Wechsel zu DE

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.

Me and Lester DeVoe
Lester and David
David, Paco and Lester
Paco and Johannes testing the guitars
Pacos Concert in Palma de Mallorca
Paco tries one of my capodasters
Paco and Lester
Paco and me comparing the new Lester DeVoe guitars
Paco with his new Lester DeVoe guitar
Pacos new Lester DeVoe guitar
Previous slide
Next slide

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.


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.

Bei Amir zu Hause
Lester mit Niño Josele und Tomatito
Lester mit Viejin und mir
Nach dem Konzert Begrüßung von Paco
Previous slide
Next slide


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 ihrer Werkstatt
Antonio Marín und Lester DeVoe
Johannes Inhoffen und Andrés Marvi in seiner Werkstatt
Johannes Inhoffen und Antonio Marín in seiner Werkstatt
René Baarslag in seiner Werkstatt
Auf der Terrasse von René
Impression aus der Werkstatt von Antonio Marín
Previous slide
Next slide