Quiet Riot was an American heavy metal band whose 1983 US Festival appearance helped to solidify metal's image. They are best known for their hit singles "Cum on Feel the Noize" and "Metal Health." They were founded in 1973 by guitarist Randy Rhoads and bassist Kelly Garni, The band's name was originally Mach 1. The original line-up featured lead vocalist the late Kevin DuBrow, Rhoads, Garni, and drummer Drew Forsyth.
In a radio interview given by the band in 1979 and available here, DuBrow said the band's name was born of a conversation with Rick Parfitt of British band Status Quo in which Parfitt said he'd like to name a band "Quite Right". They are ranked at number 100 on VH1's "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock." Quiet Riot also has a notable iconic heavy metal mascot. Their mascot resembles a man (modeled by the artist himself, Grammy Award winning illustrator Stan Watts of Cedar Park, Texas) in a metal facial mask and in a straightjacket (somewhat similar to Hannibal Lecter) which has appeared on almost every single Quiet Riot album. This mascot has been considered alongside Megadeth's Vic Rattlehead, Iron Maiden's Eddie the Head, Motörhead's Snaggletooth B. Motörhead, A.K.A Warpig as enduring familiar heavy metal symbols.
Kevin DuBrow, lead singer of the band for the majority of its existence, was found dead in his Las Vegas, Nevada home at approximately 5:20 p.m. on Sunday, November 25, 2007. The cause of death was ruled an accidental cocaine overdose. It caused Quiet Riot to become disbanded after the death of their lead singer.
The original four members recorded their debut album Quiet Riot, or QR I, which was released in Japan in 1977. Months later, bassist Kelly Garni left the band. The second album Quiet Riot II, or QR II, was recorded at The Record Plant and released in Japan in 1978. Although Garni's replacement Rudy Sarzo was pictured and credited on 'QR II', he did not join before its recording. Rhoads followed his friend Dana Strum's advice and joined Ozzy Osbourne's band. DuBrow and Forsyth tried to keep the band together following Rhoads' departure, with the addition of guitarist Greg Leon and former Suite 19 bassist Gary Van Dyke. During this period of 1980-1982, the band's name was changed to DuBrow.
Following Rhoads' death in a plane crash on March 19, 1982, DuBrow attempted to reform Quiet Riot. None of the other original members were interested, so Tony Cavazo's brother, Carlos, joined as lead guitarist, Sarzo re-joined the band on bass, and Rudy's friend, drummer Frankie Banali, completed the lineup.
In September 1982, with a little help from producer Spencer Proffer (who'd produce W.A.S.P.'S 2nd album The Last Command in 1985), they were signed to CBS records in America. On March 11, 1983, their American debut album Metal Health was released. (Their two previous albums, QR I and QR II, have still not been released in the United States).
Success with "Cum on Feel the Noize"
On August 27, 1983, Quiet Riot's second single "Cum on Feel the Noize" / Run For Cover was released. Their cover of the 1973 Slade hit spent two weeks at #5 on the Billboard chart on November 19 & 26, 1983. It was the first heavy metal song to make the Top 5 on Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart (a.k.a.Pop Chart). The success of the single helped carry "Metal Health" to the top of Billboard pop album charts, making it the first American heavy metal debut album to ever reach #1 in the USA. It was #1 on November 26, 1983, making Quiet Riot the first heavy metal band to have a top 5 hit & #1 album the same week. Their success was aided in no small part to the "Cum on Feel the Noize" video's heavy rotation on MTV, opening the door for the later MTV success of bands like Def Leppard and Mötley Crüe.
A #1 album and a top 5 single was unheard of for a heavy metal band in 1983. The Metal Health album also displaced The Police's Synchronicity album from #1. Metal Health paved the way for a new, stronger commercial viability for heavy metal. Metal Health stayed at #1 for just a week until Lionel Richie's Can't Slow Down took over the #1 spot for three weeks before being knocked off the top by Michael Jackson's Thriller, which returned to the top after a long hiatus from the U.S.summit. Metal Health's title song, which was released as a single on March 11, 1983, finally charted in early 1984 and peaked at #31. This could be attributed to the song's appearance in the 1984 movie Footloose, as well as another heavy rotation video on MTV. The Metal Health album also sold over 6 million copies in the U.S. It was really rare for a metal album at that time to do so.
The group's follow-up, Condition Critical, was released on July 7, 1984. It was a relative disappointment, critically and commercially, selling only 1 million units. This release included yet another Slade cover (the single, "Mama Weer All Crazee Now" - a UK chart topper for Slade) and numerous musical and lyrical nods to the aforementioned act; whether this was a decision made by the band or their producer is still subject to debate as evidenced in their VH1 "Behind The Music" documentary. Reportedly frustrated, DuBrow began letting newer bands on the L.A. metal scene know that their success was in part owed to the past successes of Quiet Riot.
