It was sad to hear of the death of Paco de Lucia. I was first turned onto his playing via the Friday Night In San Francisco live record. I knew the other players already (John McLaughlin and Al Di Meola) but it was Paco de Lucia that provided the revelatory moments on that first and subsequent listens. A couple of years ago I found the record in a second-hand store and a whole new love affair began.
That first introduction to Paco had me hooked, I found other work by the trio, I kept listening to McLaughlin and Di Meola but it was the performances by de Lucia that packed such a visceral punch.
I couldn’t tell you I was ever any authority on flamenco guitar but there was something about the passion and technique of Paco de Lucia – there he was in those video clips, he looked as much like a porn star as a musician. And my word he was fabulous. He had a look that told you he already knew that. The rest of us who figured him great were just catching up.
I’m going to miss him. It’s sad knowing the man who made that sound is no longer around. You hear that sound – you watch the conviction, he’s playing like someone who knows every breath counts. He’s playing like he was always here. And always would be.
That music – so much of it – his version of Concierto de Aranjuez, for example, lives on. Will live on forever. Paco couldn’t quite make it, despite looking like he might always have existed; like he was capable of marathon fuck-sessions and could play the guitar 18 hours straight. But no. He is no longer with us. He was 66.
Sad news to hear he was, in the end, mortal. His playing never ever suggested he was.