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Paco de Lucia's guitar
I had the privilege of having the stage guitar of Paco de Lucia in my shop for...
A Highligt in 2010: a visit to Paco de Lucia with the Californian guitar builder Lester DeVoe.

Visit of Paco de Lucia in his house in spain.

I traveled through Spain with the American guitar builder Lester DeVoe and his friend, the photographer David Keene, for 10 days in October 2010. The main reason for the trip was to bring a new guitar to Paco de Lucía, actually three instruments from which Paco was to select one.
Departure: Wednesday evening at 11 p.m. from Euro Airport Basel Mulhouse to Palma de Mallorca. A general strike in Spain already interfered with my plans right at the start. I was supposed to fly Wednesday morning, but the flight was postponed to Wednesday night. We were already told when we were on the plane that we first had to fly to Frankfurt to wait until the end of the general strike. We were finally above to take off around 1 a.m. We were able to depart from Frankfurt and reached Palma around 3 a.m. Of course, there were no more buses at that time. The only possibility for continuing was to rent a car. As a result, I was finally only able to get to bed around 5 a.m. After breakfast, I met Lester, who had already arrived the day before. Then we drove to the airport to pick up Lester's friend David.
We had an appointment in the afternoon to take the three guitars to Paco at his home, the 3rd of which David had brought from America. Lester had already brought the other two with him on Wednesday.
Paco was a bit baffled, because he was not sure which one he wanted. Three guitars were obviously too many for him, and it was too much for him to make a quick decision.
Because I have a lot of experience in trying out guitars, Paco asked my advice, and together we found the guitar after a very short time, which fit his style best.
Then we took a few souvenir snapshots and said goodbye to Paco. It was two days before his Spain tour, and he had his first concert on Saturday, which was recorded for a live CD. He was obviously very tense, because he still had to arrange a few new pieces for the concert.
He picked out a few capos, which I had brought him. Pros always need capos, and Paco almost always plays with capos that have a peg, exactly as the ones I produce.We had tickets for the concert given by Paco in Palma Saturday evening. It was a great concert, and he really played well. Unfortunately, there was an embarrassing mishap. It was announced over the loudspeaker before the concert that there would be an intermission. After a great hour of play, Paco introduced the members of his band and then left the stage with them. Everybody thought that this was the intermission, but it was discovered after half an hour that the concert was over and nobody had noticed. That cost Paco a lot of applause and the audience a few encores. Something like that is really embarrassing.


Johannes and Lester


Lester and David

At Pacos home

David, Paco und Lester

At Pacos home

Paco and myself testing Lesters guitars

At Pacos home

Paco and myself testing Lesters guitars


Pacos concert in Palma de Mallorca

At Pacos home

Paco playing with one of my capodasters

At Pacos home

Paco and Lester

At Pacos home

Pacos new guitar

At Pacos home

Testing Lesters guitars


Lester and David flew to Madrid, and I took the night ferry to Valencia. I took the two other guitars, which I wanted to bring to the Sanchis brothers, so that they could send them to me to Germany. The trip was strenuous, and I barely slept. David Sanchís was kind enough to pick me up at the harbor. Then I tried out guitars for a few hours and took the train to the Madrid in the early afternoon. I had barely arrived in Madrid and hardly had time to take my things to the hotel when I had to rush to Amor de Dios. We had arranged to meet Viejin, who want to give the guitar back to Lester, which he had received one year earlier. He was unfortunately unable to pay for it, because he had a bad arm injury, which had prevented him from giving concerts for many months. This of course had had a terrible effect on his finances.

Viejin had invited us to visit a mass in a gypsy church (el Culto). It was a very interesting evening, because the gypsies of course sung and played a lot. Then we hurried to Teatro Real, because Paco gave his second concert there. Unfortunately, we did not get any tickets that evening and were limited to saying hello after the concert. Of course, everyone who is anyone was there. Tomatito, Niño Josele, Pepe de Lucia, Duquende and many others were swarming through the corridors of the theater, and you bumped into a famous flamenco personality at every corner. We soon left, because Paco was hopelessly overtaxed with so many acquaintances; he simply wanted some peace and quiet after the concert.

We explored Madrid on Tuesday, a great city with infinite possibilities for passing the time savoring the cultural and culinary delights. We had dinner together and then met Amir Haddad, with whom we wound up in Casa Patas. We ran into the famous guitar builder Arcangel Fernandez on the way there, who also joined us.
It was a long night, as you can imagine.

We returned to Madrid Saturday evening. Amir had invited us to spend the weekend with him, which we gratefully accepted. Sightseeing tour on Sunday to the royal residence Escorial, and then David, our private and court photographer, filmed Amir playing various instruments (Lute, bousouki and guitar) for an hour.

Amir-John Haddad

In Amirs house

After the concert

Lester with Niño Josele and Tomatito

At Amor de Dios

Lester with Viejin und myself

Teatro Real

After the concert salutation of Paco


We rented a car on Wednesday, and the three of us drove to Granada. I wanted very much to introduce Lester to Antonio Marin and Andrés Marvi. We had a few great days in Granada visiting a few guitar builders such as Antonio Marín, Manuel Bellido, José Marín Plazuelo, Andrés Marvi, René Baarslag and his wife Anna. At René's, we spent a whole day on his beautiful terrace above Lanjarón (Alpujarras). Miguel Iven was visiting him, and we tried out René's and Anna's great guitars for hours on end.


Lester deVoe, David Keene, Andrés Marvi, Johannes Inhoffen


Ana Espinosa in her workshop


Antonio Marín and Lester DeVoe


Andrés Marvi with myself in his workshop


Antonio Marín with myself in his workshop


René Baarslag in his workshop


At Renés home in Lanjaron


Impressions from the workshop of Antonio Marín Montero

David is a fantastic photographer, and it was really great having him along. He shot thousands of photos.
The photos, which you can see here, only provide a few impressions of one of the most interesting trips, which I have ever taken. It is really exciting to experience so many thrilling things in such a short time.
I want to thank Lester and David and everyone that we met on the trip for the great time, and I am sure that my two friends have returned to American from Spain with lots of fantastic impressions. Our trip ended at the airport in Madrid on Monday, where we all got on different planes to return home.


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