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Paul Kossoff, Not Good Enough?


IanHenry

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I found this interview with former Free bass player Andy Frazer, in which he says, that it was Paul's anxieties about not being a good enough guitar player that drove him to drug abuse:

 

http://www.classicrockmagazine.com/news/paul-kossoff-committed-slow-suicide-says-free-bandmate-andy-fraser/

 

I still think that Koss is the yardstick by which all Blues/Rock guitar players are measured.

 

It just highlights the frailties of the human mind does it not?

 

Ian.

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What's sad (to me) is, that he cared so little for himself, as to prefer

drug use, and "killing himself slowly," to practicing more, getting better

at his talent and craft. Most "great" players are revered beyond their real

capabilites, especially at the peak of their, or their band's popularity!

That's NOT to say, they aren't Great Players...just that the public has a

weird predilection, for unrealistic assessments, and expectations. The best

players just don't buy into that, and continue to improve their playing

for themselves, not for anyone else. Sad, that Paul couldn't see that,

apparently. [unsure] Besides, it's pointless (IMHO) to compare yourself,

to your "hero's," though it's a very common "measuring stick" thing to do.

But, to do so, to your own detriment, is SAD!

 

CB

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its a shame anyway you look at it. i've always felt that low self esteem, however it developes, is ground zero for many or most addicts. Self loathing of an addict, and an addict because of self loathing. seems to feed each other.

I've also felt that drugs aren't the addicts problem, they are the most obvious SYMPTOM of the problem. The problem lies within the person themselves. whatever demons, voices, or whatever you want to call it, bouncing around in a persons head. Getting clean and sober is just the beginning of fixing the problem. then you have to start on the labyrinth of emotions and life experiences that created the monster.

Sorry for getting long winded, its a subject near and dear to me. I've lost several close friends to addiction, and I've been clean and sober for 20 years now.

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It must be 25 years since I read an interview with Eric Clapton (who was a friend of Kossoff) in which he said Koss' depression started after the death of Hendrix.

All three knew each other well and apparently Koss didn't know how to cope with the loss and that was the point where his own drug-taking started to get out of hand.

 

P.

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its a shame anyway you look at it. i've always felt that low self esteem, however it developes, is ground zero for many or most addicts. Self loathing of an addict, and an addict because of self loathing. seems to feed each other.

I've also felt that drugs aren't the addicts problem, they are the most obvious SYMPTOM of the problem. The problem lies within the person themselves. whatever demons, voices, or whatever you want to call it, bouncing around in a persons head. Getting clean and sober is just the beginning of fixing the problem. then you have to start on the labyrinth of emotions and life experiences that created the monster.

Sorry for getting long winded, its a subject near and dear to me. I've lost several close friends to addiction, and I've been clean and sober for 20 years now.

 

 

+++power to ya' bro!!:) +++

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Never cared for drugs, just had the luck being able to keep the balance between self assurance and modesty. I knew I was perhaps one percent of a guitarist when one of my former bands had a record contract and live - no playback - TV appearance in the early 1980s. The very thing for me was to sing and play my parts clean and precisely.

 

Meanwhile I probably am between two or three percent of a guitarist which means 100 or 200% better than then but still a dreadful fumbler. I guess if I had had the problem of tending to megalomania or despair, I would have been in danger to fall for other addictions than music. So it seems that singing/playing/songwriting are my only addictions, and I think I will never give up making music although I know that I am very limited.

 

I also had to deal with band members that time trying to put me down. Luckily I didn't take it to heart that much. It was not funny when they fired me after expiration of the record contract, but there were and still are bands thereafter, one of them with two of the former bandmates, and actually one with one of them...

 

I think I would leave or give it up if it wasn't fun anymore.

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A lot of salient points made already. For starters, Paul's father David said that as a child, Paul was a risk-taker. He would always want to do dangerous things, so the inherant danger of drug-taking was most likely a factor in going down that road.

 

Secondly, the Rodgers/Fraser writing partnership was very strong, and both had clear ideas about what they wanted in each song. Koss did not like to feel like a "hired hand", as I believe he referred to it. This was exacerbated further when they wrote the Highway album, where many of the songs were piano-orientated, as opposed to guitar orientated. Paul's contribution was therefore further reduced, including his writing (he was part credited with two songs on the previous album).

 

Thirdly, the pressure brought about by the record company for another hit single, forced the band to work without rest for far too long. World tours, and two albums released in 1970. Something had to give, and they split in 1971, which affected Koss very deeply. One of the main reasons they reformed in 1972 was for Paul's sake, to try and save him.

