Frankie Banali, the drummer for iconic '80s metal band Quiet Riot, has died at the age of 68. Banali had been battling stage four pancreatic cancer for some time, and Quiet Riot's agent, Mark Hyman, confirmed the news of his death to Rolling Stone. Banali joined Quiet Riot in the early '80s, and played on classic tunes like "Bang Your Head (Metal Health)" and "C—m on Feel the Noize." Banali's family were first to reveal his passing, saying that he "put up an inspiringly brave and courageous 16-month battle to the end and continued playing live as long as he could," per Ultimate Classic Rock.
The family added: "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 Aug. 20 in Los Angeles surrounded by his wife and daughter." A GoFundMe had previously been set up to help Banali with his medical bills, and that fundraiser brought in $47,362 to help the legendary rock drummer. "Frankie has been determined to beat it since he was diagnosed," the GoFundMe description read in part. "He has undergone 17 rounds of chemo so far, and several palliative procedures to ease symptoms and has been able to make it past the one year point and even continue playing with the band."
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
The GoFundMe description added: "It has been a very difficult, painful and agonizing journey that is not nearly over. He has been getting second opinions, out of network follow up biopsies, infusions, and treatments of alternative therapies that have kept his body strong enough to withstand the chemo. This endeavor has accumulated a mountain of medical expenses and now with the pandemic canceling or postponing the entire spring touring season he now being hit financially from the other side as well."
Banali's death has had many of his peers mourning the late musician, with former Deep Purple singer/bassist Glenn Hughes writing on Instagram: "I met Frankie in 1981 when Pat Thrall and myself were preparing to make the Hughes/ Thrall album. We needed a drummer. Trust me, we got way more than a drummer. He was always first to arrive at the rehearsal studio in Burbank, and first to arrive at United Western Studios, Hollywood, where we were making the record. Our relationship thrived throughout the years. There was no one more honorable, loyal, courageous, and committed to both music and friendships, than Frankie. He was always there for me, through it all, and never wavered."