Friends and band mates remember Kevin DuBrow.
"I’ve just lost my best friend." Frankie Banali
Updated: More input from various rock stars and friends of Kevin DuBrows.
A second set of words from Quiet Riot drummer Frankie Banali that now appear on his personal website.
I want to thank everyone for the hundreds of condolences that I’ve received in honor of Kevin which continues to pour in. With Kevin’s passing a very large part of my life and my history has come to end and I can’t imagine life without his presence.
I’ve not slept. There is such a void in every part of my life now. I can’t find any words to say that make any sense of it. I can’t fix this, I can’t change this and I’m expected accept the unbearable. I can’t utter a sentence or think of my dear friend or even say his name without a flood of tears.
I can’t stand that I won’t hear his voice on the phone.
I can’t stand that I won’t step on a stage with him again.
I can’t stand that I won’t share another day with him.
I can’t stand that I won’t sit across from him laughing.
I can’t stand to go past the room and see the awards we earned and shared.
I can’t stand that life is forever changed.
I can’t stand that I can’t change this.
I can’t stand that I have to accept this.
This is a picture that Kevin sent to me on May 24, 2007. It was taken in 1993 after we had reconciled and started working together again and when he sent it to me he called to say that this is how he will always like to remember us as friends. A relationship in life that continued until now. I want to remember my dear Kevin in life like this rather than in his passing.
Frankie Banali / Quiet Riot Drummer
Blackie Lawless released this statement to Greg Burk of the LA Times regarding the passing of QUIET RIOT front man Kevin DuBrow:
"He was one of the best singers rock has ever seen. He had a voice like a razor blade that just cut right through you. And that voice is now silent.
"He was one of the first people I ever met when I came to L.A. Kevin and I had a unique kinship, because our styles were similar, and we were both the same age. The third gig I ever played in L.A. was with him and QUIET RIOT, when [guitarist Randy Rhoads] was still in the band.
"QUIET RIOT [was] the first real MTV rock band. I always used to tell everybody that when people write rock ‘n’ roll encyclopedias, you’ll see your ’64 British invasion, the ’56 Elvis chapter and the ’69 Haight-Ashbury chapter — well, L.A. will have its own ’82-’83 chapter, and QUIET RIOT would really be the beginning of that chapter."
Blackie Lawless / W.A.S.P. Frontman
"Kevin DuBrow, lead singer of Quiet Riot has passed. He will be missed by many. My prayers go out to his family."
Paul Stanley / KISS
"’I met Kevin back in 1986 when Quiet Riot were on the bill with us (Yngwie Malmsteen) for a few shows in the US. He was a funny, high spirited, overall good guy. Through all that he created his image of the ‘mouth that roared’, I found him to be a very endearing & genuine soul. He’s was a saint then & continued to be such a humble person always treating me with absolute respect since day one. I was a Quiet Riot fan when the Metal Health album came out & through knowing Kevin & Co, continued to support the guys & their quest to continue the path they set for themselves from the ground up.
As we drove to soundcheck today here in the UK, I was given the information that Kevin has passed away. My deepest condolences go out to his family, those near & dear & especially to the boys in QR. Kevin leaves us with his legacy of work that we should always remember him by & knowing him, he doesn’t want us to be sad for his passing, he’d want us to celebrate by ‘screaming until our throats bleed!’. RIP my friend, we’ll meet again!"
Jeff Scott Soto
Here I go Again….I hate This…It Seems like The World I know is becoming more and more Twisted. God Has given Me an Amazing Life…..Great Parents, Great Family. NO Sob Story here. As Richard Cortese said years ago "The Golden Boy"….As The Bible says "Favor"….And If U Know me. U Know God has shown me "Favor". Even When "My" Health was at Risk. God overwhelmed me with Calm..I was ready for Whatever was to Come. But That was easy for me…I can’t tell U why….I Feel as if I Have Lived 10 Men’s Lifes..But what I have not been Good at is Losing parts of my Life. Things out of my Hands..Just a Spectator…In The Last Five years I Lost My Father "My Best Friend", My Dog "Zak", Ty….."Man, I Love and Miss U", Super G, "My Engineer", and before that Ronnie G "The Guitar Man". All Holes in my Soul. And Now The man That Saw all that I could do at First sight….Kevin Dubrow…22 years ago We were celebrating his Birthday in Daytona Beach, Yes, That long ago…We have been at each others throats, and We had each others back….We talked Trash, Then We Hugged. We Knew how to keep it going….I Owe U alot Kevin. I’m Sure U would tell me that….I Thank the Lord that this time last year We finally got to share the same stage with both our Bands.Never Would have believed that I’d never See U on this Earth again, But I do know I will See U Again..I Pray for Peace for your Family..U Are a Legend….I am Proud to Say I Knew U…..I Love U Bro……PeaceKM
Kenny McGee / Lead singer of Juliet
Though I really never knew Kevin he seemed like a great guy. You could tell he just had that glow to me.His death is so untimely! It is a sad loss to the metal community and the music world. Thanks for all the great years of music Kevin you will be sadly missed.
