Vigil’s wife, singer Nikki Lopez, posted on social media that her husband had been “fired” by Gary Hobbs after spending 13 years, off and on, as the keyboardist and accordionist for the Usual Suspects, Gary Hobbs’ band.
“Gary Hobbs has fired Mario Vigil today 4/21/18 after Mario purchased a plane ticket on Wednesday for a performance with Gary in Florida next weekend,” Lopez posted on her Facebook page. “This could not have come at a worse time giving that Mario is fighting stage 4 colon cancer and now cannot get a full refund for a plane ticket and is now left fighting for his life, jobless.”
Lopez added that Vigil was told specifically by Hobbs’ son Gary Lee that, “Gary is frustrated with the fact that he cannot be strict with Mario due to his cancer diagnosis.” She also said, “Mario was told by Jon McGraw (musical director of the band) that Mario is currently suspended for two weeks, but also stated they were thinking about bringing Mario back in May.”
Lopez says Vigil has never missed a show, or a sound check, even though he has had chemotherapy treatments twice every two weeks. He even missed his own iron infusion appointment to make a sound check for the band.
According to a now deleted comment by Gary Hobbs, this all began when Lopez sent a text to another wife of a band member that she was upset Vigil was expected to fly to Florida for shows next week in between chemotherapy treatments and threatened to have her husband quit the band if he were made to make the trip to Florida.
Tejano Nation reached out to Hobbs for a statement on Vigil’s release, but have yet to receive a reply.
In a phone conversation with Lopez, she told Tejano Nation that Vigil already has interest from other bands and will continue to work on his health over the next few months.