Tequila were one of Spain's most popular and influential rock bands of the 1970s and '80s, breaking down the doors for rock & roll in the post-Franco era and winning a massive following at home for their music, rooted in the classic style of Chuck Berry and the Rolling Stones. Tequila were formed in 1975 by a pair of Argentinian expatriates, lead singer Alejo Stivel and lead guitarist Ariel Rot. Teaming with three native Spaniards -- guitarist Julian Infante, bassist Felipe Lipe, and drummer Manolo Iglesias -- Tequila landed a record deal with Sony's Spanish division after establishing themselves as a powerful live act, and their debut album, Matricula de Honor, was released in 1978. While Matricula de Honor sold well, their second LP, 1979's Rock and Roll, became a major success, and they were cited as the first Spanish rock band to enjoy major commercial and critical success at home. Two more albums followed -- 1980's Viva Tequila and 1981's Confidencial -- but personal differences and drug abuse began tearing at the group, and in 1982, Tequila split up. Ariel Rot went on to a successful solo career as well as producing other artists, while Alejo Stivel would become a noted record producer and created several memorable commercial jingles. Julian Infante played with Ariel Rot in the band los Rodriguez in the '90s; he died of AIDS-related illnesses in 2000, the same condition which claimed Manolo Iglesias in 1994. In 2008, Stivel and Rot staged a Tequila reunion tour with a handful of new musicians, though Felipe Lipe chose not participate.
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