Bonhams to sell guitar owned by Free's Paul Kossoff



2015-10-20 11:02:50

A guitar owned by famous Free guitarist Paul Kossoff will be amongst the leading lots of a forthcoming Bonhams memorabilia sale.

The virtuoso British guitarist was one of the founding members of the classic rock band, which had a worldwide hit in 1970 with 'All Right Now'.

However, following the break-up of the band in 1973 Kossoff battled with drug addiction and passed away in 1976 at the age of just 25.

Kossoff owned the guitar on offer, a 1959 Gibson Les Paul, from 1970 until 1976, during which time he performed with Free at the height of their success and was in constant demand as a talented session musician.

During one particularly energetic performance with Free, Kossof snapped the neck of the guitar after throwing it up into the air. He quickly borrowed another guitar from Arthur Ramm, guitarist of support band Beckett, but neglected to trade it permanently due to his affection for the broken instrument.

Several years later Ramm acquired the guitar from the late-musician’s family, and it will now be offered at auction for the first time, having spent 30 years in a private collection.

“Kossoff is one of the generation of rock stars who lost their life to the excesses of the industry," said Natalie Downing, Bonhams Entertainment Memorabilia Specialist. "His incredible musical talent continues to be recognised, heralded by Rolling Stone magazine in their top 100 list of the greatest guitarists of all time.

“Musical instruments with celebrity provenance can often reach a higher premium at auction, bolstered by fans and musicians keen to take home instruments that bore witness to some of rock and roll’s greatest moments. Bonhams has conducted several highly successful auctions throughout the year, including the sale of Eric Clapton and Chris Martin’s guitars at our June sale.”

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