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Digital Subscriptions > Guitar Magazine > Apr 2019 > THE ‘59 SOUND

THE ‘59 SOUND

We travel to London to meet storied rock guitarist Cosmo and his small but stunning collection, which includes what may have been the very first Burst to enter the UK…
Like the Keith Burst, the Tommy Burst was fitted with a Selmer licenced Bigsby, which Cosmo removed…
Cosmo’s ‘Tommy Burst’ revealed in all its heavenly glory
… and kept, of course. Note the seldom-seen original Selmer packaging

“AROUND 1971, I WAS OFFERED THE KEITH RICHARDS BURST WITH THE BIGSBY. THE GUY DIDN’T WANT TO JUST SELL IT TO ME, HE WANTED TO SWAP IT FOR A SPECIFIC GUITAR”

During his long career as a player with the likes of The Heavy Metal Kids, Curtis Knight, Andy Fraser and Phil Lynott among countless others, Cosmo has owned many historic instruments. It’s also a distinct possibility that he’s been playing vintage Les Pauls longer than practically anybody else in the UK, so catching up with him presents a rare opportunity to hear more about the pleasures and pitfalls of gigging and recording with some of the world’s most desirable vintage guitars.

Right away, we’re astonished to learn that Cosmo bought his first Burst in 1963, at the age of just 13 – and has never been without a vintage Les Paul since. “I’ve always played Bursts”, he explains. “The first one I got from McCormack’s Music in Glasgow. They weren’t very popular then, but I just loved it and it felt great. It was only about £100, although that was a lot of money at the time.

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About Guitar Magazine

Are we a quarter of the way into 2019 already? It only seems like a few days ago that we were heading out to the NAMM Show in California to see what the guitar industry had in store for us during the year ahead. You can find a sparkling array of new gear from the show floor over at Guitar.com and in this month’s magazine, we put some of it through its paces. Resplendent on the cover, the headline act is Fender’s bold new hybrid, the American Acoustasonic Telecaster. With a broad palette of vivid acoustic and electric-guitar tones on offer, the Acoustasonic might open a few musical doors and allow you to get away with taking one less guitar to the gig. In this month’s reviews section you can read our in-depth review and check out even more hot new gear from the likes of Blackstar, Orange, EarthQuaker Devices, Electro-Harmonix and more. The show itself was the most positive we’ve attended in many years. Not only did Gibson return to Anaheim in force, but perhaps the biggest story of NAMM 2019 originated in Northern Ireland with the news that George Lowden has teamed up with the biggest pop star in the world right now to launch a new range of affordable acoustics. The Sheeran by Lowden instruments are set to be manufactured in Downpatrick (just like Lowden’s wonderful high-end guitars) and their development has been a real labour of love for Ed and George. Find out what they had to say about the process in this month’s mag, where they join Gibson CEO JC Curleigh and John Mayer in our round-up of conversations from the Anaheim show. While we’re in name-dropping mode, fans of Les Pauls are particularly well served this month. The Collection features jaw-dropping images of what might have been the very first Burst to arrive on UK shores back in the early 1960s, while elsewhere, Tony Bacon charts the history of Gibson’s finest solidbody with contributions from bona-fide rock legends Jimmy Page and Billy Gibbons. Enjoy the issue!