It was 1:06 am. I was in bed ...

1:06 am last night,

And I received a text from Toshi.

Paco se fue,

That is what it said.

Oh my God,

Paco de Lucía passed away.

And my heart is beating


I want to tell you about the time I met Paco.

It was also the first time I met my boyfriend.

And I think it was the first time I saw real flamenco in the US after having returned from that first trip to Spain.

We went to Tacoma to see him.

Toshi and I did.  And of course a bunch of others from Portland.

To see him and his sextet.

There’s no need to talk about the show.

It’s one of those things I don’t want to try to describe.

Maybe you could just watch the video below.

I gave involuntary jaleos that night.  And that was before I was comfortable with jaleos.

But I couldn't help it.

Afterward Paco invited anyone and everyone to come back and meet him.

Apparently that was just something he did

Just how he was.

So we went to the camerino* to meet him.

There was a long line.

We got in it, and we waited.

It was quiet.

I remember that.

Quiet but not silent.

Because there was talking.  But talking without engagement.  Conversations going on, but nobody was really in them.  Everyone was just nervous and anxious thinking about meeting Paco.

At least that’s how I perceived it.

So we waited in line and had the unengaged conversations

That was when I saw my boyfriend.  While we were waiting in the line.  I kept staring at him trying to figure out if he was him because he did not seem tall enough.  Not compared to how he looked on stage.  He stared at me staring at him.

But, that is not today’s story…

So we waited in the line to meet Paco.

And it grew shorter.

Soon we got to the little room.

The little room where Paco was receiving people.

There he sat in the little room.

In a big chair in the little room.

The hot, stuffy little room.

Receiving fans one by one.

With generosity.

I could tell you about what happened when it was our turn.

About how it was for Toshi.  But maybe that's not my place, so I won’t.

There was beauty that night

And there was pain.

But a different pain.

Not a pain like today’s pain.

I am shaking

And my heart is beating.

Other important flamencos have passed away recently.

I’ve not written a post about any of them.

Because that's not really what I do here.

But, I feel compelled to write today after the passing of Paco.

Paco made me want to make music.  Even me, a non-musician.

And he was very important to some very important people in my life.

He made you want to make art.

He made you want to express.

He made you want to feel.

He did so much.

And there is so much more to say.  So, I will probably say more in the coming days.

But for now,

Adiós, Maestro.


*camerino - dressing room


You can leave a comment below.  Please do.  Tell me how Paco impacted you.  Or about a story of when you saw him live. Or first heard one of his songs.  Please share.