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I was just watching a interview with Joe Walsh by Howard Stern when Howard asked Joe about getting stoned years ago.

Joe said that when James Gang "rides again" came out it did not do to bad in sales.They were stoned when they made it.It went to 20 on Billboard.

The next album didn't do as well and they figured they weren't stoned enough.51 on Billboard.

And that is how his cycle began.

Must get real stoned to do good.

Finally he realized that many of his peers were dying because of getting too stoned and he started to straighten out.

He mentioned how Sly Stone is one that never caught on about doing better playing sober.

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A lot of salient points made already. For starters, Paul's father David said that as a child, Paul was a risk-taker. He would always want to do dangerous things, so the inherant danger of drug-taking was most likely a factor in going down that road.

 

Secondly, the Rodgers/Fraser writing partnership was very strong, and both had clear ideas about what they wanted in each song. Koss did not like to feel like a "hired hand", as I believe he referred to it. This was exacerbated further when they wrote the Highway album, where many of the songs were piano-orientated, as opposed to guitar orientated. Paul's contribution was therefore further reduced, including his writing (he was part credited with two songs on the previous album).

 

Thirdly, the pressure brought about by the record company for another hit single, forced the band to work without rest for far too long. World tours, and two albums released in 1970. Something had to give, and they split in 1971, which affected Koss very deeply. One of the main reasons they reformed in 1972 was for Paul's sake, to try and save him.

Absolutely true and right on every point. Well said sir!

 

He was one of the best, without doubt. The only ones that I can think of to compare in that style are early Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Alvin Lee and Snowy White.

 

Agree with this one too. Yep.

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I'd go pretty much with Karloff's commentary.

 

I watched too many good musicians go down the tubes because of heavy use of booze and/or drugs. Almost inevitably it was indeed a symptom rather than the deeper problem. Some "kids" in my rock days about my age did get awfully heavily into various sorts of self-destructive behavior and IMHO it largely was because of an internal empty spot they tried to fill.

 

Funny thing too is that of those who made it past 65, I've a hunch they're feeling the effect of the drug use lifestyle, if not the after effects of the drug itself. They may in fact deny whether the result may have not been physically or mentally healthy, but...

 

m

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its a shame anyway you look at it. i've always felt that low self esteem, however it developes, is ground zero for many or most addicts. Self loathing of an addict, and an addict because of self loathing. seems to feed each other.

I've also felt that drugs aren't the addicts problem, they are the most obvious SYMPTOM of the problem. The problem lies within the person themselves. whatever demons, voices, or whatever you want to call it, bouncing around in a persons head. Getting clean and sober is just the beginning of fixing the problem. then you have to start on the labyrinth of emotions and life experiences that created the monster.

Sorry for getting long winded, its a subject near and dear to me. I've lost several close friends to addiction, and I've been clean and sober for 20 years now.

 

Congratulations on your sobriety, Karloff! I wish you many more years to come safely in Recovery!

 

I have to agree with you. Perfect example of your statement is Steve Clark. He was verbally and emotionally abused by his father when he was young. When Def Leppard became successful, he invited his parents to DL's first sold out concert in the hopes that his father would be proud of him. When that didn't happen, it just confirmed to him that he was never good enough which spiraled him into a deep depression and battle with drug abuse and alcoholism that ultimately claimed his life. Even while in Rehab he didn't understand why everyone cared about him. He would always say "What's the big deal? It's only me, I'm no one worth saving.". He never saw his value as a person or as an artist. It is sad. :(

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Congratulations on your sobriety, Karloff! I wish you many more years to come safely in Recovery!

 

I have to agree with you. Perfect example of your statement is Steve Clark. He was verbally and emotionally abused by his father when he was young. When Def Leppard became successful, he invited his parents to DL's first sold out concert in the hopes that his father would be proud of him. When that didn't happen, it just confirmed to him that he was never good enough which spiraled him into a deep depression and battle with drug abuse and alcoholism that ultimately claimed his life. Even while in Rehab he didn't understand why everyone cared about him. He would always say "What's the big deal? It's only me, I'm no one worth saving.". He never saw his value as a person or as an artist. It is sad. :(

 

thats a perfect example. that feeling of not being good enough , its seed is planted at a very young age and is deep rooted. more times than not, you drag it around youre whole life.

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Yep, his dad was an actor(amongst other things).....again without getting to long winded about this,koss always said he felt second best in his dads eyes to his brother simon....

 

I always felt that david kossoff campaigned against drugs AFTER pauls death out of guilt,(just my opinion)..........but he is also dead now.. so i'll leave it at that.

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