We've played more state fairs than The Beatles
August 24, 2020 5:59 PM   Subscribe

Frankie Banali, drummer of trend setting heavy metal band Quiet Riot, passed away on August 20 after a 16-month battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 68.

Quiet Riot's 1983 debut album "Metal Health" has sold over 10 million copies and arguably ignited the "hair metal" trend of the mid 80s. The album was the first metal album to be #1 on Billboard, and the first single" Cum On Feel The Noize" peaked in Billboard's Top 5, also an unprecedented event for a metal song at the time..

The band's debut album would be the peak of the commercial success, although they would continue on with an ever-changing lineup of members and a multi-year break in the 90s. Banali was the constant, playing on every Quiet Riot album from Metal Health in 83 until founder and lead singers Kevin DuBrow's death in 2007. He then reformed the band in 2010 and continued touring the 80s nostalgia circuit. He also served as the band's business manager since 1994. During Quiet Riot's downtime he found time to play drums on 8 WASP albums.

He also produced and starred in the 2014 documentary Quiet Riot: Well Now You're Here, There's No Way Back

Notable Singles
Cum on Feel The Noize
Bang Your Head (Metal Health)
Mama Weer All Crazee Now

*Title is a quote from the Simpson's episode featuring Quiet Riot
posted by COD (25 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
posted by clavdivs at 6:31 PM on August 24, 2020


He was the best possible drummer for that kind of thing. Iconic, in a very particular way.
posted by aspersioncast at 6:32 PM on August 24, 2020

I remember 1989, when the Rolling Stones “Steel Wheels” tour was derided as “Steel Wheelchairs.” I was years from even being born when The Who recorded “My Generation.”

Rock and Roll is a uh, mature man’s/woman’s game too. Hope you die after you get old.

posted by Guy Smiley at 6:40 PM on August 24, 2020 [1 favorite]

posted by May Kasahara at 7:20 PM on August 24, 2020

I saw them once, long after their peak, in a small dank place that held maybe 50 people. They did a decent job of pretending to be happy to be there and played all the crowd favorites nice and loud, but that had to have been strange for them after so many years of playing stadiums.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:29 PM on August 24, 2020 [2 favorites]

posted by limeonaire at 7:51 PM on August 24, 2020

posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:05 PM on August 24, 2020

Mods, the links for "Cum on feel the noize" and "Mama weer all crazy now" are the same. This is a better link for Cum on Feel the Noize.
posted by Anoplura at 9:17 PM on August 24, 2020 [1 favorite]

posted by riverlife at 10:51 PM on August 24, 2020

He did a mean John Bonham impression too

posted by anazgnos at 11:09 PM on August 24, 2020 [1 favorite]

posted by Gelatin at 5:46 AM on August 25, 2020

Oh wow - that crowd shot about 45 seconds into the Led Zep link was not was I was expecting at all.

I saw QR play at the M3 Festival near DC in 2014ish - they played to about 12,000 people. I think Jizzy Pearl was on vocals that week. A few hours before their slot I ran into Frankie wandering the festival grounds and got to chat with him for a couple of minutes. He seemed genuinely thrilled when I mentioned that I had just watched his movie the previous week. BTW his documentary is well worth the $4 to stream on Amazon - it's a really humanizing look at what it takes to keep a band like QR working well past its prime.
posted by COD at 5:47 AM on August 25, 2020 [2 favorites]

I think Jizzy Pearl was on vocals that week

Imagine the thought process leading up to deciding on that for your stage name
posted by thelonius at 5:55 AM on August 25, 2020 [1 favorite]

"It's gotta have 'Pearl' in it....no, that'll make people think about jizz...."
posted by thelonius at 6:04 AM on August 25, 2020

Saw them at a state fair.

posted by filtergik at 6:09 AM on August 25, 2020 [1 favorite]

I thought their Slade covers lacked the wild joy of the originals but Bang Your Head (Metal Health) wrote the textbook on metal anthems. RIP to a man who never stopped waving the metal flag.
posted by Ber at 7:11 AM on August 25, 2020 [1 favorite]

Legend has it that they didn't want to do Cum On Feel The Noize and recorded what they thought was a version so terrible that it would never be accepted by the record company. Springtime For Slade, as it were.

posted by grumpybear69 at 9:09 AM on August 25, 2020

Give my best to Ronnie, dude.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 9:43 AM on August 25, 2020

posted by oozy rat in a sanitary zoo at 9:52 AM on August 25, 2020

Wow - I was on a Quiet Riot spree on youtube this week. I was thinking about how much I loved Kevin DuBrow's vocals and how he just seemed like a legit good guy.

Admittedly I only ever knew Cum on Feel the Noize and Bang Your Head. So I heard the Mama Weer All Crazy Now and was a bit let down, it didn't feel as awesome.

But in terms of that style of music, I much prefer QR over Motley Crew or the later bands, or their Contemporaries The Scorpions which I remember being the only other really huge metal act (ok, maybe Judas Priest, but I didn't know much of them at that point).

posted by symbioid at 10:10 AM on August 25, 2020

"Noize" and "Crazee", their big hits, were both covers of a band called Slade.

Cum on feel the noize (Slade 1973)

Mama we're all crazy now (Slade 1972)
posted by Ansible at 10:35 AM on August 25, 2020 [2 favorites]

There was an Irish rock band called Mama's Boys that put out a Mama We're All Crazy Now cover at the same time as QR, IMHO it blows the QR version away. Of course, nobody ever heard this version.
posted by COD at 10:51 AM on August 25, 2020

Aw man. I met Frankie while he was promoting the documentary in 2014. He and his wife came to a film festival party at my house. He was cool, and kinda shy around the film nerds. He will be missed.
posted by vibrotronica at 11:06 AM on August 25, 2020 [2 favorites]

Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei. Requiescat in pace.

I wrote the post and currently sole comment for Quiet Riot: Well Now You're Here, There's No Way Back on FanFare five years ago. If I can be forgiven for quoting myself:
I found myself fascinated by Banali. In addition to being a rock drummer, he's a widower, loving father, good cook, and Nipponphile. At one point, after another disappointment when singer Mark Huff didn't work out, he says exasperatedly, "I just want to earn a living." You can't help but feel for the guy. Hell, it took him three years to even think about continuing with Quiet Riot, even though he and DuBrow had agreed that either of them would continue if the other died first.

All of which is to say, even as someone who is not a big fan of heavy metal music in general or Quiet Riot in particular, I found this story compelling and well worth the two hours.
I tweeted with him a little at the time of that posting. He made me feel like a million bucks after our interaction.

An obituary was posted to the Eddie Trunk website. I'm surprised at how bummed I am about it. Thanks for posting, COD.
posted by ob1quixote at 1:30 PM on August 25, 2020

Early '80s hard rock covers were so note for note including Once Bitten Twice Shy from Great White . It's funny- we laughed at Puff Daddy's crew for ripping off choruses of big hits and Limp Bizkit for their terrible covers in the late '90s, but at least they put more effort than the hard rockers in at making them their own.

With Youtube, I wonder if straight covers like this will be able to make artists at any point in the future or if the legal profession has ended that?
posted by The_Vegetables at 3:00 PM on August 25, 2020

« Older See You at the Club   |   Telegram: "Everything", London Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments