His wife Regina wrote in a statement that he had been battling stage four pancreatic cancer since April 2019. The longtime Quiet Riot drummer also played with Billy Idol, W.A.S.P. and Faster Pussycat.
“He put up an inspiringly brave and courageous 16-month battle to the end and continued playing live as long as he could,” she wrote. “He lived for playing live and performed for millions of fans around the world throughout his career. His wish for everyone is that you be your own health advocate for early detection so you may live long and rescue many animals.”
Music historian Eddie Trunk also took to Twitter to mourn Banali’s death. “It’s with great sadness that I announce the passing of Frankie Banali,” he wrote. “As many know, Frankie had been battling cancer and passed away last night. He was a great person, friend and musician.”
Born on Nov. 14, 1951 in Queens, N.Y., Banali relocated to Los Angeles in the mid-70s. He spent four years in New Steppenwolf, an offshoot of the hard-rock band led by former bassist Nick St. Nicholas. In 1979, Banali joined bassist Dana Strum and Chuck Wright and guitarist Randy Rhoads, Ozzy Osbourne and Kevin Dubrow, officially forming heavy metal band DuBrow, which later changed its name to Quiet Riot after the original lineup had broken up.
Banali is the last remaining member of the band’s classic lineup. His signature tone and drum intros are featured in hits including “Cum on Feel the Noize,” “Mony Mony” and “L.A. Woman,” as well as albums like “Hughes/Thrall.” Arranged by the drummer, the band’s 1982 hit “Metal Health,” released by Pasha Records, topped the charts and sold over ten million copies worldwide, helping usher the decade of heavy metal rock.
The drummer became Quiet Riot’s manager in 1994, but after three albums and several lineup changes, the band disbanded in 2003. Banali and DuBrow reformed Quiet Riot in Oct. 2004 and released one album, “Rehab,” before DuBrow’s death in 2007. Banali announced the end of Quiet Riot on Jan. 14, 2008.
It wasn’t until Sept. 2010 that Banali reformed Quiet Riot with Wright and Grossi, and in June 2014, the band released “10,” their first album in eight years. In 2017, the drummer was inducted into the Hall of Heavy Metal History for his contribution to heavy metal drums.
Banali is survived by his wife Regina and daughter Ashley.