Chapter 8: Mariachi Fuego(1998)
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During the fall of 1998, so was born El Mariachi Fuego. Much like I had planned for my University chapter, I had planned to include this as part of my section on Mariachi Cascabel. I realized, however, that the two groups, Fuego and Cascabel, cannot be properly explained in the same text. While, in many ways, the early days of Mariachi Fuego resemble Mariachi Cascabel; it would be an insult to both groups to describe their history's in the same paragraph. Hence, I decided to explain the 1998 split-up of Mariachi Cascabel as part of that groups story and the formation of Mariachi Fuego in its own section. I also cleverly set them aside by my University years.
I had been proud to be a part of that new group. It was a fresh start. I believed it was a chance to see what it was like to be in a group from the start. I had a nostalgic feeling about it. It somewhat reminded me of my early work in Mariachi Del Rancho, a chance to grow in a new seedbed. I also felt that this new group would have less gigs than Mariachi Cascabel, this would help me in my quest to see what life was like beyond mariachi.
All in all, the first few weeks of that new mariachi went pretty well. We got some gigs based on local people who had heard that I was in a new group. Our first gig, as you might expect, was at the Catholic Church in Hebronville. We began practicing in diferent cities. Since Tony De la Rosa and Humberto Saenz were from Beeville, Maricela Amaya, Tony Moreno and myself were from the Kingsville area and Gabriel Gonzalez and Mando Botello were from Corpus Christi; it made sense to rotate practice in that manner. This was one of the innovations that I liked about this new group. Also gone was the first of the month, the telephone bill (since Mando began using phone cards to return calls) and all pressure that had been uttered in Cascabel.