Thursday, December 11, 2003
Ernie Archibeque Was Named City's Top Vocalist
By Paul Logan
Journal Staff Writer
Ernie Archibeque was an accomplished musician, vocalist and songwriter.
Archibeque was a band member with Al "Hurricane" Sanchez, Zozobra and other popular groups. Once, he was named the city's top vocalist.
He died at his parents' Albuquerque home Nov. 29 of esophageal cancer. Archibeque was 52.
Marlo Sandoval, a fellow musician, said he and Archibeque were "like brothers" for 33 years. "He was the sweetest man you'll ever know."
Friends said Archibeque's voice had a three-octave range and resembled that of Journey star Steve Perry.
Archibeque was known for his good nature. Sandoval said he had "a great personality. Real nice. Always laughing. Always happy. He was just a happy guy all the time."
A Mass was celebrated on Dec. 3 at San Felipe de Neri Catholic Church with burial at Mount Calvary Cemetery. Sandoval said hundreds of people filled the church, including many musicians.
Patrick Ernest "Ernie" Archibeque was born on March 17, 1951, the only son of Ernest and Genevieve Archibeque.
His parents were not musically inclined, his mother said, but Archibeque "was banging on pans and boxes anything he could get a hold of" when he was a youngster.
Archibeque quickly mastered the drums and was about 15 when he earned a spot in Al "Hurricane" Sanchez's band.
Ed Sanchez of Zozobra said he played with Archibeque for more than 30 years.
"He epitomized the working musician of Albuquerque," Ed Sanchez said. "He worked all his life playing music in clubs. He was a true musician."
He recalled how Zozobra had just gone on the road in 1970 and needed a lead singer in Salt Lake City. Ed Sanchez said Archibeque had barely graduated from West Mesa High School when he received a call.
"He didn't go through commencement," Ed Sanchez said. "He got on a plane and went to Salt Lake City. He just loved music so much."
Archibeque toured throughout the West for many years and made a number of albums.
He said Archibeque was as talented with a trumpet or keyboard as he was with the drums. Archibeque was named "Best Vocalist of Year" in 2001 by the Hispanic Music Association.
Archibeque and Ed Sanchez played as a duo last summer at Ned's on the Rio Grande. Archibeque was known as "Funky Taco."
"A lot of musicians knew him throughout the state," Ed Sanchez said. "He was such a nice guy... He was very well-respected and very well-loved."
Archibeque played in his share of benefits for fellow musicians, so they are returning the favor with a benefit to help cover his funeral expenses. It will be from 2 p.m. until closing on Dec. 27 at Our Place II, 9401 Coors NW. Donations are $10.