I am traveling to the North East of England for what is perhaps the last chance to get a close look at a guitar that belonged to the late Paul Kossoff of Free. The owner, Arthur Ramm has very kindly allowed me to have a look in detail at the guitar. Gibson did a tribute in 2012 and I reviewed the VOS model in the August 2012 Volume 3 – no.11. One hundred aged replica guitars were made with great attention to detail and two hundred and fifty VOS versions. I am today going to look at the original guitar.
I was in a covers band in the late 70’s and the North East was like a second home to me: we must have played every club and pub that existed three times over. Like many musicians one of my memories was the thrill of playing songs by Free: in my case, “All Right Now” or “Wishing Well”. To say Paul Kossoff was an inspiration and influence on me is truly an understatement. As well as his incredible vibrato of which Eric Clapton once asked “how do you do that” he also played the most full chords, rarely playing standard D, E or G shapes.
All photos copyright Steve Clarke/Famous Frets