After the tragic passing of co-founding Quiet Riot singer Kevin DuBrow in 2007, many figured that the band was over. But while going through the vaults of vintage video material for an upcoming documentary of the band’s history, the spark was reignited once more for drummer Frankie Banali to kick QR back in gear. The easy part was filling the guitar and bass slots – as former members Chuck Wright (bass) and Alex Grossi (guitar) promptly signed on. However, having to fill DuBrow’s large shoes was no small task.
A longtime fan of heavy metal, singer Mark Huff came to Banali’s attention while fronting a California-based Van Halen tribute band (that focused on the “Sammy Hagar era”). A true Cinderella story, Huff auditioned via a cattle call audition, promptly blew Banali away, and got the gig. After getting the blessing from DuBrow’s mother to carry on with Quiet Riot (and to celebrate her son’s music), the group was ready to rock once more.
Quiet Riot hit mega-success with their first-ever US release in 1983, the classic ‘Metal Health.’ Spawning two hit singles that have gone on to become synonymous with heavy metal – “Cum On Feel the Noize” and “Metal Health” – the ‘Metal Health’ album went on to become the first-ever metal US debut to hit the #1 spot on the Billboard album charts, and resulted in a solid year of sold-out arena shows and non-stop MTV video airplay. However, it was the DuBrow-Banali-Wright-Grossi line-up that proved to be DuBrow’s favorite touring line-up (and also, most stable).
Quiet Riot is currently firming up plans for a full U.S. tour – their first in three years. And with the aforementioned documentary on the horizon, and the band’s music being used in hit films (‘The Wrestler,’ ‘Tropic Thunder’), video games (‘Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80’s’), and even musicals (‘Rock of Ages’) – as well as QR being name-checked in songs by Weezer and Ben Folds – Quiet Riot remains a major force in heavy metal. And soon, you will get a chance to bang your head once more to Quiet Riot, at a concert venue near you!
Please visit Quiet Riot’s website, where you hear classic Quiet Riot songs recorded with Mark Huff on vocals. (HRH Note: They sound great! You gotta check this out!!)
I am not sure how Freakshow’s CD dropped off our review schedule at Hard Rock Hideout, but I can not overlook this CD any longer. I have been a fan of Marcus Allen Christopher’s other band Miss Crazy for quite some time. I always thought that there are some similarities between his voice, and Cinderella’s Tom Keifer. It seemed like the the perfect fit for Cinderella’s Jeff LaBar to work with Markus. Freakshow is rounded out by fretless bass wonder Tony Franklin, and former Quiet Riot skin man, Frankie Banali. The overall talent in the band is crazy good, so the CD has to be good too right? Right! After hearing this CD, I can only hope that line up would record together again, and or tour.
Admittedly, I was not super crazy about the opening tune, “Welcome To the Freakshow”, but decided to hang around to see what else Freakshow could offer. The first time I listened to the song “Everyone”, I thought that is was a major rip off of Cinderella’s “Somebody Save Me”. It isn’t exactly the same, but the main riff is pretty similar. It is still a cool song. I guess if anyone is going to rip off Cinderella, why shouldn’t it be their long time axeman. The more I listen to this song, the more I love it.
“You Who Wins” is an excellent crunchy rocker. Tony Franklin and Frankie Banali steal the show on this tune. Banali’s drumming is near perfection, and Franklin bass work complements him well. The guitar licks on “It’s Really Over” instantly brings Whitesnake to mind. This is an infectious tune that demands a lot of replays.
If you can play “Burning Me” without headbanging, you must have a neck brace on. This catchy rocker will have you singing along, “I need your love”. Another great tune! From this point forward, this album is packed with rockers all the way until the final song “Mistaken”. This is a slower number, but still a cool tune at that.
While some band projects suffer from mediocrity, Freakshow rises above the masses to deliver one rockin’ CD. This is easily the best CD that Retrospect Records has ever put out. If you are a fan of 80’s hard rock music, you will love Freakshow. You can purchase this CD at this link. Check out Freakshow on myspace here.
- Welcome To the Freakshow
- You Who Wins
- It’s Really Over
- Burning Me
- Four Leaf Clover
- Looking Back At Me
- Mistreat Me
Marcus Allen Christopher – Vocals
Jeff LaBar – Guitars
Tony Franklin – Bass
Frankie Banali – Drums
Frankie Banali Presents L.A. Guns and the Bulletboys along with a special performance by Frankie Banali & Friends – The Led Zep Set paying tribute to legendary Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham at the Canyon Club on September 25th, 2009!
I am happy to be able to present L.A. Guns and Bulletboys for a night of “old school” rock and roll at the Canyon Club. I’ve been friends with Steve Riley and Phil Lewis of L.A. Guns and Marq Torien of Bulletboys for more years than I can remember.
I am particularly excited about performing a set of Led Zeppelin music with a group of musicians that know how to deliver this music. Joining me for the set will be Chas West (The Jason Bonham Band) on vocals, Mitch Perry (Edgar Winter Group) on guitar, Sean McNabb (Great White) on bass and Edward Harris Roth (Glenn Hughes) on keyboards.
September 25, 2009 will be the 29th Anniversary of the passing of Led Zeppelin’s mighty John Henry Bonham (31 May 1948 – 25 September 1980) and the Led Zep Set will be performed in his memory and dedicated in his honor.
Please come by and enjoy a great evening of music with L.A. Guns, the Bulletboys and Frankie Banali & Friends!
The Canyon Club
28912 Roadside Dr
Agoura Hills, CA 91301-3304
I am really pleased and amazed about all the wonderful attention that the “FREAKSHOW” project has garnered in such a short period of time and at such an early stage.
Here are some facts as I know them to be. Markus has written some fantastic songs. I flew up to San Jose last week and slammed out serious rock drum tracks which I am very proud of. As I write this, Markus is in the studio continuing to work on the material. Cinderella’s mighty Jeff La Bar will be flying in the next few weeks to add his guitar virtuosity to these great songs.
Yesterday it was announced that Tony Franklin will be laying down the bass tracks for the FREAKSHOW recordings. Markus and I had discussed the bass player situation, and since I was available to record the drums right away, we did not seek, search or cattle call for bass players, but rather decided to get the best bass player to record the best bass tracks. I recommended Tony as he is not only the best, but also my favorite bass player. Markus wholeheartedly agreed as he is all too familiar with the gifted Mr. Franklin! Having said that, there are no mutual plans for Tony to continue beyond the recordings. Sometimes a simple mention here or there seems to create an artificial life of it’s own! The last thing anyone involved in FREAKSHOW wants is to disappoint the fans due to misconceptions.
Now then….. While Tony has agreed to record the FREAKSHOW bass tracks, there has not been any discussion of any participation on his part beyond the recordings. So I think that it is important for everyone to understand that we are trying to make the FREAKSHOW recordings the best that they can possibly be and as memorable as possible for those who might listen to it.
Beyond that, the future of FREAKSHOW is up to you, the listener and the fans!
I hope that you will enjoy FREAKSHOW to the fullest!
A new band called Freakshow featuring, Frankie Banali from Quiet Riot on Drums, Jeff Labar from Cinderella on Guitar, and Markus Allen Christopher from Miss Crazy on Vocals.
Check out the band’s new myspace page for more info.
A new bass player will be announced soon!
“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.”