Paul Kossoff’s Signature Gibson
Honoring the long since passed Free guitarist Paul Kossoff Gibson is dishing out a new signature Les Paul built to recreate the bluesy-rock tonal tastes Kossoff became well known for.
The 1959 Les Paul Standard
The guitar is a 59 Les Paul Standard and its development was set in motion when Gibson and Kossoff’s surviving friends and family came to work together so Gibson could study his guitars to properly replicate them, leaving no stone unturned and no nook uncrannied.
The guitar itself is built out of one piece of mahogany for the body and features a figured maple top. The neck, also being mahogany, has a rosewood fretboard laid out across it with acrylic trapezoid inlays. The tuners are gold Grover kidney button tuners and down at the center of the body is an ABR-1 bridge and a wrap around tailpiece.
Moving on. The pickups. The pickups are perhaps where the most attention to detail has gone into the guitar. Kossoff’s original guitars used PAF humbuckers for their thick sound. The new Les Pauls feature custom designed humbuckers wound with mismatched, potted coils of 42-AWG plain-enamel coated wire, and it’s topped off with alnico III magnets.
But the detail doesn’t stop there. Currently there are two variations available, both in limited numbers. You can get a brand new, fresh out of the box green lemon burst model or you can snatch up an aged variation of the same color if you’re into reliced guitars. The price difference between them might make the decision for you though.
The standard model sits at an MSRP of $10,351 while the aged model brings the MSRP up to $15,292.
Paul Kossoff was born way back in the day in 1950 and at a young age he tinkered on the classical guitar a tad, but it wasn’t until his teen years when blues-rock was becoming more prominent in the UK that he picked up the electric guitar and began what would build up to a celebrated career as a guitarist.
Kossoff had immediately formed Black Cat Bones with his friends and for the few years they were around they did quite well for themselves. Though after one album and a plethora of lineup changes the band split up. It wasn’t long after that that remaining members Kossoff and drummer Simon Kirke had sought to put together a new band.
One recruitment process later Free was formed and in two years two albums were recorded, both of which more or less just slipped right under the radar. When their third album Fire and Water hit they became a hit. That led to sold out tours world wide. They were in. But as seems to be the natural order what goes up must come down. When their fourth album Highway came out the limelight had started to veer and the band decided to go on a hiatus and work on other projects.
A few years later Free had come back together and released Free at Last which was very much welcomed, but by then the members’ dirty laundry had been building up into a pile they could only hope to ignore. Not least of all was Kossoff’s drug abuse, an unfortunate reality that held great prominence in the era for a lot of musicians, and Kossoff was no different. His health came and went and complications built up until he died of heart attack on a plane fleight.
But his legacy has prevailed and he’s become regarded as an important figure in blues-rock for his sense of phrasing and the soul he put into his playing.