Wild and young forever? Not quite, as Quiet Riot learned the hard way

Published Feb. 8, 2016

In 1983, Quiet Riot changed the landscape of popular music when its album Metal Health sparked a resurgence of hard rock on the radio and the charts. While three years doesn't sound like a long time, by time 1986 rolled around, radio had unfriended the band despite being The Wild and The Young.

Quiet Riot was formed in the early '70s in L.A., but when guitar legend Randy Rhoads and bassist Rudy Sarzo left to join Ozzy Osbourne's band in 1979, Quiet Riot disbanded. When Rhoads died in an airplane accident in 1982, Sarzo and Quiet Riot lead singer Kevin DuBrow got back to together to record a tribute song to Rhoads and recording lead to the reformation of Quiet Riot with guitarist Carlos Cavazo and drummer Frankie Banali. Their 1983 album Metal Health became the first metal album to hit No. 1 on the album charts and the single Cum On Feel The Noize became the first metal song to hit the Top 5 on the singles chart as well.

Two albums later in 1986, Quiet Riot was feuding, Sarzo left and sales were on the decline, but they still mustered enough team spirit to produce the fun video for The Wild and The Young. While popular on MTV, The Wild and The Young did not chart and its album QR 3 failed to become gold or platinum. The video for The Wild and The Young was during the peak of PRMC (Parents Resource Music Center) hullabaloo when Congress investigated lyrics and packaging of albums and features a cameo by Wink Martindale in the Orwellian video.

When DuBrow died in 2007 of a cocaine overdose, it looked like QR would end, but drummer Banali has kept the band going despite being the only member from its '80s glory days. In 2014, Banali and his wife released the documentary Well Now You're Here, There's No Way Back about the Quiet Riot story.