Happy birthday Frankie Banali (born November 14, 1951) an American rock drummer, best known for his work with multi-platinum heavy metal band Quiet Riot. 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.
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 its name to Quiet Riot. After signing with Pasha Records in September 1982, Banali and the band found success with Metal Health, which was released six months after signing their deal. Eight months after its release, Metal Health hit #1 on the Billboard charts, making it the first heavy metal album to go #1.
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.
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. The final amount raised was nearly $24,000,
Frankie Banali’s main influences include John Bonham (rock drumming), Buddy Rich, (traditional Jazz drumming), Simon Phillips, Dennis Chambers, and Vinnie Colaiuta.