Paul Kossoff

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Paul Kossoff
Background information
Birth name Paul Francis Kossoff
Born (1950-09-14)14 September 1950
Hampstead, London, England
Died 19 March 1976(1976-03-19) (aged 25)
en route to New York City, U.S.
Genres Blues rock, blues, hard rock
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter, record producer
Instruments Guitar
Years active 1968–1976
Associated acts Black Cat Bones, Free, Back Street Crawler, Kossoff/Kirke/Tetsu/Rabbit

Paul Francis Kossoff (14 September 1950 – 19 March 1976) was an English guitarist best known as a member of Free. He was ranked 51st in Rolling Stone magazine list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".[1]

Early days

Kossoff was the son of Margaret (Jenkins) and the English actor David Kossoff.[2][3][4] His father was of Russian-Jewish descent. Kossoff started playing the guitar in the mid-1960s, being taught by session guitarist Colin Falconer, and at age 15 helped to found the band Black Cat Bones. The band played with touring blues piano player Champion Jack Dupree, did many supporting shows for Fleetwood Mac and other gigs with Fleetwood Mac cofounder Peter Green. Kossoff jammed and spent hours discussing blues playing and players. 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.[5]

Free (Amsterdam, 1970). Paul Kossoff, Andy Fraser, Simon Kirke, Paul Rodgers & Steve Winwood


Kossoff's unhappiness with the end of Free and his drug addictions contributed to a drastic decline in the guitarist's health. On a flight from Los Angeles to New York on 19 March 1976, Kossoff died from a pulmonary embolism, after a blood clot in his leg shifted to his lung. He was cremated and interred at the Golders Green Crematorium. His epitaph reads "All Right Now".[6]

One of his guitars, a 1957 Fender Stratocaster, was purchased after his death by Dave Murray, who is a member of Iron Maiden and used it between 1978 and 1990.[7]

Selective discography


Paul Kossoff, Simon Kirke, Tetsu Yamauchi, John "Rabbit" Bundrick

Solo albums

Back Street Crawler

(Note: after Kossoff's death, the band now called simply 'Crawler' made further albums)


  1. ^ "100 Greatest Guitarists: David Fricke's Picks: Paul Kossoff". The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. Rolling Stone. 
  2. ^ Dimery, Robert; and Macdonald, Bruno. Rock Connections: The Complete Family Tree of Rock 'n' Roll, p. 94. HarperCollins, 2010. ISBN 0-06-196655-X. Accessed 1 September 2011. "Green befriended another Anglo-Jewish guitar player Paul Kossoff, who formed Free"
  3. ^ Barker, Dennis. "David Kossoff: Actor and storyteller who charmed audiences on stage, screen, radio and in books", The Guardian, 24 March 2005. Accessed 1 September 2011.
  4. ^ Barker, Dennis (24 March 2005). "Obituary: David Kossoff". The Guardian. 
  5. ^ "Champion Jack Dupree discography". Retrieved 2011-10-30. 
  6. ^ "Paul Kossoff". Find A Grave. Retrieved March 29, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Iron Maiden's Dave Murray Talks About His 1957 Fender Stratocaster Guitar". May 7, 2008. Retrieved March 29, 2016. 

Further reading

  • Clayton, David, and Todd K. Smith. Heavy Load: The Story of Free. London: Moonshine Publishing, 2002. ISBN 978-0-9542169-0-0.
  • Guerra, Tom. Paul Kossoff - Biography. Paul Kossoff - The Back Street Crawler Vintage Guitar Magazine, 2000.

External links

  • Paul Kossoff Website
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