November 14, 1951 - August 20, 2020
Frankie Banali, longtime drummer for Quiet Riot, died last night after an eighteen month battle with pancreatic cancer. Banali is said to have passed at around 7 pm- with his wife Regina and his daughter Ashley by his side. Banali was diagnosed in April 2019 but didn't reveal this until October of last year.
Born in Queens, New York, Banali was inspired to play the drums after seeing the Beatles perform on Ed Sullivan. Prior to Quiet Riot, Banali had been in several different bands- including Steppenwolf. In the 1980s, Banali would meet singer Kevin DuBrow- who was the singer for LA rockers Quiet Riot. At that point in time, Quiet Riot had split after guitarist Randy Rhoads had left the band to join Ozzy Osbourne's solo band. From 1980 to 1982, DuBrow had his own namesake band- which featured a revolving door of musician, with some being from Quiet Riot. By 1982 prior to Rhoads' untimely passing- he had given DuBrow the blessing in using the Quiet Riot name again. At the time the band changed their name, the band consisted of DuBrow, Banali, guitarist Carlos Cavazon and bassist Chuck Wright. While the band were eventually signed to Pasha Record, Wright had left the band. Wright would be replaced by former Quiet Riot bassist Rudy Sarzo, who had just come off his tour with Ozzy Osbourne- a gig that Rhoads had helped Sarzo get. After the shock of Rhoads' death, Sarzo felt back at home with the new Quiet Riot. With that, he was in the band. In March 1983, Quiet Riot would release Metal Health- an album that featured hit singles such as the title track and "Cum On Feel the Noize"- with the latter being a cover of a song originally by glam rockers Slade. Just a few months later, Metal Health reached #1 in the Billboard charts- becoming the first metal album to do so.
Sadly, the band's popularity started to decline after the release of 1984's Condition Critical. Sarzo would leave shortly after while DuBrow was fired in 1987 after 1986's flop QR III. Cavazo and Banali tried once more with new singer Paul Shortino for 1988's QR, which sold poorly. After a brief tour in Japan, Quiet Riot were no more. After the band's split, Banali would join shock rockers W.A.S.P. In 1989, the band released their fourth album The Headless Children- which was a turning point in W.A.S.P.'s career given the album's subject matters of politics and society. Banali would also play as a session musician for many recordings- including Billy Idol's hit "Mony Mony." In 1993, Banali renewed his friendship with Kevin DuBrow and rejoined the reunited Quiet Riot just in time for the band's comeback album Terrified. The classic Metal Health line up would reunite in 1997 and would last until 2003. The band would reunite the following hear- with DuBrow and Banali at the helm. The band would continue to tour until November 2007. Shortly after Thanksgiving of that year, DuBrow was found dead in his house- with the cause of death later being revealed to have been from a cocaine overdose. In early 2008, Frankie Banali announced the Quiet Riot were no more.
In 2010, Banali decided to reform Quiet Riot- bring back the surviving members of the band's last touring line-up- which included Banali, Chuck Wright and guitarist Alex Grossi. For the next ten years, this reunited version of Quiet Riot would tour all over the world with an almost revolving door of lead singers: Mark Huff (2010-11), Scott Vodkun (2012-13), Jizzy Pearl (2013-16, 2019-present), Sean Niccols (2017) and James Durbin (2017-19). The band's revival from 2010-12 was documented for the 2014 documentary feature Well Now You're Here There's No Way Back- which premiered on Showtime the following year. The band released new material in 2014 with Pearl on the half studio-half live effort 10. For full-length studio albums, the band would release two with Durbin on lead vocals- Road Rage (2017) and Hollywood Cowboys (2019). Prior to the latter's release, Durbin left the band- with Jizzy Pearl rejoining the band in his place. For several shows in 2019, many were surprised to not see Banali present. In October 2019, Banali revealed that he had been diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer. Despite his diagnosis, Banali performed with Quiet Riot whenever possible.
In his life, Banali was married twice. In 1994, he married his first wife Karen. The couple would have a daughter, Ashley, on February 17, 1997. Nearly a year and a half after Kevin DuBrow's passing, Karen Banali died on April 14, 2009 from heart failure at the age of 40. As documented in Well Now You're Here, Banali devoted himself to raising Ashley as a single parent. On November 11, 2015, Banali would marry Regina Russell- who directed and produced Well Now You're Here.
According to Mrs. Banali, further details on Frankie's funeral and the fate of Quiet Riot will all be revealed at some point in the future.
Banali is the fourth member of Quiet Riot to have passed away. He is pre-deceased by guitarist Randy Rhoads (1956-1982), Terrified era bassist Kenny Hillery (1965-1996) and singer Kevin DuBrow (1955-2007)