Stacey Blades / LA Guns Guitarist
It’s three days later and I still feel like I’ve been punched in the gut. I just can’t seem to wrap my head around the notion of Kevin DuBrow actually dying. Those two things just don’t want to go together in my mind. I barely knew the man, yet I still feel like I’ve lost a close friend. I haven’t felt the loss of someone this badly since Kiss drummer Eric Carr died 16 years ago (almost to the day, oddly enough).
Maybe it’s because Kevin and Quiet Riot have been heroes of mine since I was a kid. Maybe it’s because I had the honor of interviewing the man in 2005. Maybe it’s because Kevin and the entire QR crew have been exceptionally kind to me at each and every encounter (despite my constant concerns about coming across as nothing but an overgrown fanboy). Regardless, news of Kevin’s death is wholly shocking and bizarre to me and I think I’m still in denial about the whole thing.
Part of me wants to write more about the matter, but I find myself hesitant to do so… perhaps because doing so will make it all finally, horribly real.
I can’t believe I’ll never see another Quiet Riot concert.
I can’t believe I’ll never hear another new Quiet Riot album.
I can’t believe any of this is actually happening.
If anybody is interested in reading my one and only interview with Kevin DuBrow, I’ve linked it HERE.
CC Banana / Comic, Friend, Fruit
It’s very clear that Kevin DuBrow has touched many people during his career. Below are comments from friends, band mates and his peers.
"I’m at a loss for words. I’ve just lost my best friend." Banali added, "Out of respect for both Kevin and his family, I won’t comment further. There’s going to be a lot of speculation out there, and I won’t add to that. I love him too much." Frankie Banali / Quiet Riot Drummer – Full report from CNN HERE.
"I was thinking about sitting in Kevin’s apartment in 1979. I had just been over to [late QUIET RIOT/OZZY OSBOURNE guitarist] Randy Rhoads’ (who still lived with his mom at the time) learning some of their songs. Randy called Kevin while I was there and told him they should get me to be the bass player in QUIET RIOT. I passed… ’cause we all had a destiny.
"Today is a sad day.
"[Kevin] always did what he loved most — music — and always said what was on his mind. And that is the measure of a man.
"He will be missed.
"I’m grateful to have those early memories…. before the fame, just kids with dreams.
"I send my love and support to his family and friends… I know this is a hard time."
Nikki Sixx / Motley Crue Bassist
"All of us are in shock trying to deal with this, the last thing you expect when you get up in the morning is something like this. He was somebody who really loved life. He loved to have fun and have a great time. Every day to him was like a party — that’s what it was like when I played with him."
"I think he’ll be remembered for being a hell of a rock singer. He was definitely one of the best singers of the ’80s."
Rudy Sarzo / Former Quiet Riot Bassist
"I’m completely shocked and devastated. I’ve truly lost a brother and it’s a very sad loss for the world of rock n’ roll. I’m so very fortunate to have been a part of his life these past 26 years. I have so many fond memories and it’s a blessing that these recent few years have been so great with the band. There is no reason to say ‘I wish we could have…’ We did! I still can’t believe I won’t be sharing the stage with his larger-than-life presence ever again. The man left a mark wherever he went and I’m heartbroken that he is no longer with us."
Chuck Wright / Quiet Riot Bassist
"I have known Kevin DuBrow for close to 20 years or so. QUIET RIOT put metal on the radio in the early ’80s in spite of the vanilla new wave surge of DURAN DURAN clones at the time. However he died or why, let’s just remember the colossal contributions that he made. Rest in peace, my brother."
Rikki Rockett / Poison Drummer
"Kevin DuBrow is dead. This hits pretty damn hard.
