The sad case of Quiet Riot

In 2008, a year after Quiet Riot singer Kevin DuBrow died from a cocaine overdose, drummer Frankie Banali issued a statement saying, “My friendship, love and respect for Kevin DuBrow as well as my personal love and affection for Kevin’s mother and his family makes it inconceivable for me to ever entertain any ovation to reform or to continue Quiet Riot. Kevin was too important to go on without him. It would also be a disrespect to the fans who have supported Quiet Riot for nearly 25 years.”

In 2010, Banali announced he was putting together a new version of Quiet Riot with bassist Chuck Wright (an off-and-on member of QR since 1982), guitarist Alex Grossi (served a 3-year stint with QR, 2004-2007) and singer Mark Huff (formerly of a Van Hagar cover band).

This wouldn’t be the first time an ’80s metal band toured with one original member and it won’t be the last, but calling this band Quiet Riot didn’t feel right. If anything, it should be called Frankie Banali’s Quiet Riot just so fans are clear that this is really just a tribute band.

In January, Banali sacked Huff just as he was getting ready to undergo brain surgery. The full story isn’t out there yet but I’m sure it’ll be an interesting one. Banali has brought in Keith St. John (ex-Montrose, Medicine Wheel, Burning Rain) to honor previously-made touring commitments.

Rumors abound that Quiet Riot will be part of the “Rock Never Stops 2012” tour package (also to feature Dokken, Y&T, Firehouse and Trixter). And while they undoubtedly will play a “greatest hits” set (the hits they did have were HUGE hits in the hard rock world but there weren’t really all that many of them), you could hire 4 guys off the street, give them a month to learn the songs, and they’d sound just as original as the band that is calling themselves Quiet Riot.

It seems like now is the time for Banali to retire the name and move on rather than continue to soil the legacy of a band that had the first heavy metal single on Billboard’s Top 100 singles chart (“Cum on Feel the Noise” in 1983).

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