In a statement, Banali’s family said that he “put up an inspiringly brave and courageous 16-month battle to the end, and continued playing live as long as he could.” He passed away in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter by his side a little more than one year after he was first diagnosed with cancer.
He Was Part Of Quiet Riot’s Most Commercially Succesful Lineup
Banali started his professional career in the 1970s as a drummer in New Steppenwolf. In 1979, he began working with singer Kevin DuBrow, who had formed Quiet Riot with guitarist Randy Rhoads and bassist Rudy Sarzo. Rhoads died in 1982 shortly after working with Ozzy Osbourne on the album Diary of a Madman.
Banali, DuBrow, Sarzo, and Carlos Cavazo became the most commercially successful lineup of Quiet Riot. The release of their third studio album, 1983’s Metal Health, had them in heavy rotation on MTV after it charted two megahits – “Cum On Feel The Noize” and “Metal Health (Bang Your Head).”
After a successful 1980s and a later breakup, Banali joined a series of other groups, including W.A.S.P. and Faster Pussycat. He would later rejoin and mange a revamped version of his most famous group multiple times in the 1990s and 2000s, even after DuBrow’s 2007 death, and remained an on-and-off member through 2019.
In an interview with Classic Rock Revisited, Banali explained that after his bandmate died, he first decided not to continue with Quiet Riot because he was in the “depths of grief.”
“I didn’t decide to try it again for nearly three years,” he said. “It was important to me to continue because it’s my band, too. I’ve devoted a lot of my career to the band.” He credited the fans for making it possible for him to continue.
He Is Being Mourned By The Music World
So very sad that my brother Frankie Banali, passed away last night.
Frankie played drums on the the Hughes: Thrall album . There was
no one more loyal honorable courageous and committed than Frankie.
Words cannot express how I feel. Let’s all share the love for Frankie
— Glenn Hughes (@glenn_hughes) August 21, 2020
The late drummer was remembered by fans and famous friends in the hours after his death.
On Twitter, former Deep Purple bassist Glenn Hughes shared a throwback photo featuring him and Banali with guitarist Pat Thrall. Hughes, who worked with the late musician on the 1982 Hughes/Thrall album, captioned the photo by writing that no one was more “courageous” or “committed” than Banali, who he referred to as a “brother.”
In a Twitter post, seen here, Sarzo also paid tribute to his late bandmate.
“My hero, mentor, @QuietRiot brother Frankie Banali is now resting in peace and pain free. I will post a follow up in days to come as try to process this unmeasurable loss,” he wrote.
Twisted Sister lead singer Dee Snider also took to social media, in a tweet seen here, to react to the sad news.
“Wow. What a day,” he wrote. “So sad to hear about the loss of @FrankieBanali. He fought hard until the end. His playing and rock ‘n’ roll spirit will live forever. A fellow New Yorker, Frankie was the real deal. RIP my friend. ‘Take me away from all this death.'”
Other ’80s musicians, including Cinderella’s Tom Keifer, Whitesnake’s David Coverdale, Poison frontman Bret Michaels and singer and guitarist Lita Ford paid tribute to Banali on social media.