Discover the interesting curiosities that reveal the man behind the God of flamenco, the maestro Paco de Lucía. From his passion for football to the guitar of his dreams, we discover a life as interesting as his own work.

Paco de Lucía. Flickr. Autor, Fernando Vesga.
Biography of Paco de Lucía


He learned to play naked and with knickknacks

Antonio Sanchez, the patriarch of the De Lucia family, was extremely demanding. With Paco, he took a rigorous approach by locking him in a room, stripping him of his clothes, and handing him a guitar. He wouldn’t let him go out until Paco had mastered the assigned exercise. Pepe de Lucía shared an anecdote when he mentioned that Antonio offered them sweets to lift their spirits.

Many more curiosities in “Paco de Lucía. The First Illustrated Flamenco”

Paco de Lucía did not emerge as a prominent figure early on. In his younger years, he lived a life of travel, experimenting as an adventurer. He took advantage of a fight in a restaurant in Mexico, to leave with two ice creams with a friend without paying for the meal. He walked through humble dressing rooms with broken mirrors and the smell of dampness, but he remembered that time as a time of youth and freedom.

“Paco is hugely attractive to women and connects with people, immerses himself in their emotions. His serious countenance, closed eyes, and air of mystery make him attractive to young people. His intelligence is exceptional. While he knows fame, he finds it irritating. He needs it, but it has robbed him of tranquility and solitude. He can play for hours without stopping, but he would never say, ‘I played well today.’ Find pleasure in simple things. He seeks the company of simple people, such as Bartolo, a dog with no breed or lineage, or his Brazilian parrot that sings flamenco songs, like the canasteras” (Casilda Varela, first wife of Paco de Lucía, in an interview in 1978).

The First Illustrated Flamingo


Self-taught guitarist

He never went to music school or learned to write or read sheet music. But he did have great teachers throughout his childhood and youth, such as Niño Ricardo. José Berges was one of those who transcribed his music.

Sheet music Paco de Lucía

Sheet music by his most famous work, “Between Two Waters”, composed to fill a disc.

"La Maestro" in Mexico, by luthier Antonio Morales.

"La Maestro" en México, del luthier Antonio Morales.


“La Maestro”: The Dream Guitar He Couldn’t Play

Together with his friend and regular luthier, Antonio Morales, Paco was designing a guitar with perfect harmony. He died before he could premiere it in concert, but it has reached the hands of Alejandro Sanza, Tomatito and Caetano Veloso.

“La Maestro” was built with spruce and jacaranda woods that the late George Bowden had kept for a special occasion since 1956, but it is not a guitar that was designed and made in a single process. A documentary by Javier Limón is dedicated to her in homage to Paco de Lucía.



Recorded a song

Actually, Paco de Lucía wanted to be a singer, but he was very shy. However in his album “Luzia”, dedicated to his recently deceased mother, he recorded his voice on a song dedicated to another loved one, Camarón. She is a woman from Ronda who has never sung in public.

She is a woman from Ronda who has never sung in public.

His relationship with Camarón de la Isla was historic. However, from 1978 onwards, problems arose between them.


Fishing was happy

He himself said that he was “a great fish eater”. That would be why his other passion was fishing. He spoke of his love for his last residence, in Mexico, and expressed it like this: “That’s where I really enjoy it, in Playa del Carmen, with its calm sea. I go, rent a house and go spearfishing. And then I cook what I’ve caught and that’s it. I don’t want more than that.”

Paco de Lucía fishing

“I like fishing, spearfishing, but not as a sport but as a primary experience, fishing for food. I don’t get out of the water until I get the basket of the day, but I only grab the fish that I’m going to eat, no more,” he wrote in


Football and its Real Madrid

It was common to see him playing football with his musicians, which he did very well. Members of the group Ketama and Miguel Ríos shared games with him. It was common to see him playing football with his musicians, which he did very well. Members of the group Ketama and Miguel Ríos shared games with him. His team was Real Madrid and one of his admired players was Raúl.

Paco de Lucía Footballer

Paco de Lucía (in blue) with his team Los Barrios in 1973.


Attacked for being red

He had a bad experience in the streets of Madrid (1976) accused of being a “red”, of being a leftist. Years later, he would confess with irony: “I stopped being a leftist when I earned my first two million pesetas.” In fact, he did a lot in terms of integration, such as the Roma community. When he died, the Institute of Gypsy Culture and the State Council of the Roma People dedicated these words to him: “He was always proud to have grown up with the Gypsies with whom he has shared a good part of his musical career and whom he has always admired and respected.” Paco de Lucía would say in 1986 in the magazine Puerta de Sevilla. “It’s the gypsies who know the most about flamenco.”

Paco de Lucía on ABC

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