Nick Valensi (born Nicholas Valensi, January 16, 1981) is a Jewish American musician. He is the guitarist for the American alternative rock band The Strokes.

The early years

Valensi is a Sephardi Jew. His father was born in Tunisia, and his mother Danielle is French.[1] He was once quoted as saying, "I always thought I wanted to be able to play any song you could name. But once I started playing with Julian, that's when I really started to understand music."[2]

Instruments and influences

Valensi's main guitar, which he uses for nearly every live show and recorded song, is a 1990s Epiphone Riviera with Gibson P-94 pick-ups. In a 2004 interview with Epiphone, he called it "the greatest guitar never made"[3] because Gibson had never produced a semi-hollow with P-90 style pickups, except for the fully-hollow ES-330 and the Epiphone Casino. He has several models in different colours (all with P-94s), including multiple naturals, one in vintage sunburst, one in red, and a 12-string elite in red. In 2005, Epiphone released a signature model of his guitar, the Elitist Nick Valensi Riviera P-94, and followed it up with a standard model Nick Valensi Riviera P-94 in 2007. Back-up/warm-up guitars include an Epiphone Dot fitted with 2 P-94s, an Epiphone Casino, an Epiphone Sheraton, and a Gibson Faded Special Double Cutaway with 2 P-90s. Valensi often borrows fellow Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond, Jr.'s backup guitars, which include a Gibson Les Paul Jr. and a Les Paul Special. New guitars used for the First Impressions of Earth tour include a Les Paul Custom in black, a Fender Telecaster Custom, and a Duesenberg semi-hollow. Valensi's main amplifier is a 2x12" Fender Hot Rod DeVille, used with Fender 4x12" extension cabinets during live shows. He also recently purchased a Carr amplifier to use on the last few stops of the First Impressions tour. His pedalboard consists of a Visual Sound Jekyll & Hyde Ultimate Overdrive pedal, Demeter Tremulator Tremolo, Vox Cooltron Bulldog Distortion, MXR Micro-Amp (2) and a Boss TU-2 Chromatic Tuner.

He cites his influences as The Velvet Underground, The Cars, George Harrison, Slash, Bob Marley, Blondie and Jimi Hendrix.[3]

Personal life

In Summer 2006, Valensi married his girlfriend of five years, Amanda de Cadenet, when she became pregnant. De Cadenet published a book of photographs entitled Rare Birds in 2005, which includes several pictures of Valensi, whom she refers to as her "muse" on her website.

Valensi has described his wife as "The coolest person I know."[4]

Amanda de Cadenet gave birth to their fraternal twins, Silvan and Ella,[5] on October 19, 2006.


Nick Valensi did backing vocals and played guitar for Devendra Banhart's song "Shabop Shalom" on the 2007 album Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon.[6] Furthermore, he contributed backing vocals on the self-titled debut album of his bandmate Fab Moretti's band, Little Joy.

He also played guitar for Regina Spektor's song "Better", which was released on her album Begin to Hope and also published as a single in a slightly different version on which the guitar parts are rearranged.

He appears in the video for "Adam & Steve", a song by Devendra Banhart's side project Megapuss.[7]

He appears in the video for "No One's Better Sake" by Little Joy as drummer.


This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Nick Valensi. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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