Aug 20, 2020: Quiet Riot Drummer Frankie Banali Dies

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Quiet Riot drummer died August 20, 2020, in Los Angeles after a long battle with stage IV pancreatic cancer. The veteran musician went public with his cancer diagnosis in October 2019, sharing on social media that the treatment had forced him to miss several live shows with the band. He had been regularly sharing health updates with his fans on his Facebook page. On Aug. 14, he noted that he had suffered a stroke.

Banali, 68, was in treatment since spring 2019 and completed his 19th round of chemotherapy in 2020 with the hopes of shrinking or controlling the cancer.

A statement issued by his family on Aug. 21 noted Banali “put up an inspiringly brave and courageous 16-month battle to the end. [He] continued playing live as long as he could. Standard chemotherapy stopped working, and a series of strokes made the continuation on a clinical trial impossible.”

In a tribute, Lita Ford wrote, “When we hear the heavens thunder we will know it came from you.”

Related: Banali was mourned by his fellow rockers

On July 2, he wrote on his Facebook page, “Back home from the hospital. This time is pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) so another thing to add to the mix.”

After a long time between posts, Banali returned to Facebook on Aug. 14 to update his fans. “I spent the last three weeks in the hospital,” he wrote. “Home now. Had two blood transfusions. I also had a stroke while there. I am rehabbing at home. Thank you for your concern and well wishes.”

Though Banali was not an original member of Quiet Riot when they formed in 1973, he was a force in their most commercially successful lineup when he joined Kevin DuBrow, Carlos Cavazo, and Rudy Sarzo in 1982, performing on such hits as 1983’s “Metal Health (Bang Your Head)” and “Cum On Feel the Noize,” and 1984’s “Mama Weer All Crazee Now.” (The latter two were covers of Slade songs.)

Their album, Metal Health, topped the U.S. sales chart, and is considered to be the first metal album to do so, selling more than six million copies.

Though the band broke up several times, Banali resurrected Quiet Riot in 2010, with the blessing of DuBrow’s family, with another lineup. (DuBrow died in 2007.) Over the years, there have been several dozen members associated with the group.

Banali was born November 14, 1951, in the New York City borough of Queens.

Quiet Riot released an album, Hollywood Cowboys, in 2019. The current lineup includes bassist Chuck Wright, guitarist Alex Grossi and vocalist Jizzy Pearl.

In 2015, Banali released his debut art collection crafted from the new medium of “rhythm-on-canvas,” “Cum On See The Noize: The Electric Art Of Frankie Banali.” Working with Sumi inks and Washi paper, Banali uses an abstract approach that fuses the influences of traditional minimalism, abstract expressionism and Japanese brush stroke techniques into his own signature style.

Related: Musicians we lost in 2020

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7 Comments so far

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  1. Lisa
    #1 Lisa 16 August, 2020, 13:05

    Frankie Banali is a great humanitarian, drummer, father, husband, animal activist. Please GOD save him. We need him here on earth longer. His soul and kindness has touched so many that I beg for him to have a long life❤️

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    • Christine Sixteen
      Christine Sixteen 16 August, 2020, 20:29

      I agree! And the most generous and thoughtful human being as well. He came to my Little Rock n Roll store years ago n we were friends since. He got me VIP backstage passes and all kinds of signed photos n memorabilia for my store. I gave him a special gift of a large silver n black stones skull ring w a moving mouth! He’s so Zen n Cool but most of all an amazing man w a heart n soul of gold! I pray for him constantly for my Mom passed from Pancreatic Cancer in 2000.

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  2. Brian
    #2 Brian 16 August, 2020, 17:50

    Stay strong Frankie! You saved my buddies life at the Medina Club in Minnesota back in the late 90s. He was suffering from dehydration and you took the time in the lobby to come over and give him a snapple and a drumstick. He was so out of it that he had no idea it was you that came to his rescue! He STILL talks about it. The day Frankie saved him. I wish you well my man and thank you for all the memories!

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  3. Brenda
    #3 Brenda 17 August, 2020, 18:44

    Was not a fan of heavy metal but would recommend the documentary on Frankie and Quiet Riot to everyone It was so well done. It was sad and funny and inspiring. One of the best documentary films i have ever seen. I wish Frankie well and know if anyone can do a come back its him. Im defiantly a Frankie fan thanks for showing such honesty, very refreshing.

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  4. metal Mark
    #4 metal Mark 18 August, 2020, 11:37

    God Bless you Frankie , all my thoughts prayers are with you & your wife and daughter ….sir

    Reply this comment
  5. PEGGY
    #5 PEGGY 20 August, 2020, 07:53

    Hello Frankie…..Sure so sorry to hear of all ur medical problems!! I met u once at a DRUM CLINIC in the San Fernando Valley around 10 or more yrs ago. You were so nice and signed a cool 8×10 photo of urself that I treasure! Do take care of yourself and prayers will be going out for u, Frankie. Hugs…Peggy

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  6. Chuck
    #6 Chuck 12 December, 2020, 05:03

    I was a good friend of Kevin Dubrow. I would go to video shoots with Kevin and hang out with the band. I remember Frankie giving me cymbals with small cracks he could not use. I love the way he plays.

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