Frankie Banali, Drummer for Quiet Riot, Dies at 68

Frankie Banali quiet riont
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Frankie Banali of Quiet Riot photographed on April 4, 1999 in Los Angeles.

Frankie Banali, who has best known as the drummer for Quiet Riot, died Thursday (Aug. 20) in Los Angeles following a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 68.

Banali's wife, Regina, wrote in a statement that the longtime heavy metal drummer -- who also played with W.A.S.P., Billy Idol and Faster Pussycat, among many others -- had been fighting stage 4 pancreatic cancer since April 2019.

“He put up an inspiringly brave and courageous 16-month battle to the end and continued playing live as long as he could,” she wrote. “He lived for playing live and performed for millions of fans around the world throughout his career. His wish for everyone is that you be your own health advocate for early detection so you may live long and rescue many animals.”

Prior to his death, Banali has been chronicling his fight with cancer, posting updates about his wife helping him with his medications and his frequent trips to the hospital for scans.

"The original prognosis was very scary. I had quite a battle on my hands and it took a lot, but I am thankful to say that after several rounds of chemo and other treatments I am on the mend," he wrote via podcaster Mitch Lafon's Facebook page in October 2019. "The road ahead is not going to be easy but cancer has met its match and I plan to continue fighting."

Born on Nov. 14, 1951 in Queens, N.Y., Banali relocated to Los Angeles in the mid-1970s, where he played in the band New Steppenwolf and later alongside musicians such as Ozzy Osbourne and Randy Rhoads.

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Banali joined Quiet Riot in 1982, one year before the release of the band's most successful album, Mental Health, which reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and featured hair-metal staple "Cum on Feel the Noize" as well as "Bang Your Head (Metal Health)."

Banali was the last remaining member of Quiet Riot's classic lineup, having stayed with the group through its various lineup changes over the decades. The band's last album, Hollywood Cowboys, was released in 2019, featuring vocals by American Idol alum James Durbin.

Following Banali's death, dozens of musicians took to social media to pay respects to the later drummer, including Twisted Sister's Dee Snider, Dream Theater's Mike Portnoy, Quiet Riot's Rudi Sarzo, Kiss' Paul Stanley and many more.

Banali is survived by his wife, Regina, and daughter, Ashley.