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“Paco can’t play unless...”   You are logged in as Guest
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Pgh_flamenco

 

Posts: 1429
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
From: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

“Paco can’t play unless...” 

Rick Beato just posted this video on his channel and 30 minutes into the interview Al claimed that Paco needed “weed” to play. I’m wondering if this was something Al came up with or if Paco was known for this sort of thing. Rick seemed pretty nervous during the interview. I hope he didn’t pay $7,000 for dinner with Al.



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 25 2022 4:33:52
 
mt1007

Posts: 150
Joined: Jan. 19 2011
 

RE: “Paco can’t play unless...” (in reply to Pgh_flamenco

man nothing wrong with blazing... its legal everywhere just about now man... who cares if Paco smoked...

in LA when "eL Cid" was happening peeps use to come out of the back restroom area etc with white powder on them... for those that were around or know of peeps you know what im talking about
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 25 2022 7:45:16
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13334
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: “Paco can’t play unless...” (in reply to Pgh_flamenco

Unlike most of Rick’s videos, it seems he does not really know much at all about Al…and worse, I get the feeling he doesn’t really like his music. It is surprising to me that when it comes to Al there is either hatred or blind allegiance… and that is only based on his fast rhythmic lines (hatred of his style), or Elegant Gypsy (his most successful album his fans die for and demand him to play in concert). I have always been a fan but from a musical and specific perspective…I would not die for the guy but admit he had something that scared Paco. That is why Paco was nervous…the friend Paco brought as interpreter was Rusel de Maria…who visited this foro and wrote a book about his non flamenco adventures with Paco. Every fan should read it. He was friends with both Paco and Al. Paco (EDIT: Russel NOT Paco gives this impression) had envisioned the “jazz player” to be an old guy bald guy doing slow bluesy chord melodies with a warm tone and thought this experiment was gonna be a hilarious joke where Paco plays circles around the guy. But as soon as he met young Dimeola and heard the guy soloing over what is essentially Entre dos Aguas…doing runs and rhythms PDL himself had never thought of, he FREAKED OUT. He got nervous and shaking and couldn’t play infront of the guy. They went back to hotel and PDL confessed how wrong he was and wasn’t sure he could keep up. Rusel encouraged him and they got weed. (Yes Paco always nervous and smoking even into old age). But he got STONED …. Al leaves the next part out. He was so stoned that he couldn’t play at all. So it wasn’t until the THIRD day that Paco finally got it together (EDIT: corrected this info in my next post). We are talking dozens and dozens of crap takes before they got the ONE famous one on the third day.

So Al was a weird guy and definitely intimidated the older guys John and Paco. The sad part of the story is they ganged up on Al and made fun of him, and teased him. Rusel knew it was happening and Paco told him “we are just joking with him and having fun, Al needs to get over it”. But Rusel asked Al, and in the Beato video there is a slight hint about it…Al was very hurt by it and always felt as the odd man out. Paco actually recorded the duet Fantasia with Al in Spain…but the engineer fuked up the splicing edits so badly that Al had to re record the entire track on his own. It is not discussed in the book but the third trio album and tour was very problematic and it resulted, early on, in a fist fight and lawyer intervention in order to continue. Al talks in other interviews about his “John McLaughlin button” on his ovation because they would not let him use his volume knob. The other thing not discussed is Al has tinnitus which contributed to those problems IMO. Obviously they continued the tour and it was successful. The album shows Al brought more to the table than the other two and ended up doing a solo piece he obviously wanted them to play on. Again, always the odd man out of the trio. In 2010 Paco and Al performed their last duet together (the same as the first) and obviously things ended on good terms. Al admits in other interviews he is in contact with Paco’s Widow and John about this album coming out in June, and it will be a nice tribute. I could have only hoped for a more involved documentary or something about it on DVD.

So I get why people don’t like Al in general, but I have studied his music and he is really a great and unique artist, and a decent teacher if you have seen his video for REH. The Beato video shows Al demonstrating several times the base line melody in E minor…that is Cafe 1930 by Piazolla and his version on Heart of the Immigrants is the best version ever IMO. And that to me is his best overall album, and nobody ever talks about that material. For me that and the “kiss my Axe” stuff is his best work. Chick never talks about the guy, but Al has promoted Chick on every album and every interview. The Phantom is one of the greatest pieces and I still can’t figure out how much of that is chick and how much is Al filling in the parts. I have tons of questions for Al that never get asked, it is always the same ol boring stuff about return to forever and Elegant gypsy. Perhaps one day, he will do something with John again, but I doubt it.

