Quiet Riot: Well Now You’re Here, There’s No Way Back
Release date: January 2015 on Showtime and since DVD and other networks.
Director/Writer: Regina Russell
Executive Producer: Frankie Banali
The story of Quiet Riot is sad for so many reasons. Early on Randy Rhoads moves on to be Ozzy’s guitar player and we all know the tragedy henceforth. They faced an uphill battle like few other hard rock/metal bands at the time. No one was interested. They couldn’t keep a stable line-up. Kevin Dubrow can’t keep his mouth shut and they have no allies once the breakthrough occurs. Kevin is fired. Kevin comes back. Kevin dies of an overdose.
In the first few minutes of the documentary, Regina Russell the director/writer does a good job setting the table highlighting the sadness, and madness, of Frankie Banali. Longtime drummer of the band, the core duo of himself and Kevin were about the only stable thing about Quiet Riot and I use that term very loosely. While it seems Frankie realized not long after success hit around 1983 that excess leads to one thing, Kevin was not so fortunate. The constant battling of demons Kevin faced transferred seemingly equally to Frankie. Or so the drama of the story will lead you to believe. Frankie seems genuinely upset and mad at Kevin for “taking that all away” and at first glance my impression is oh no what kind of pity party will this story be? Thankfully and very quickly I came to realize the sincerity of his emotion and can see the similarity to being mad at your best friend, your brother. You still love them, you just are very, very mad with a decision they made. And it was Kevin’s decision to die, while not intentionally, when you walk that road you know the risks. Enough soapbox, the film does a great job of explaining what happens to those of us approaching our 50’s, or already in them, in how our body will handle the mixing of alcohol, drugs and other substances.
Now onto my thoughts about the documentary.
There is some great quality footage from the 1983 US Festival, their breakthrough in front of 375000 people.
Awesome insight into Frankie’s personal life; tea ceremonies and his cooking of meatballs.
Rough quality footage, but well worthwhile to include, of 1978 footage with Randy at The Whiskey.
I liked the term “American Metal” used to describe Quiet Riot.
I was disgusted to hear how they had 0% publishing rights from “Metal Health”.
This is a very behind the scenes film, there is no bashfulness from the surviving members to show it all. Sex, Drugs & Rock n’ Roll.
Best quote “Frankie can cook…but he can play better” – Glenn Hughes on the return of Frankie playing 3 years after Kevin’s death.
I found it interesting how much Dee Snider speaks (doesn’t he always though whenever he can!), considering this would have been before he would be dealing with the death of a bandmate; A.J. Pero.
The “revolving door” segment of Quiet Riot is hilarious.
I found the film to move along at a great pace, not too dramatic and while I am not the world’s biggest QR fan I have always liked their music since 1983 and have seen them before Kevin’s death on the Rock Never Stops tours. I did find the ending of relationship with new singer; Mark Huff, seemed very contrived and scripted. It is mostly about Frankie and moving on from the death of his friend and bandmate Kevin Dubrow, I really enjoyed how much screen time the amazing guitarist Alex Grossi and the either scared as shit of Frankie or grumpy about his gear not working Chuck Wright get, as well as Rudy Sarzo, whom is always smiling.
I think any rock fan and certainly any QR fan will enjoy it. Sit back, pump your fist and bang your head!
– Blair De Abreu