Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Paul Kossoff


I started playing guitar in 1974. I thought I knew all the great guitar players of the time, the ones who I would spend hours trying to learn from. Paul Kossoff flew under my radar, even though I knew of him and of Free, from the hit "All Right Now."

I never listened to much of anything that he did until today. I sit here listening to him pour tons of emotion out of his guitar on the song, "Time Away", which came from his Back Street Crawler band, the last before his death at age 25 on March 19, 1976. This song was apparently influenced from his brush with death.

I went on YouTube and watched as much Free and other videos that are out there and have come away with the opinion that he had the best vibrato in rock, and did more with a Les Paul and a Marshall than most of us dream of. Not many effects - just straight in to the amp, maybe a touch of a Leslie rotating speaker here and there.

I have to say that the music that Free did sounds like it was recorded in the present. These songs came out in 1971! How did I miss this guy?

Now listen to Angus Young of AC/DC. You can tell he spent hours listening to Paul Kossoff, as the use of vibrato and the Gibson/Marshall tones are very similar. I love Angus and Malcolm's playing for just keeping it simple.

So many of the great musicians I have liked haved die young and left behind a legacy of music that carries onto the 21st century. Paul, Randy Rhoads (who also died on March 19), Duane Allman, and Tommy Bolin accomplished so much in their short lives, and even years after their passing, here we are still talking about them.

I hope the aspiring guitarists of tomorrow give a listen to Paul Kossoff and learn a thing or two about the art of simple, plug-in and play rock.

RIP, Paul.

1 comment:

Barbara - Layla said...

THANKS for this post, I have been listening to Paul K. and Free for the last half hour...can't get enough of "woman".

I linked to you.