QUIET RIOT's Frankie Banali has died after a battle with pancreatic cancer. The drummer passed away last night (Thursday, August 20) at the age of 68.
Frankie was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer on April 17, 2019 and given six months to live. He put up an inspiringly brave and courageous 16-month battle to the end and continued playing live as long as he could. Standard chemotherapy stopped working and a series of strokes made the continuation on a clinical trial impossible. He ultimately lost the fight at 7:18 p.m. on August 20 in Los Angeles surrounded by his wife and daughter.
Frankie is survived by his devoted wife Regina, loving daughter Ashley, many dear friends, dedicated fans, and a menagerie of rescue animals, all of whom are family. He was a longtime advocate for animal rescue, a spokesperson for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and a sponsor of Children International. Donations in his name are encouraged for Fixnation.org, Aspca.org, Pancan.org, or Children.org. His wish for everyone is that you be your own health advocate for early detection so you may live long and rescue many animals.
Funeral plans will be announced at a later date.
Banali was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer after going to the emergency room for shortness of breath, leg pain and loss of energy. A scan of his lungs caught an image of his liver, which is where the first spots were seen. Then came the discovery of a tumor on his pancreas.
He had been in treatment since the spring of last year and recently completed his 21st round of chemotherapy with the hopes of shrinking or controlling the cancer.
In early June, Banali told SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk" about his cancer battle: "I'm still fighting the good fight. I'm still doing the chemotherapy. I switched to a different chemotherapy a few months ago. And the side effects on this one are pretty brutal, and they pretty much last into the next round of chemo. So you kind of don't get a break for about three weeks, and then you get about maybe 10 days off, and then the cycle starts again. But it's part of what I'm doing."
Asked if doctors are seeing positive results from the chemotherapy, Banali replied: "It really depends on any given cycle, whether things are going up or whether things are reducing. The situation that I'm in is not a sprint, really — it is the longest race I can possibly make out of my situation. So you have to be really, really careful how you read into some of these things, because something can look elevated, but then if you look at a scan — one of my internal scans — it's not as bad as the numbers say. But it's a deadly disease — there's no question about it — and I know that that's what eventually is gonna kill me. In the meantime, I'm just trying to put that day off as far back as I possibly can."
Banali also talked about how his latest chemotherapy sessions caused him to lose his trademark hair. He said: "I knew that when we were switching from the first chemo formula that we were doing for almost a year to the new chemo formula, I knew in advance that the different formula was really gonna wipe out the hair. So right now you probably wouldn't recognize me because not only did it take all the hair on the top of my head, but it took my beard, my eyebrows, my eyelashes. Let me put it to you this way: I have just really improved my Olympic swimming chances with the loss of body hair."
Banali went public with his diagnosis last October, writing in a social media post that the cancer treatment had forced him to miss several live shows with the band. He was replaced at those gigs by either Johnny Kelly (DANZIG, TYPE O NEGATIVE) or Mike Dupke (W.A.S.P.), depending on each musician's availability.
QUIET RIOT's shows last year with Kelly and Dupke marked the first time ever that the band performed without any of the members from its classic lineup: Banali, singer Kevin DuBrow, guitarist Carlos Cavazo and bassist Rudy Sarzo.
Banali played his first show with QUIET RIOT since he announced his cancer diagnosis in October at the Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood, California.
The drummer resurrected QUIET RIOT in 2010, three years after the death of founding member DuBrow.
QUIET RIOT's latest studio album, "Hollywood Cowboys" was released in November via Frontiers Music Srl.