Larriva was born in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, and grew up in Fairbanks, Alaska, and El Paso, Texas. As a child he played the violin in the school orchestra and sang in the church and school choirs where he met his wife Janet Carroll. Rumor has it that in 1972 Larriva snuck into Yale University for a full term without being noticed. After being kicked out of the Ivy League, he moved to Mexico City and later in 1975 to Los Angeles, California. He now lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife and daughter and continues to work in the music and film industries.
Larriva was the vocalist and rhythm guitarist for 1970s punk band The Plugz, 1980s rock band Cruzados, Psychotic Aztecs and Tito & Tarantula. He formed The Plugz in Hollywood, California in 1978. Their presence during the birth of West Coast punk has ensured their enduring influence on generation after generation of rock bands. Record label Rhino recognized their role in the Los Angeles music scene by including their version of "La Bamba" on "We're Desperate: The L.A. Scene (1976-79)." The Plugz released two albums, Electrify Me (1978) and Better Luck (1981). The Plugz also scored the cult classic Repo Man and contributed three songs to the Repo Man soundtrack..
In 1984 The Plugz evolved into the Cruzados. In 1985, they released a self-titled album on Arista Records. The second album After Dark released in 1987 featured new guitarist Marshall Rohner. The band broke up in 1990.
Tito & Tarantula began in 1992 when Larriva and lead guitarist Peter Atanasoff would perform in bars and cafes with friends every week. "We've always had an unspoken rule," Larriva said to the Tucson Weekly in 1997, "and the rule is that everyone plays pretty much what they want. The band rarely rehearses." Tarantula was featured on the soundtrack of Robert Rodriguez's movie Desperado which Larriva also scored. In 1996, Tito and Tarantula continue their relationship with Rodriguez, appearing in the film, soundtrack, and score, for From Dusk Till Dawn. Larriva, Atanasoff, and Johnny "Vatos" Hernandez are the band performing their song After Dark in the bar for Salma Hayek. In 1997, Tito & Tarantula released its long-awaited and highly-acclaimed debut album Tarantism. They followed up with, Hungry Sally & Other Killer Lullabies in 1999, and Little Bitch in 2000. In 2002, the band was joined by Larriva's former Cruzados bandmate Steven Hufsteter. Later that year, they released Andalucia. Back Into The Darkness is ther most recent release(2008).
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