Paul Kossoff's 'Stripped Top' 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard up close and personal

(Image credit: Future / Adam Gasson)

As well as being an author, authenticator of vintage guitars for Bonham’s auction house and a highly experienced repair and restoration specialist, Steve Clarke is also the man entrusted with the maintenance of Paul Kossoff’s iconic ‘Stripped Top’ 1959 Les Paul Standard, the instrument Koss used to play the Isle of Wight Festival and that he almost certainly used to cut Free’s enduring classic, All Right Now.

“I’m grateful that the guy who owns it today trusts me to be the only guy that will service it and keep it in good order,” Steve says. “So I’ve been lucky enough to be able to take the guitar apart and check it over in detail.”

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Jamie Dickson

Jamie Dickson is Editor-in-Chief of Guitarist magazine, Britain's best-selling and longest-running monthly for guitar players. He started his career at the Daily Telegraph in London, where his first assignment was interviewing blue-eyed soul legend Robert Palmer, going on to become a full-time author on music, writing for benchmark references such as 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die and Dorling Kindersley's How To Play Guitar Step By Step. He joined Guitarist in 2011 and since then it has been his privilege to interview everyone from B.B. King to St. Vincent for Guitarist's readers, while sharing insights into scores of historic guitars, from Rory Gallagher's '61 Strat to the first Martin D-28 ever made.