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Nick Valensi , born on January 16, 1981, is a guitarist with the American garage rock band The Strokes. Of Jewish descent both on his French side and on the Tunisian side, he has two sisters, Celine (who makes a cameo on the “Juicebox” video) and Alessandra.
His parents gave him his first acoustic guitar at age five, and his first electric when he was eight. His father died when he was 10 years old, and at the age of 11, he had already mastered songs as advanced as “Johnny B. Good” by Chuck Berry. And at age 13, he already felt sufficiently satisfied with his abilities to stop taking lessons.
He went to public schools, except one year, during which he was at the Dwight School in Manhattan. There he would meet Fabrizio Moretti and Julian Casablancas, drummer and composer, respectively, of The Strokes. He graduated from the NYC Lab School, and later attended the Hunter College of The City University of New York, with his partner in The Strokes, Nikolai Fraiture, but eventually left school to become a musician. Before they gained notoriety as a band, he worked as a part-time waiter in several exclusive restaurants in Manhattan.
He is married to Amanda De Cadenet, a British photographer and actress, and lives with her and her 3 children, Atlanta, Silvan and Ella, in New York.
The rest of the band calls him El Ave (“The Bird”). “I do not like the nickname, but they insist that I look like Abelardo, from Plaza Sésamo”.
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