"QUIET RIOT and TWISTED SISTER had a lot of respect for each other. The basis for this came from the fact that both QUIET RIOT and TWISTED SISTER formed in 1973 — long before the rebirth of heavy metal or ‘hair metal,’ as it came to be known, in the ’80s. When QUIET RIOT (on the West Coast) and TWISTED SISTER (on the East Coast) were formed, it was an outgrowth of the glam rock movement of the early ’70s and both our bands fought the good fight against the onslaught that was disco (ugh!). When most other bands gave up or switched allegiances to what was more commercially viable at the time, both of our bands refused to bend — or break, for that matter — and carried the torch for heavy rock through the dark days of the mid-to-late ’70s. As a result, QUIET RIOT were not only at the forefront to the L.A. metal scene, they were the inspiration for many other bands who went on to find fame and fortune.
"If you were to look back at old issues of L.A. music papers, you’d see every band who ever became anything out of L.A. opening for QUIET RIOT. And it was Kevin DuBrow and QUIET RIOT’s perseverance and refusal to take no for an answer that literally destroyed the barriers of the record industry, television and commercial radio and opened the door for all metal bands to follow into the promised land. And we all know the glory days of metal that followed.
"Thank you, Kevin.
"And because TWISTED SISTER was doing, and had done, the same thing for the music scene on the East Coast, our two bands have always shared a mutual respect for one another. We know that none of the other bands (with the possible exception of Y&T, who were doing pretty much the same thing in Northern California) had been through the shit that we’d been through. We had earned our battle scars and our right to stand on those coliseum stages…while we felt many others had not.
"It’s because of this connection that the passing of Kevin DuBrow hits us particularly hard. You’ve all heard the saying, ‘There by the grace of God go I.’ Well, it’s never been truer than now.
"The metal community has lost a powerful voice and a great frontman, but let it never be said that Kevin DuBrow did not leave his mark. You kicked our asses, Kevin, you really did."
Dee Snider / Twisted Sister Frontman
My memories of Kevin DuBrow.
I was a high school junior (1983) watching MTV and saw this spider like front man prowling across my TV clad in stripes. He encouraged me to bang my head. And I did.
A few years later (1986) going to see Quiet Riot in concert with special guest Poison. I couldn’t believe how powerful Kevin’s voice was. Quiet Riot & the openers –both blew me away.
In Hollywood late 80s standing around at the “Rainbow Bar & Grill” and seeing him walk in tall and lanky. He was very full of life. A true rock star.
At LAX airport mid 90s walking along and realized that Kevin & Frankie Banali were neck and neck with me to the gate. “Hey where you guys going?” Kevin replies with his voice on 10! “To play a festival in Oklahoma. What about you guys, what you up to?” Hello, handshakes, and goodbyes all in less than a minute. It felt cool knowing we were comrades in this industry.
Early millennium (2001-02) I was playing “Pinkees” in Las Vegas with my cover band Motley Priest. We went into “Metal Health” and next thing I know Kevin is standing right next to the stage smiling at me. I motioned to him to come up. He obliged and walked on stage during the solo, the place went crazy as he did the breakdown. He handed me the microphone back. I was honored.
Late 2004 Kevin informs me of his love for Metal Sludge and we become e-buddies. We exchanged e-mails and phone calls every few months. He was always SO nice, and offered to take me to a nice dinner more times than I can count. Being a Dad in recent years, and life in general took up my time – I never took him up on it. It’s kind of like a “Cats in the Cradle” scenario I guess. I regret not going.
Metal Sludge filmed a TV pilot (2005-06) with Kevin & Frankie, Paul Gargano, DJ Will & Happenin’ Harry. It was a great time, we all had so much in common and so many stories that intertwined. Kevin was watching play back at one point and said: “Wow, looks killer, just like one of those VH1 shows.” I was proud.
Walking down Melrose last summer I run into Kevin and Alexx Grossi. Kevin says: “Dude, we’re going to Jamba Juice, let me buy you one!” I went, we laughed, talked about the “Bad Boys of Metal “ tour and parted ways. He talked me into the wheat grass shot too. I choked it down.
We had not talked much in recent months. Then I heard disturbing news on Sunday night and called him several times. I kept getting his voice mail, which was full. Hearing his voice made me think of what a great guy Kevin DuBrow was and how much I will miss him. I am truly saddened to lose my friend.
