The loss of a lead singer
Frankie Banali, drummer of the now-defunct Quiet Riot, has stated that he will not reform the band with a different lead singer. Not even Paul Shortino, who fronted the band for an ill-received album in 1988. Evidently, some have suggested that Banali should call up Rudy Sarzo and Carlos Cavazo and audition new singers, or have Shortino come back to the band. Both ideas are, in my oh so humble opinion, terrible.
I have been against bands changing key members while retaining the original name. Some have pulled it off, namely Van Halen and AC/DC, but many others have failed miserably, such as Quiet Riot. What is a key member? Well, the lead singer is definitley a key member. The guitarist can be a key member if he has a signature sound. Can you imagine anyone but Slash riffing for GNR? (The correct answer is no.) Neither can I. The bass player and drummer, not so much. The idea of a Led Zeppelin reunion is not far-fetched, even though their drummer has left this world. Bonzo was amazing, don’t get me wrong. But I’m not convinced that the band would be any less spectacular without him.
One thing to remember about VH and AC/DC is that they were immensely popular when their key changes happened. AC/DC was coming off one of their best album with Bon Scott, Highway to Hell, when tragedy struck. Van Halen had just released their epic 1984, which contained the immortal songs, “Panama,” “Jump,” and “Hot For Teacher.”
What about Quiet Riot? Frankly, they haven’t been popular since 1983. That’s not to say that the material they released in the past 25 years has been bad. The band’s 2006 disc, Rehab, is a great CD filled with classic rock vibes. A departure from their signature sound, but still they were unable to garner much airplay from its release.
To continue on as Quiet Riot would be a huge mistake. Banali is right to move on, and I applaud his willingness to come out publicly against a new lineup.