1983: Quiet Riot unleash Metal Health, one of the most critical albums to my personal musical makeup. I played that album over and over again. Side one was my favourite, but side two has grown on me tremendously since then. It was basically my only album for like a year.
2007: Lead vocalist Kevin DuBrow, original member, and writer of all their original songs, dies of a cocaine overdose. Drummer Frankie Banali, who joined the band in 1983 for Metal Health, wrote this:
“I have been approached to see if I would be interested in contacting Rudy Sarzo and Carlos Cavazo and to audition singers for Quiet Riot. I have also been approached to see if I would be interested in contacting and reforming the version of Quiet Riot that included Paul Shortino, Carlos Cavazo and Sean McNabb. Let me make this very simple and perfectly clear. While I am still actively involved in the business interests of Quiet Riot and will continue in that capacity, I reject any and all suggestions to have Quiet Riot continue as a live performing entity. My friendship, love and respect for Kevin DuBrow as well as my personal love and affection for Kevin’s mother and his family makes it inconceivable for me to ever entertain any ovation to reform or to continue Quiet Riot. Kevin was too important to go on without him. It would also be a disrespect to the fans who have supported Quiet Riot for nearly 25 years. I thank everyone for the wonderful and sometimes unpredictable adventure that I was able to share as a member of Quiet Riot. The only regret that I have is the loss of Kevin. May he rest in peace. I now begin life after Quiet Riot.”
2010: Frankie Banalie re-forms Quiet Riot, with new vocalist Mark Huff. They contain no original members: Both DuBrow and founder Randy Rhoads are dead. Original drummer Drew Forsythe no longer playes music. Co-founder (and best friend of Rhoads) Kelly Garni plays bass in a band with Doug “Kelle” Rhoads, Randy’s brother. Rounding out the new band are bassist Chuck Wright (who played on a few past QR albums), and guitarist Alex Grossi, from the final incarnation of the band with DuBrow.
2012: Mark Huff requires brain surgery. Banali fires Huff days before scheduled surgery. He is replaced by Keith St. John, of Montrose, for touring purposes.
2012: Ronnie Montrose passes away, putting an end to St. John’s gig with them.
2012: Banali replaces St. John with an unknown named Scott Vokoun. His first gig will be late March.
Now, I’ll take you back to 1983. Quiet Riot were the only band I listened to for like a year. I slept with that album. When that happens, you stay with a band through all the ups and downs. Some of the downs downs sucked: the firing of DuBrow and subsequent replacement with Paul Shortino, the break up of the band in 1988, the death of a talented bassist named Kenny Hillery, the crappy Down To The Bone CD, the crappy Alive & Well CD, the break up of the band again in 2004, the crappy Rehab CD, and of course the death of DuBrow.
There weren’t as many ups, at least to this fan. I still bought every album, even if I don’t listen to them. I just want “the complete collection”. I was excited when they reformed in 1993 and released the excellent and heavy Terrified CD. I was excited when the “classic” lineup reunited in 1997. Carlos Cavazo and Rudy Sarzo, two of my favourite musicians in any band, helped restore the long-missed Metal Health lineup.
I’m a true fan, in other words.
I’m not a fan boy, though. A fanboy worships every move a band makes, even when it’s as ill-advised as reuniting the band after stating it would never, ever happen. A true fan, one who loves the band, can be critical. True love can take the form of tough love.
Frankie, I’m really disappointed. I know you say that you got DuBrow’s mother’s blessings for this. That’s good, I’m glad about that. That doesn’t mean I have to give you my blessings, nor does any other fan. It’s not right. No original members, Frankie! Remember when you tried that in 1988? How did that work out for ya?
You promised us that we’d never have to put up with a hack Quiet Riot again — a tribute band called Quiet Riot, playing all the old songs that Kevin and Carlos wrote. You promised us that you would respect Kevin DuBrow’s memory. I know you always dedicate the shows to Kevin and talk about Kevin, and I think that’s really nice, and I’m not being sarcastic. I just don’t think it does respect to Kevin, having a hack band playing barely recognizable versions of his hits.