Stevie Rachelle / Tuff frontman
"We are all grieving.
"Kevin and I were brothers. We spoke daily, and I mean on the phone, not e-mail.
"The Kevin that I knew was a beautiful human being. He was kind, giving, nurturing. And generous. He would stay at my L.A. home when he was in town.
"I never saw Kevin loaded. He respected my sobriety. He always spoke how about the change of my lifestyle, and how he also wanted to change his.
"The last conversation I had with him 10 days ago was about this subject; he said he had to make some life changes. I was so happy and elated to hear this.
"Gabi [Glenn's wife] and I spoke to him last on Friday, November 16. He wanted to know if I could pick him up at LAX. On the 23rd, the day of a party at my house. Then there was nothing, no communication. Zero. Come Thanksgiving I knew something was strange. At the house, Kevin’s room was prepared as always, with his fave candies next to the bed. He always requests them when he stays. I thought, he’s gonna come jumping through the door any minute and demand to play the winner of the pool game between Chad Smith and myself.
"As the party ended, Gabi and I spoke of his absence. She was very upset. All along, I felt something seriously wrong. Come Sunday morning, I couldn’t take it anymore and called Lark Williams, Kev’s ex-girlfriend. She was in San Francisco. I asked her if she knew a paramedic who could go over to Kev’s house and investigate. Dana, the medic, got in the house only to find my sweet brother at peace.
"I am completely shellshocked. We were planning to go to Hawaii for some relaxation in the New Year.
"For those of you that didn’t know him, he was a true, true friend.
"l’m gonna miss our dinners at the Palm in Beverly Hills. I’m gonna miss his loud voice bellowing through my house. I’m gonna miss those oh-so-corny jokes. We all will miss him.
"Sleep well, brother. Your legacy is in good hands with me.
"Your loving brother, Glenn."
Glenn Hughes / Vocalist/Bassist Deep Purple/Black Sabbath
"I really don’t know where to start.
"Kevin was a beautiful soul and I feel more than fortunate to have known, worked and learned from him. Kevin was always a positive influence in what sometimes can be a very negative business. I am proud to have called him my friend, and always will be.
"Kevin DuBrow was a true lover of music and was EXTREMELY dedicated to his craft.
"I am honored to have been part of a band that changed the face of hard rock forever and to have been given the opportunity to play, write, and most importantly be part of his life. He will be forever missed.
"Rest in peace, my friend."
Alex Grossi / Quiet Riot current Guitarist
When i was 17 I ordered the first 2 QR records on import from Aarons on melrose. I put all the pictures and LP covers on my walls in my bedroom, I was obbsessed with Randy. There was a giant billboard on the side of the Starwood that had the album cover of Quiet Riots second album on it and, everytime I saw it I thought to myself " Wow real rockstars I hope to meet them someday.
There used to be a guitar shop called freedom guitar on the corner of Gardner and Sunset where i would get my used gear at. One day i walked in there and Kevin was in there with a beautiful blonde girl and i was in awe. I walked up to him and had a brief conversation with him. he was the coolest guy and told me he had a new band just called Dubrow. I saw Dubrow a few times with different guitarists one time it was Bob Stephan and another guy named craig ( I could never remember his last name). Anyway, Kevin was just a great bluesy Rock singer and I was honored just the fact that he knew my name.
as the years went bye Quiet Riot got huge and i would listen to metal health on my way to LAVC where i went to college in my late teens. I always was so proud that he made his own success without Randy because he clearly had the talent.
In 2005 Mike Varney called me and said that he recieved a call from Kevin saying that he would love to have me play guitar for Quiet Riot. I cant even tell you how happy i was that day. I didnt care if they were playing stadiums or phone booths I was just completely floored that we wanted me to play.
The night before we were to audition bass players Kevin flew out from vegas and took me to this really fancy restaraunt on Santa Monica where he insisted that i have the Lobster. i had never tried lobster before and he also insisted that i eat the gross green part( I still dont know what it was) Anyway, we talked about so many things music related, he was really into Steve Marriot and Glenn Hughes at the time. we talked about randy of course which we had done in the past so many times, and it always made him smile and i could always tell he was really really sad about Randy.
