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Quiet Riot drummer Frankie Banali dies of cancer at age 68

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Larry Marano/Getty Images

Larry Marano/Getty ImagesLongtime Quiet Riot drummer Frankie Banali died Thursday, August 21, following a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 68. Banali’s wife Regina confirmed in a statement that Frankie passed away last night in Los Angeles at approximately 7:18 p.m. PT.

Frankie was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer in April of 2019. In recent months, Banali had been undergoing a series of chemotherapy treatments. A GoFundMe campaign was launched in April 2020 to help Frank with his medical costs, and had raised more than $40,000.

Last week, Banali revealed in a Facebook post that he had just returned home after spending three weeks in the hospital, during which time he’d two received two blood transfusions and had a stroke. 

Banali joined the popular heavy metal band in 1982 and was part of the band’s classic lineup, which also featured singer Kevin Dubrow, bassist Rudy Sarzo and guitarist Carlos Cavazo.

Quiet Riot’s biggest success came with 1983’s Metal Health, which became the first album by a heavy-metal act to top the Billboard 200 chart. The record includes the band’s smash cover of Slade‘s “Cum on Feel the Noize,” which reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100, and the top 40 hit “Bang Your Head (Metal Health).” Banali co-wrote the latter tune.

Metal Health went on to sell more than 6 million copies in the U.S.

The 1984 follow-up, Critical Condition, reached #15 on the Billboard 200, and has sold more than a million copies in the States. It included a popular cover of another Slade song, “Mama Weer All Crazee Now.”

Banali continued to play in nearly all of Quiet Riot’s incarnations, and he’d led the group since relaunching the band in 2010 after Dubrow’s 2007 death of a cocaine overdose. In November 2019, Quiet Riot released its latest studio album, Hollywood Cowboys. During his long career, Frankie also played and recorded with a variety of other well-known artists, including W.A.S.P. and Billy Idol.

Banali is survived by his wife and a daughter Ashley. He was a longtime advocate for animal rescue, a spokesperson for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and a sponsor of Children International. Fans are encouraged to make donations to the following charities: Fixnation.org, ASPCA.org, Pancan.org or Children.org.

Plans for a funeral will be announced at a later date.

By Matt Friedlander
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