Paul Kossoff’s 1958 Les Paul Standard Darkburst

Paul got this guitar in mid-1969 during a joint tour with Blind Faith. He and Eric Clapton swapped guitars, in which process Paul said goodbyes to his 1950s Les Paul Custom.

Paul Kossoff playing a darkburst Gibson Les Paul in 1970.
Paul with the Darkburst, 1970.

Guitar with Clapton

It’s important to note that when this guitar appeared on auction at Christie’s, their researchers claimed that Clapton purchased the guitar in 1968 and used it on Cream’s Farewell tour and while playing with Blind Faith in the summer of 1969.

This basically debunks the theory that the guitar was used in the studio by Clapton on the two Cream albums, although you’ll often hear people claiming otherwise. The guitar that Eric used with Cream in the early day was the one he acquired from Andy Summers (you can read more about this over at Eric Clapton’s gear page)

Guitar with Kossoff

Paul used this guitar from the point when he acquired it until his untimely death in 1976 (it might have been sold sometime before his death). It was likely used in the studio on all of the albums with Free, since it held particular importance for Paul because its previous owner was Eric Clapton, one of Kossoff’s main influences.

After his death, the guitar was sold to Phil Harris, who is a well-known guitar collector. It changed hands again in the late 70s and ended up with Max Kay of EFR Guitars. In the early 80s, it was again sold to Paul Rodgers who owned it until the early 2000s when it was sold to a private collector with all the profits donated to the Paul Kossoff Foundation.


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