I had written some music that I thought was really randy influenced and passed it on to the guys a few weeks before we had the bass auditions and Frankie and kevin really liked it but, they had already written some more basic bluesy style stuff that they were really excited about and didnt fit into my headspace at the time so, i went down to the studio with them only half ass knowing the songs which really frustrated Frankie and i can understand why. But Kevin just laughed because he understood where i was coming from ( I just wanted to shred)
A couple of days later Kevin called and asked me to come to vegas so we could learn those songs better because he really wanted me to do it and during that conversation we came to the conclusion to just move on stay friends, which to me was very important that i didnt lose one of my idols as a friend including Frankie…..
Kevin Dubrow was always a gentleman to me and my girl……..
RIP Kevin, Tracii
Tracii Guns / Guitarist and founding member of LA Guns
"Wow. Today I learned that my friend Kevin DuBrow passed away. This blows me away. No one would ever imagine this happening to Kevin, especially me, after knowing him for the past eight years. During our tours together, he would really take care of himself, eating well (certainly better than the rest of us). He’d take his vitamins every day, and always kept his body and voice in check. One thing about Kevin was that he was always so thankful for what he had. Performing live and creating music were his passions, and he was grateful for the time he spent with his friends and fans. The rock scene has lost an icon, an individual who brought it every night! Kevin, you will be missed."
Billy Morris / Former Warrant & Quiet Riot Guitarist
"QUIET RIOT had an impact on me when I was a teen and when I wasn’t listening to their music, I was playing it or seeing a cover band that was playing it! ‘Metal Health’ was a brilliant record and his voice and [guitarist Carlos] Cavazo’s playing was damn good for that time… and very influential to many others. From [bassist Rudy] Sarzo licking his thumb to the spandex and posing; pure cheese but great cheese! Their music was rock and metal and party music all in one.
"It is a sad day for metal, as DuBrow and QUIET RIOT helped, in their own way, make metal what it has become today.
"RIP, dude. You will be missed by many and thanks for the memories and the music."
Jeff Waters / Guitarist Annihilator
I started out in this biz as a photographer. I was 15 years old. Quiet Riot was the first band to use my photos in a “professional” capacity. I did the cover of Bam in 1983 (the one with Kevin), I did the first print ad/poster for Washburn with Rudy and Carlos, my shots were used on QR merch posters, in the Metal Health songbook, etc.
Were it not for Quiet Riot and the opportunities the band created for me, I would have had never had a shot at what would be my career in the business as I used those published works to go on to do Dokken’s Tooth and Nail album cover, Poison’s Look What the Cat Dragged in album cover, etc. and was published worldwide, all before I could legally even sign a contract.
But, it was QR who gave me my start in this business. It was QR that gave that 15 year old kid the thrill of his life, made a dream come true, and gave him the validation. You see, as a kid, to my parents, all these “rock stars” were druggies, assholes, thieves, bad people, etc. To me, they were my heroes. When my stuff started appearing, it gave me the ability to move forward, regardless of what I was being told by my parents. Pretty good feeling when I was a kid to be able to get home, and in the mail, find your “waste of time and my money” turning into something real when I opened the songbook, or saw the poster, or Bam Magazine, etc. Without that validation, the parents would have been “right” and I’d probably have been doing the 9-5 for the last 25 years.
Not too long ago I was talking to Kevin, actually trying to help him get on the Surreal Life. (my career in this biz has taken many paths, resurrecting KNAC as KNAC.COM only being one of them.)
Anyways, what is now 25 years later, I parlayed that Xmas camera my dad bought and some Quiet Riot photos, into what became the rest of my life in the business. While I put down the camera many many years ago, as life took it’s course and new things arose to explore, it was where I started. Just a kid, his love of music, and the opportunities I was given with thanks to Quiet Riot.
Having said all this, while I was never really “close” with Kevin, it was as a result of Kevin, Frankie, Rudy and Carlos that I had an iota of credibility in this business and was able to parlay that into what has become the rest of my life.
Whether they knew it or not, to guys like me, especially a 15 year old kid with a dream, it’s times like these where you look back , take a moment, and think about, who knowingly or unknowingly, have made your dreams realities.
It’s something I never said to Kevin, though I’ve thought about it when times were dark in a broken, drug induced stupor figuring there was no point to any of this looking for some type of self worth, or even after getting clean, when I’ve put my head on my pillow many a night thinking about this life journey I’ve been on.
Rob Jones / KNAC.COM
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