Quiet Riot and former W.A.S.P. drummer Frankie Banali has died

The 68-year-old's death comes after a 16-month battle with pancreatic cancer

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.”

Quiet Riot
Quiet Riot in 1997. CREDIT: Annamaria DiSanto/WireImage

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.”

“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.”

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.”

See more tributes below: