Frankie Banali, best known as the drummer for heavy metal band Quiet Riot, has died aged 68.
His death was confirmed by his widow, Regina Banali, who said the drummer died on Thursday evening (August 20) after a 16-month battle with pancreatic cancer.
“He put up an inspiringly brave and courageous 16-month battle to the end and continued playing live as long as he could,” she said in a statement. “Standard chemotherapy stopped working and a series of strokes made the continuation on a clinical trial impossible.”
She added: “He ultimately lost the fight at 7:18PM on August 20th in Los Angeles surrounded by his wife and daughter.”
The news comes five days after Banali thanked fans for their well wishes after suffering a stroke while in hospital.
“I spent the last three weeks in the hospital,” the drummer said. “Home now. Had two blood transfusions. I also had a stroke while there. I am rehabbing at home. Thank you for your concern and well wishes.”
Banali’s cancer diagnosis was made public in October last year, with the drummer saying he’d been battling the disease since April 2019.
“The original prognosis was very scary,” he said. “I had quite a battle on my hands and it took a lot, but I am thankful to say that after several rounds of chemo and other treatments I am on the mend.
“The road ahead is not going to be easy but cancer has met its match and I plan to continue fighting.”
Born in Queens, New York City, in 1951, Banali moved to Los Angeles in 1975, where he became a founding member of Quiet Riot. His success with the band included the 10 million-selling album ‘Metal Health’, which topped the Billboard charts in 1983.
Banali also played as part of the bands W.A.S.P. and Hughes/Thrall, as well as with Billy Idol and he was briefly a touring drummer for Faster Pussycat and Steppenwolf.
A number of tributes for the drummer have poured in on social media.
Quiet Riot bassist Rudy Sarzo tweeted: “My hero, mentor, Quiet Riot brother Frankie Banali is now resting in peace and pain free. I will post a follow up in days to come as try to process this unmeasurable loss.”
— Rudy Sarzo (@rudysarzo) August 21, 2020
“Very sad to hear of the passing of Frankie Banali,” Kiss founder Paul Stanley wrote. “He was so open in his reports of his illness and seemed to live through his treatments and setbacks bravely and with grace. RIP.”
Very sad to hear of the passing of Frankie Banali. He was so open in his reports of his illness and seemed to live through his treatments and setbacks bravely and with grace. RIP. https://t.co/7C7E4NJf7y
— Paul Stanley (@PaulStanleyLive) August 21, 2020
Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider said: “Wow. What a day. So sad to hear about the loss of @FrankieBanali. He fought hard until the end. His playing and rock ‘n’ roll spirit will live forever. A fellow New Yorker, Frankie was the real deal. RIP my friend. “Take me away from all this death.”
Wow. What a day. So sad to hear about the loss of @FrankieBanali. He fought hard until the end. His playing and rock 'n' roll spirit will live forever. A fellow New Yorker, Frankie was the real deal. RIP my friend.
"Take me away from all this death."
— Dee Snider (@deesnider) August 21, 2020
See more tributes below:
Rock in peace paisan. 🥁 pic.twitter.com/x2cVeLmOOZ
— Don Jamieson (@realdonjamieson) August 21, 2020
I just heard that my friend, brother and fellow musician, Quiet Riot drummer Frankie Banali passed away. I share many wonderful memories with Frankie and will always remember him with a smile. Safe travels my brother. Love you 💙 pic.twitter.com/xd4sejn41E
— Tony Franklin (@FretlessMonster) August 21, 2020
So very sad that my brother Frankie Banali, passed away last night.
Frankie played drums on the the Hughes: Thrall album . There was
no one more loyal honorable courageous and committed than Frankie.
Words cannot express how I feel. Let’s all share the love for Frankie
— Glenn Hughes (@glenn_hughes) August 21, 2020
— Glenn Hughes (@glenn_hughes) August 21, 2020
So saddened to hear of the passing of my drumming brother @FrankieBanali. He fought an incredibly brave battle against Cancer and his strength and dignity was truly inspiring…Rest In Peace my friend 😢 #RIPFrankieBanali pic.twitter.com/pTXPuqgScG
— Mike Portnoy 🤘 (@MikePortnoy) August 21, 2020
What a sad day with the passing of fbanali after his battle with cancer. I had a chance to hang with him (and @rudysarzo ) at Comic Con a few years back and really came to appreciate what a hard working musician he… https://t.co/DREgdNc147
— David Ellefson (@ellefsondavid) August 22, 2020
With a VERY heavy heart I share one of the best humans has left us today, my dear friend and @QUIETRIOT drummer, @FrankieBanali! I'd known him since 1986, he was always the greatest person 1 could wish to befriend! Suffer no more FB, see you on the other side! #cancersucks pic.twitter.com/PBBFnnnmI3
— Jeff Scott Soto (@jeffscottsoto) August 21, 2020
Frankie Banali The heavy hitter that brought the heartbeat and the beginning of heavy metal in popular music has passed.
You will be missed my friend….
Fly high 🙏
Photo by Wayne Perez pic.twitter.com/cH3Uzt1qcg
— Mark Slaughter (@markslaughter33) August 21, 2020
So sad to hear the news 💔 Frankie was always a class act, nice guy to be around and a kick ass drummer. We always enjoyed playing shows with Quiet Riot. God Bless ya brother and your family, friends and family. pic.twitter.com/O3LgS0ALQV
— WARRANT (@warrantrocks) August 21, 2020
— Zakk Wylde (@ZakkWyldeBLS) August 22, 2020
Another great taken from the music world…When we lose one of our own, it hurts a bit more.. Frankie Banali was one of the greatest drummers to play, a sweetheart of a human, and a class act…Rest In Peace my friend… pic.twitter.com/4SxntGxroE
— Phil "Goodyear" Varone (@REALPHILVARONE) August 21, 2020
Saddened to hear that @FrankieBanali has passed away. Not only was he a talented drummer/musician but also a great human being. He will be missed. Condolences, love & prayers to his family and friends.#RIPFrankieBanali pic.twitter.com/V94mjgVkNI
— Tom Keifer (@TomKeiferMusic) August 21, 2020