Paul Kossoff committed slow suicide
Excerpt from All Right Now: Life, Death and Life Again by Andy Fraser and Mark Hughes
One of our roadies, Jim McGuire, who had stayed with me throughout all the breakups, had told me about the state Koss had got into. I’d been around to see him and it was pitiful. In the wake of All Right Now he’d bought this little place in Golborne Mews, near Portobello market. Blackwell had originally bought it, fixed it up, but when Koss expressed an interest in it, he sold it to him in a pretty good deal. This was where I went.
It was just two rooms basically, one upstairs and one downstairs, connected by a spiral staircase. You walked in the door and the place was just full of druggies, completely out of it, looked like hundreds of them lying on the floor, leaning against the walls.
Koss was upstairs, surrounded by more of them, handing him stuff, and was just making no sense. When you’re in that stage between ‘mandies’ and heroin, all sorts of other stuff tends to get included; ‘Hey, have a hit of coke to wake you up, Koss,’ or ‘Ooh, look what I’ve got for you today, Koss.’ All these low-lifes leeching off him. It was horrible.
Jim and I agreed we had to get him out of there. We stepped over the bodies and basically kidnapped him. He was too out of it to resist and so was everyone else. We drove him down to Esgairs in Surrey where there was nowhere for him to go. Over the next few days we tried to talk to him, cajole him, reason with him, saying if you’re in there, Koss, we’re trying to reach you. But there was nothing we could do. He resented being there and didn’t want to be helped. In the end we just had to take him back, which gave us a horrible feeling of failure.
It was like finding a baby in a dumpster, rescuing it then putting it back in the dumpster after a few days. It felt criminal placing him back in such a bad environment. This was in the days before rehab, before addiction was properly understood, but even with that understanding if you don’t want to be helped there is no helping you – and that’s how it was with Koss.