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Frankie Banali (of Quiet Riot), Bereavement & No Way Back

In September of 2021, I had the pleasure of seeing Quiet Riot perform at the Whisky a Go Go in Los Angeles. Of course, it was sad to not see Frankie Banali and Kevin DuBrow on stage, but regardless, the band did an amazing job and the audience was very enthusiastic about the performance.

I’ve seen, and highly recommend, Well Now You’re Here, There’s No Way Back, which is a documentary about the band, which was directed by Frankie Banali’s second wife, Regina Russell Banali. The film won awards at the Newport Beach Film Festival and the Oregon Independent Film Festival, so check it out.

What is so engaging about the film is that it’s not solely focused on the debauchery of the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle; in fact, there’s limited coverage of this. Instead, the film focuses on the relationships among the band members, the challenges Kevin DuBrow faced and how these impacted the future of the band, and ultimately, Frankie Banali and his “regular” life. In fact, Banali’s martial arts instructor comments that Frankie is (now “was” since Banali passed away in 2020) a normal guy who drives his daughter to school, runs errands, and maintains a hobby of collecting Japanese swords.

The film touches on Frankie Banali’s first wife, Karen Banali, who passed away from heart failure in 2009 when the then couple’s daughter, Ashley, was just 12 years old. This means that Ashley, who turns 25 years old on February 17th (2022), has lost both of her parents at a young age. Whenever I now hear a Quiet Riot song, I find myself thinking of Ashley and how difficult the loss she has experienced must be for her. It’s not easy to witness a parent’s struggle with illness, but to have to go through that twice before the age of 25 must take an extreme toll and the feelings of abandonment and loss must be tremendous.

As a retired hospice nurse, I’m no stranger to dying and death, and the grieving process. One thing that I have learned is that there is no “right” way to grieve because everyone experiences bereavement differently. Additionally, progressing through the grief process is not linear. The griever can move through two stages at the same time, backtrack to a previous stage, and even skip a stage or two. Grieving is an individual process, and the griever should be given the space he or she needs to experience the grief in his or her own way. For more information on this, check out this article.

Sending Ashley Banali and Regina Russell Banali, and the members of Quiet Riot, much love and support as they mourn the loss of Frankie Banali.


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