This led to Sarzo quitting the group in 1985. (In 1987 the bassist went on to Whitesnake) The bass slot in Quiet Riot was filled by erstwhile collaborator Chuck Wright (of Giuffria) and the group temporarily added keyboardist John Purdell for their 1985 tour and he appeared on their next release, QRIII, in 1986, another commercial failure. Fed up with DuBrow's antics, the rest of Quiet Riot fired him from his own band in early 1987 and replaced him with former Rough Cutt vocalist Paul Shortino. Wright was also fired and was replaced by Sean McNabb. The band released Quiet Riot in 1988, which was another poor seller. This 1988 album technically has the same name as their original first album with Randy Rhoads. After a tour that ended in Hawaii in 1989, the band members went their separate ways; DuBrow fought to keep control of the name.
By 1990, tempers had cooled enough for the former bandmates to communicate. DuBrow and Cavazo formed Heat with bassist Kenny Hillery and drummer Bobby Rondinelli, but eventually became Quiet Riot again in 1991 and released Terrified (1993) with Banali rejoining. Quiet Riot, with Chuck Wright again on bass, hit the road in 1994 in support of 'Terrified' with Wisconsin's Slam I Am.
That same year, DuBrow released The Randy Rhoads Years featuring tracks from Quiet Riot's Columbia albums and some previously unreleased material (many of which featured newly recorded vocals). Hillery(who'd left the group in 1994) committed suicide on June 5th, 1996. The band released Down to the Bone in 1995 and a "Greatest Hits" album in 1996, which included nothing from the original two Rhoads albums and nothing from the two 90's albums. It did, however, include a few tracks from the 1988 Shortino album. After that, Rudy Sarzo joined up again in 1997, and the band continued touring.
The '97 tour was a disaster, as the band was arrested several times; one angry fan sued DuBrow for injuries sustained during a show. The group still managed to release Alive and Well in (1999) which featured new songs and several rerecorded hits. They followed this up with Guilty Pleasures (2001).
Quiet Riot officially broke up in February 2003(with Sarzo joining Dio the following year) but reunited in 2005. The line-up included DuBrow, Banali, Wright and new guitarist Alex Grossi. The band was featured on the 2005 Rock Never Stops Tour 2005 tour along with Cinderella, Ratt, and FireHouse.
Kevin DuBrow released a solo album titled In For The Kill in 2004.
As of January 2006, Chuck Wright and Alex Grossi had left the band and former L.A. Guns/Brides of Destruction guitarist Tracii Guns had joined, only to leave two weeks later under musical differences. Other recent members of Quiet Riot have included guitarists Billy Morris and Neil Citron, and bassists Tony Franklin, Sean McNabb and Wayne Carver. In an interview with rock & roll comic C.C. Banana in August 2006, Frankie Banali attempted to clarify the matter of Quiet Riot's recent rapid-fire membership rotation, indicating that both Alex and Chuck were both back in the band again.
Quiet Riot released Rehab on October 3rd, 2006 with a lineup of DuBrow, Banali, Franklin, & Neil Citron. Former Deep Purple bassist and singer Glenn Hughes also made a guest vocal appearance on the album.
On July 13, 2007, Quiet Riot performed at glam metal festival "Rocklahoma." Then on September 19 they gave a free show to service members on Keesler AFB in Biloxi, MS.
On November 25, 2007, The Vegas Eye website reported that Kevin DuBrow was found dead in his apartment that day. Banali confirmed the death in an email to Spain's The Metal Circus. Banali wrote:
"Please respect my privacy as I mourn the passing and honor the memory of my dearest friend Kevin DuBrow."
On December 10, 2007, media reports confirmed that Dubrow was pronounced dead on the afternoon of November 25, 2007, and was later determined to have died of a cocaine overdose approximately six days earlier.
On January 14, 2008, drummer Frankie Banali issued the following statement regarding the end of Quiet Riot:
"I have been approached to see if I would be interested in contacting Rudy Sarzo and Carlos Cavazo and to audition singers for Quiet Riot. I have also been approached to see if I would be interested in contacting and reforming the version of Quiet Riot that included Paul Shortino, Carlos Cavazo and Sean McNabb. Let me make this very simple and perfectly clear. While I am still actively involved in the business interests of Quiet Riot and will continue in that capacity, I reject any and all suggestions to have Quiet Riot continue as a live performing entity. My friendship, love and respect for [late Quiet Riot singer] Kevin DuBrow as well as my personal love and affection for Kevin's mother and his family makes it inconceivable for me to ever entertain any ovation to reform or to continue Quiet Riot . Kevin was too important to go on without him. It would also be a disrespect to the fans who have supported Quiet Riot for nearly 25 years. I thank everyone for the wonderful and sometimes unpredictable adventure that I was able to share as a member of Quiet Riot . The only regret that I have is the loss of Kevin. May he rest in peace. I now begin life after Quiet Riot."