Rudy Sarzo says that Frankie Banali is a "fighter" who is always "looking out after everybody" else.
Sarzo and Banali were bandmates in the classic lineup of QUIET RIOT, whose "Metal Health" album is widely considered to be the first by a metal act to reach No. 1 on the Billboard chart.
Rudy discussed his relationship with the QUIET RIOT drummer during a new interview with "Rock 'N' Roll Experience With Mike Brunn". Asked if he keeps in regular contact with Banali, who has been battling stage IV pancreatic cancer for the past 14 months, Sarzo said (see video below): "Yeah. We text every day, checking in with each other and seeing how we're doing and sending our love.
"He's a fighter. Oh my God… Frankie… Since 1972, we've been playing together, and he's always been looking out for the band, for us.
"You know what? I've never seen him in a situation where he just looks out for himself — never," he continued. "As a matter of fact, still, as he's fighting for his life, he's still looking out after everybody — everybody close to him. That's the way he is… He's a fighter. He ain't going down. [Laughs]"
Since the early 1980s, Sarzo has played with some of the biggest bands and artists in hard rock and heavy metal, including OZZY OSBOURNE (alongside renowned guitarist Randy Rhoads), DIO, WHITESNAKE and Geoff Tate's version of QUEENSRŸCHE, not to mention a five-year stint with hard rock juggernauts BLUE ÖYSTER CULT and an ongoing run with THE GUESS WHO.
Sarzo in 2006 published "Off The Rails", a book about his time with Osbourne and Rhoads.
Banali resurrected QUIET RIOT in 2010, three years after the death of singer and founding member Kevin DuBrow.
Image courtesy of Sweetwater