GETTING MORE TALE #777: Road Rage
On 19 September 2010, a Wikipedia user posted the following on the talk page for the rock band Quiet Riot’s entry on the site.
This is the official Quiet Riot band and management. We are slowly and steadily attempting to clean up the vast array of inaccuracies on this page and post a historically correct bio. Please be patent [sic] and please do not come behind us and vandalize or attempt to “correct” this page. Thank you.
This note and a number of edits were allegedly made by Regina Russell, now the wife of current Quiet Riot drummer Frankie Banali. This raised a number of red flags, notably conflict of interest. Nobody may edit their own Wikipedia article, or one they have a vested interest in.* The edits were made using an account called Pinkmermaid. Going down the rabbit hole, you could see Pinkmermaid also made a number of contested edits to the Regina Russell Wikipedia article. But the Quiet Riot wiki became a constant battleground. For example Pinkmermaid objected to people like Tracii Guns being listed as members, even though he was confirmed as one by Frankie Banali (for a single rehearsal) in an interview with the late C.C. Banana.
There are a few people listed as members that were not. As for me or the band editing the page or “allowing” this person or that person to be listed. That is a joke. Anything that the band camp has edited just gets deleted. I barely began deleting lies and false members (it would be a big job) when the trolls took over so this page is now abandoned by anyone who could verify actual facts. This page is largely inaccurate. Siting [sic] “references” that are nothing more than blogs or interviews that are not truthful. If anyone is coming to this page for info about this band they are just getting a mish mosh of myths & rumors anyway.
The Quiet Riot camp and the Wikipedia community went back and forth over the edits. At that time, I was writing reviews, and editing Wikipedia articles on the side for fun. I’m personally responsible for all the Helix articles created on Wikipedia from 2009-2010, and I’m very proud of doing so with proper references. Obviously, this Quiet Riot drama was as fascinating as a car crash. I couldn’t look away. I followed the digital breadcrumbs left by the Pinkmermaid account and attempted to make some fixes, all over Wikipedia.
Things came to a head over the Metal Health article. Pinkmermaid made an edit to the article claiming that Metal Health was Quiet Riot’s debut. I changed it back, as it is actually their third LP after two that were released in Japan only. This sparked an “edit war” between the two of us. On 7 October, I posted the below on the Metal Health talk page in order to settle the matter once and for all.
This section is to resolve a dispute between Quiet Riot’s manager and the article as it stands, whether Metal Health is the first, or the third, Quiet Riot album.
My feeling is that management is trying to re-write history to make it look like the current Quiet Riot, which contains no members from the album Quiet Riot I, does in fact have original members. I have never in 27 years of being a collector, nor 12 years of running my record store, have ever heard of Metal Health being referred to as Quiet Riot’s debut album. North American debut, yes. But I strongly resist the band’s manager making this change as I believe it is self serving to their agenda, which is legitimizing the current lineup which in actuality has no original members.
The band has posted an interview with DuBrow where he refers to it as their first, however I think this is questionable as many bands like to rewrite their own history. Helix for example are going around saying they are touring with the “original lineup”. When in reality their only original member is the singer. Just because a band says something doesn’t make it so. There are also intefviews [sic] with DuBrow where he refers to QRI as the first album, such as Guitar For the Practicing Musician.
Management are arguing that the original Quiet Riot broke up, and then they started a new band (with two members from the first QR, DuBrow and Sarzo) also called Quiet Riot, and Metal Health is their debut album. I cannot see a single example on Wikipedia of any band whose discography is split between two phases of the band and considered separate entities. Deep Purple, for example.
Please discuss. I think is where a serious conflict of interest comes into play.
Things got nasty. From Pinkmermaid: “That IS a DEBUT. I know you are some fan and you have feelings about the subject. You don’t really know much about it though.” When I asked her if we could agree to disagree and let Wikipedia decide, she answered “I don’t agree with you in any way. I’m just busier than you doing other things. Stalking wiki pages can’t be a full time obsession for me.”
Ouch! She said “stalking” because I made the mistake of going down the rabbit hole and fixing more of her conflict-of-interest edits. Big mistake. Should not have poked the bear. She did get the “obsession” word right, at least. My OCD is a stickler for details. I advised her to review the Wikipedia code of conduct. She accused me of “stalking” more than once, I guess not realizing that Wikipedia has thousands of people constantly editing articles, including hers. One day she even turned up on my Amazon reviews. She didn’t like the part of my Quiet Riot Rehab review where I complained about the reunited Quiet Riot having no original members. Apparently writing that review was “stalking”. I hope she never sees my Quiet Riot 10 review….
Ultimately Wikipedia agreed that Metal Health is the third Quiet Riot album, and Pinkmermaid left it alone.
In January 2017, Wikipedia investigated her edit activity and blocked her indefinitely, for “advertising or self-promotion”. This was in regards to the movie she directed, Quiet Riot’s critically acclaimed Well Now You’re Here, There’s No Way Back.
I wasn’t planning on telling this story. In 2012, I said all I had to say with “Cum On Feel the Disgrace – A Quiet Riot Rant”. But a strange thing happened in 2017. Quiet Riot acquired James Durbin on vocals and made a really, really good album. I reviewed it, rated it 3.75/5 stars, calling it “Easily their best album since 1993’s Terrified or even before”. I gave Live in Milan 4/5 stars. Any beefs I had with Quiet Riot’s trajectory were assuaged. Until now. James Durbin is out, and Jizzy Pearl is back in as lead singer. And strangely enough, I seem to be blocked on Facebook by Frankie Banali. I’ve never interacted with Banali. I smell a Pinkmermaid.
That’s why I’ve decided to finally talk about what happened between Quiet Riot and myself. The backups are all on Wikipedia, can’t be erased, and are available for you to read. Just browse the talk pages and edit histories and see for yourselves. As usual, I will continue to judge Quiet Riot by the merits of their music. If their next album, Hollywood Cowboys is good, you can count on an honest review. Same if it sucks. For now, I’m going back to the beginning and playing Quiet Riot I.
“It’s not so funny,
Just a kid, nobody listens to me,
Ain’t got no money to do what I want,
Somethin’s got to set me free.”
* In the interests of full disclosure, I’m no saint and I have broken the Wikipedia rules on Conflict of Interest. Though I have not touched it since 2010, I did make a small number of edits to the Kathryn Ladano Wikipedia.