Pepe de Lucía, singer: “When Paco and I were children, and we were always together, even the cockroaches were pretty” | Culture | EUROtoday

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José Sánchez Gómez, Pepe de Lucía (Algeciras, 79 years previous), flamenco legend, is tall, with darkish pores and skin and vivid eyes. It is Sunday, February 18 and the singer and producer is in temper. He has days, they are saying round him, which are actually darkish. Today he’s not considered one of them. He has arrived in Madrid and the following day he’ll depart for New York. “I miss Madrid incredibly,” he says whereas ordering a bottle of water. “It's something that has no explanation: every time I get here I breathe differently, I feel differently, I think differently. “I am different.” Every day of his life, on daily basis, he says, he listens to his brother Paco de Lucía and Camarón de la Isla. “We were the Team A: Paco, Camarón, Tomate and me.”

It has been 10 years because the sudden dying in Mexico, sufferer of a coronary heart assault, of Pepe de Lucía's soul mate, Paco de Lucía. They Recover (the album Pepito and Paquito) flamenco songs recorded when Paco was 11 years previous and Pepe was 13, an exhibition of genius and expertise that’s surprising to listen to. And Pepe de Lucía, who measures his appearances within the press, agrees to talk for an hour with EL PAÍS. About what?. “Whatever you ask. For example, how I got here. My father with two small children in a coal machine, sitting on stick seats in third gear. He would stop the train in Bobadilla and we would hear: 'There is soda, Citronia, Coca-Cola, sandwich.' 'Don't worry, mom has put food in the bag here,' he told us.” The three of them, of their fifties, stayed in a boarding home on Santa Isabel Street in Madrid; Every morning they went out to make a dwelling, going from promoter to promoter with out luck (“The children are very small”; “Censorship is very bad”) and ending the times of their room consuming cheese and quince, the daddy in a mattress and the kids hugging one another to maintain heat.

Ask. And someday they went to José Luis Pecker's program.

Answer. We sang there to dying and Paco performed a scandal. They gave us a meccano and a practice. My father shortly considered José María Pardo, a guitarist who all the time went with Valderrama and my brother Ramón, and we took the Meccano and the practice to his home, on Mesón de Paredes Street. His two sons saved them and we ate for per week.

P. And they go to a luxurious two-story restaurant to play, on the insistence of their father.

R. Many folks from excessive society went there. The proprietor was Félix, who advised us to sit down in somewhat chair and sing and that was no downside. And the purchasers had been leaving us cash. One day a captivating lady arrived whose face and smile I’ll always remember: the nice Nati Mistral. When she noticed us, she opened her eyes as if amazed at what we had been doing, at how Paco performed and the way I sang, and she or he gave us 6,000 pesetas that she gave us to eat on Echegaray Street for per week. And last more in Madrid.

I used to be operating away from faculty. I didn’t prefer it. And Paco the identical”

P. He went to New York.

R. One day José Greco arrived and advised us: I'm taking the kid to New York. One week, to do a present vital. When I arrived in New York I went as much as the room on the Bristol Hotel and there I noticed little stars like whenever you hit a giant ground with a blow: the skyscrapers at night time. When I went all the way down to dinner, Greco advised me: “Pepe, I'm going to introduce you to a friend of mine.” A man wearing black, with a white shirt, sturdy: Rocky Marciano. Absolute boxing legend, buddy of the New York mafia.

Paco de Lucía and Camarón de la Isla were united by a close friendship that materialized in 36 songs.
Paco de Lucía and Camarón de la Isla had been united by an in depth friendship that materialized in 36 songs.Pepe Lamarca (Quipos Press)

P. Dazzled.

R. Dazzled. Especially once I returned to the United States and, in the course of the tour, Greco advised me in Chicago that my brother Paco was coming with us. And Paco with me… I advised him when he arrived: “This one, that one and that one have behaved badly with me.” And he took the guitar and went to speak to them as a result of Paco was very quiet, however a bodily beast: he swam in Algeciras for miles and miles. He made all of them rise up, we had been children.

P. They had been in Tijuana.

R. We ate there with a lady who invited us to her home, a lady with white hair, a white apron and an angel's face, an older lady. And there was a really giant image of a person there. “And who is that man?” “That man is Pancho Villa. He is my husband “. Later I found out that Pancho Villa had several wives.

A key name in Los Lucía is the guitarist and lyricist Antonio Sánchez Pecina, married to Lucía Gómez González, who gave his name to the saga. He had three jobs. He had a reputation for being authoritarian and harsh; 30 years after his death, Pepe de Lucía says that it is a lie: he liked him, yes, perfection. “My father, at night, with very serious hemorrhoids, and I could hear him crying, he would get ready and pick up his guitar, put on his beret and go to look for a life at a cabaret called El Pasaje Andaluz. Once, in a fight, they broke my father's guitar, and he came home crying. He had a greengrocer in the square. And in the afternoon he acted as a broker, and sold fabrics. He played the bandurria, he had a group called Los Chocleros. It wasn't an easy life. But do you know what I think? I think about simplicity, that savoring life as I savored it with my mother in the morning: these are experiences that taught me that there is nothing greater than honesty and humility.”

