Job Vigil interviewed February 2014
(pronounced Jobe) Vigil’s life story could be a screenplay—personal
struggle, hardship, perseverance, redemption, triumph, and concluded
with a happy ending.
Born and raised in Pueblo, his
interest in music started at a young age. “I started piano lessons
before I was 5 years old,” he said. “I took 15 years of classical piano
and 12 years of classical violin.”
from Pueblo East High in 1969, he was offered a full ride music
scholarship to Adams State College, Alamosa, where he became a
concertmaster for the school’s orchestra his freshman year.
Then he lost it all.
“I became involved with drugs and alcohol and at the end of the spring semester I lost my scholarship and dropped out.”
floundering back home in Pueblo, unsure of his next move, Vigil got in
his car and went to Denver to stay with a cousin.
“He took me to a nightclub on the eastside of town, to see band a called
Offspring [which featured Marc Gonzales, and another cousin, Charlie
Vigil, formerly of Genesis]. As we walked in the door I heard the band
playing "With A Little Help from My Friends" and I was hooked. I knew I
wanted to be a performer.”
He was asked to join the group—as the band’s bus driver.
“After a while I moved back to Pueblo. I then got a call from my cousin Charlie. He wanted me to join a band.”
The band was Kismet, which had a regular gig at the Foothills Ramada Inn, as well as Taylor’s Supper Club, in Denver."
was around this time Vigil started writing songs. While admittedly he
said he was naïve about the process, it allowed him to get his feelings
on paper. In 1975, after finishing several heartfelt compositions, he
decided to take them into the recording studio.
Blueberry Candles and Cactus Plants
I'm Coming Home to You
Workin' My Man's Hands
Come Stay With Me
My Best Friend
A Little Piece of Love
the financial help of his parents, and including his sister Elizabeth
(background vocals), Marc Gonzales (bass), drummer Phil Tamez, and
guitarist Dave Kintzele, Vigil booked studio time at Viking Recording in
Feeling positive about the finished product,
and with the encouragement of family and friends, he had an estimated
200 copies of Blueberry Candles and Cactus Plants
the record received no local airplay, and would go on to sell only a
handful, the experience only fueled his desire to get his music heard by
a larger audience.
friend connected me with a songwriter friend of his who was living in
Hollywood. He agreed to share his one-room apartment with me. Both of us
went out every day knocking on doors to try to get our music out in
front of anyone who would listen. Mostly, they wouldn't even let us get
in the door.”
After countless rejections, Vigil found a
willing and encouraging ear. “After she listened to bits and pieces of a
few of those songs, she said, ‘Do you have anything else?’ I pulled out
a couple of songs and one of them caught her attention. She liked it,
but said it needed more work. She told me to work on it and come back
when I felt I had it improved enough.”
But the money started to run out.
moment that is forever etched in my memory was the turning point for
While going from door-to-door, trying to sell my music, I would bump
into the many street people in downtown Hollywood. There was the bag
lady, the guy with the shopping cart full of his life, and at night
there were the drug addicts and so on. My roommate had connected with
the owner of a restaurant just a block off the corner of Hollywood and
Vine. He would sometimes let us wash dishes in exchange for a meal.”
After witnessing the hardship of life in Hollywood, he dug out the open-ended return air ticket he had kept, and flew home.
deterred by the experience, he continued to perform, eventually
re-connecting with Marc Gonzales, in the band Cheeks. The two kept the
band going for about three years. Vigil and his wife, Gail, then packed
up and moved to Dallas where he found work in area nightclubs. With the
steady paycheck, and additional work as a nightclub manager, it appeared
he finally found some stability in his life.
following at the North Park Inn grew quickly and I added a happy hour
gig at another bar. One night a regular customer told me he really liked
my original music and thought I should record. I said I would love to,
but didn't have the funds to do so. He was pretty wealthy and said he
would invest the money for a single and then we would see what would
come of it.
By then I was also the manager of the North Park Inn nightclub, as well
as the other gigs.
I decided on the two songs and flew Marc Gonzales down to play bass and
used a drummer from my trio from the bar. Another group of musicians had
become friends of mine and I loved their vocals, so they agreed to sing
backup for me on the recording. We did the session all in one day and I
had about 250 records were pressed."
either sold all of them or gave them away. I didn't get any airplay
that I know of, but it was a great experience. The recording studio was
an amazing place, the name of it slips my mind, but all in all I liked
the final product.
These two songs were a little better than the songs on my first album,
but still not strong enough to boost my career.
Vigil also found work acting in TV commercials and local training films. "I did very
well in Dallas, he said.”
But that was about to end.
“My wife and I were on the verge of a divorce. So we moved back to
Denver. I joined a band, but my heart was not in it. My marriage was
falling apart because of all of the time I spent on the road.”
if fate would have it, his cousin Charlie contacted him.
“He had become a Christian and was playing in a church band. My wife and
I went to see him one night, and we liked it so much we kept going.”
Vigil was so moved by the experience he knew he found his calling – as a
“I eventually traveled the country
with my family, performing Christian music. During our final road trip,
in 1992, I was hired as a worship pastor at a church in North Platte.”
feeling like he had found his true calling. He started his own church,
and became its pastor. The bubble burst when the board of the church he
founded discharged him.
“My wife and I did not want to leave North Platte for our children's
sake. We had just opened a coffee house at that time and since it wasn't
making enough money to support us, the publisher of the North Platte
Telegraph, where I had done some stringer work, offered me a full-time
sportswriter position. I became the sports editor and then was promoted
to managing editor.”
Married 36 years in May, he and
his wife also run two coffee shops in town (Da Buzz). He continues to
perform music in a three-piece band, Job, Peter and Chuck.
“We play 60s and 70s music and have been selected as the area's favorite band for 6 years running.”