Frankie Banali, the musician best known as the drummer for Quiet Riot and W.A.S.P, died Thursday following a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 68.
According to a statement from his wife, Regina, Banali was first diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in April 2019. He died in Los Angeles surrounded by his family.
“He lived for playing live and performed for millions of fans around the world throughout his career,” his wife’s statement said. “His wish for everyone is that you be your own health advocate for early detection so you may live long and rescue many animals.”
Banali joined Quiet Riot in 1982, and played on the group’s breakthrough third album, Metal Health, which was the first heavy metal album to reach No. 1 on the Billboard charts. Banali was the only member of the group to play on every single one of their albums since Metal Health, and took over managing the band in 1993. In 2010, three years after the death of vocalist Kevin DuBrow, the band reunited. Banali also played drums in the heavy metal band W.A.S.P.
According to his wife’s statement, Banali 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, and in his honor, the family encourages fans to donate to FixNation.org, the ASPCA, PanCAN or Children.org.