The news was confirmed by Banali’s wife, Regina, who wrote, “He put up an inspiringly brave and courageous 16-month battle to the end and continued playing live as long as he could.” Her statement continued, “Standard chemotherapy stopped working and a series of strokes made the continuation on a clinical trial impossible He ultimately lost the fight at 7:18PM on August 20th in Los Angeles surrounded by his wife and daughter.”
Born and raised in New York City, Banali was the last remaining member of Quiet Riot’s classic ’80s lineup, having joined the band when they re-formed in 1982. Banali appeared on a total of 12 Quiet Riot albums, including 1983’s Metal Health, the first metal record to top the Billboard 200 charts, thanks in large part to a hit cover of Slade’s “Cum On Feel the Noize”. He was also instrumental in keeping the band going, helping to reunite Quiet Riot not once but twice, in 2004 and again in 2010 (following the 2007 death of singer Kevin DuBrow). In addition to making music with Quiet Riot, Banali served as the group’s band manager beginning in 1994.
Over the decades, Banali also performed drums for W.A.S.P., receiving credits on several albums, such as The Headless Children from 1989 and The Crimson Idol from 1992. He also played on the 1982 version of Billy Idol’s hit “Mony Mony”.
Banali was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer in early 2019, but chose not to make the news public until later in the year. At the time, doctors said he had about six months to live. Banali talked about his grueling medical treatment as recently as this past June.
“I’m still fighting the good fight. I’m still doing the chemotherapy,” he said on “Trunk Nation with Eddie Trunk”. Added Banali, “I switched to a different chemotherapy a few months ago. And the side effects on this one are pretty brutal, and they pretty much last into the next round of chemo. So you kind of don’t get a break for about three weeks, and then you get about maybe 10 days off, and then the cycle starts again. But it’s part of what I’m doing.”
Banali is survived by his wife Regina, daughter Ashley, and “many dear friends, dedicated fans, and a menagerie of rescue animals all of whom are family,” per his family’s statement. “He was a long time advocate for animal rescue, a spokesperson for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and a sponsor of Children International. Donations in his name are encouraged for Fixnation.org, Pancan.org, Children.org. His wish for everyone is that you be your own health advocate for early detection so you may live long and rescue many animals.”
Quiet Riot’s most recent album, Hollywood Cowboys, dropped November 2019, and featured one-time American Idol contestant James Durbin as the band’s lead singer.
Our condolences go out to Frankie Banali’s family, friends, and bandmates during this difficult time. Revisit the video for “Cum On Feel the Noize” below.
Update: Tributes to Frankie Banali have been pouring in from rock and metal musicians such as Paul Stanley, Slash, Mike Portnoy, Lita Ford, Dee Snider, Sebastian Bach, Mikkey Dee, and more. Click here to see the social media posts.
Tributes to late Quiet Riot drummer Frankie Banali:
Very sad to hear of the passing of Frankie Banali. He was so open in his reports of his illness and seemed to live through his treatments and setbacks bravely and with grace. RIP. https://t.co/7C7E4NJf7y
— Paul Stanley (@PaulStanleyLive) August 21, 2020
My sincere condolences to the family of Mr. Frankie Banali and Friends and fans alike. A true rocker who dedicated his life to rock n' roll RIP Rock In Power Frankie Banali https://t.co/P3ovaQNt47
— Sebastian Bach (@sebastianbach) August 21, 2020
— Slash (@Slash) August 21, 2020
Deepest Sympathy to the Frankie Banali family and fans all over the world. When we hear the heavens thunder we will know it came from you. Great musicians never die….
RIP FRANKIE 💔🤘💫 pic.twitter.com/66NGdYpd6I
— Lita Ford (@litaford) August 21, 2020
Rest In Peace Frankie Banali pic.twitter.com/N8qpQOCsB8
— Official Dio (@OfficialRJDio) August 21, 2020
Devastating news today! Such a nice guy and respected drummer in the world of rock n roll.
Rest in Peace Master Frankie Banali. pic.twitter.com/jEZ8jO0D4O
— Mikkey Dee (@themikkeydee) August 21, 2020
So saddened to hear of the passing of my drumming brother @FrankieBanali. He fought an incredibly brave battle against Cancer and his strength and dignity was truly inspiring…Rest In Peace my friend 😢 #RIPFrankieBanali pic.twitter.com/pTXPuqgScG
— Mike Portnoy 🤘 (@MikePortnoy) August 21, 2020
Saddened to hear that @FrankieBanali has passed away. Not only was he a talented drummer/musician but also a great human being. He will be missed. Condolences, love & prayers to his family and friends.#RIPFrankieBanali pic.twitter.com/V94mjgVkNI
— Tom Keifer (@TomKeiferMusic) August 21, 2020
Frankie Banali The heavy hitter that brought the heartbeat and the beginning of heavy metal in popular music has passed.
You will be missed my friend….
Fly high 🙏
Photo by Wayne Perez pic.twitter.com/cH3Uzt1qcg
— Mark Slaughter (@markslaughter33) August 21, 2020
Rest In Peace Frankie Banali.
— Mark Morton (@MarkDuaneMorton) August 21, 2020
— Dee Snider🇺🇸 (@deesnider) August 21, 2020