Chris Perez Biography & Facts
Christopher Gilbert Pérez (born August 14, 1969) is an American guitarist, songwriter and author best known as lead guitarist for the Tejano band Selena y Los Dinos. He married the frontwoman of the group, Selena, on April 2, 1992. Pérez grew up in San Antonio, Texas as one of two children of Gilbert Pérez and Carmen Medina. In 1986, he joined Shelly Lares' band. By the late 1980s, Pérez was respected among Tejano musicians for his guitar skills. This caught A.B. Quintanilla's attention; at the time, Quintanilla was seeking another guitarist for the band he produced, Selena y Los Dinos. Between one and two years after Pérez joined the band, he and Selena began a personal relationship.
Selena's father, Abraham Quintanilla, forced them to end their relationship because he felt Pérez' image might damage Selena's career. They ignored his threats to disband the group, and continued their relationship. Quintanilla Jr. fired Pérez from the band, forbidding Selena to go with him.
During the early 1990s, Pérez was arrested for driving under the influence in San Antonio, but was released without charge. Within months of his first arrest, Pérez was involved in a trashed-hotel-room incident; he and two members of Selena y Los Dinos were intoxicated and began wrestling in a room, breaking the door and punching holes in the walls. On March 31, 1995 Selena was shot and killed by her former friend and former manager of her boutiques, Yolanda Saldívar. Selena's murder greatly devastated Pérez, who began abusing drugs and alcohol.
Pérez formed the Chris Pérez Band and began writing songs for their debut album. They signed with Hollywood Records and released their first album, Resurrection, which won a Grammy Award for Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album. The band disbanded after their second album, Una Noche Mas (2002), was released. Pérez continued in the music business and often played with his brother-in-law A.B.'s groups, the Kumbia Kings and the Kumbia All Starz. He left both groups and formed another band (the Chris Pérez Project, which included Puerto Rican singer Angel Ferrer) in 2010. In 2012, Pérez wrote a book about his relationship with Selena, entitled "To Selena, with Love." It received a positive reception from critics and fans.
Christopher Pérez was born on August 14, 1969 in San Antonio, Texas to Gilbert Pérez, a computer programmer, and Carmen Medina. He is of Mexican-American ancestry. Perez's parents divorced in 1974, when he was four years old. His mother remarried in 1978.Chris Perez learned to play the French horn in middle school and joined his school's concert band with his mother's support. He decided to teach himself to play electric guitar despite his mother's disapproval due to the negative stereotypes associated with the rock-and-roll world.Pérez's favorite musicians were Van Halen, Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard, Kiss, the Scorpions, Ozzy Osbourne and Iron Maiden. He also grew to admire Ricky Martin during the 1990s. Many of his guitar solos are inspired by Carlos Santana.Chris Perez wanted to run away to Los Angeles, California to start a rock band when he was seventeen. At the time he shared an apartment with his father and worked at a library. Pérez was asked by Tony Lares to join his cousin Shelly Lares' band in 1986. Tony Lares told Pérez that Shelly performed Tejano music—a mixture of traditional Mexican folk music, polkas and country music sung in Spanish or English. Chris disliked Tejano music and wrote in To Selena, With Love that he joined Shelly's band with "foot-dragging resistance" because this job paid more than working at the library. He became Shelly's musical director after Tony left the group, and co-wrote three songs for Shelly's debut album in 1989. His guitar playing received a positive reception from the band and its fans. Around this time he also formed a rock band with two friends and planned to leave Shelly's band.
1989–1995: Selena y Los Dinos and legal problems
Roger Garcia, lead guitarist for Selena y Los Dinos, married and left the music business in 1989. The group's bassist, A.B. Quintanilla III, had heard good things about Pérez from other Tejano groups. He and other band members went to watch Chris rehearse with Shelly. Quintanilla invited Chris to one of Selena's performances, and asked if he was interested in playing with Selena y Los Dinos. Chris accepted. His decision was based on Los Dinos's sound, which was more "hip and sophisticated" than other Tejano bands, and he hoped to learn more about musical arrangement from A.B., whose work he admired.Chris auditioned for the group's manager, A.B.'s father Abraham Quintanilla, Jr. Abraham initially disliked Chris's rocker image and insisted that he change his appearance for the band. The elder Quintanilla feared that allowing Pérez in the group might affect his daughter Selena's "perfect image" and ruin her career. A.B. convinced his father to accept Pérez,and encouraged Chris to explore different musical genres and mold their sounds to his own tastes. He and A.B became close friends occasionally collaborated on writing songs for Selena's next recording. Chris, like Selena, knew little Spanish, and lead keyboardist Ricky Vela tutored him.In 1991, Chris was arrested for driving under the influence and speeding in San Antonio, Texas. A police officer became involved in an altercation with his cousin, and Chris came to his cousin's aid. After the brawl, police handcuffed Chris and his cousin, but freed their friend, telling him to "run, don't walk" and to "not even turn around". When Chris was booked, police reported that they initiated a high-speed chase and were following his car. Chris Perez reported that the officers were lying, but decided not to pursue the matter because it would be "[his] word against theirs." He was released without charges, but told Selena and Abraham about his run-in with the police. They appreciated being informed and this helped gain their trust.Several months after his arrest, he was sharing a hotel room with two road crew members of Selena y Los Dinos when the two brothers (who were intoxicated) began wrestling. Chris was also drunk and joined in the rough horseplay. One brother knocked the door off its hinges, and holes in the wall were found inside the room. Chris decided to sleep at home instead of at the hotel. Abraham fired the brothers from the band the next morning, but to Chris' surprise, Abraham accepted Chris' apology and he was allowed to remain in the band. While Selena initially ended their relationship over the incident, she later forgave him.
Relationship with Selena
In 1989 Chris and A.B. wrote Selena's Coca-Cola commercial jingle. After the company accepted the lyrics and Selena filmed the commercial, A.B. treated the band to a vacation in Acapulco, Mexico. During the trip Chris realized he was attracted to Selena although he had a girlfriend in San Antonio. Chris thou.... Discover the Chris Perez popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Chris Perez books.