This is my absolute favorite band (alongside Temple of the Dog). And, Tito LaRiva is one of my absolute favorite people! And, the album we worked Tarantisim is still in my CD player today (and in my friend Maya’s CD player too!).
Not only did he write the tunes in the Quentin Tarantino From Dusk Till Dawn (writer: “After Dark”, “Angry Cockroaches”, “Opening Boxes”) but he acted in film as well. He played the TITLE role with John Travolta in Eyes of an Angel and also acted in Born In East LA with Cheech & Chong, and Tarantino’s Desperado in which he acted as his own character “Tito” and performed “Back To The House That Love Built”, “Strange Face Of Love”, “White Train”.
Stragely enough, I went to a Melissa Etheridge concert in New Berlin, CT. Who do I run into there but Tito playing with the Cruzados. We both cracked up. He said, geez, you can never make it out to see us play in Hollywood and now you’re here to see us play in…New Berlin, CT. New Berlin is “Dry town”. Before the show, I had the only car there and we went on a journey with the whole band to find them some alcohol for the drive to their next tour stop. It was raining. Raining Hard. We were lost (of course we were). We were running out of time to get back in time for their opener. We stopped to ask a man directions back to the venue. He only spoke German. Guess what. Tito speaks German. What a weird and fun night!
I was involved in a fundraiser for the Inner City Youth Foundation and was holding a press conference. One of our speakers cancelled at the last minute. I called Tito to see if he could fill in. He did. That’s just the kind of guy he was. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room after he talked about the calluses his father always had on his hands from working hard in Mexico before he came to the US. Oh and did I mention I accidentally tapped (tapped, not hit) Stevie Wonder in the parking lot with my car? A story for another day!