Frankie, listen. As a fan, we’d much rather be getting archive stuff. You know, live albums, re-releases, rarities. Anything but crappy live shows, essentially. It’s great that somebody’s releasing the US Festival on CD and DVD, but it’s not you doing it, is it? I don’t think it is anyway. You’ve got tapes, somebody has to have DuBrow’s tapes. Where’s “The Mighty Quinn”? Where’s the live video of “Laughing Gas”? Give us decent re-releases of the later albums with the bonus tracks so we don’t have to pay $100 on eBay. That kind of thing.
I hope the movie you’re releasing will be good, but I think sadly it’s too late for a film. Anvil caught lightning in a bottle. And I’m not too sure about who you hired as a director.
I keep saying it, I’m a fan. I can tell you that the version of Quiet Riot with Mark Huff on vocals sounded good. It did make a believer out of me. I held out hope for a new album with Huff on vocals (even though I couldn’t fathom who would write the songs). But then Frankie, you fired him. And then Frankie, your girlfriend/ fiance/ whatever-the-fuck, Regina, says that you didn’t knowhe was going to have the brain surgery. That may be, but she didn’t need to kick the man in the balls when he’s down, by alleging that he was fired for drug use. Did you guys even make a statement wishing him a speedy recovery? Where’s your class, Frankie?
As a final insult to the founder of Quiet Riot, Randy Rhoads himself, Regina tried to erase that part of the band’s past. She clumsily edited the band’s history to read that the Quiet Riot of Metal Health is a completely different band, not to be confused with the Quiet Riot of 1979. Sure, they had the same singer, same bass player, same name, used the same logo on occassion and played the same songs, but they were a different band, because they briefly broke up in betweem incarnations!
That’s kind of like saying that Deep Purple is not Deep Purple. (They have an original member by the way — the drummer.)
Regardless, DuBrow himself said in 2005, “Happily, I am back with my life-long musical love, and the band I helped Randy Rhoads form Quiet Riot.” Here, DuBrow states clearly that he makes no distinction between the Quiet Riot of 2005, and the original band with Rhoads.
Why are the Banali camp doing this? Well, by erasing the version of Quiet Riot that included Dubrow, Rhoads, Garni, and Forsythe, they can call the Metal Health lineup that formed in 1983 the “original” version of the band. Thus, the version touring today would have one original member: Frankie Banali himself. This serves to justify the existence of a hack Quiet Riot that in reality, has no original members nor any of its major songwriters.
But, they got the drummer thay played on Metal Health. The drummer. Why, Frankie? Is Carlos making substantially more money playing in Ratt?
Like I said earlier though, the version of Quiet Riot with Huff sounded good. The guy’s a great singer, truthfully. I’ve watched numerous youtube videos, and when he was in Quiet Riot, they kind of kicked ass! He was a screamer, this guy, and similar enough in grit and range to DuBrow. This Keith St. John clown, though? Shit singer, shit stage presence, shit hair, shit shirt. He’s on stage telling stories about the “Slick Black Cadillac”. Man, the two guys who wrote that song are dead. You don’t have any stories to tell about a “Slick Black Cadillac”.
Besides, by Regina’s logic, that song is a cover, isn’t it? It first appeared on Quiet Riot II, the second of the two Rhoads albums. By her line of thinking, Quiet Riot are merely covering that song.
I’ve yet to hear this new singer of theirs, but I no longer care. You’ve shit all over your fans enough, Frankie. You’ve shit all over Randy, Kevin, and the fans. I’ve had it. Break up the band, call it a day, and go back to W.A.S.P. or form a new band or something. Besides, it’s not like Quiet Riot is a band of the stature of, say, Thin Lizzy.
Thin Lizzy are at least touring with their original drummer.