Drummer Frankie Banali (Quiet Riot, W.A.S.P., More) Dies at 68 After Cancer Battle

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Rock Cellar Magazine

Drummer Frankie Banali, best known for his work with Quiet Riot over the years, has passed away at the age of 68 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

The news hit the internet on Friday, with Loudwire quoting a statement from Banali’s wife, Regina:

“He put up an inspiringly brave and courageous 16-month battle to the end and continued playing live as long as he could. 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.”

Banali had been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer in April of 2019, but didn’t go public with the news until November of that year — and when he did, he spoke candidly and openly about the reality he was facing:

“I’m very aware that cancer, there’s no cure for it. So I know the cancer will be the death of me. The question is when. And I think having a very positive attitude is very helpful. Yeah, it’s okay to have your ‘down’ days, ’cause I have ’em. It’s okay to be depressed about it, but it’s not okay to stay there. It’s more important to continue to live your life — not just for yourself, but for your family members and your friends, so they’re not sitting around getting depressed because you’re depressed or going on Facebook and having ‘death watch 2019’ or ‘death watch 2020.’ So it’s very important to be positive — and realistic. I’m not a pessimistic or an optimistic person. I’m a realist — I deal with facts as they’re presented to me.”

Here’s more from that SiriusXM interview with Eddie Trunk:

While Banali wasn’t a founding member of Quiet Riot — he joined the band in 1982 and took part in 12 albums beginning with 1983’s Mental Health — he was the lone remaining member of the band’s “classic lineup.” He also had stints with W.A.S.P., Billy Idol and more, all the while ingraining himself in the hard rock scene of the era.

The passing of Frankie Banali prompted an outpouring of love and condolences on social media from peers and friends, indicative of his reputation in the music community.

May Frankie Banali rest in peace.


  • Steve Merrill says:

    Very sad day for Heavy Metal fans. Frankie will always be remembered as a kind soul with a heart of gold. Hope he’s jamming with Kevin and Randy right now! RIP brother.

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