Pepe de Lucía, in February in Madrid.
Pepe de Lucía, in February in Madrid.Alvaro Garcia

P. His father was an orphan.

R. He was orphaned at the age of ten. He lived in a hut alone. He told me about it when he was very old, crying his eyes out. “I am very unfortunate, son. I lived in a hut alone. I went to a barracks with a can to ask for food, so that the soldiers would throw me out. A woman kept the stale bread for me and then I went to sleep in the hut. Scared to death because he was ten years old and he was going to pull the codend, the rope, the fish to see what they would give me. They didn't even give me anything, a real or anything. And with that I was pulling, I was pulling.” He was a man who suffered so much as a child that I truly praise him. And because of him we were what we are and we are nothing. But anyway: we were what we are.

P. Look, he traveled to New York when he was 13 years old. And she's back now.

R. I was running away from school. I did not like it. And Paco the same. One day my father discovered me and went to talk to the teacher, and when he returned he told us that we weren't going to school anymore: if you don't want to study, learn to play the guitar.

P. They were poor and happy.

R. My mother sent me to Venancio, who trusted us with everything. “A quarter of a kilo of sugar, a little colored butter and that's it.” “Well, take a little bit of this and also this and I'll write it down here.” Venancio knew that there was so much hunger that he entrusted everything to all of us, and he couldn't even pay the suppliers: he ended up hanging himself in the Palmones River. I later became friends with his children. I shudder telling this.

A couple of weeks in the past Pepe de Lucía was seeing Tomate on the Maestranza Theater. He had Niña Pastori and Macanita as visitors. Tomate devoted the live performance to him and to the reminiscence of his brother Paco. “Everyone taking photos with me and giving me the spot,” he says. “But I don't want that anymore. I go into my house and don't go out all day. I like to make myself eat. I live alone, I cook very well, I learned to cook to feed my brother, I learned to wash to wash my brother's white underwear with palomino [ríe]”, to wash his handkerchiefs, to wash his shirts, his T-shirts, to wash his usual clothes.” He has Paco de Lucía, universal genius, always present. They were the little ones at home, inseparable. “I have it with me. At night I keep him in mind and I always ask him to help me, to help me be here a little longer so I can fix something that can be fixed. We played when we were little. We would go with my father and mother to the movies and then we would come home and find the whole house full of cockroaches, and even the cockroach was pretty at that time.” Pepe de Lucía sings lots about magnificence. His and his brother Paco's. He couldn't take the guitar off of him. He advised me: “Pelleja [me llamaba Pelleja]What you have to do is stop going. If dad tells you to put your right hand, don't put it. She alone is going to stand up straight, she alone is going to stand up straight and when you least realize it you are going to play the guitar without realizing it, like a madman, like a beast. I looked at him and didn't say anything. One day he discovered how he ate the left hand, and how the right hand; He had incredible strength. I didn't reach that limit, he was outstanding, something impressive.”

Pepe de Lucía pays tribute to his brother one day before the Seville Flamenco Biennial, on September 11, 2014.
Pepe de Lucía pays tribute to his brother one day before the Seville Flamenco Biennial, on September 11, 2014.Marcelo del Pozo (Reuters)

P. What is the first memory you have of Camarón de la Isla?

R. Bambino's palmer, Pepe, calls me: “I have a boy here who is stopping by my house. Do you want to hear it tomorrow?” I lived on O'Donnell Street. I name Rafael de Córdoba, a singer buddy of mine, Rafael de Huelva, and we're going to hearken to him. I arrive on the Plaza de Cascorro and he seems in a blue go well with together with his very good-looking little hair, his beautiful face. “My name is Shrimp.” And I say: “Come on, let's go to the bar next door in Cascorro”, a bar there, on the aspect on the correct. And there he began singing somewhat por soleá and I dropped the shadowjo palos. I ran to Illustration Street to inform my father and my brother Paco, to inform them what I had seen.

We are, we had been, Paco, Camarón, Tomate and I: we obtained into the studio and did true wonders. Incredible albums as a result of Camarón was from one other planet”

P. And he composed it.

R. I've already began composing it. Tomate stated at his live performance that I used to be the very best he had composed for him, and he crammed me with delight in these phrases from a brother like Tomate, as a result of he has lived it with us. We are, we had been, Paco, Camarón, Tomate and I: we obtained into the studio and did true wonders. Incredible albums as a result of Camarón was from one other planet, from one other galaxy. That's why destiny took him away so quickly.


R. He was so shy, so withdrawn. He didn't giggle as a result of he was embarrassed.

P. Paco de Lucía and Camarón de la Isla.

R. Paco couldn't stand being with out Camarón. He was very unhappy about that. He couldn't get Camarón out of his head.

P. And you misplaced them each.

R. When Paco died they advised me that I had one eye on one aspect and one on the opposite. That has solely been seen in comics. My imaginative and prescient was blocked. In truth, I used to be driving to the funeral and my buddy José de Andújar stopped me, and he advised me “Stop because you are lurching.” And I haven't stopped struggling. But life can be struggling too. It's not that it's morbid, however it teaches you a large number.

All the tradition that goes with you awaits you right here.



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