Quiet Riot Drummer Frankie Banali Reveals Cancer Diagnosis
“I just want to let all of my friends and fans know what’s going on with me and why I have unfortunately missed some appearances this year,” Banali said in a statement posted on podcaster Mitch Lafon’s Facebook page. “Since April 17 I have been battling stage four pancreatic cancer. The original prognosis was very scary. I had quite a battle on my hands and it took a lot, but I am thankful to say that after several rounds of chemo and other treatments I am on the mend. The road ahead is not going to be easy but cancer has met its match and I plan to continue fighting. I wish I could have been with you all at every Quiet Riot performance, as this is the first time in 38 years I have ever missed a gig. Please know that if I had been able to fly on a plane and play a show nothing else would have stopped me.”
Banali plans to return to the road next week. “I am feeling much better and stronger now,” he said. “I intend to play the Quiet Riot concert at the Whiskey a Go Go on Saturday, Oct. 26, and to continue touring in 2020 with Quiet Riot, so I hope to see you there. I appreciate all the fans that support Quiet Riot by coming to shows and I hope you will all continue that support as well as keeping me in your thoughts and prayers.”
Banali had missed several shows this past year, with Johnny Kelly (Danzig, Type O Negative) filling in his place behind the drum kit. No reason for Banali’s absence was given, but they were reported to be the first concerts the band played without any members from its most famous lineup. The drummer joined in 1982 and was responsible for reviving the band in 2010, three years after the death of singer Kevin DuBrow, who had been, up to that point, the only constant member since Quiet Riot’s founding in 1975.
The news comes as the metal group is gearing up to release Hollywood Cowboys on Nov. 8. Quiet Riot recorded the album with singer James Durbin, who finished in fourth place on the 10th season of American Idol. Last month Durbin and the band parted ways after more than two years together, with Durbin returning to his solo career. He’s been replaced by Jizzy Pearl, who previously fronted the group from 2013-16.
“We wish James every great success for his future and are grateful for his time with Quiet Riot,” the band said in a statement. “Welcome back Mr. Jizzy Pearl!”
Back in June, Banali addressed the question of whether or not the band, which has been marked by numerous personnel changes throughout its lengthy history, could still be called Quiet Riot.
“I think fans and especially the critics — some of which are fans and some of which are definitely not fans — they have this romantic idea that a band should be whatever individuals they perceive as being the original members,” he told Rock History Music in video, which you can watch below. “That’s fine and all of that, but that’s not realistic. People leave for whatever reasons, people get fired for whatever reasons and, sadly, when you get to be in our age group and our peers, people die. … So the criticism is subjective because the same people who criticize Quiet Riot and say it’s not the original lineup are likely fans of another band that doesn’t have their original lineup but they just happen to like that band.”
Banali said he doesn’t “worry about it. My position is, as long as all my guys are firing on all cylinders and we go up there and give an energetic show, because nobody in my band phones it in. You give an energetic show and you perform the songs the way they were intended to be performed, then if you don’t like it, that’s your problem. It’s not my problem.”