ARMORED SAINT singer John Bush has reflected on the passing of QUIET RIOT drummer Frankie Banali. Banali, who joined QUIET RIOT in 1982 and played on its breakthrough album, 1983's "Metal Health", the first heavy metal LP to top Billboard's album chart, died in August after a 16-month battle with pancreatic cancer.
Speaking to RadioactiveMike Z, host of the 96.7 KCAL-FM radio program "Wired In The Empire", John said about Frankie (hear audio below): "We toured with QUIET RIOT our first tour. That was ARMORED SAINT's first tour, on the road, going out and opening up for QUIET RIOT and WHITESNAKE. QUIET RIOT was [touring in support of] the 'Condition Critical' record, it was, like, their first major release in America, with 'Slide It In'. It was amazing times.
"Frankie battled super hard, and he was given a raw deal by getting this really horrible pancreatic cancer that he had, and he fought it [in a] super noble [way] for years," he continued. "Nobody needs to go out that way. It's just terrible.
"But I did see him not too long ago, at the Ronnie Dio gala. That was one of the last things that my wife and I did to go out [before the pandemic]. And I think it was in February at the Avalon in Hollywood. And Frankie was there. And he was talking — he gave a little speech — and he seemed very together. It was obvious that he was still fighting.
"I have very memories of that tour," Bush added. "QUIET RIOT gave us an opportunity to go out and open for them. We were playing arenas… I mean, those are just amazing times. We [had just released] our debut full-length record, 'March Of The Saint', and we were on the road with QUIET RIOT and WHITESNAKE playing these venues. We were very lucky. We were very fortunate. So I'll always treasure those memories, and I hope Frankie is resting in peace now."
QUIET RIOT announced earlier in the month that it will carry on touring following Frankie's death. The band, which now features drummer Johnny Kelly (DANZIG, TYPE O NEGATIVE), will play a couple of shows in October as well as and a string of dates in 2021.
QUIET RIOT initially featured the late guitar legend Randy Rhoads and went through some early lineup shifts before securing the musicians that recorded "Metal Health".