I didn’t know that Leonard Cohen owed a debt to flamenco or that he had a 40 year old Conde that he bought at the Gravina, 7, shop in the 60’s. But in his acceptance speech for the winning the ‘Principe de Asturias’ prize in Spain he said that his Conde had inspired him all his life and that all of his songs were based on the 6 chords he learned from a flamenco guitarist in Montreal (who for unknown reasons committed suicide). The prize and the speech have gotten Felipe Conde a lot of good press in Spain recently and remind us that in addition to almost every great flamenco player playing Condes, they’ve been played by a lot people you wouldn’t have guessed, from Al DiMeola to Lenny Kravitz, David Byrne and Leonard Cohen.

You can hear the whole acceptance speech here (though you’ll hear the interpreter in Spanish on top of Cohen’s English), and you can see some of the articles in the Spanish press here, here or here.

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8 Responses to “Leonard Cohen and his Conde (and Flamenco)”

  1. DrHGuy says:

    Leonard Cohen’s 2011 Prince Of Asturias Awards speech can be viewed without any overdubbing to obscure his words at Upgraded Video Of Leonard Cohen’s Prince of Asturias Awards Speech

  2. Kai says:

    Thank you! I had been looking for that.

  3. LAWRENCE says:

    What a smartly dressed man Leonard is ,especially with that gorgeous and elegant hat .But …( there’s always a but ) , he could sorely use a new guitar case .Come on GSI ,sort Leonard out with a decent case ,the one in the photo is falling to pieces.

  4. LAWRENCE says:

    On second thoughts ,the guitar case does have a lot of character and charm and does have Leonard Cohens name printed on it.

  5. Brian says:

    Nice, truly one of the best artists around. Great photo !

  6. peter says:

    I had no idea that Cohen played a Conde. I’ve been listening to Cohen since the 60’s (he and I are the same age) but I bought mine in 1975 also at the Gravina shop for about $550.00. Great price huh? Pondering that, I bought my first flamenco from Ramirez in ’63 for a whopping $125.00. It’s got body damage now due to an unfortunate accident but it’s still the guitar I play the most.

  7. Jose Luis Gonzalez Guzman. says:

    As a son of one Spain daughters, I feel extremely proud of knowing that this great ,and humble man came to pay his respect to the culture that gave so much to him and to the world.
    Que Dios lo Bendiga!!

  8. Astounding Leonard Cohen. I really love him. Leonard Cohen has returned with a new album, Old Values – plus much more wit and wisdom. Old Ideas is simply awesome. Did you know he was born in Montreal in 1934 ? He was really a poet prior to becoming a musician and performing. You can get Old Ideas from Amazon …


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