Mexico toasts the memory of Vicente Fernández: “With him dies the last idol of music”

Alejandro Fernández stands guard next to his brothers at Vicente Fernández's coffin in Tlajomulco, Jalisco.
Alejandro Fernández stands guard next to his brothers at Vicente Fernández’s coffin in Tlajomulco, Jalisco.Hector Guerrero

To say goodbye to Vicente Fernández at the VFG Arena, the organizers of his funeral have asked his music lovers something that breaks with the mystique: tequila prohibited. The drink that has accompanied the trajectory of the last mariachi foreman is denied in his land, Jalisco. But his most devotees cannot resist. Antonio Castorena, 43, arrived at the ranchera music star’s wake at 3:00 a.m. on Monday to sing some songs and was able to get a Jimador bottle to enjoy with Law of the hill.

“What I liked the most was his voice, it was strong, strong. When he sang, Mexico sounded. The idols of music are leaving us, we have no one left. The last idol dies with him, ”says Castorena, a retired professional wrestling professional. With him come his wife Araceli Beas and their minor children. Today they skipped classes because, they say, the king of the family has to be fired. “Some guys brought who knows how a bottle and we were having a shot. Our idea was to just come for a while and leave, but we will stay until they get rid of us, ”adds Beas.

Chente Fernández (Huentitán, 1940 – Guadalajara, 2021) died this Sunday morning. For five months his state of health was less due to respiratory complications. The news of his death shook the music world. Little by little the news of his death spread, bars and restaurants began to put their best hits. The Mexican government offered the family a tribute to the top at the Palacio de Bellas Artes, as did Juan Gabriel. However, the hero of the people had to say goodbye at home. Family members decided to take Fernández’s body home to Jalisco. His remains have been veiled since Sunday night in the entertainment venue, a few meters from the Los Tres Potrillos family ranch, in Tlajomulco de Zúñiga a few kilometers from Guadalajara. There he will be buried after the funeral ceremonies, according to the singer’s family.

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The followers of Vicente Fernández illuminate the tribune with lights during the funeral of the Mexican regional singer on December 12, 2021.
The followers of Vicente Fernández illuminate the tribune with lights during the funeral of the Mexican regional singer on December 12, 2021.Hector Guerrero

The burial reported by the family will be private. The place, a few kilometers from the Guadalajara airport, is in the middle of the highway, somewhat complicated to get to, but Fernández’s lovers arrived as outside, even in trailers. One of the moments that uncovered the crying was when his son, Alejandro Fernández, sang Love of two, a song they sang together at concerts. This time his father was not there, although his mother, María del Refugio Abarca, Dona Cuquita, was. Singers such as Pepe Aguilar, Aída Cuevas and Edith Márquez have also said goodbye to him.

“I like Vicente Fernández because I am from Jalisco, I grew up with him and also fell in love. All the feelings of life I lived with him. Nobody has the charro suit like him, he did not forget his people and he did not lose his humility, ”says Rafaela Fuentes, 58, as she wipes her tears. The connection of the mariachi king with Mexicans is in his history of overcoming: from working in the fields with cows to being the maximum musical reference for more than three decades. “Singing is my life,” Fernández said in an interview. His career has been filled with accolades from Alejandro Sanz to Joe Biden, President of the United States.

“When I went out to fight in the arenas I listened I bring the warm blood, it turned me on. Today if you don’t drink tequila, there is no Chente. If Chente didn’t drink, it wasn’t Chente ”, explains Antonio Castorena, now a worker in a textile company. “Today is not a sad day, as Mexicans we prefer joy to say goodbye to the dead. She had a gift when it came to singing, ”says Mrs. Imelda Rivera, who asked her son to take her to enjoy a bit of the mystique of the Fernández family.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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