following the break-up, Kossoff moved into a house in Golborne Mews, off London’s Portobello Road, and turned it into a drug den/shrine to Jimi. , In December 2015 Bonhams listed for auction a Gibson Les Paul Standard owned by Kossoff from 1970–1976.
Until a few minutes ago, the blues-rock group Back Street Crawler and their crew had been asleep, scattered throughout the half-empty plane. KKTR’s rootsy blues and funk rock lacked Free’s bite and, most importantly, Paul Rodgers’s voice. Earlier in the decade, Korner’s ensemble Blues Incorporated had beena valuable training ground for several future Rolling Stones. Several Island musicians played on the record.
I remember getting into Koss’ car and his dad had stuck these typed-out instructions on the dashboard: ‘Are you fit to drive?’, ‘Turn on headlights’…”. England and Wales company registration number 2008885. Free clashed with Blackwell when he insisted they edit it down for a single release. It was almost as much about the notes he didn’t play as the ones he did. ‘It makes me sad to think of you/Because I understand the things you do/There is no one else can take your place’ he sang. Following its release, Fraser decided he had had enough, and quit to form Sharks. “I looked at where Paul Kossoff had been sitting and the seat was empty,” says former tour manager John Taylor. Few groups in the history of the show would look as uncomfortable as Free did half-miming to All Right Now. Sandie was making cups of tea and trying to maintain an air of domesticity. Sign up below to get the latest from Classic Rock, plus exclusive special offers, direct to your inbox! But Simon got over it. Around autumn 1974, David Kossoff called John Glover and told him Paul was drug-free. Kossoff eventually called John Glover and moved straight back to London. He also played on four demos by Ken Hensley (eventually released on the 1994 album titled From Time to Time) and three tracks that appear on the CD-only issue of John Martyn's Live at Leeds album from 1975. He was also, already, an in-demand guitarist. “They were… okay,” he says diplomatically. Albums such as Free’s Fire And Water and the hits Wishing Well and All Right Now have arguably grown better with age. Shortly afterwards, another aspiring group, The Wildflowers, moved from their native Teeside and into a house near the Kossoffs in Golders Green. Paul was born on September 14, 1950 in Hampstead, north London, to parents David and Jennie. The posthumous Free Live! Fire And Water 3. “David was trying to get him off the stuff, but Paul didn’t get on with his dad at all. Like their creator, those slow sustained notes, measured solos and moments of perfect silence never had the chance to grow old.
In January 1969, two months before its release, promoter Geoff Docherty booked Free to play Sunderland’s Bay Hotel. “God only knows how Lemmy ended up there, or what he and Koss had being doing.”. Gone, for two days.”.
Instead, he went on the road, as a trainee stage manager on one of his father’s touring productions. His body was returned to England and cremated at Golders Green Crematorium in North West London.  Kossoff's bandmate in Black Cat Bones was drummer Simon Kirke, and the two went on to play on Champion Jack Dupree's April 1968 album When You Feel the Feeling You Was Feeling. Forty years after his death, Kossoff’s music remains frozen in time. ", "Selmer: The London Music Shop Where Clapton, Page, Beck, and More Bought Their Guitars", "The Short Life And Tragic Death of Paul Kossoff", "Anarchists, fire and rock'n'roll: the ultimate guide to the 1970 Isle Of Wight Festival", "Paul Kossoff - Live at Croydon Fairfield Halls 15 June 1975". He died on March 19, 1976 in New York City, New York, USA. Visit our corporate site.
But his addiction meant he resented their help.
, Kossoff's unhappiness following the break up of Free and his drug addictions contributed to a drastic decline in his health. He then accompanied John Martyn on a 1975 tour. That winter, Andy Fraser was so concerned that he and a roadie broke into the mews house, clambered over the bodies passed out on the floor and ‘kidnapped’ Koss.