To Selena, With Love: A Conversation With Widower Chris Perez
Do you remember when and where you heard the news about Selena? I do. I was riding the school bus when a classmate, listening to the radio on his Walkman, shouted "Selena was shot!". "How terrible", I thought to myself, thinking that maybe she was just wounded, but for sure she would recover. "No bro, she's DEAD!"
Photo by Marco Torres
In some ways, Tejano Music itself died that day, too.
That was 17 years ago. Now, for the first time, her husband Chris Perez tells the story of his life with Selena in his new book To Selena, With Love which hits bookstores today. Rocks Off sat down with Mr. Perez to speak about the book, his music and how Selena's legacy will forever endure through her fans and family.
Rocks Off: Welcome to Houston, sir. Or actually, welcome back to Houston. I know you spent quite some time here with Selena y Los Dinos.
Chris Perez: Thanks man. Good to be here.
RO: So, when I was looking for you online, I found you on Twitter as @ChrisGPerez. What does the "G" stand for?
CP: It stands for Gilbert. That's my father's name. What's funny is that there as so many other people with my same name, sometimes I get random people come up to me to say "Hey man, my name is Chris Perez, too!". So when I got into Twitter, the handle was already taken.
RO: In the book you talk about your father, and you also talk about your "Pops." Tell us about that.
CP: My dad is my real father, and my Pops is my stepfather. My mom and dad got divorced when I was four, so I don't have many memories of my dad living with us because I was so young. Then when I was nine, my mom met and married my step father, and that's Pops. So yea, that's the house I grew up in until I was 17 when I moved out and began trying to really do the musician thing on my own.
RO: So you were born in San Antonio and grew up there?
CP:: Yea, born and raised up there, and really lived there until I got married to Selena and then I moved to her apartment in Corpus Christi. I was 22 years old, and she was 20, about to be 21.
RO: The book officially drops on Tuesday, March 6, 2012. How did Houston become the starting point for this book tour?
CP: To be honest, I'm assuming the publishing company just looked at the demographics and chose Houston as the ideal starting point. I'm going to Corpus afterwards, and then end up in San Antonio. We have plans later on to hit the West Coast, but for now we are concentrating on Texas.
RO: As far as your music catalogue, do you get into the iTunes and the streaming services like Spotify?
CP:: Not to a large extent yet. We did release a single on iTunes a few months back called "Todo Es Diferente" with Angel Ferrer and it did really well for us.