About Paco, yes big weed smoker…my friend got to accompany him in the 70s on Entre dos Aguas when Paco came alone to tour USA. He said the car was full of green smoke al a cheech and Chong all the time as he drove him around. Rusel’s book reveals how much of a womanizer he was back in the day as well. It implies that after his divorce and he settled down with the Mexican girl he slowed down that nonsense. But I am sure he was still smoking weed till the end.

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 25 2022 12:47:38
 
kitarist

Posts: 1454
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: “Paco can’t play unless...” (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

PDL himself had never thought of, he FREAKED OUT. He got nervous and shaking and couldn’t play infront of the guy. They went back to hotel and PDL confessed how wrong he was and wasn’t sure he could keep up. Rusel encouraged him and they got weed. (Yes Paco always nervous and smoking even into old age). But he got STONED …. Al leaves the next part out. He was so stoned that he couldn’t play at all. So it wasn’t until the THIRD day that Paco finally got it together.


Sorry but that is not correct (I have the book too; page 51). It was the second day and without weed when the perfect take happened. All the nervousness and then the Thai Stick pot smoking to ease his nerves, which did not work at all, was on that same first day. So, overall, saying "Paco can't play unless he is on weed" is false. His brilliant playing, in this particular case or overall, was not contingent on weed.

Today is eight years since he died.

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Konstantin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 25 2022 17:52:15
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13334
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: “Paco can’t play unless...” (in reply to kitarist

quote:

ORIGINAL: kitarist

quote:

PDL himself had never thought of, he FREAKED OUT. He got nervous and shaking and couldn’t play infront of the guy. They went back to hotel and PDL confessed how wrong he was and wasn’t sure he could keep up. Rusel encouraged him and they got weed. (Yes Paco always nervous and smoking even into old age). But he got STONED …. Al leaves the next part out. He was so stoned that he couldn’t play at all. So it wasn’t until the THIRD day that Paco finally got it together.


Sorry but that is not correct (I have the book too; page 51). It was the second day and without weed when the perfect take happened. All the nervousness and then the Thai Stick pot smoking to ease his nerves, which did not work at all, was on that same first day. So, overall, saying "Paco can't play unless he is on weed" is false. His brilliant playing, in this particular case or overall, was not contingent on weed.

Today is eight years since he died.


Ok i just reread it. You are right. I think the page before where he said “for the rest of the day” and at the end of the paragraph I felt the entire day was a bust by his description. The next page talks about trying it with palmas that failed too, so at night they got the weed. I had the impression, which was wrong, all that was the NEXT day into the evening. Anyway you look at it Paco had sobered up for the true good take. Al makes it sound like Paco got weed then played fine.

Also i was wrong about the bald jazz guitarist impression…that was Russell’s and it seems Paco was nervous all along because he had no clue who Al was. But it is true that Paco was impressed and surprised by Al and could not play.

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 25 2022 21:14:35
 
tk

Posts: 513
Joined: Jun. 15 2006
 

RE: “Paco can’t play unless...” (in reply to Ricardo

lol for me Paco is God and is it weird to feel this way where I really don't want to know anything negative about him lol?

like a 5 year old who believes in Santa Clause, you should never tell them that's a myth.

TK

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TK
http://www.youtube.com/user/Tsolakk
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 25 2022 22:39:34
 
TrickyFish

 

Posts: 47
Joined: Dec. 7 2018
 

RE: “Paco can’t play unless...” (in reply to Pgh_flamenco

It was an interesting interview. I like Beato’s work in general.

I never really connected with Al’s music when i first heard it in the 80s and his personality left me cold, but i liked some of his solo nylon string playing in this interview and his personality seems to have softened somewhat.

I never saw Al as being on the same level as Paco.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 26 2022 11:57:48
 
TrickyFish

 

Posts: 47
Joined: Dec. 7 2018
 

RE: “Paco can’t play unless...” (in reply to TrickyFish

Regarding the comments re Paco smoking, i must say that i ‘m disappointed but perhaps not surprised.

I’ve personally seen weed hold back many people from achieving their full potential, but each to their own.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 26 2022 12:06:51
 
gerundino63

Posts: 1684
Joined: Jul. 11 2003
From: The Netherlands

RE: “Paco can’t play unless...” (in reply to Pgh_flamenco

Lived and grew up in Amsterdam, weed is everywhere. All the (decent) tourists come for one thing, the Coffeeshop ….. because i grew up in that surrounding, i used it perhaps 3 or 4 times in my youth, never more. Did not like it.
But all the tourists, dads, grandfathers, “respected” people, especially from The States comes for that (and the red light district). It is now a bit like your Disney World in Amsterdam.

So, maybe do not judge people for weed i think.

Do you know somebody who visited Amsterdam? 😃

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 26 2022 16:33:22
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