Frankie Banali

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Frankie Banali
Banali performing in 2010
Background information
Born (1951-11-14) November 14, 1951 (age 66)
Queens, New York City, New York
Genres Hard rock, heavy metal, instrumental rock
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Drums, percussion
Years active 1975–present
Labels Sony, Atlantic, Warner Bros., Pasha, RSM
Associated acts Quiet Riot, Hughes/Thrall, W.A.S.P., Faster Pussycat, Blackthorne, Heavy Bones, Dokken, Billy Idol, Steppenwolf
Website Frankie Banali on Myspace

Frankie Banali (born November 14, 1951) is an American rock drummer, best known for his work with multi-platinum heavy metal band Quiet Riot and is the only member remaining from the band's classic lineup. He has been the band's manager since 1994. He played drums in the heavy metal band W.A.S.P., as well as with Billy Idol. Banali was briefly a touring drummer for Faster Pussycat and Steppenwolf.

Life and career[edit]

Frankie Banali was born on November 14, 1951, in Queens, New York City, New York, to Italian immigrants, Jack and Martha Banali. In 1975, he moved to Los Angeles, where he spent four years playing drums with various bands, including Steppenwolf with Nick St. Nicholas and Goldy McJohn. In 1980, he joined forces with Kevin DuBrow and formed DuBrow with a revolving door of musicians, before settling with guitarist Carlos Cavazo and bassist Chuck Wright. After Rudy Sarzo replaced Wright, DuBrow changed the name of the group to Quiet Riot (which was the same name of the band that DuBrow, Sarzo and Randy Rhoads had used prior to Sarzo and Rhoads leaving to join Ozzy Osbourne's band). After signing with Pasha Records in September 1982, Banali and Quiet Riot found success with Metal Health, which was released six months after signing their deal with Pasha Records. In November 1983, only eight months after its release, Metal Health reached the #1 spot on the Billboard 200 charts (replacing the Police's Synchronicity), making it the first heavy metal album to go #1 on the charts. Metal Health eventually sold over 10 million copies worldwide and help usher in the decade of heavy metal hair rock.

By the time Condition Critical was released in July 1984, tensions began to slowly break Quiet Riot apart, but Banali held on, through lineup changes and a diminishing fan base (mostly caused by Kevin DuBrow's erratic behavior). By 1989, Quiet Riot disbanded after touring in support of their self-titled album, which was released in October 1988.

Around the time of recording their self-titled album, he also played drums for W.A.S.P.'s The Headless Children album. After Quiet Riot disbanded, he rejoined W.A.S.P. to tour in support of the album. In 1990, Banali was called in by Faster Pussycat to replace the fired Mark Michals, during their tour in support of their 1989 album Wake Me When It's Over.

After his mother's death in November 1990, Banali regrouped and formed a band called Heavy Bones with guitarist Gary Hoey. They released only one album in 1992, before disbanding. In 1993, Banali rejoined Quiet Riot after Bobby Rondinelli left the band to join Black Sabbath. In 1994, he also took over as the band's manager, overseeing the band's business decisions. After three albums and more lineup changes (including the reunion of the classic Metal Health lineup from 1997 onwards), Quiet Riot disbanded in 2003. Banali and DuBrow reformed Quiet Riot in October 2004 with bassist Chuck Wright and new guitarist Alex Grossi. They released one album with the lineup, Rehab in 2006, before the untimely death of DuBrow in November 2007. Banali announced the dissolving of Quiet Riot on January 14, 2008.

It wouldn't be until September 2010 that Banali (with the blessing of Kevin DuBrow's family) reformed Quiet Riot with Wright and Grossi. They originally hired Mark Huff, but was let go in January 2012. While Keith St. John went in to fulfill the tour dates, they hired Scott Vokoun in March 2012. In November 2013, Vokoun left and was replaced by Jizzy Pearl. And in June 2014, Quiet Riot released 10, their first album in eight years.

Quiet Riot documentary[edit]

In mid-2010, Banali had an online fundraiser via Kickstarter with his fiance Regina Russell for the production of a documentary about the band, titled Well Now You're Here, There's No Way Back, a film she both produced and directed.[1][2][3] The final amount raised was nearly $24,000,[1] The film premiered at the Newport Beach Film Festival on April 29, 2014.[4]

On January 18, 2017 Frankie was inducted into the Hall of Heavy Metal History for his contribution to Heavy Metal drums.[5]


Frankie Banali's main influences include John Bonham (rock drumming), Buddy Rich, (traditional Jazz drumming), Simon Phillips, Dennis Chambers, and Vinnie Colaiuta.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Frankie's father, Jack, died from cancer in 1974.

Frankie's mother, Martha, died after an eight-year battle with breast cancer, on November 14, 1990, Frankie's 39th birthday.

Frankie married his first wife, Karen (born January 20, 1969), in 1994. On February 17, 1997, his daughter, Ashley, was born. On April 14, 2009, Karen died from heart failure at the age of 40.[7]

On November 11, 2015, Frankie married his second and current wife Regina Russell, who produced and directed a documentary about Quiet Riot called Quiet Riot: Well Now You’re Here, There’s No Way Back.

Partial discography (as a member of bands)[edit]

Vic Vergeat Band[edit]

With Hughes/Thrall[edit]

With Billy Thorpe[edit]

With Quiet Riot[edit]

With W.A.S.P[edit]

With Heavy Bones[edit]

  • Heavy Bones (1992)

With Blackthorne[edit]

  • Afterlife (1994)


Sabian APX Cymbals

14x26 Bass Drum 24" Sabian APX Ride
16x18 Floor Tom 20" Sabian APX Solid Crash
16x16 Floor Tom 18" Sabian APX Solid Crash
10x14 Rack Tom 15" Sabian APX Hi-Hats (Custom built)
6.5x14 Ludwig Supra-phonic 402 Snare Drum

Milkweed (2000)


External links[edit]