Candelas Guitars in Boyle Heights fights to survive, with some famous friends’ help
April 30, 2013Updated April 30, 2013 at 12:01 a.m. ET
At age 8, her mother had her first modeling session, but it wasn’t just at modeling. Dina Fernandez has been busy enough working in the family business–the jewelry business–to have a business degree, an MBA, and two master’s degrees.
She says she didn’t grow up playing music. “I didn’t have time. I was in school, there was no time.” Today, at age 31, she is the force behind the successful and sometimes controversial, but wildly charismatic, band–Candelas Guitars–which made its home in a storefront office with her husband, Jaime, who is his wife’s brother, and their two sons, Juan, 4, and Juan, 9. The family has lost three of the four original members of the band; they were all in a band together, called the C.C.D.s. They had been with each other for 50 years and played in clubs, dance halls, parties and even in the studio with session musicians after their show on the CBS sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond,” starring Raymond. They were one of only a few such bands to play at the legendary “Saturday Night Live” comedy show. And, of course, they were all original members of their original band–the C.C.D.s.
The C.C.D.s played their first show on Jan. 13, 1963, when they were in their 20s. They were friends, and one of them is Jaime, the band’s late bass player, who also sang in a little band they called the “Caderemos” or “We Could.” After his death in 2004, another two original members of the C.C.D.s, Julio Diaz and José Lopez, got together and formed the band–but under new management. Their new band, “Candelas Guitars,” was made up of